Elderhostel Notebook #20, Dec. 11,1997

Elderhostel Notebook  is a production of The Senior Group, an
informal group of older netizens.

It provides a place for elderhostelers to share information about
Elderhosteling and other learning experiences related to travel.

I has a world wide web site at

To subscribe to the e-mail edition send an e-mail to



    From the Editors Notebook

    Browsing with Victor

    Elderhostel Reviews


    Editor's Notebook

Just a reminder as you look at the new spring catalog, the
Canadian Elderhostels are now  featured in a separate catalog.

To get the Canadian Catalog (and you are missing some fine
programs if you don't) call 617-426-8056 or write:

75 Federal Street
Boston, Ma 01220-941
attn: Canada Catalog

As we plan for the next issue, we would like reviews in time for
an issue before the deadline for the spring program  mail
registration lottery deadline  of Jan 2, 1998.

Speaking of catalogs. Several alert readers have pointed out that
the pre-addressed mail registration in the catalog contains your SS
number as an Elderhostel identification number.

If privacy of this number is a concern in this world of stolen
ID's, be careful about discarding old catalogs with the insert

   Browsing with Victor

Dixie College
    -Victor A. Schlich  vschlich@ime.net

Dixie College in southern Utah makes the most of its location for
a refreshing variety of elderhostel and travel-learning
experiences that are offered outside of its regular elderhostel
offerings. It's in St. George and within easy driving distance of
Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, Grand Canyon
and Capitol Reef National Monument.

The climate is so mild in winter that early settlers called the
area the Dixie of Utah. Golf is a year-round sport here, not just
a part-time hobby.

Dixie College makes effective use of the region for its
elderhostel programs. You can ski at Bryce Canyon, Duck Creek and
Brianhead, or master the subtleties of golf at St. George's nine
golf courses, all while enjoying an elderhostel.

One focuses on the area around Kanab on U.S. 89, three miles from
the Utah/Arizona border. This charming town, known as 'little
Hollywood, has been the site of western movies since 1922. You
can enjoy lots of red rock masterpieces in Zion national park,
plus the magnificent cliffs that lured filmmakers.

You'll be intrigued after a glance at Dixie College offerings on
the Elderhostel internet pages www.elderhostel.org or
www.dixie.edu panoply of interesting and challenging programs.

Dixie's Discover programs may be just the adventure for which
you've been waiting. Sample the best in sights and insights of
four spectacular national parks.

If you gave different tastes check out Shakespeare, Bridge, golf,
tennis and an inside look at the kaleidoscope of the red-rock

Utah Discover Programs provide one or two weeks of field study,
discussions, seminars, and activities, with meals and lodging as
low as $390 per person per week.

Intriguing foreign destinations are irresistible: the Yucatan in
Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and Guatemala in Central and South America
and fascinating European destinations.

White beaches and crystal clear turquoise water in Mexico's
Yucatan share attention along with ancient Mayan ruins. Dr. Einar
Erickson, an archeologist on the Dixie faculty, leads this one.
Next summer's trip is July 15-22. The all-inclusive cost is
$1,299 triple to $1,547 single.

Another 1998 Discover trip visits Czechoslovakia, Austria,
Hungary, Poland and Germany from June 6-17. The cost ranges from
$2,919 triple to $3,339 single.

Information is readily available at www.dixie.edu/elderhostel,
or Dixie College Conferences   Workshops, 225 S. 700 E., St.
George UT 84770 (yes that's the right address!) or call
1-800-545-4563. Send E-mail to durfey@dixie.edu. 383

   Elderhostel Reviews

Williamsburg, Va, College of William and Mary

My husband and I went to Williamsburg, Virginia, to the
Elderhostel sponsored by the College of William and Mary on
November 2-7, 1987. There were two running at the same time; we
went to the second one listed in the Fall Catalog.  We had not
been back to Williamsburg since our honeymoon there in 1950.  We
had thought we would remember something, but we didn't.  The
class was much amused when we showed our confirmation dated Nov.
2, 1950 stating that our room charge would be $7 a night and that
a deposit of $8 would be required.

The classes were taught by professors from the college and were
very informative and interesting (refer to catalog for topics).
We toured the campus of the college and also toured Williamsburg
learning fascinating facts of architecture of the period.  Two
evenings we had musical entertainment featuring rare instruments,
two of which were the hurdy-gurdy and a glass armonica (not a
misspelling!).  Colonial Williamsburg offers Elderhostel special
passes for $15 which admits you to 5 of the buildings; of course,
you can purchase the Patriot's Pass for $30 which admits you to
everything. However, we found that five were all we had time or
energy for.

