>       Elderhostel Notebook #80 January 21,  2001
>Welcome to Elderhostel Notebook, the e-zine where hostelers
>compare notes on elderhostel programs.
>EN is an independent project, appreciative of but not associated
>with Elderhostel Inc.    http://www.elderhostel.org
>EN has a WWW site at
>To subscribe to the e-mail edition  and/or to submit reviews of
>programs taken send an e-mail to the editor, Jim
>Olson, at                      EHnotebook@aol.com
>Please keep all correspondence in simple e-mail text format.
>    From the Editor's Notebook
>Several readers responded to my note in the last issue regarding
>possible elimination of the Query and Comment section of the
>Notebook in favor of having readers use the Bulletin Board on
>Elderhosteling in the SeniorNet Roundtables (a link to the
>discussion along with some directions is included in the Notebook
>web page.)
>Some found the location difficult to find and use. One problem is
>that the discussions in the RoundTables all start with the first
>post and only by reading many posts do you arrive at the current
>There is an "end" option at the beginning of the discussion that
>takes you to the newest posts and an outline feature to help
>locate posts of interest to you- as well as a search feature.
>It takes a little doing to find the Roundtables, subscribe, and
>login to them from the parent site:
>but it is worth it as the site is gradually becoming more active.
>I do, however, plan to continue with the Comment and Query
>section of the newsletter as e-mail appears to be the most
>convenient and comfortable  form of net communication for many
>    Comments and Queries
>Subject: Assumption of Risks for EH
>I want your opinion on something, namely, a document we received
>from the sponsor of our EH at Stephen Foster St. Pk. sponsored by
>Georgia Southern Un. This is an RV one on nature in the
>Okefenokee Refuge.
>Along with the usual sheet for further info about doctor,
>contact, arrival, etc., was an Assumption of Risk document which
>reads in part: Following mention of possible bodily injury or
>property damage associated with recreational activities comes a
>list of dangers such as broken bones, sprains, heart attack, etc.
>Then comes: "I acknowledge that I am aware that there are risks,
>hazards, and dangers inherent in such activities and in the
>training, preparation for, and travel to and from such activites.
>I further acknowledge that it is my sole responsibility to
>participate only in those activities for which I have the
>prerequisite skills, qualifications, preparations, and training.
>I acknowledge that Georgia Southern Un. does not warant or
>guarantee in any respect the competency or mental or physical
>condition of any trip leader, vehicle, driver, or individual
>participant in any travel/ educational or recreational activity.
>I further acknowledge that GSU makes no warranty as to the
>condition, safety, or suitability of any equipment, vehicle,
>property or premise tor any purpose.
>All participants in voluntary travel/educational or recreationa
>activities are required to sign the Release, Waiver of Liability
>and Covenent Not to Sue form.
>I acknowledge that I am soley responsibile for any hospital or
>other costs arising out of any bodily injury or property damage
>sustained through my participation in such voluntary
>travel/educational or recreational activities. I acknowledge
>that GSU does not provide insurance coverage for me.
>I have received a copy of this document, which I have read and
>understand. I accept and assume all risks, hazards, and dangers
>involved in such activities in which I may elect to
>Then comes a Release Waiver of Liability which has similar legal
>language, agreeing not to sue the Board of Regents. Have you
>heard of such a form for EHs? We all have insurance, but this
>sounds like you are just out of luck if a passenger in their
>vehicle or subjected to negligence. We haven't sent this one in
>yet but suppose we must or else. Any advice?
>Bill   Lee Longman
>From: "Otis Van Horne" 
>I would be interested in hearing from anyone that has attended a
>University of South Alabama/ Gulf State Park Elderhostel. I am
>especially interested in the quality of the lodging facility,
>program content, and meals. We are considering attending in
>March, 01. Thank you.
>Otis Van Horne
>From: GRACKY@aol.com
>Subject: Elderhostel Queries
>We are repeating a request. Please, include a report for people
>who are physically challenged. Some Elderhostelers have problems
>that do challenge them physically but who are tip-top in all
>other areas.
>My husband   I are planning to attend QE2 trip to London
>(subect:theater) departing NYC on June 12, 2001. We would like
>any info. on "ship" or subject matter.  We have traveled with
>EH to Prague, Budapest, Vienna, France(impressionists) barge
>trip. Also several in U.S.
