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      Elderhostel Notebook #91 August,  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
and an index 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 recent reports have come in as  word processor documents
as attachments.

Because of the threat of viruses from attachments, I no longer
open attachments even though I know the sender since many of the
new viruses come in disguise.

This means that all reports and queries must come in regular
e-mail. Most word processors allow you to mark, copy, and paste
text into an e-mail.

I'm sure I have missed several recent program reports, but what
you see is what I have, so please try again if for some reason we
haven't been able top connect to publish your report.

Maggie and I find ourselves going less and less frequently to
elderhostel programs for a variety of reasons, partly because
elderhostel, having priced itself into the mainstream of
travel/learning programs, must now compete for our travel dollar
with many other venues and we are finding some local ones
attractive to us.  But we will still try to get in an annual
"traditional" elderhostel for old time and old timers sake.

   Comments and Queries

Subj: 	Center for Studies of Future
Date: 	Tuesday, July 31, 2001 1:38:38 PM
To:   	EHNotebook
cc: 	tshetter@frontiernet.net

Dear Elderhosteler,
For those of you who attended our Pasadena program on Architects
and/or Collectors or Museums please accept our apologies for what
seems to have been a bad hotel experience. Enough complaints on
the evaluations necessitated immediate action on our part
resulting in the termination of all contracts with that hotel.
We believed that the problem stemmed from the renovations being
undertaken by the hotel, but Elderhostelers who tend to be most
forgiving about such things really complained about the overall
lack of cleanliness in the rooms.
We have contracted with a new hotel on the border of Pasadena
which will more than comfortably accomodate both our needs and

Dave Bianco


From: Parker2372@aol.com

Subject: Ozarks

The Ozarks:

We are considering a trip to the Ozarks. American Heritage:
Legendary Ozarks: Culture, Music, Folklore...and Those
Hotsprings! We would be interested in the opinions of others who
have made this trip. Please respond to Parker2372@aol.com.


From: Doug   Lois Rosenthal 

Has anyone gone to Brazil and taken the INTRODUCTION TO BRAZIL?
We would appreciate any information as we are considering taking
this in February.

From: Bettemel@aol.com

I am planning to attend the University of Judiasm in Bel Aire.,
Calif. and the Center for Future Studies at the Del Capri Hotel
in Beverly Hills. Any information would be appreciated.



Subj: 	Teaching English trips

From: 	Hbrfwick@aol.com

My wife and I are considering one of the EH service trips to
teach English in either Italy or Poland . If anyone has done
either of these trips we would appreciate their comments on them.


Ralph and Hanna

   Program Reviews

         Alpine Skiing at Timberline Lodge   Mt. Hood Meadows
         Fly Fishing ,   Lake City, Colorado
         College of the Ozarks: Branson
         Catskill Mountain Foundation-Hunter, NY
         Wild Africa - Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe
         London: Theatre   The Arts


Alpine Skiing at Timberline Lodge   Mt. Hood Meadows
Columbia Gorge Community College
Program # 37087-0304001

This EH program is inaptly named!  It should be A Dining
Adventure and Alpine Skiing at Timberline Lodge   Mt. Hood
Meadows.  What a treat this program was in all ways!

The Setting: The beautiful Timberline Lodge, a National Historic
Building set on Oregon's scenic Mt. Hood.  Built in 1937 by the
WPA the lodge has been carefully restored and maintained in its
original state.

Accommodations: The rooms were quite small but very adequate.
Closet space was limited and held an ironing board and fan which
took up some of  the room.  The rooms could be very noisy as the
lodge was built before sound proofing was available but the lodge
thoughtfully provided ear plugs!  Lockers were provided on the
ground floor for skis, boots, etc. Ski boots were not allowed
outside of the main lobby entrance because of damage to wooden
floors and the sound factor.

The Skiing: left a little to be desired for upper
intermediate/expert skiers.  Part of this was due to the low snow
pack (only half the usual amount in 2001) and warm temperatures.
Many of the black diamond runs were not open.  The green and blue
runs were well groomed and quite gentle. These were a fine
training ground for the two hours of instruction we received each
morning in basic techniques and for practicing and fine tuning
these techniques during the free ski in the afternoon,  but they
lacked any challenge and excitement for an advanced skier.

Several skiers took advantage of a snow tractor ride, which was
generously offered free of charge by the Timberline Area, to the
Palmer Run which was not serviced at this time of the year by a
lift and was  not groomed. Though we were warned that conditions
might be difficult and we would be skiing at our own risk,
several skiers skied down and reported it was not difficult.
Others took the ride for the spectacular view from the top of the
run and rode down in the tractor.