Carter's Grove itself consumed 4 hours to see and we would highly
recommend everyone to see this beautiful place!  If you had no
pass at all, this visit would cost $15 alone.  A wonderful
Elderhostel.  Ella and Dick Gibbons (email-rgibby@juno.com).

- editors note: there are some Colonial Williamsburg photos
relating to the holiday season on our Elderhostel Notebook web
page to accompany this report.


Arapajo College Denver 1994
    JanClyde @aol.com

We loved it!  Accommodations were at Quality Inn South - very
nice.  Coffee maker   refrigerator in our room, hot tub   sauna
down the hall.  Meals were very good, tables set up and served in
a conference room right next door to our meeting room.  City bus
stop just a block away - nice if you fly in, as we did, and want
to see more of Denver.  Also a shuttle to the airport (I think) -
this was right before the new airport went into service.

Classes were outstanding - especially one by Jeff Waters on
Colorado history.  He is an infectious live-wire, great sense of
humor, but really knows his history.  He also teaches courses on
ragtime and railroads, so if you see these courses in the
catalog, you'll have Jeff.  He plays a great honkey-tonk piano.

Also had a fine instructor on Broadway musicals - she was in
several shows on Broadway and also sang with the Metropolitan in
NY - don't believe she teaches every week, though.  Interesting
field trip to the State Capitol and Historical Museum. A *** EH,
in our estimation.


Geneva Camp/Conference Center September 1997, Holland, Michigan

        - ERWB@aol.com

We just returned from our Elderhostel at Holland, Michigan.  This
was held at the Geneva Camp/Conference Center located on Lake
Michigan.  We stayed in the Conference Center and the rooms were
quite nice with private baths.  The only bad thing was we were on
the third floor and had to climb 36 steps every time we went to
our room.  They told us they are installing an elevator within
the next year.

The weather was quite warm and our rooms were not air conditioned
but we managed quite well.  No Television here either but we did
not miss it.  Our classes were held in their Fellowship hall and
were excellent.  Dr. deVelder was a retired Dutch Reformed
Minister and lectured on Laughter and Longevity.  We heard some
good jokes.  We had two other excellent speakers on the Dutch
History and a Naturalist who spoke on the Changing Colors of

The food was adequate-camp style food-served buffet style in
their dining room.  Some complained about it but it was adequate
for us.  The main complaint we all had besides all the steps, was
the lack of free time. We were scheduled for every minute except
a two hour break on Wednesday afternoon which really did not give
us time to do anything but relax. The coordinator did a good job
and we had some good story tellers in our group which added to
the fun of the week.  Transportation was in a two story English
Bus owned by the Center.  It was fun to watch the stares of the
community as we rode by on the bus.  We would recommend this EH
especially in the fall as the colors were perfect and the sunsets
over Lake Michigan were wonderful.


Hawaii Pacific University  October 1997  2-week program - one
week on Oahu and one week on Maui

- Barbara McCrary BMCCRARY@compuserve.com

Accommodations: The hotel in Honolulu, located a few blocks from
the Ala Moana Shopping Center, was very nice and is currently
being renovated.  The hotel on Maui was in Kahului on the harbor,
and we liked being away from the main tourist areas on the other
side of the island.  Rooms were okay, and we had a beautiul view
of the harbor.

Meals:  The Honolulu hotel provided most of our meals in their
dining room overlooking a beautiful Japanese garden.  Breakfasts
were good but, although we had a choice of entrees at lunch and
dinner, the kitchen staff (which does mostly Japanese cuisine)
had problems with American-style food. The program sponsors hope
to improve the meals in the near future.  So we were
understandably apprehensive about the meals on Maui as we knew we
were to have a set menu there.  But we were pleased with the
meals served in an outdoor covered area next to the hotel
swimming pool.  They even provided an aloha feast on our last

Our coordinator was a former teacher who moved to Hawaii after
retiring. He had his hands full with our group of 39, which
included inter-island flights between Oahu and Maui.  The program
was varied and most instructors are natives of Hawaii.  Our
favorite was Keoki Sousa, born near Pearl Harbor in 1942.  He
lived in California from 1950 to 1989, graduating from San Jose
State University and doing graduate work at Stanford.  Since his
return to Hawaii, he is researching his Hawaiian ancestry, has
become an apprentice to a Hawaiian medicine man, and he
captivated all of us.  All of the instructors were excellent -
from a Pearl Harbor survivor with his personal story of that
infamous day to a lovely Japanese woman who helped us make leis
of crown flowers.  We enjoyed the field trips by school bus, and
felt privileged to visit the National Cemetery of the Pacific in
the Punchbowl Crater.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience and we would encourage
anyone to try it.  The second week on Maui was more laid back
than the first week in Honolulu.

