Elderhostel Notebook  #30, July 26, 1998

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

It provides a place for elderhostlers to share information about
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It is an independent project, appreciative of but not associated
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    From the Editors Notebook

    Elderhostel News and  Reviews

         Black Hills State University
         Trinity College (Washington, D.C.)
         Appalachian Adventures
         Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, Ak


    Editor's Notebook

 Readers sometimes ask about the "Elderhostel Insider" newsletter
and how they can get on the mailing list for this quarterly
publication of Elderhostel Inc.

The newsletter is mailed to about 70,000 elderhostel enthusiasts
who "have a demonstrated history of frequent program
participation." It contains news and features about Elderhostel.

I guess one needs to attend a number of programs on a regular
basis, and I suspect contributing to an Elderhostel charitable
fund also demonstrates that you are an Elderhostel enthusiast.

At any rate it is an interesting and informative publication.

The fall 1998 issue contains information about a new toll free
registration number, some other improvements in registration and
information about new material in the web site
( including the new online
international catalog. The newsletter also has  a number of other
feature stories.

Perhaps at some future date an e-mail version or web page version
will become available.

I have been toying with several ideas of how to make the Notebook
back issues more accessible to readers in a manner that makes
them searchable, and when time permits may be coming up with
something (as soon as I learn to PERL while having my JAVA). But
that may take awhile as Maggie and I plan to step up our
hosteling activity a little next year after some personal health
and other family issues are resolved.

One program we won't be we won't be doing in the near future is
the Galapogas program as Elderhostel has cancelled that program
this year pending the outcome of an investigation of the June
tragedy involving that program as described in the last issue of
the Notebook.

In regard to that report we have some further information about
some inaccuracies in those early accounts; according to a friend
and  colleague Richard Sayre was 70 years old at the time of his
death and not 80 as reported, and the body of his wife Diane
Sayre was among the first recovered and not still missing as

Several readers mentioned having seen a CBS and an NBC news cast
about the incident and reported quite different coverage by the
two networks. I imagine it will be some time before the
investigations are complete and a more accurate picture of the
event emerges.

   Elderhostel News and Reviews

"Great Places, Great Faces"
Black Hills State University
Spearfish, SD	June l998 (Billie A. Hamm)

EXCELLENT PROGRAM---well organized by Dr. Riley Chrisman and
Verla Fish (coordinator) Program geared to tourism and how it has
affected Blackhills area of South Dakota. We did field trips to
the following----Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial,Pactola
lake,Badlands Natl. Park, Wall, SD (Wall Drug store),Journey
Museum (RapidCity), High Plains Heritage Center (Spearfish),Bear
Butte, Deadwood, Lead,Spearfish canyon , Vore Buffalo jump, (Wyo)
and Devils Tower (Wyo) with a stop at" Pararie dog city" on way

Our day consisted of an early breakfast (6:30 am)--packing our
own lunch from a variety of cold cuts, Pnut butter, jelly, fruit,
P chips etc and loading it in a cooler to be put on the bus. An
early lecture (7:45-9:00 am), usually on where ever we were
headed for the day and then loadiing up on the bus (one with a
bathroom) and returning around 5 pm in time for an early supper
(5:30pm.) We had a speaker from the SD Gaming Commision
(regulating gambling in Deadwood) one night.

There were 47 of us. We stayed in the dorm which was a good walk
to and from the cafeteria. All the rooms had sinks in them and
usual the shared bath facilities. there was ample closet space,
drawer space ect.

A group went one night to the Black Hills Passion Play ( which is
in Spearfish) and ohers went to Deadwood (14 miles) to see a
reinactment of the trial of Jack McCall. He was the killer of
Wild Bill Hickok. other wise not much planned for nights-but
actually we were pretty tired from a long day of travel and
sites. 6:30 am comes early and even for those that didnt want
breakfast, they had to go pack their lunch!

Food: what can I say. it was pretty greasy, college cafeteria
fare--not to my liking at all. Breakfast was ok-oatmeal , cold
ceral, fruit and usually somethin hot like eggs, frenchtoast and
you could make your own waffles each morniing. Supper was not
much to choose from. lots of fried stuff, lots of beef, anyway,
we ate out a lot at night. ( we had rented a car) Lots of trout
farms in area. I had fish and my traveling companion ate Elk and
Buffalo etc. Kevin Costner has a bar,casino, resturant (gormet)
in Deadwood and night we went to play there we splurged and ate
there. I had fresh pike ( the fish of the area) that was

All in all, one of the best I have attended. If you like lots of
traveliing and sight seeing this is one for you. Riley was a
great leader and teacher and he saw to it we were never bored.
Weather was delightful--a nice respite from the summer heat.
Slept wtih two blankets at night and NO humidity during day.
Temps in 60s and low 70s. Some showers but they were just
that-showers.( except for one morning ), it poured and we had to
cancel walkiing tour of deadwood (did it next am) but hey, we got
to go to Lead instead and go into a working gold mine. this was a
bonus that wasnt on our itenary. I would rate this one a 9 on
scale of 10.

Just a note Spearfish is the 2nd largest city in black hills of
SD (7000 population) Rapid City 1st (50.000 ) .

edtors note- This report has a photo page in the web edition.


