Elderhostel Notebook  March 1997

Elderhostel Notebook is the monthly e-mail publication of  the
Silver Threads, an informal collection of net seniors. It is the
product of elderhostlers, and is independent of the Elderhostel
organization and not associated with it.

It  is published in conjunction with the Silver Threads
Newsletter, but has a separate mailing list. Submissions are
welcome and voluntary as are comments and suggestions.

The newsletter is mailed to subscribers via e-mail and posted at

Editor is Jim Olson   olsonjam@uwec.edu

There is no charge for either publication. Just contact the
editor to subscribe.



    From the Editors Notebook   
    Elderhostel Potpourri 

    Elderhostel Reviews   

    Personals and Notices

    Editor's Notebook                  

This edition marks the Ist anniversary of Elderhostel Notebook as
the March 96 issue was our first.

We have undergone some changes in format and a tremendous growth
in circulation and distribution of the notebook during the past

Holy Cow- time does fly by when you are having fun- and at our
age even if you aren't.


This edition sees a return to our two part format for those on
America on Line and other servers where mail boxes are relatively
low capacity. I hesitate to compensate for this by sending the
newsletter as a mail attachment as some subscribers have services
that don't handle attachments or editors that can't read long
attachments so we will continue to limit the size of each e-mail
section to 18 K or less.


In future editions we hope to have our  Potpourri cover such
topics as

How to Cope with an Unsatisfactory Elderhostel Experience

Internet Locations Relevant to Elderhosteling

We welcome any ideas you may have along those lines.


While the Elderhostel Notebook will continue to be a bare bones,
ascii text, e-mail newsletter to accommodate as many people as
possible; we are exploring ideas that might make it possible for
some of those among us with the more advanced computer technology
(and this changes every day, of course) to share some of their
accounts in a more graphical way or to do some interactive "chat"
on line with other elderhostelers; or probably by the time we get
around to it to do both at once.

    Elderhostel Potpourri         
Travel Arrangements for International Elderhostels

Several of our subscribers have asked questions recently about
various aspects of travel to International Elderhostels. Some are
concerned about the possibilities of combining the trip to the
elderhostel with other independent travel, some concerned about
the cost of the air-fare  that is part of the fee, and others
would like more direct routes to their elderhostel destinations
than provided by the various points of departure available for a
given trip.

To answer these questions we have called upon some of our
subscribers with wide international elderhosteling experience and
done some research on the phone with Elderhostel.

There are many possible ways of meeting your travel needs
associated  with an international elderhostel. One is to call
elderhostel in Boston and discuss your travel needs for your
planned elderhostel. You can often make arrangements for an
earlier flight- later flight- or alternate point of departure and
still have the benefits of the travel assistance provided by the
travel agency contracted for your elderhostel.

On the other hand, you can enroll in an International Elderhostel
with the Program Only Option (available on all but a few overseas
programs) and arrange your own travel to and from the
elderhostel. Sometimes International Elderhostels do not
terminate from their point of origin so you will need to know
both the site to travel to and the one you will depart from if
you are on your own making travel arrangements.  The Program Only
Option fee is not listed in the catalog so you will need to call
617-426-8056 with the number of your elderhostel program handy
and inquire about the Program Only fee for that program. it will
vary according to the travel that elderhostel has contracted for
that program and you will get a quick courteous response.

That was our experience when we tested this procedure by calling
and asking the Program Only fee for a 16 day elderhostel in Japan
(Contemporary Life) that originates in Tokyo and terminates in

The fee from Chicago, one of the several listed  points of
departure, is $5745 while the program only fee is $4664. You
would need to arrive in Tokyo on the date the elderhostel begins
and make return travel arrangement from Kyota. The elderhostel
would provide the transportation within the program to the
various cities visited as part of the program, but you would be
on your own in getting to the elderhostel and returning home
after it terminated.