Hawkes Bay, Newfoundland September 7-13, 1997


Subject matter:
Ancient people of Port Au Choix
Newfoundland fishery
The Norse migration Westward
Newfoundland Culture and Traditions
Sir Wilfred Grenfell

The presenters were excellent and resource material was very
good. Many proofs of the Viking discovery and settlement of North
America 500 years before Columbus. Classes were held in the motel
and were reinforced by trips to Port Au Choix, Port Saunders,
L'Anse Aux Meadows and St. Anthony. Meals were served in the
motel dining room with one box lunch in a replica Viking sod
house at L'Anse Aux Meadows. There was a bonfire one night on the
"beach" where we ate tasty steamed mussels.

We were very satisfied with the Elderhostel and the meals. We
would have appreciated a little more free time to hike and beach
comb. We can recommend this Elderhostel and feel it was well
worth the long drive from Illinois. We stopped on the way home to
tent camp (with a Moose) at Gros Marne Provincial Park NF and on
the Bay of Fundy at Five Island Provincial Park NS. Beautiful
parks and scenery!

Ralph   JoAnn Lindblom RalphL9@aol.com

Denali Park Alaska - Elderhostel August 3-9, 1997
     Fred and Mary Ann Boher fmboher@azstarnet.com

Our first Elderhostel.  They just can't get any better! 45
fun-loving students ages 55-80.  14 couples, 4 single men, 13
single women.  The majority first time Elderhostelers.  Our
instructors deemed us the "rowdiest" bunch they ever had.  We
took this as a compliment.

Instructors were top notch:  Kevin Clement, a world traveled
Naturalist/Alaska resident; two young men who have climbed Denali
(Mt. McKinley) as well as one who hiked the entire Alaska
Mountain Range; Park Rangers, etc.  Always excellent visual aids.
Classes from 8:30 AM to 5P with a lunch break.  Evening lecture
at 7 PM.  Fascinating insight into Alaska past, present and
future from people who live/work there. Most of us were
enthralled and never missed a class.

Included in the program were 2 trips into Denali by bus - the
first a half-day Natural History tour with a snack/coffee/hot
chocolate.  The day changed from gray/overcast to bright/sunny.
The first day in 26 when the sun shown and the mountain came
"out" for viewing; only the 4th time this summer the mountain was
visible.  The mountain has it's own eco- system and makes it's own
weather.  We were told only 1 in 7 visitors get the see the
mountain, the rest of the time it is in the clouds.  The second
trip into the park was an all bus trip with a sack lunch.  The
mountain was visible again!  What a treat.  The drivers seem to
love Elderhostelers and are wonderful, helping to spot animals
and stopping for viewing/photos.  We saw Dall Sheep, Grizzly
Bears, Caribou, etc. etc.  Another day we had a nature hike in
the park and a dog sled demonstration by the Rangers who patrol
the Park with dog sleds in the winter.

Optional activities, with free shuttle:  1 hour plane ride $150
each. Many of us took advantage of the two sunny days for an
evening ride that all proclaimed AWESOME.  Don't miss it if the
sun is shining!  Two raft trips are available for $40 each,
,....one a 2 hour float trip,  the other a 3 hour white water
rafting with waves rated 3. Both trips were wonderful per the
participants.  It was raining but we were furnished had dry suits
so didn't mind the rain/waves!  Private hiking with a wilderness
guide was also available and those who went felt it worth the
time and money.  Ask when you get there as it was not announced
in time for many to arrange their schedules.

Food was so good, varied and plentiful (always a vegetarian
selection). Coffee/tea, english muffins, bread, jam   peanut
butter available from 6AM to 10PM (toaster too) for snacks.
Dessert with dinner always.