Trinity College, #51300-0607-1 June 7-13, 1998 by

My wife and I just got back from this excellent course in the
Washington, DC area.

The programs were on Love's Labors Shared: The Great American Art
Collectors, Treasure Houses of Washington, D.C., and With Malice
Toward Some: A Literary Mystery.

Love's Labors Shared covered mostly the great art collections
located in the Washington, DC area including those of Duncan
Phillips, Marjorie Merriweather Post, Joseph Hirshhorn and David
Lloyd Kreeger. We were told how they put their collections
together and what criteria they used in their selections. We
thought the subject was covered very well. The course was given
by someone from The Kreeger Museum, where we went on an afternoon
field trip. We were given a private tour of the museum by our

Treasure Houses of Washington, DC, gave an excellent detailed
review of houses in the Washington metropolitan area including
Alexandria, Virginia. A treasure house as defined by the course
had to have at least one of the following traits: An
architectural treasure, What's in the house, or What happened
there. Our instructor knew and lot about the history of the area
and answered all of our questions about different places in the
area. We were given an extensive listing of the 50 odd houses
which included a short description of each. We only got to go on
field trips to about 5 houses, but with the listing, we could
tour others on our own. It was a real treat to go though all of
the homes. We were not rushed at all on any of the field trips.

With Malice Toward Some was about the golden age of Mystery,
mysteries written in the 20's and 40's. A very good course with
quite a few handouts covering the many details of the various
mysteries written during that period. Current mysteries were also
covered but the main emphasis was on the golden age. The
highlight of the course was a talk by the author of the mystery
"Bloody Bonsai", Peter Abresch. Bloody Bonsai is the first in a
series of mysteries that take place during an Elderhostel course.
I enjoyed reading the mystery later and I'm looking forward to
future mysteries revolving around the Elderhostel program.

Unlike some of the other programs we attended, we were given
ample free time to go out on our own and explore the city. A
shuttle ran every 20 minutes from the college to the closest
subway station. It was very easy to zip down to the Smithsonian
Mall, via the Metro, and go through their museums which is what I
did one day.

The housing at Trinity College was excellent, where all the
attendees had private bathrooms. A few years ago the dormitory
was renovated especially for the Elderhostel program. We had our
own lounge area and kitchen on the top floor, reserved
exclusively for Elderhostelers. All of our meals were served in
the school cafeteria which offered a variety of food each day.
Our rooms were some distance from the cafeteria and the classroom
and involved lots of steps, which some avoided by walking along
the driveways. That took longer, but no steps. The whole program
was well organized and we were glad we attended. Trinity College
fully supports Elderhostel by having courses pretty much year
round on a variety of subjects. Dave and Nancy Harvey


"Appalachian Adventures" at The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center (Carole E. Bookhart)

Just recently completed a fun-filled, excellently run elderhostel
at The Mountain, literally sitting atop a 4200' mountain just
outside Highlands, NC. A well-organized, very experienced staff
with a diversity of expertise led us through our "Appalachian
Adventure: Hiking, Rafting, History and More".

The accommodations varied from quite rustic cabins, to newly
renovated cabins, to private roooms in an 8-yr. old Lodge, where
the furnishings were simple, but comfortable. The meals were
prepared by a Cherokee Indian chef and served buffet style in the
Dining Hall. The food was wholesome, tasty, and abundant. Plus
dinner every evening was preceeded by a Social Hour where
all-you-could-eat popcorn was served along with pay-as-you-go
drinks. Since this was billed as a mainly outdoor program, we
were somewhat disappointed that typical mountain rains fell
during the two days set aside for hiking.

The first day's hike went on as scheduled, with those who wanted
to ride back in vans after the first 3 miles and a picnic lunch
ending their outing then. The remainder hiked the return route
and did get caught in a downpour, but made it back, waterlogged,
but none the worse for wear. However, a longer hike on the
following day had just gotten underway when the thunder started
rolling and lightning began popping and the bottom literally
dropped out of the sky. Needless to say, we hurridedly turned
around and made a bee-line back to the vans at our starting
point, but were drenched to the bone nonetheless.

However, the two days of rain resulted in unexpectedly high,
faster flowing water than usual, which gave us the ride of a
lifetime when we floated the Nantahala River in rubber rafts,
expertly guided by professional rafters, on a beautiful, sunny
day. Leading up to these outdoor activities were classes spent in
learning to paddle rafts on a pond and lectures on
hiking/equipment, which were good preparations for our

A local writer and outdoorsman did a fine job of teaching us
about the natural history of the area through field studies of
the bird and plant life. He also presented slides//lectures of
the Cherokees and early white culture of the area. Complimenting
these subjects were musical offerings, both instumental and
vocal, by a local folk singer/instrumentalist.

The final night closing program was an exceptional one put on by
The Mountain Quartet, whose members were all from the staff, but
certainly talented musically. Overall, this particular
elderhostel receives a high recommendation.