>From:   gilbartd@worldnet.att.net
>We have registered for the 18 day program "In the Footsteps of
>Lewis and Clark" for June 10-27.  If anyone went on last year's
>trip, we would be interested in comments regarding weather,
>quality of the program, and any suggestions to improve our
>experience in the program.
>  gilbartd@att.net
>From: Artmarlea@aol.com
>Subject: Geronimo
>I am replying to the severe criticism of Geronimo Travel
>Services. We went to the Copper Canyon Elderhostel two years ago,
>and all the arrangements were handled by this service. We
>couldn't have had a better experience. The four leaders were very
>knowledgeable, helpful and friendly and did their best to make us
>comfortable. I have recommended this service to others many
>times. Some of the food was so-so, but that could not be helped
>in view of the remoteness of the location. The accommodations
>were just fine and in some cases luxurious. We enjoyed the trip
>very much. Our days were filled with enjoyable experiences, and
>of course, the train trip and the views were breathtaking.
>  Marian Leach
>  ______________
>Subj:   Question about Yellowstone Programs
>From:   Thirdchm@aol.com
>Can anyone recommend a program featuring Yellowstone Park?
>Several are listed in the catalogue and we are puzzled about
>which one choose.
>From: CarolKD@aol.com
>Subject: respose to Query
>IA query dated 12/31/00 6:19:04 AM Central Standard Time,
>olsonjam@uwec.edu reads:
><< I am anxious to pick my next trip to England, Ireland and
>Scotland. If anyone has been there , it would be nice to hear
>from you. >>
>I'd recommend any Elderhostel in the UK -- to any combination of
>the 4 countries (don't forget beautiful Wales!) You may still
>stay in a dormitory, but now they are using more moderate hotels
>or some great houses or old castles. Food in Britain is much
>better than it used to be and should beat what you describe in
>Alaska....if the food is fair, it is usually generous and the
>atmosphere probably has charm and ambiance. And the people in
>charge take the planning very seriously.
>The professors are usually good quality (the weakest program was
>some years ago in Ireland where there aren't too many
>universities in every area), but those I've done in Scotland,
>England and Wales have all been great and there's a lot of
>thought and energy put into planning nice activities to give the
>feel of an area. A program in Dublin should certainly be well
>organized, I'd think. What's nice is, Britain is so easy because
>you can speak to people and read the signs. And the money is
>easy, about 1.50US to a British pound.
>Good luck,      Ciao,   Carol Doctor
>From: Parker2372@aol.com
>Subject: Scandinavia
>We are anxious to hear from anyone who has taken a trip to
>Norway, Sweden, or Finland with Elderhostel. We want to go in
>June and may go completely on our own unless someone has a highly
>recomended trip. Respond to Barbara Parker at
>    Program Reviews
>                  Gettysburg EH
>                  OZARK FOLK CENTER
>                  Costa Rica
>Gettysburg EH
>I attended a course at Gettysburg in September 1999. We found the
>establishment to be very satisfactory but what was quite
>outstanding was the quality and acumen of the lecturers, the
>marriage between lectures and field trips, and the involvement of
>the whole class to come to judgements of their own.   As we were
>the only non Americans and had not seen the film, we were charmed
>by the delicate way in which the lecturers separated fact from
>fantasy for those who wanted to hold to the literal truth of the
>We also appreciated the thorough grounding in the political
>background of the pre war years, and the reconstruction
>afterwards.   The range of topics and the intensity of the course
>made it well worth the trip- even when we had to learn to drive
>American style to get to Gettysburg!
>We had a blind gentleman and his dog and he was able to
>participate in all activities through the help of the leaders and
>other hostellers. We are still in touch with some members of the
>course and have been back to the USA since.   Our British friends
>are agog with our descriptions.   Ad multos annos Elderhostel.
>  Maureen
>Maureen McCarthy,  3 Knoll Court, Farquhar Road, London S.E.19
>1SP  UK
>We arrived at the Folk Center and after a short introduction and
>orientation were shuttled to the Driftwood Barn Music Show where
>we spent an evening listening to local professional musicians.
>It was then back  to our comfortable accommodations.
>The next morning we were greeted with a excellent breakfast in
>the Parks restaurant, the first of many excellent meals.  It was
>then off to classes on Ozark lifestyles, history and children's
>Although our time was fully scheduled we seemed to find enough
>time to wander through the craft-grounds.  There was everything
>from candle making to blacksmithing in the more than 20 craft
>shops.  After evening classes we would head for the Theater and
>watch a music show featuring pre 1940 country and folk music.
