Elderhostel Notebook #35,  Oct 7, 1998

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    From the Editors Notebook

    Elderhostel News and  Reviews

             Auberge du Mont, Val Cartier, Quebec
             Center for Coastal Studies (MA)
             Elderhostel at Ponca City, OK
             TETON SCIENCE SCHOOL; Jackson Hole, WY
             YMCA Of The  ROCKIES; Estes Park, CO


    Editor's Notebook

 I have finally whittled the backlog of reports down and look
forward to a fresh supply from readers.

Several times since the notebook started, we have had conflicting
opinions about various programs. Before basing a decision on a
program on an evaluation from a specific reader, you may wish to
consult the index on the web site or e-mail me a query about
program reviews so you get the benefit of several points of

It is really nice to have confirming reports such as the Aubrege
report in this issue  that show a consensus of enthusiasm for a
particular program.

   Elderhostel News and Reviews

Auberge du Mont, Val Cartier, Quebec, Canada September 13-19.1998
Subject: Historic Quebec.
From: Wallace171@aol.com (Evey and Wally Lepkin)

We always say our last Elderhostel was the best, but this one
really was!. We got a sense of the place long before we arrived
when we received a well organized package of material which
anticipated about any question we might have, and included maps
and written directions, for those who dont like maps. An e-mail
address was provided, too.

We were welcomed as if we were part of the family by the
husband-wife team of Coordinators Jean-Pierre Deschenes ( who
speaks French-English) and Debbie Chakour (from Illinois who
speaks English-French) and their 2 1/2 year old Play
Coordinator Eloise ( who is bilingual).

Originally a ski resort, Auberge Du Mont (Inn on the Mountain) is
set in the foothills of the Laurentians about 25 miles north of
Quebec City. It is surrounded by maple forests which while we
were there were being brushed with red, orange and gold. The
facilities are shared with a secondary school. While there are
over 700 students we were hardly aware of them.

This is a great set-up. All activities are held in one building -
classes, dining, relaxing. Rooms are double occupancy with
private baths. There is a beautiful lake in front of the building
with a boardwalk path around it; three times around and youve
walked a mile.

We had three wonderful meals a day, served cafeteria style. There
were always at least three entrees, even for breakfast - with
plenty of local maple syrup and maple sugar. We ate in the
teacher's dining room

The course centered around Historic Quebec, and included two and
a half days of field trips into Quebec City on a special bus,
with our own tour guide. We visited the Chateau Frontenac., the
Old City, the St. Anne-de-Beupre Basilica, Montmorency Falls, and
the Cartier-Debeuf Historic Site. On the day we visited the
National Assembly we has lunch at the Restaurant Le
Parlementaire. Another day on our visit to the Ile dOrleans we
lunched at the Sugar Shack , and were shown how maple sugar is
made. There were no extra charges for the bus, the tours, the two
lunches, any admission fees to sites, etc.

Prior to the field trips we had classes on the history of Quebec
going back to the mid-1600s, the interaction between the French,
the English, the Americans, the First Nations (the Indians) We
also had a speaker about the Irish settlers.

One evening a group of musicians played traditional Quebec-Irish
music. There were fiddles, guitars and mandolins, our Coordinator
Debbie played the dulcimer, Jean-Pierre sang, and Eloise ( the
Play Coordinator) danced We all joined in. If this were any
other Elderhostel that evening would have been graduation night-
what a tough act to follow.

It is difficult to convey the warmth and camaraderie we felt at
this Elderhostel. This has to be due to Jean-Pierre and Debbie.
They are totally buttoned up and organized, but they come off
easy and casual. They claim the reason they run Elderhostel
programs is because they are too young to be Elderhostelers.

While the Elderhostel was conducted in English you should be
aware that when you enter the Province of Quebec you feel as if
you are in a foreign country - a bit of France. If youre driving
you need to know three words right away. Nord=North, Est = East,
and ARRET means STOP!. Go and enjoy. Bon jour.

 Evey and Wally Lepkin


Center for Coastal Studies (MA) Sept 1998
Helen Sternheim     helen@k12.oit.umass.edu

Another Great Elderhostel

The Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown Massachusetts
holds Elderhostels in North Truro and Provincetown MA. We just
returned from one held September 20-25, 1998, which was housed at
the Outer Reach Motel in North Truro. The motel is located on top
of the dunes and has a superb view of the end of the Cape and

The program was excellent and made very good use of the splendid
natural resources of the area. We had slides and brief lectures
to introduce the daily field trips. Peter Trull, an experienced
and very humorous naturalist, was an extremely good presenter and
field trip leader. There were three program coordinators who were
quite knowledgeable and extremely helpful. Several other
naturalists also conducted parts of the program. The trips
included a tour of the Audubon Sanctuary in Wellfleet, MA, mainly
to look for birds, and a whale watch trip on the Dolphin fleet
with a naturalist aboard to give you information about the whales
in the area.

