Elderhostel Notebook #17

Elderhostel Notebook  is a production of The Senior Group, an
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It provides a place for elderhostlers to share information about
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    From the Editors Notebook

    Elderhostel Reviews


    Editor's Notebook

With this edition we have gone to a numbering rather than a
monthly dating sysrem as we will send out the Notebook on the
basis of reports received that total about 20K (the limit of some
reader's mailboxes) As things go this will mean one notebook every 2-3 weeks.

I didn't have time to get Victor's column in this issue, but he
will be doing his column again as I get better organized and
return from a  brief medical break of a week or two.

The next issue #18 should be out early in November and will have
some original photos by Billie Hamm taken at several very scenic

   Elderhostel Reviews

Charleston and Savannah.

First Charleston: Program hosted by College of Charleston
(beautiful campus with historic buildings and interesting
collections in its library.) Accomodations were at the very fine
Francis Marion Hotel in downtown Historic Charleston. Classes
were held in the Lightsey Conference Center which is connected to
the hotel ( some steps involved ). Classroom was comfortable;
good microphone so there was no trouble hearing. We ate at the
college cafeteria which was about a 3 block walk each way. Most
of us felt that was good for us. The variety of food available
made it possible to find something to suit your taste. Always hot
entrees, salad bar, sandwiches, cereal available all the time,
desserts and large choice of beverages. Not gourmet food but
certainly good cafeteria food.

The program was listed as Urban Gardens and explained this
included history as well. I don't think I have ever heard so many
good speakers at one elderhostel. Each one was outstanding in
their own way. A Dr. Thomas Palmer talked about the early
history, Civil War and Reconstruction periods of
Charleston....good humor and not a note! An excellent talk on
Architecture with slides for illustration was given by Alice
Levkoff. Then came Ruth Miller, a dynamic gal who spoke on
Charleston traditions. Another slide and lecture presentation on
Charleston in Bloom by Jan MacDougal....very knowledgeable.
Charleston arts was covered by Marc Overton. Herbs by John Palmer
who has a large herb garden was very interesting. The week ended
with a presentation on the Changing South by Dr. William
Moore.....also an excellent speaker.

A couple of special evening programs were excellent: one by Al
Miller held at the A.M.E. church about Black History. He turned
out to be a singer and gave us an overview of Porgy and Bess with
songs. Another evening "The Gullah Experience" with Frank and
Sharon Murray was outstanding. We were also invited to attend the
college Concert Series one evening...free of charge. Tours
included the college campus, which as I mentioned earlier, was a
delight; an historical tour of Charleston done partly by bus and
partly walking; and a garden tour where we saw 4 private urban

The coordinator, Claire Robinson, did an excellent job
with this elderhostel. She was most helpful and willing to do
most anything for you. She arranged a special price on tickets to
the Charleston musical production "Serenade" which many of us
took advantage of on our free evening. It was a fun evening out
and well worth the price. In addition, we had an afternoon free
also. My companions and I decided to go to Fort Sumter on our
free afternoon and we enjoyed that as well.

If you have any interest in Charleston, do not hesitate to take
this elderhostel. The only drawback is there is quite a bit of
walking and the sidewalks of Charleston are brick which is uneven
at times. You need to watch your step, but all of us did fine.
Also, there were 50 people at this elderhostel, but it worked
quite well as they divided us into two groups for tours.

Joan Liimatta Questions? jliimatta@virginia.k12.mn.us


Now Savannah: What a beautiful city! The elderhostel was hosted
by Armstrong Atlantic State University, a small but very nice
college in Savannah. I will say at the outset I was a little
apprehensive about this program as someone had written earlier
with some disappointment with this site. Our program was a little
different than the one mentioned by that person, so I decided to
go ahead with my plans. I am glad I did, as I found it to be a
very good program and no real problems.

We stayed at a Day's Inn which is located about .8 miles down a
busy road from the college, but we were told that in the
literature and advised that a car might be desireable. It posed
no problem and those without cars rode with those who had them.
The motel was very clean and nice. Meals were eaten at the
college cafeteria which is in the same building as our classes,
so that worked well. Again, a variety of food available so you
could find something you liked. The classes were held in the
Faculty Dining Room, which was adequate. The coordinator, Kelly,
was a young gal new to the program and she did an excellent job.
She made an effort to get everyone involved and meeting each

One of the programs was Rebs vs. Yanks by Mr. Paul Blatner. The
whole day was spent going to Civil War Forts. He lectured while
we drove from spot to spot; used a microphone so we could hear
him, and at each fort a guide was there to give a presentation
and show us around. We went to Forts Pulaski, Jackson and
McAllister were each interesting in thier own right.