If the fee for this elderhostel seems a little high and the
travel discount ($811) a little low in comparison we need to
remember that Japan is one of the more costly places to visit and
stay for any period of time. From a cost saving point of view you
would need to shop for the best airline fee available, and some
experienced world travelers are very adept at getting low rates
or have other types of airfare discounts or free passes available
to them and for them the program only option makes sense from a
cost saving point of view.

Here are some of the comments made by two of our of subscribers:


I live in Seattle and almost always arrange my own
transportation.  The reason I do this is that I can get more
convenient flights.  I can almost always match the EH price if I
shop around.  For European trips, I do not have to go to the east
coast first or Chicago and can arrange to fly more directly to
Europe from the West coast.  I think if I lived on the East
coast, I'd go with the EH group.  The disadvantage to flying
independently is that you have to meet the group yourself at the
airport or wherever and that is sometimes a hassle, especially if
you've gone early.




We had airline traveler points so used them for our
transportation to our elderhostel in Israel several years ago,
and Elderhostel reimbursed us about $1000 for the round trip, as
we recall. (It might have been $1200). At any rate, we felt it
was fair, and we had no problem meeting them in Tel Aviv airport.
It was a wonderful trip which we will never forget. We don't have
the exact figures now, but we think the three weeks cost us about
$1000 - a real bargain.

Edie ____________

Editor's note-

For domestic (including those in Canada) elderhostels there is no
standard provision made by elderhostel  for  transportation to
the site. Sometimes if it is a remote site the institution
sponsoring the elderhostel will make arrangement for you to get
to and from a nearby airport and since the practice varies and
you will need to check it out with the sponsoring institution.
Sometimes as in that case of an elderhostel at Gunflint Lodge
that we took sponsored by the University of Minnesota, the school
officially started the elderhostel in a Dultuh hotel for
registration and then took hostelers without private
transportation to and from the lodge in a school van (but that
arrangement was clearly spelled out in the materials sent to us
before hand)
   Elderhostel Reviews    

TEXAS A   M GALVESTON RV-February 9-14, 1997

Arriving on a Sunday afternoon at Smith Point, we found that the
brand new campsite for our RV Elderhostel was barely ready and
lacked some basic amenities. Some of our 28 RVers perched on this
bleak point on Galveston Bay feared that this was going to be for
the birds!  But after settling in we were indeed ready for the
birds which was the major emphasis for this Elderhostel sponsored
by the Galveston campus of Texas A   M University. For several
days we went birding at salt flats and marshes and shorelines to
identify many different species of coastal birds.  Although only
a backyard bird lover myself, I really got into this and
appreciated the expertise of Don Richardson.

Hospitality and meals couldn't have been better as provided by
Ben   Jeri's Seafood, an oyster harvesting operation whose
headquarters nearby was the location for programs and meals
(sometimes on top of each other).  Delicious shell fish cuisine
was topped off by  some Texas barbeque.  This helped boost our
morale when the rain storms came.  Oh yes, Sammy Ray, an oyster
culture veteran in the area, told us all about oystering and some
(but not us) tasted the raw oysters he popped out of the shell.

On Thursday our group went across the ferry to Galveston and
stayed at the Victorian Condo.  Some in our group would have
prefered remaining on Smith Point rather than join the other
larger group for the remainder of the program, but others of us
were glad to dry out and luxuriate in the topnotch facilities at
the motel.  This provided us with a chance to see Galveston and
learn a little history.  Steve Curley entertained us with stories
about pirates and some sea chantys.  Also included were a lecture
on dolphins and a harbor boat trip and a closing shrimp boil.