Elderhostel At Sheldon Jackson
 "martha schumacher" (

Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka , Ak has a wonderful elderhostel
program. Lots to do here and easy walk to town activities and
shopping. Also during the week they take you out on a boat for a
3 hour cruise to see the hump back whales, puffins   any other
wildlife. Accomodations are in very comfortable student housing.
Sitka is a wonderful place and even though I am working here , I
have plenty of time to explore.

The Totum Pole National park is adjacent to the campus for nature
walks. Also the Raptor center is available ( just a short walk
through the park) Here you can see the eagles and other birds
being repaired and put back into flight. In addition you have the
Russian history ...old Bishops house, Russian Church and other
historical places to explore. Direct any interested people to
contact me for more info. as I sometimes work in the elderhostel
office here on campus and can give some first hand information
about the new programs on the boat...This leaves from Bellingham
but is coordinated by the office here at Sheldon Jackson.

Sheldon Jackson College is the oldest college in Alaska and there
is a museum right on campus will all the artifacts that Sheldon
Jackson( the founder ) collected on his many trips through Alaska
  the remote villages where he started schools. I willbe happy to
answer questions. This address is through
August 25th then back to AOL.


Date: Wed, 17 Jun 1998 13:22:24 -0400
From: "Linda C. Bowman" (lbowman@MIT.EDU)
Subject: 55 and working

In response to John Prince's question toward the end of the web
page, Don't let "still working" stop you! I've done two, and my
only problem is that it's hard not to envy the folks with freedom
to extend visits and take more trips! A number of the people on
my trips (ecology in Georgia, architecture in Arizona) were still
working, some full time and some part. I've got 8 years and 7
months (and counting!) to go before retirement, and I hope to get
in 2 Elderhostels (or one overseas) a year until then.

One other comment: I found that both trips were a little too
sedentary for me. We traveled to field visits in vans or car
pooled, and a lot of our learning took place indoors in
classrooms. There was not a lot of leisure time built into the
programs, and the accomodations were so convenient that there
wasn't much need to walk and no occasion to hike without missing
some of the program. I'v started reading the catalogs with an eye
to ones that specifiy the need for walking or hiking as a part of
the program, and will save the more sedentary ones for later
years, when I may find it more difficult to get around.


Subject: summer elderhostel info

Can you send me by e-mail information about elderhostels that
would be good in the summer. I''ve only gone to CA and Ariz. in
the fall and winter. I would like to go somewhere in August, but
I'm not sure where. A private bath would be good also. Thanks.

Subject:  England
From: Gayle Falgoust 

Hello -

I'm attending my first international Elderhostel in September and
would love to hear from anyone who has done these or similar
programs.  Mine ia a two-week program: one week in London
("Londoner's London") and one week in Ripon/York ("2000 Years of
English History").  Has anyone out there done either of these?
Let me hear from you.

Gayle in New Orleans


Marge Stockton
Fort Worth/Dallas, TX, area

My husband and I recently returned from our first ever
Elderhostel adventure. We took the program in France and England
called "England and France: Friends or Foes". We spent 10 days in
the Anjou region of France and 10 days in County Essex in
England. It was a glorious experience! The whole adventure far
exceeded our greatest expectations. The program focused on
Medieval history: the Norman Conquest, the Plantagenets, etc. We
learned so much and had a grand time. Best of all were the other
people in the group. Our group of 30 was made up of some of the
most intelligent, learned, well-read, opinionated, and delightful
people we have ever met. A few will be continuing friends. Now
we're having trouble deciding what Elderhostel adventure to
undertake next.


I'm researching info for a friend about programs at Stronghold,
IL.  She plans to register for a program in Oct.  The subjects
are autumn ecology; history of the Bible; and memoir writing.
Would appreciate any info you have; also please include in the
next personals section of the journal.  Thanks.

 Pat Nestor



We would like to hear form anyone who has been to the "Thailand
Elderhostel Program". We have registered for the Feb. 99
departure and would be interested in hearing opinions re: quality
of program, accomodations, food, etc.


Leonard Gerber


Subject: The Elderhostel Mysteries
From: "Peter E. Abresch Sr." (

I'd like to tell you a bit about BLOODY BONSAI, the first of the
James P. Dandy ELDERHOSTEL Mysteries. It's been billed as:

I am writing a new series of Elderhostel mysteries geared to
the interests, problems, and delights of those who are mellowing
into fine wine.

"Bloody Bonsai," ISBN 1-885173-34-2, the first in the James Dandy
ELDERHOSTEL Mysteries, weaves adventure and romance into a tale
of blood and bonsai and murder.

When everyone pushed widower James Dandy into going on a senior
citizen ELDERHOSTEL, romance was the last thing on his mind. No.
The last thing on his mind was to find a busboy with a bonsai
tree sticking out of his chest. No. The last thing was to be read
his rights for killing the sleazy little man. Nor did it help
that his new romance, widow Dodee Swisher, wanted them to track
down the real killer themselves. Then again, maybe it did.

"Bloody Bonsai," ISBN: 1-885173-34-2, by Peter Abresch, Write Way
Publishing, Ph. (800) 680-1493

You may get a look at the cover and first chapter by going out

editor's note- Peter's story of his publishing ventures is told
in the Fall 1998  issue of "Elderhostel Insider"