A second program "Moon River Music Magic" about Johnny Mercer and
his songs was presented by Mr. Randy Reese, a talented musician
and professor at the college. He had a well organized
presentation and played lots of Mercer tunes for us (CD's and
Tapes that he had prepared). A special treat included an evening
with several musicians and Randy as they played and talked to us
about playing together and what is involved. We all thoroughly
enjoyed it.

The third program was Savannah's Historical Journey with Dr.
David Noble who is a Latin and German instructor at the college,
but also a tour guide in Savannah. He took us on a walking tour
of historical Savannah....we moved by bus sometimes from place to
place. This tour included a picnic lunch in the little park on
Riverstreet where the Waving Girl statue is, and some time to
browse River Street. He was very good about waiting for everyone
to get to a point before talking and I had no trouble hearing
him. Our tour included a tour of the Green Mansion where Sherman
had headquartered while occupying Savannah. Another day, he took
us to Wormsloe plantation, Isle of Hope, Bethesda and Bluff
Drive. He had a dry sense of humor and we enjoyed him.

In addition we had a lecture on the Ecological and Economic
History of Low Country GA by Dr. Mark Finlay, a professor at the
college. A talk and slides on Savannah Haunts and Folklore by
author Margaret DeBolt and a talk and slides on Architecture of
Savannah and restoration of buildings and statues by a very young
and knowledgeable Dr. Christopher Hendricks. All of these were
very enlightening and worthwhile .

We had a free afternoon and evening. My companions and I decided
to take "The Book Tour" (in case you are not aware Midnight in
the Garden of Good and Evil is a true story written in a
fictional book about Savannah.....and is talked of constantly in
Savannah). It was three hours and included all the sights
mentioned in the book and included a trip to the cemetery. The
guide was excellent and included a few other things too....like a
little short course on cemetery symbolism. Very interesting. We
then decided to have dinner at the Pirate's House and go upstairs
after dinner to hear Miss Emma Kelly the woman of 6000 songs in
"The Book". She is in her 80s and forgets some words, but is
still a good pianist and it was fun.

The elderhostel was very enjoyable and I was glad I went.
Savannah is a wonderful city.

Joan Liimatta: jliimatta@virginia.k12.mn.us

note- There are some photos in the Notebook web site edition to
accompany this report


Victoria, British Columbia
April 27-May 3, 1997
Northwest Educational Resources

The major topics for this elderhostel were, Victoria on the Wild
Side, and The Art and Culture of the West Coast First nations.
The program ran from Sunday though Friday as many elderhostels do
now to accommodate week-end traffic at some of the commercial
housing facilities used. In this case it was A Day's Inn motel
located in the main motel district of the city, which is a short
distance from downtown, walkable by more active hostelers (about
a mile) but with good public transportation available for the
holsters to use on their two free afternoons. The accommodations
and food were very good.

We arrived a  day early which we sometimes do to be able to
explore the area a little on our own. Several other hostelers
planned to stay a day or two extra, and the motel accommodated
both groups. One of the disadvantages of the early arrival is
that you don't always  know ahead of time  which area attractions
will be included in one of the field trips of the program.

Victoria on the Wild Side included a visit to an area temperate
rain forest. British Columbia has some of the last remaining
intact temperate rain forests in north America and there is a
major controversy about attempts to log them. We studied this
controversy from an environmental perspective, and some of the
factors overlapped into the First Nations course as many of the
plants and animals in the rain forest figure prominently in the
Tlinget culture of the area. We did some bird watching as well in
this course at several spots along the coastal area.

We were fortunate in the First Nations course in having an
instructor who was a First Nations person. Interestingly her
local culture required her at one point to bring one of the
tribal elders to the session to see that what she taught us was
appropriate both in terms of its accuracy to the cultural
standards and to what should be shared with non-tribal people.

Victoria is a beautiful city and elderhosteling is a good way to
see and appreciate it. Maggie says they must have a city
ordinance that all residents are required to  have beautiful
flower gardens. It certainly seemed that way although we just a
little late for the peak spring blooming time. We would recommend
that you plan for enough time to extend your visit to include
some time either before or after the elderhostel.