The day trip to Hood Meadows for free skiing offered more
challenge but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate. The
new snow that fell during the night was great but fog and
snowstorms enshrouded most of the mountain for most of the day
and we were confined to skiing the lower lifts.  Ski hosts eased
the situation by shepherding us around the mountain but the
groups were large and much time was spent standing around.  We
were transported from Timberline to Hood Meadows and back in
small, comfortable vans.

Skiers were placed in groups according to their abilities for the
ski instruction.  None of the groups was larger than eight.  Ski
rentals were available for an extra charge.  The rentals included
parabolic skis and many who did not already have them took
advantage of the opportunity to try them out.

The Food: was one of the highlights of the program and made up
for the less than exciting skiing.  It was by far the best food
of any of the 12 Elderhostels I have attended previously,
including one to a cooking school in Lyon, France.  Timberline^Òs
head chef,     is world class and no effort was spared by the
lodge in giving Elderhostelers a memorable dining experience.

Breakfast each morning was a bountiful buffet served in the
Cascade Room, the main dining room, and shared with regular
Timberline guests. Beautifully laid out, the choices were many
including special Timberline scrambled eggs, potatoes in a
delicious sauce, cold and hot cereal or special Timberline
granola and freshly baked pastries made in-house. Yogurt appeared
in a large shallow bowl with raspberry sauce knifed into a
lattice pattern and a large dish of fresh fruit offered many

For lunch we were given  an $8.00 coupon for each day which we
could use in the Day Lodge for usual day lodge fare (chili,
hamburgers,  or a special Timberline Burrito etc.), or in the
^Óski in café^Ô  which served a hot lunch for $7.95.  We opted to
use them in the Cascade Dining Room for a relaxing white
tablecloth, fine china lunch.  Entrees here were more than $8.00
but were HUGE and came with a salad and fragrant rosemary bread.
Three of us shared one entrée and  the bread and  bought two
extra salads. We still had enough of our $24 pool to buy one of
the decadent Timberline desserts.

A buffet lunch (construct your own sandwich from a wide variety
of ingredients and/or chili and fruit) was served one day on the
mountain in Silcox Lodge, the original Timberline Wheelhouse, now
a facility for small group accommodations.  Elderhostlers who
were non-skiers or who did not have the skills to ski down were
transported by snow tractor.   Another very tasty and more than
generous  buffet lunch was served in the Sahallie Room in the
South Lodge on the day we skied at Hood Meadows.

Dinners were private Elderhostel affairs served in a different
dining room each evening. In the Ramshead Bar and in the 60^Òs
Room they were served buffet style. In the Raven^Òs Nest,  Mt.
Jefferson and Mt. Hood Rooms they were elegant sit-down dinners
with white tablecloths, fine china and glassware and very
attentive service.  Each of these rooms offered a different view
of the mountain. The menus were haute cuisine, featuring
Northwest food specialties, beautifully plated. More fabulous
Timberline desserts and coffee were served in the Barlow Room as
a prelude to the evening presentations.

Presentations: The History of Timberline Lodge   WPA Projects and
a walking tour of the lodge was given by Linny Adamson, Curator
of the Timberline Lodge the first afternoon from 4:00-5:30.
Linny^Òs love for the lodge and its preservation as a National
Historical Site was very evident in her very excellent

A Chef's Discussion and Wine Tasting, scheduled for  Tuesday
afternoon (3:30-4:30) was postponed to the next afternoon because
of a misunderstanding about staff schedules to the dismay of
those who had stopped skiing early to attend. About the only
snafu (besides the less than perfect weather) in the whole week.
The amount of time scheduled for the wine tasting was too short
and the explanations and tasting of the 6 wines was rushed. The
wine tasting was followed by a tour of the large and well
equipped Timberline kitchen.  The whole group of 32 was taken in
at one time and the explanation by one of the chef guide's
presentation was difficult to follow as the group had to file
single file through the narrow aisles.

A film on the 10th Mountain Division whose members eventually
started many of the ski areas in US was given one night and a
talk, with slides on Northwest Volcanoes by Ed Klimasauskas of
the USGA were interesting and informative.

A unique, living history presentation on the Barlow Road, a part
of the Oregon Trail, done by Beth Kirschofer of the USFS, was
great fun.  With some props the Elderhostelers assumed the roles
of  pioneers traveling the Oregon trail and had to solve problems
that came up during their journey. On the last evening a Fireside
Chat  and Quiz with Michelle Franulovich of the USFS also
required audience participation and was a fine review of the
information presented during the week.