We also explored the flora and fauna on the trails adjacent to
the motel and took a field trip at low tide to the tidal pools in
Provincetown. Another afternoon was spent on the trails at Fort
Hill in Eastham looking at plants and the shore birds in the
area. We were able to see many great blue herons in the marsh
grasses below. A very obliging kingfisher posed on a rock in the
water near the parking lot where we met the bus.

Many of the participants had their own binoculars, and the center
also had some to lend. A spotting scope was set up by the trip
leaders so everyone was able to see the interesting birds we
found up close. In addition there was a lending library with many
bird and plant reference books.

The rooms at the motel were large and quite comfortable, and each
had a small refrigerator and a private bath. The meals were tasty
but fairly basic; breakfast had one hot dish plus juice, cold
cereal, bananas, and hot drinks. A box lunch was served at the
hotel most days with one luncheon held at a restaurant in
Provincetown. The dinners had one entree plus two vegetables, a
salad, and a simple dessert. There was plenty of food, but no

Everyone seemed to really enjoy all the outings and many went
back to see more birds and scenery during the brief periods of
spare time. We had evening programs four of the five evening we
were there. This was a very full program and the time flew by.
Everyone seemed sad to see it come to an end.


Elderhostel at Ponca City, OK
North Central Oklahoma Historical Association/Rose Stone Inn
Program Number 36240-0809-01 (08/09/98)

Tom Guthrie      tomg@spiritone.com

This is best Elderhostel program we have been to (4th program).

Accommodations: The Red Stone Inn is a converted bank building
built in the 50's run by David and Shirley Zimmerman. While it
doesn't look like what we expect for B  the rooms are great and
well maintained. One unique thing is that each room is well
insulated so you can't hear your neighbor's TV. They have a
washer and dryer that you can use (soap is 25¢) as well as iron
and ironing board.

Food: Prepared by Shirley (with several assistants) and is
excellent. My wife is going to contact Shirley and request a
recipe for one of the dishes served at dinner.

Travel: Each day (except Wednesday) you board a bus (new and air
conditioned) after lunch and travel to various local attractions.
The Wednesday bus trip was all day. One nice thing about riding
the bus is that David would speak concerning what we were going
to see while we were on the bus. This program had more travel
than any other I have experienced.

Monday Morning Classes concerning Native Americans presented by a
retired teacher Kathleen Chambers. The presentation was
excellent. (Not boring like some Elderhostel classes.) Afternoon
Bus trip to the Ponca Theater. An excellently restored vaudeville
theater that many local people support through donations of time
and money. We spent 1 1/2 hours there all very entertaining. Trip
to see "Standing Bear" a tall bronze statue at the Native
American Memorial Park. Visited the local Library. Normally they
have an art exhibition but they were doing maintenance so most of
it wasn't there.

Tuesday Morning Classes about the Roaring Twenties and the
Roaring Dust given by David Zimmerman. David is an excellent
teacher. Afternoon Trip to the local Cultural Center the first
home of E.W. Marland. Three stories tall with many interesting
displays. Mr. Marland started the oil company that is now Conoco.
On to the "HGH Car Museum". Located downtown in two small
buildings that contain about 50+ cars. All old and interesting.

Wednesday Travel Day Great Plains encroaching forests - Lake
Ponca Nature Center Round Garden - A private home with excellent
gardens. Lunch at Tallgrass Prairie Preserve Headquarters
(Looking for some of the 600 Buffalo but only saw one.) Conoco
Refinery ending in the Marland Boardroom (Mr. Marland knew how to
make very elegant locations.)

Thursday Morning Class about local petroleum production.
Afternoon Trip to Mr Marland's second house. Boy this isn't a
house it is a real castle, huge, beautiful and well restored.
(Even got to see the underground tunnel where Mr. Marland
received booze during prohibition.) Evening After dinner a
Fashion Show was presented by Lilly Strickland. She collects old
fashions and uses local teen girls to display them. Very
enjoyable evening.

Friday More information concerning the 1920's presented by David.
After lunch we received a 5X7 copy of a picture David had taken
of us. (First time I have had a program provide a picture of

This was the best Elderhostel program I have ever been to. David
Zimmerman provides excellent classes and related field trips.
While we were in this area we went to Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri,
and Arkansas. Ponca City was the most interesting area we saw due
to the information David provided.