We commend director Kyle Jackson who launched this new RV
Elderhostel and directs others along with her capable staff at A
  M which has a major emphasis on marine biology in its Galveston
campus. You will read in the catalogue about an intergenerational
Elderhostel with a focus on this research.  We wish the Texas
coast might have been warmer in February, but it was a bit
balmier the week before down in the McAllen area along the
Valley.   You'd think us Middle Westerners would be used to cold

Bill   Lee Longman, Springfield, MO 


Dixie College, St. George, Utah

Dixie College offers a number of Elderhostel programs, ranging in
subject matter from the athletic (skiing, golf) to the esoteric
(petroglyphs and pictographs).  The one my husband and I attended
in January dealt with Geology of the Canyons, Big Bands, and
Western Art.

Elderhostels at Dixie College are efficiently organized and the
facilities are adequate, although not fancy.  The plain, but
clean, rooms are in a conference center and all have twin beds
and private baths.  The classrooms are located in the same
building, and breakfast is served in the lobby. There is shuttle
service to the college cafeteria, which serves a varied menu and
all you can eat for lunch and dinner.

Two of our classes were taught by college faculty members.  The
geology teacher prepared us well for our trip to Zion National
Park, and her narrative during the field trip made it much more
meaningful.  We referred to her excellent handout as we toured
Bryce and the Grand Canyon on our own the following week.  The
art teacher was very personable, but we were disappointed that
his lectures didn't deal more with the uniquely Western artists
(Remington, Russell, Bierstadt, etc.).  He accompanied us on an
interesting field trip to an old silver mining town which is now
home to a famous sculptor, the new art museum in St. George, and
a gallery owned by a water colorist who described his technique. 
The Big Band instructor was Ken Jensen, a southern Californian
who has worked in the music industry for decades.  He proved to
be an entertainer as well as an educator, and everyone from
accomplished musicians to musical know-nothings thoroughly
enjoyed his course!!

St.George is in a beautiful part of the country.  It has an
interesting history, having been settled by a group of Mormons
who were sent there by Brigham Young in the 1860's to grow cotton
when cotton from the real "Dixie" was scarce.  The coordinator
took us on an interesting walking tour of the city and we enjoyed
exploring more on our own.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable Elderhostel experience and
one that we would recommend highly!

Dee Barstow (SrDee@aol.com)


Program No. 05373-0202-1

At:  California State University/Sacramento/Marine World Africa
USA Location:  Vallejo (midway between San Francisco and

Subjects:  Coastal Marine Mammals, Life in the Rainforests, Those
Amazing Animals

Accommodation and food were excellent -- we stayed in a Holiday
Inn right across the road from the Marine World Africa USA
complex.  Staff were knowledgeable, efficient, friendly and
helpful.  There were 41 people in the group; the majority were
from California.  They were an interesting, compatible mix of

The graduation dinner was held in a beautiful aquarium setting
with sharks swimming over our heads and all around us.  We were
in a tunnel under their tank and that was an interesting

I would not hesitate to recommend this program, but you should be
aware of the fact that all the animals are in a zoolike setting. 
Somehow, from the description in the catalogue I expected to see
some animals in the wild (even whales in the ocean!), but that
did not happen.  The familiar question of whether it is ethical
to keep animals in zoos just because they live longer, safer
lives was debated informally, but we were not able to reach a

* * Elsie McGuire * *



Florida-Mote Marine Laboratory

As long as Manatee Community College, Sarasota FL is sponsoring
this program--stay away!! It's really too bad since the actual
sessions at the Mote Marine Laboratory were absolutely terrific.
We were bused to the Marine Lab complex in the morning, stayed
there for the day and were bused back to the motel in the
evening. The time spent there was one of the best, most
interesting, fast paced, educational experience we've had in all
the Elderhostels we've attended over the years. If you want to
hear and see more about this fabulous place and if you have
access to WWW and the Net simply check out your favorite search
engine and query Mote Marine Laboratory.