Weather was cool/wet.  Waterproof gear a must.  We took hiking
boots, turtle neck knit long sleeve tops, long sleeve cotton pull
over sweater, Gore-tex jacket/pants and gloves.  All good
choices.  Some had Polar-tec jackets.  Lots of mud.  Laundromat
on campus.  No one seemed to mind the weather as we were having
too much fun.  The leaves were beginning to change before we left
and winter was coming!

Cabins are two bedrooms with a shared bathroom with shower/tub.
Individual electric wall heating units in each room.  Comfortable
twin beds, chest, nite stand and reading lamp. (Glad I took Mr.
Olson's advice and took my own 150 watt bulb).  They only change
towels on Wednesday.  Knowing this in advance I took several
"old" ones from home which I left there.  You are responsible for
your room.

Travel to Denali from Anchorage or Fairbanks.  Bus, train, rental
car, shuttle vans were all used by various attendees.  Drivers
said roads were good, contrary to advance publicity.  Road
construction a constant. They told us there are two seasons in
Alaska:  Winter and road construction.  Bus is faster than train.
Train was great! 8+ hours of beautiful scenery from Anchorage to

Elderhostel site is on the river which is a boundary of the Park.
 Site adjoins a full service resort where you meet the free
shuttle bus.  This may be of interest to those who require a
newspaper, TV, bar, full service restaurant, pay phones, etc.
Shuttle bus runs hourly to park and to "Glitter Gulch" (so named
by the natives, it is the area with the resorts of the Princess
lines and other tour companies).

Most of the group extended the visit by going to Fairbanks,
Anchorage, Seward, etc.  4 had a two week Elderhostel in Alaska
prior to "ours" and 2 were going on to another two week
Elderhostel.  Recommended by all: the all day boat trips from
Seward, the Art Museum in Anchorage (wonderful lunch, don't miss
it), train trip from Anchorage to Seward.

Gosh, we had fun!


From: Jean Sterling  sterlij@freenet.tlh.fl.us

Most Unique Elderhostel Experience

The elderhostel that I attended at Auberge du Mont in St.
Gabriel-de-Valcartier, Quebec, was excellent and provided a
variety of fun activities and opportunities to learn.

I must admit that I had my doubts about the activities on
Wednesday night, when we were scheduled to hear "local music that
is only heard in this part of Quebec".  Some locals were supposed
to come over and play for us, and, to be honest, I had thoughts
about getting my laundry done (as it turned out I didn't get it
done until the end of the week and then only because my husband
was out of underwear).

The musical group was made up of three violins (fiddles) and a
fourth person who played a variety of instruments.  And what a
night it was!  They were wonderful - talented, full of fun, and
it was a real treat to hear them.

There were two things that were truly unique about this
experience. The first was the fiddle player who also "played his
feet".  He kept time by slapping and stomping his feet on the
floor - much like a drum.  He gave us instructions and urged us
to join in.  In slow motion it seemed doable, but when they
picked up the beat - it was impossible.  After an evening of
playing, there seemed to be sand on the floor where the "foot
player" had been - he had worn the finish right off the floor!

The second unique event was a duet by the coordinators of the
elderhostel.  A husband and wife team, they sang a lullaby to
their 18-month-old daughter.  Dad carried the little girl while
mom played the guitar.  They both had lovely voices and their
harmony was beautiful. (The little girl was cute too!)


From: DikYung@aol.com

Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 12:37:42 -0500 (EST) We've signed up twice
(and been wiped out - not selected) for the Elderhostel in
Burlington, Vt., on the shores of Lake Champain which features a
week studying French impressionism in art and music and tops that
off with a trip to Montreal for a symphony concert.  Can anyone
who has participated  in this EH give us some insights into the
nature and quality of  the experience?  And more to the point,
can anyone give us some insights on how to get selected for this

Dick Young, Edgewater, Fla. (DikYung@aol.com)

From: John Prince jp400@pacific.net

I am just turning 55 years old and still working full time.  Even
though I know that is the minimum age for Elderhostel, I am
wondering if anybody has any comment about whether "55 and still
working" is going to be a "good fit"?  Maybe you could post this
question for comments?


From: "wcarter" wcarter@softdisk.com

For several months now, I have been receiving your EH notebook
delivered through my eMail. I have enjoyed it and admire your
labor of love - and there must be considerable labor involved.

Today, reading the new issue, I was motivated to do something new
- I went out to check out your web site, and from there the
photos. I was blown away. Great pictures/scenery/colors. Thank
you very much. Regards, Bill Carter

ed note: most of the labor is done by readers who write the