Access for those who go by car  is by ferry either from the
states from Port Angeles, Washington or from Canada from
Tsawassenm\ south of Vancouver or Swartz Bay in Vancouver. We
over on a BC ferry from Tsawassen and returned on an American
ferry though Port Angeles. The British Columbia ferries are
generally much larger, more luxurious, and the route more
protected from rough water, although we enjoyed both ferry rides.

Jim Olson   jimo@discover-net.net

note- this is one of the reports in this issue that will be
illustrated on the photo album page of the notebook web site.


McElmo Canyon Research Institute at Kelly Place (Cortez, CO)

Program:  Anasazi Ruins   Solstice Markers and Botany of the

Dates:  June 15 - 21, 1997

My love of the Southwest and Native American culture takes me on
vacation out there nearly every summer.  So, it seemed natural to
combine my travels out there with an Elderhostel experience. This
program was at the top of my list, especially since the Summer
Solstice was to occur on June 21st.

Kelly Place is located about 10 miles west of Cortez, Colorado,
in McElmo Canyon.  Further west down the road is Hoovenweep
National Monument and Mesa Verde National Park is about 20 miles
east.  Cortez is a center of Anasazi culture with over 8,000
known ruins in the area.

I was taking part in the Recreation Vehicle (RV) portion of the
program but all that meant was I would live in my camper rather
than the lodging provided.  There is only room for 4 RVs so you
have to sign up early.

There were only 18 people in this program so was a small and very
friendly group.  Meals were varied and tasty.  Our thanks to the
support staff.

We had 2 primary instructors/guides - Jim Colleran for Anasazi
Ruins   Solstice Markers and Michael Claypool for Botany of the
Southwest.  Both overlapped and did so much more.  Really great.
Also had a guest speaker on Anasazi Solstice Markers, Ray
Williamson who gave a terrific presentation.

The highlight of the Solstice Markers program was the observance
of a morning (sunrise) and evening (sunset) solstice at
Hoovenweep outlying sites (Holly   Cahone).  A video presentation
of the Sun Dagger Solstice Marker at Chaco Canyon was also very
enlightening.  We also hiked through the main ruins at Hovenweep.

We had several hikes in and around Kelly Place and adjoining
lands. Michael Claypool gave a running commentary on botany of
the southwest as we hiked this lovely area.  Jim Colleran took us
on a wonderful hike further in the canyon and showed us several
ruins as well as a reconstructed Kiva at Kelly Place.

Friday was a 'Free Day' with an optional trip to Mesa Verde. Both
Jim   Michael gave us a tour that we will not forget.  This
included Spruce Tree House, the Museum, a Ranger tour of Balcony
House, viewpoints along the mesa and talking tours of many
mesa-top ruins.

Larry Doyle 

note- there are some graphics to accompany this report in the
web edition.


 To: James Olson 

Subject: Re: Elderhostel in Languedoc

Unfortunately, I have a bad report to deliver on our experience
with an Elderhostel in France - It was on the Languedoc and the
Canal du Midi, held Sept.19 - Oct.4, 1997. It was sponsored by
Experiment France and Euromapping. There were 39 unhappy
participants. The program was poorly organized with little
consideration of our time, interests or safety and well being. It
was not all bad. They did have an excellent instructor for one
week in Albi, but she had to follow the program. If anyone
desires more information, I will gladly provide it. It makes our
Elderhostel experience a + in Ireland and a big - in France.
Maretta Deiterman


Patricia Armstrong -

I went to my first Elderhostel in Jan. '97. The program was Big
Sur Natural History and was in the Pfeiffer Big Sur State
Park...on the beautiful central California coast...with subjects
from author Henry Miller to a lighthouse tour! Absolutely GREAT!!
I'm hooked! The 1st week in Dec. will find me in San Francisco
for my 2nd Elderhostel...programs included will be The California
Culinary Academy, Big Band Bash and William Hogarth's
London...should be a fascinating week! The only problem with
Elderhosteling is deciding which destination will be next!


From: joy@shore.intercom.net

Have waited a few weeks to reflect on the experience at the
Sheldon Jackson, Glacier Bay, Alaska Elderhostel, Sept 9-15
before sharing. The scenery and wildlife were fantastic as were
the independent hikes into the wilderness with other
elderhostelers as was their fellowship. The program however was
rather weak both at the lodge and on the not very clean
Wilderness Explorer as was the service of both places. There was
beaucoup spare time with no evening activities. I understand that
the management company who runs both the lodge will not be
housing anymore of our Elderhostels but a small B  closer into
Gustavis will. This one would rate a 7 and that's high because of
the wonderful surroundings.