BUT I suggest NOT signing on if Manatee Community College
continues to sponsor this program. Their lack of interest and
non-attention to the well being of the 50 Elderhosteliers while
not on site at the Lab. was unbelievable. The person supposedly
in charge from the College couldn't have cared less. She was
NEVER around. When she did appear, once or twice during the week,
she was overheard saying that she "shouldn't be here, anyway".
This, after a disgruntled person complained to her that for the
first 3 days NO vegetables were served at dinner. BTW, to find
the correct dining room for each meal (B'fast  was a job
onto itself. Seldom was a meal served in the same room. The menu
is best described as pedestrian. Meals were not ready on time and
pasta marinara appeared daily for those who didn't want meat

A number of us have enthusiastically supported the notion
advanced by the Director of Education for Mote Marine Lab. that
the whole program might be sponsored by the Lab. Food, lodging,
scheduling, the whole ball of wax. If that comes to pass we might
even sign up for another run to this excellent program. 


 NEPAL-Abundance of Nature EH program

This was a fabulous trip we will always cherish. Nepal is a
fascinating country, the accomodations were great, the food was
unusual   very good, the logistics were handled very smoothly,
and our group leader was tremendous. The only drawback is that
it's a 33 hour plane trip from TN. The program was handled by
Above The Clouds Trekking with Biju Gurung, site coordinator,
having done excellant preparation. We can't say enough about our
group leader, Kazi Shambu Sherpa.(See The Elderhostel Insider,
Winter 1997, issue for an article on him   the Nepal program.)
The weather-cool to cold nights with sweaters   jackets warming
up to shirt sleeves by mid-morning.

We headquartered at the Sunset View Hotel. Very comfortable   in
walking distance of the old Patan section of Kathmandu, which we
walked to as soon as we checked in. 1st 2 mornings had lectures
on Nepal wildlife, geology, geography, Hinduism,   Buddhism. The
one on the Buddhist view of nature was especially good as the
Buddhist monk was fascinating   charming (  working on his Ph.D.
at Oxford!). The afternoons were spent touring Hindu temples,
Buddhist stupas,   old Kathmandu. Absolutely intriguing.

We then ovenighted at Club Himalaya, a mt.top hotel, with
incredible, distant views of the high Himalayans at
sunset/sunrise   a morning hike up higher to even more
breathtaking views. The busride through the countryside was a
trip in itself.

Back at the Sunset View for lecture on Nepal conservation   trip
to large ancient Buddhist Stupa. Next A.M. toured old, old town
of Panauti   began our trek. Hiked all afternoon, the next day,  
the next morning. Easy walking along old roads but for 1 steep
climb to 2nd night's camp high on a ridgetop. Had porters for all
gear. Cook crew had very good hot lunches   dinners with tables  
stools in a dining tent. For us the trek was the best part of the
program as we were just walking through the villages  
countryside interacting with the people who seemed to genuinely
enjoy our presence. All the children came out to smile   wave and
gawk at us as we gawked at them.

Back to Sunset View overnight   next day flew to Bharatpur for
bus ride to Temple Tiger Jungle Lodge (charming   rustic with
good food) in Chitwan Nat'l Park. Rode elephants in A.M.   P.M.
looking for rare rhinos. Saw quite a few plus monkeys, boar,
deer, birds, crocodiles,   possibly one tiger.

Next day drove to Pokara at foot of Annapurna range. This ride
was the only bad experience in the program. 1st half of drive was
beautiful along mt. river but road construction made 2nd half too
long   too rough. Overnighted at Shangrila Village Resort (5 star
hotel with 10 star mt. views.) Toured Buddhist monastery   were
invited to watch the monk's prayer service. Next day flew back to
Kathmandu for great farewell dinner at a Tibetan resturant.

Kazi   staff were very flexible   made program changes as we went
along when the group expressed interest in something not
scheduled. They even arranged for group to add a mt. flight along
face of high Himalayas to view Mt. Everest. Unfortunately cloud
cover prevented takeoff on the 1st try   on 2nd try it was so
thick pilot turned back 5 minutes into flight. This isn't part of
EH program as it cost $110 (refunded as flights cancelled.)but
can be arranged if enough of group want to.