TETON SCIENCE SCHOOL; Jackson Hole, WY: Day Hiking
Adventure/Geology ...: 30 Aug-5 Sep 1998

YMCA Of The  ROCKIES; Estes Park, CO:
Hike the Rockies: 6-12 Sep 1998


Two very enjoyable programs for the hiking Elderhosteler. Each is
the traditional six night format and they could be scheduled
back-to-back ... at least this year ... with an easy connecting
drive. If you can do only one, I'd recommend the Teton Science
School (TSS) by a narrow margin.

Food: Both are satisfactory but you're not attending for the
food. At each you'll start with a full, hot breakfast which is
important given the level of activity. Reasonable variety of
stuff to prepare the lunches which you'll carry on your day
hikes. Solid, if unexciting, dinners. One shortcoming at the "Y"
- if there is a large crowd, dinner will be a little hectic with
long lines; and if the crowd is 300 ten year olds, it will not be
a quiet, leisurely dinner. Both serve buffet style so quantity is
up to you.

At TSS you are asked to help with kitchen cleanup after meals -
not so at the "Y". You'll do it for about 15-20 minutes maybe
twice during the week.

Lodging: You'll be tired enough not to be all that concerned.
Each is clean, each is quiet altho it may be near 11:00 p.m.
before the kids at the "Y" call it a day. Each room at the "Y"
had a bathroom. At TSS bathrooms were shared. The single
supplement at the "Y" was $115 which I thought excessive. I don't
believe TSS offered a single option - they simply don't have that
large a facility.

At TSS you are asked to clean your cabin before departing - not
at the "Y".

Activities: Day hikes with enroute lectures on local geology,
plants, and animals. TSS wins here as all of the hikemasters
presented interesting, informative talks - the "Y" staff ranged
from equal to TSS to those who simply kept us on the right trail
and lectured only when questioned (and maybe that's all you

Baseline hikes were typically 3-5 miles, altitude changes
generally not exceeding 1000 ft at altitudes of 7-10K+ feet.
Moderate to low strenuous level. At TSS we were back at the
facility by about 3:00 p.m. - somewhat later at the "Y" as we
drove around to look at the larger animals in Rocky Mountain
National Park. There was ample time to rest and/or shower before
dinner. I would have preferred longer hiking days but others
thought it just about right.

Both programs successfully accommodated those hikers who wanted a
little less as well as those who wanted a little more.

Each program had evening talks that made for a pleasant
transition from an active day to a night's rest.

In fairness to the other participants, be conditioned for either
of these programs. Those prepared for hikes at this level are not
going to be happy if they have to hold back to accommodate you.

Also be aware that the TSS program included a day and a half in
Yellowstone - the southern half of the park. If you've recently
been there, that might make the TSS program less attractive. But
when an Elderhostel program includes an overnight at the Old
Faithful Inn with dinner in the lodge dinning room you certainly
can't complain!


From: IDan452573@aol.com
Subject: Re: Glen Eyrie

Was at Glen Eyrie last fall. I went on my own for the first time
and had a wonderful time. The lodge is a bit of a climb to the
castle where the restaurant is. Classes excellent. Scenery
wonderful. Love Colorado and have been there many times. We had
an artist-musician showing paintings while playing appropriate
music (piano). I bought one of Dr. Ross' water colors and we're
still in touch. Everyone was gracious and a couple of ladies
"adopted" me the minute I walked into the dining room. Just did
Savannah in the spring and hope to do another one soon. Wish
Elderhostel had been available when my mother was alive;she would
have loved it.



From: Ruby Layson rlayson@mis.net
Subject: Greek Art   Archaeology

For personals:

I'm planning to go on the Greek Art   Archaeology/Study Cruise
Elderhostel next May 6 (#80630-0506). I'm wondering if anyone has
been on this trip before and could give me some information about

Thanks, Ruby


From: "Fritz" joy@shore.intercom.net

Subject: Re:Queries

Lucky us, have made the cut for the New Orleans People's Program
I   II March 14   21. Perhaps some of you that have "been there,
done that" could share your experiences with us. I would also be
interested in finding others that will be going to those EHs.
Have also signed up for the Oceanographic Dolphin   Manatee
service project in Belize for Feb 17 and hope to get any
information or contacts re that program. Thank You.