The pre program information sent was very complete:  our
coordinator, Susan Burd, very friendly and efficient.  An
unfortunate accident  (a broken arm) suffered by a participant on
her first run was very expeditiously handled by sending her by
van to Portland where she was taken care of and back at
Timberline within a few hours.

Unless you are particularly looking for a skiing challenge I
would highly recommend this program.  Staying at  Timberline
Lodge is a unique experience, the staff could not have been more
helpful and accommodating, the presentations interesting and
informative and the food, outstanding!


Barb Fay

Fly Fishing ,   Lake City, Colorado
Lakeview Education Center

Organization: The Murphy Family at their Lakeview Resort runs
This Elderhostel.  Lakeview staff and two fishing guides support
them.  One of the Murphys is an Emergency Medical Technician and
took very good care of us at the 9,000-foot elevation.  The
property is located on the shores of Lake San Cristobal in a very
beautiful area surrounded by mountains. It was a concentrated
course for beginner to expert fly fisher persons and there were
about 28 participants.   Everyone was very friendly and helpful.

Classes:  We learned basic fly casting and had an opportunity for
extensive practice and coaching. Our first field trip was a visit
to a trout stream to study fishing techniques and insect
entomology.  Our guides and some of the students actually caught
demo fish.  There was time for plenty of individual fishing and
float tubes, float boat and biyak fishing was offered every
morning and evening.  The high point of the week was a days
fishing on a private ranch arranged as part of the program.

Lodging:  We stayed in large rooms that were part of the lodge.
There was a view of the lake and suites were spacious with a
kitchenette and separate bedrooms.

Meals:  We ate all our meals at the conference center where the
classes were held.  We enjoyed good home cooked meals including a
hardy breakfast with plenty of fresh fruit. On our fishing days
we prepared our own bag lunches.

Summary:  This was an excellent Elderhostel for new and
accomplished fly fisher persons.  We were so impressed, that this
was the second time we attended this course!  The group that came
to this active outdoor program was congenial, enthusiastic and
fun to be with.  We believe this is the only privately sponsored
Elderhostel in Colorado and the interest and organizational
support of the Murphy family is truly unique.  Our fishing
guides, Bill Zeller and Jordan Cady were outstanding.  We would
highly recommend this program.


College of the Ozarks: Branson

There are two Elderhostels in Branson, MO I recently attended the
Branson Elderhostel sponsored by the College of the Ozarks.  From
the description of the other Branson Elderhostel given report
#89, the College of the Ozarks  Elderhostel is definitely  the
superior one.

We were taken to five shows including  Branson most famous, the
Shoiji Tabuchi Show,  www.shoji.com The lectures were given by
professionals from the shows concerning various production
elements. Food was from the college cafeteria and quite good. I
have been to over thirty Elderhostels and this one of the better
ones.  Its popular so get your application in early. Good Luck!
Bill Power   www.billpower7@home.com


Catskill Mountain Foundation-Hunter, NY
The Call of the Wild
July 2001

Held in modern inn. Food was good and a good group.  This
organization is inexperienced in running Elderhostels.  Very
poorly coordinator with facilities that lacked adequate rest
rooms made for a poor program.  We spent the entire day on a
school bus. Program was not as advertised.  The experience was
that of a tour group with minimal educational content.  Avoid
until they get their act together.


June, 2001

On June 5, 2001, I arrived home from a three week fantastic
Elderhostel to Russia and Ukraine.

It is an experience that totally changed my view of those two
countries and especially the people that live there.  Now those
two countries have a "face" and it is very difficult to carry
negative thoughts toward them after all the wonderful encounters
among the friendly and hospitable people.

I learned more about the ravages of communisn in those three
short weeks than all of the books, newscasts and periodicals that
I have read over the past ten years!!

The two countries are experiencing tremendous change - both good
and not so good - but I returned with a very positive feeling for
their eventual success.

The food was absolutely delicious, the hotels adequate and a
tremendously knowledgeable guide in Ukraine.  The guides in
Moscow and St. Petersburg were good but "Irene" in Ukraine was

On the negative side, very little. However, missing the plane in
Chicago due to poor weather caused some anxious moments when we -
in addition to myself and another couple that flew out of Dayton,
Ohio with me (thank goodness) - had to be completely rerouted and
arrived in Kiev, Ukraine after midnight with no one there to meet
us.  We had to report our lugguage lost at Customs as well as get
a cab to our hotel that late at night.  The language barrier was

I would highly recommend this EH to all healthy adults.  However,
the medical system leaves much to be desired.  Two of our group
landed in the hospital and had to be flown back to the states.