>Our coordinator, Marion Spears, not only provided us with
>interesting antidotes on the area,  she also performed in the
>main show as well as our own private concert.  Lest we forget the
>basket weaving.  Each of us wove our own basket, even those who
>gallantly fought against it soon were immersed in the project.
>A side trip to Blanchard Springs Caverns turned out to be very
>enjoyable.  The only complaint that we heard was that the program
>was only one week long.  This is definitely one of the classic
>Carl Larson
>Ou8j@ aol.com
>October 1-7, 2000
>The Fiddle and Dance Culture of Prince Edward Island
>Off to the Magdalene Islands
>This program was outstanding! It is well organized, has great
>topics and is very interesting.  The program is divided into two
>parts.  Sunday through Wednesday morning is spent at the Rollo
>Bay Inn on Prince Edward Island. Wednesday afternoon through
>Saturday AFTERNOON included the ferry to the Madeleine Islands,
>the program there and return.
>The Prince Edward Island portion began Sunday with the usual
>orientation, evening meal and then off to the first activity a
>Ceilidh (kay-ley). A Ceilidh is a traditional Island social
>event. The evening included wonderful fiddle playing, traditional
>step dances, stories and good entertainment. Surprisingly they
>maintain a smoke free atmosphere by providing a glass enclosed
>room at one end of the hall for the few locals who needed to
>On Monday we covered fiddle music presented by a very able
>presenter and based on an extensive study of local music carried
>out by Ken Perlman. ( Ken Perlman's 'Fiddle Music of Prince
>Edward Island'
>  One of the fiddlers from the Sunday evening Ceilidh was on hand
>to illustrate the different types of music. Tuesday included an
>outstanding lecture by Beck, Boyde Curator of History  
>Exhibition PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation on the history of
>Fisheries, Shipping and Culture of PEI.  He is a compelling and
>fascinating presenter.
>The Rollo Bay Inn sponsored a Tuesday evening Ceilidh for local
>seniors. They were great fun and it was good chance to converse
>with local people about the culture, custom and music we had
>learned in the classes. It was a nice touch to see the
>Elderhostel phenomenon bring something to the local community.
>Wednesday morning included an orientation to the Madeleine
>Islands.  The archipelago of the Iles de la Madeline is located
>in the middle of the Gulf of St Lawrence between the Gaspe
>Peninsula and Prince Edward Island. It I part of the Province of
>Quebec.  The 75-mile ferry ride takes much of the afternoon on
>Wednesday and again Saturday morning. It is a very large
>ferryboat with many of the amenities of a large ship.
>The archipelago extends about 35 miles consisting of about a
>dozen islands connect by paved highways.  Different Islands have
>their own language and traditions.   Short bus trips interspersed
>with visits to the local points of interest provided the group a
>superb sight seeing opportunity.   There is very much a sense of
>that "Old World Charm".
>A restaurant adjoining the motel provided the meals on the
>Madeline Islands. At the Rollo Bay site the Inn provided them.
>They were served restaurant style with several choices for
>breakfast, often a salad-soup and sandwich choice for lunch, and
>the evening meal would include two or three choices with seafood
>often being one of the choices. Prince Edward Island has an
>abundance of good fresh seafood. The quantity of food was
>generous, quality good, with healthy choices and served with
>prompt and friendly service.
>The accommodations where luxerous by Elderhostel standards.  The
>Rollo Bay Inn had large rooms, comfortabfle beds and a small
>kitchenette and sofa in each room.  The rooms on the Madeleine
>Islands were similar. Daily maid service included straightening
>the room and fresh towels.
>A Great Elderhostel Experience!
>The Elderhostel Coordinator, Bob Gojmerac, Manager of the Rollo
>Bay Inn is very well organized and very accommodating.
>Given my three criteria for judging the quality of an Elderhostel
>experience, 1) program, 2) meals and 3) accommodations this was
>one of the best of nearly two dozen that I have attended. It gets
>very high marks on the program, good meals and superior
>I would be happy to correspond with anyone about the Elderhostels
>on Prince Edward Island.  I have attended them all. Richard C.
>Youngs  e mail me at: rcyoungs@ilstu.edu
>We drove into the interior of Utah to the town of Delta located
>at the edge of the Great Basin.  We stayed at the Best Western
>and ate at the Jade Garden Restaurant next door.  Both the
>accommodations and meals were very good.  Our coordinators were
>Leta Adams from the college, and Cindy Chambliss, a local rock
>hound who worked at one of the local rock shops. We were soon
>introduced to our school bus when our first field trip into the
>boonies was in search of trilobites, ancient fossilized
>arthropods (bugs).