We Did a lot of walking with often many steps to temples  
shrines but nothing really difficult. We highly recommend this
program if you are energetic   looking for something unusual.

Bill and Kay Jones

    Personals and Notices  

From: Toms favorites 

I understand that you keep track of Elderhostels. Judith and
myself Tom Davies completed an elderhostel ran by California
State University Sacramento and Marine World-Africa USA.  The
accomidations were at the Holiday Inn, Vallejo Ca. It reminded me
of a trip to England in 1991. One day there was a bomb threat and
the next evening a fire alarm. The food was good, better than the
food at our 1st elderhostel held in Tiburon near San Francisco.
The interaction with the Marine World staff and the well cared
for animals was outstanding. I would give this Elderhostel the
best rating available and so would Judith. Please send me any
information about Elderhostels that might help us make the right
choices in the future.


From: Martas773@aol.com

Great elderhostel at Heartland Presbyterian Center which is
located very close to the Kansas City airport.  They will pick
you up.  Our course offering was the " Human Harry Truman" . Also
featured wagon trails west. We went to the Truman library, home
and church for a field trip.  The instructor even looked like  
Harry Truman.  Very comfortable motel like accomodations . I am
looking for a good elderhostel in Northern Ca near Reno; or maybe
one in Reno.  Suggestions.



From: joy@shore.intercom.net

Just having completed the 14th elderhostel, this one at Trinity
College in DC I can truly say that I have never been at a more
unfriendly and disinterested one. The accom- madations were fine
as was the food. What wasn't fine was the manipulation of "class
time" to include trips that were minimally associated with the
course materials and incrediblly long periods of wasted time ie
an hour to two hours wait for class after breakfast as well as
with lunch and dinner. Most evenings nothing was planned and to
top it off the usual five night program was extended to six and
then there was absolutely no program of that extra day. Manu were
discouraged at this very strange way of not getting a adequate
program and then being charged so much more to have a day on our
own! Beware of the glib description, that's about all the
substance this one has~


From: Lyn 

We are planning a trip to Czech Rep/ Austria/Poland/Ukraine.
Anyone have any experience with Elderhostel trips in those areas
(ie bicycling, hiking, service programs, the arts, history
courses, discovering one's roots, or combinations) that were
memorable. Also, is there any way you can extend EH trips of 21
or 30 days to include other self-drive tours or tours to total a
stay of 6-8 weeks? Has anyone done this and have any

Thanks Walt   Lyn Brophy


Dick Huxtable

Just returned from a great E.H. at Jekyll Island Georgia. Good
facilities. Great Food. Nice surroundings. The best part was
discussions of the barrier reef by Walter. He was super. I went
primarily because of the tennis, but the barrier presentation was
the star attraction. Only one small complaint. We stayed at a
motel. Some of the hostelers had rooms(suites) looking over the
ocean , while some of us had small rooms overlooking the parking
lot. No big deal, but everyone should be treated the same.


Subj:  Camp Thunderbird,Fla

From:  EvHK Story @aol.com

Hello all Camp Thunderbird....... What a fine week.....Canoeing,
astronomy, lots of other things.   Fine, very fine, maybe one of
the finest concerned and caring staff ever...good food...great
weather......great group......close to nature.....lots of
birds.....some deer,alligators,etc.......Spartan accomodations
were right,(someone here said that) but adequate, certainly
adequate for me anyway. There were 50 of us all there just having
a fine time..


from:    Liansa@aol.com

The New Orleans Elderhostel I went to was sponsored by an
organization called "People Program," which I think they
explained is a Senior non- profit, maybe municipal, maybe parish
(county).  We were housed in a Landmark hotel just outside of the
City itself, and the whole experience was wonderful.  If  you ask
me specific questions I'll be glad to give you specific answers.

.P.S.:  dates were 1/27-2/1 - we froze our butts.