From: "Fritz" joy@shore.intercom.net

Subject: San Diego, Two Different Worlds

The second week of Sept. we spent 6 nights at the Wild Animals EH
sponsored the University of San Diego and although there were
several excellent lecturers the week was disjointed with MUCH
idle down time and little in depth field trips with no exposure
that any "behind the scenes" tourist can got at the zoo or wild
animal park. Although housed it what is touted as THE resort
hotelthe experience was just so-so.

In contrast to this was the EH sponsored by a different campus of
the very same university the next week. This EH was on the
Museums of Balboa Park and was probably the best organized,
enthusiastic and friendly one of 25 attended. The lectures often
took place in those museums by experts too but there was a
connectedness throughout the program as well as a spirit of
support, welcome and generosity from the staff, hotel(Inns Suite)
and caterer. There was time for "breathersI" but no wasted hours
to accommadate EH or other services. I would recommend this
program to all that love museums.


From: s.meric@ix.netcom.com (Polar)

Subject: Courier flights

In general terms, a courier carries the paper work for documents,
etc. Those documents occupy the hold space that his/her checked
luggage would ordinarily take, so courier can travel with
carry-on only.

Duties just involve receiving the paper work at Airport A and
turning it over to designated agent at Airport B.

Usual duration of trip is 10 days to 2 weeks. Could be longer in
some cases. They try to accommodate couples or friends by sending
on on flight (date); the other on flight (date + 1).

Most public library reference desks have several authoritative
books on couriers, with complete lists of companies and where
they operate.

Usually a deposit is required, which is returned if the courier
executes duties properly (like showing up on time for return


From: jacquie vanhaelst jacquiev@mediaone.net

Subject: Elderhostel-Jekyll Island

Just want you to know how much I enjoyed my last Elderhostel trip
to Jekyll Island.  The accommodations at Jekyll Inn were very
good, the food was excellent and the people lots of fun. Being a
tennis enthusiast, I found the tennis program was outstanding
having excellent instruction every morning and the Pro, Peter
Poole divided us in groups commensurate with our ability. Also,
the classes we had on Lord Byron, lectures on the history of the
environ and others were equally interesting. Please don't
hesitate to contact me if there are any questions regarding this

On Dec. 6, 1998, I have signed up on a trip to New York City
staying at Fordham University. Any comments on this one.

Regards, Jacquie

From: Roz Cole  roz@hgea.org
Subject: Elderhostels

We  attended the EH in Tiburon, CA, in June. The courses
were: Puccini Opera; the Supreme Court; Marin history. All were
absolutely superb. I agree with your previous writer that the
Supreme Court classes should not be held in the evening. Also,
that instructor had so much information and was so infatigable
that he never called a break, even though we asked him to. He
could have gone on all night.

The hotel was close to everything in this small, easy to walk in
town, and very comfortable. There was no maid service, but we
could get clean towels if we sought them out. Classes were held
on site, in a long narrow room that could have been arranged
better to improve sight-lines and make it easier to hear

The meals, served in the hotel restaurant, were uninspired and
nothing that anyone looked forward to. We appreciated having
menus for the next day posted the night before so we could decide
whether to go to a restaurant in town (although there was not
much time to do that).

Coordinators were good, but lackadaisical.

I see that one of my suggestions for improvement has been picked
up. I asked that the San Francisco tour include a tour of the
opera house. And now it does. It is nice to know that our
evaluations do mean something.

Don't get me wrong. My negative comments are like those in
Consumers' Reports: just so you will know what you are getting.
They are not meant to turn you off to the program. I agree that
it was a 9, in location, accommodations, courses/instructors.

Aloha, Roz


From: Ciharbor1@aol.com
Subject: Youth Hostels

Carol ciharbor@aol.com

I just finished and Elderhostel at Friday Harbor in the San Juan
Islands in Washington. Great location, good food and interesting
topics, good presenters, well organized with lots of extras.

On our way to and from Washington from Southern California my
friend and I stayed at youth hostels for an average of $15.00 a
night. Montera has a wonderful hostel in a working lighthouse
with a spectacular view of the coast and whales cavorting off
shore. Salt Spring Island in Canada has a hostel on ten wooded
acres with teepees, tree houses and a lodge. We opted for the
lodge to be closer to the WC.

Port Townsand, Chinook, and Redwood hostels are all in state
parks and in beautiful settings and where else can you stay in
San Francisco for $17.00 with off street parking and breakfast

Hosteling is not for everyone but it is a nice way to meet people
and stretch those retirement dollars. Half of the people in the
hostels are over 40 with lots over 60. I have hosteled in the
U.S., Europe, Austraila, New Zealand, and Tahiti and didn't start
until I was in my 50's and find it a great way to travel.

editors note the url for youth hostels web sites is