>Other field trips were in search of Topaz, Geodes and other rare
>rocks. Our bus driver delivered us to remote locations that would
>challenge most four wheelers. Many of us found a number of
>excellent specimens.  One afternoon was spent in the rock shop of
>Loy Crapo who cut and polished the finds of the group.
>One of the local miners, Ted Harris, who incidentally was part of
>a syndication that located and sold a red beryl mine to interests
>of the Queen of England for 10 million dollars, gave a very
>interesting presentation on the gemstones in the area.  It also
>gave us the opportunity to show off our discoveries.  Some of us
>felt that the side trips, Topaz Interment Camp, Pony Express
>trail, ghost towns, etc. interfered with our valuable prospecting
>time. Everyone was congenial and successfully made this a very
>pleasant experience.
>Carl Larson
>  Costa Rica
>  November 2000
>  teddot@pacbell.net
>Wife and I had a fabulous program  last month. There were 21 of
>us, the oldest 87 and youngest 45. We toured on a small bus that
>held us plus the driver and a great tour leader, Jesus
>("heyzoose")Toledo who knew every bird, plant, butterfly and
>animal. And we saw lots of them. Exotic flowers   shrubs
>everywhere. Impatiens grows wild. They call it their national
>3 days exploring the capital city, San Jose. Many museums and
>interesting lectures. Then a visit to the University of Peace on
>the outskirts of SJ where one can get a Masters degree in Peace.
>2 inspiring lectures, plus we each planted a tree then to a
>former CR president's home where we were served tea/coffe and he
>gave a beautiful talk on peace and ecology.
>Next 3 nights at a rain forest lodge. All rooms were on 10 foot
>stilts to help avoid insects and snakes. Rains 24 ft/yr. We were
>not allowed to flush ANY TOILET PAPER DOWN THE COMMODE. The same
>at most of our travelling restaurent stops. It was deposited in
>an open waste basket. One made certain which side of the tissue
>faced up.
>Then 2 nights near the active Arenal volcano. No action then, but
>three were killed by a small eruption in August. Here howler
>monkeys made amazingly large noise about dawn. Sounded like
>Next 3 nights at a Pacific coast ranch motel. We flushed here.
>Went swimming in the Pacific plus a beautiful hot springs near
>volcano Arenal.
>2 great boat rides in rivers where we saw 54 + birds, many
>exotic, and crocodile, caymen, howler monkey, long nosed bat,
>iguana, sloths plus the two tiny poisenous frogs (red   green.)
>Our tour leader captured them both but said if he had any break
>in the skin on his hand he would be in big trouble.
>Costa Rica drivers are extremely cooperative on the many 2 lane
>winding highways. Saw no accidents or close calls the whole time.
>They are known as friendly people.
>A wonderful trip to a banana plantantion to witness the
>harvesting and shipping.
>Many, many interesting speakers and visits too numerous to
>mention. It was fascinating to drive thru the rural areas.
>Maybe you know Costa Rica eliminated their army in 1948 and
>devoted this money to education and health care. They have a very
>high literacy rate.
>An E/hostel to Costa Rica is highly recommended.
>Service (5.5.2653.19)
>It was easy to locate the purple seventeen story Landmark Hotel
>as we drove into New Orleans.  The accommodations were nice and
>the buffet breakfast offered each morning was very good. After
>morning classes on city history, literature, architecture etc. at
>the hotel we were whisked on busses to various activities in the
>city.  Cooking School where the chef , who had just learned that
>he was going to make a pilot for a TV cooking show, prepare an
>excellent Cajun lunch including crawdads.
>Another class was with Tom Piazza who gave a fascinating
>demonstration of jazz on the piano.  Trips to the Mardi Gras
>Museum, Garden District, Cemeteries and of course the French
>Quarter were all very interesting and entertaining.    The buses
>were always on time and allowed for free time to stroll through
>the French Quarter. Lunches and evening meals were at a variety
>of first class restaurants showcasing local and area cuisine.
>Our coordinator, Joyce Hanks, was very pleasant and very
>knowledgeable about history of the city and especially Mardi Gras
>and she greatly enhanced a pleasant experience. This Elderhostel
>Program is a
>Carl Larson