From: Martha Sheppard 

We are thinking about the June 22-28 Recursos/Aztec Elderhostel
trip. It is near Farmington, New Mexico.  Would appreciate input
from anyone who is familiar with area or has attended this one in
the past.  Thanks, Martha

Martha Sheppard      Orlando, FL



From: Roz Cole 

I would appreciate anyone's feedback on their experience with the
Intergenerational EH at Ocean City, MD. We are on the waiting
list, #1 and 2.

aloha, Roz


From:	GXLE58A@prodigy.com (JERE L DUNCAN)

The first Elderhostel we were on, but not as Hostelers, but on a
trip sponsored by a local college here in Billings, Mt.  Two
professors are good friends and had been trying to get Billings
to go to marsHill NC, so finally offered this trip.  It was
called Appalachain Sampler and we went fall of 94.  We stayed on
campus.  It was a pretty campus and the fall colors were just
beginning on their big beautiful trees.  We had a short walk to
the cafetaria where we had all breakfasts, a few dinners and only
about 2 lunches.  Our first full day, we had a tour of the museum
located on campus, had lunch then went on a field trip.

We went to an apple orchard, a local chair making factoray, to
visit a mountain man-a local man whoose grandson now had the shop
and I think made jewelryl.  We went to a couple othe local craft
places, cant remember where.  We went to a Farmer's market one
day, visited Thomas Wolfe's house.  He wrote My Old Kentucky
Home.  We visited the Job Corps there and were very impressed. 
Saw a Cherokee village and they entertained us. went to a craft
store where they had all local crafts.

Went to the Blue Ridge Mountains and took some pretty pictures
just before it got cloudy and a storm started.  We  took a short
hike and learned how the highway along here was constructed (with
a certain kind of epoxy) and went to the highest point east of
the Mississippi, can't remember what it was called.  I would have
to dig out my pictures.  In the evening, we saw a movie about the
Blue Ridge before we went there.  On Friday, we rode the tourist
train they have as special group and got a full excursion, and
they were actually hauling something on the train-cant remember
what, it was in an attached car.  One lunch we went to an
expensive hotel where a lot of movie stars and RICH go.  Very
nice lunch.  One dinner we went to a guest house like a Bed  
Breakfast,  We had a couple of nights to do as we saw fit.  I
went to a play at the college.  Another night we could watch
local cloggers practice for a competetion that weekend.  It
lasted longer than I did.

Our last night there, we were invited to a pitch in put on by the
church our professor attends, and what a nice dinner!!! We had a
tour of the grounds and saw the first church built on the
property and had a short talk about that.  Then we had dinner.
There were but a few people and lots of good southern cooking. 
There were three long tables of food.  I am sure everyone had to
bring at least three dishes to fill all those tables.  Then we
went upstairs and sang a few hymns and listened to some local
singing.  It was a wonderful ending of a wonderful trip. 
Saturday afternoon, we got to go to the Biltmore Mansion.  The
Elderhostelers could take this as an option, but on our trip it 
was included.  What a wonderful huge place.  I only wish we could
have had more time.  You can see we were kept busy
constantly,which we both enjoyed.




supplied by LITZ@aol.com


Our eyes have seen the glory
of the Elderhostel plan,
In response to all the passing years
we say, "so what! - we can",
We sill make the yourhful student feel
just like an also-ran, 
Through the brilliance of our minds.


Glory - Gloory - ELDERHOSTEL
Glory - Gloory - ELDERHOSTEL
Glory - Gloory - ELDERHOSTEL
Through the brilliance of our minds


In the beauty of advancing years
we seniors march along,
With other Elderhostelers
we sing a victory song. 
We confound our dear professors
as we top the mundane throng, 
Through the brilliance of our minds.


We dispel the common feeling
that all seniors live in fog.
In exchanges in the classroom
we're the tail that wags the dog.
When the wheel of life is stymied 
Elderhostelers clear the clog, 
Through the brilliance of our minds.