I would be happy to answer any questions one may have.

Joyce Neese



SITE:  Catholic Carmelite retreat and conference facility on very
spacious, well kept grounds, with a pond with a shooting
fountain; excellent walking areas with benches; very ample
protected parking

ACCOMMODATIONS:  Very clean, but small; in room bathroom; no
closets (but there are wall hooks with hangers),no clocks,no
radios,no tv's in rooms;luxurious  towels and linens easily
accessible in bins in hall. There was NO computer Internet access
in this facility; however, the local public library did
My room the first night was cold, with no individual thermostat
but the staff then changed me into a more favorable room for the
rest of the week.

CLASSROOM:   A modified conference room with very comfortable
chairs (with arm rests), but no desks; good window viewing of
outdoors;  well adjusted to audio/visual equipment and acoustics

SUBJECT MATTER:  The primary instructor was Dr. Daniel Hauser,
Theology/Philosophy Professor who is DYNAMIC--very sensitive to
audience questions/ comments;   he surveyed the historical roots
of America's religions, explored Christianity, Judaism, Pietism,
Lutheran and Reformed Movements, Amish, Mennonites, Shakers,
Mormans, various millennial movements---he covered a great
variety mostly through his give and take lectures and videos. We
also had a Jewish historian and  Muslim activists give their
individual presentations.    I was very intellectually-
stimulated, not only by the instructors, but also by a good
number of participants whose questions and comments were

COORDINATORS:  Robin  and Tom  were SUPER.  This was their FIRST
Elderhostel Program, but it seemed that their conscientious
attentiveness  to our needs and their  ever-presence were things
we could always count on.

MEALS:  All meals (except box lunch on field trip day) were
cafeteria home-cooking-delicious (not a great choice, BUT HIGH
QUALITY).   Hot water, microwave station, pop machine were
available 24 hours. Breakfast initially set to begin at 8:30am
was adjusted to an 8:00am start after  coordinator consultation.
Lunch was usually at 12:30  and evening meal was usually at
5:30pm.   Snacks were in the classroom for class breaks.

FIELD TRIP:  We had a one day (very comfortable luxurious bus)
field trip to Chicago's Hyde Park to see a very beautiful Jewish
Synogogue, Holy Name Catholic Cathedral, Wilmette's Baha'i House
of Worship Temple (an absolutely beautiful structure located on
shore of Lake Michigan) and neighborhoods with unique churches
(Ukrainain Village Orthodox churches, Kennedy Expressway past old
ethnic church neighborhoods.    This field trip was hosted by
Robin's husband, a very enthusiastic Chicago-minded personality.

ENTERTAINMENT:   Local SWEET ADELINES came one evening to
serenade us during/after supper OVERALL EVALUATION:  This is
definitely AN ABOVE AVERAGE program, considering a composite of
COORDINATORS, ETC.) that make up an above average program. IT IS
ESPECIALLY GOOD FOR HANDICAPPED (except the on the bus/off the
bus, long day field trip which can present problems for some
handicapped).  If you stay in the facility (instead of going on
the field trip) the grounds and the facility are a popular
Catholic Shrine (devoted to St. Therese--the Little Flower) with
daily Catholic Mass, a religious gift shop and relaxing grounds.


e mail      lmjr34@yahoo.com           COMMUNICATIONS WELCOME


Wild Africa - Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe

We've just returned from this most wonderful trip - 2 weeks in
the bush and all the game we could possibly have asked for.  It
was the most spectacular trip we've ever taken, and we highly
recommend it.

If anyone would like details, hints, advice, etc., I'd be more
than happy to communicate same.

Sheila Plotkin babaskp@execpc.com

London: Theatre   The Arts

QE2 was a once in a lifetime experience.  An added bonus was the
weeks theme of "Big Band Bash" with the bands of Harry James,
Nelson Riddle   Larry Elgart playing all their respective charts.
London was fabulous.  A first class hotel in South Kensington.
Wonderful shows - "Stones in his Pocket"; "The Winter's Tale";
"Noises Off";   "Mama Mia".  A Philharmonic concert featuring
Sarah Chang as the soloist.  Backstage tour of "My Fair Lady".
Wonderful lectures by a director, an art "maven", the wigmaster  
Make-up artist of the Royal Opera   (the best) a visit with the
lead actor from "Noises Off" after we saw the production. Side
trips to Hatfield House, Greenwich   Winchester.  Plenty of free
time to do your own thing - museums, London Eye, shopping, etc. A
wonderful tour director   local guide and great fellow
elderhostelers.. All in all - a fabulous trip.

[As an aside - does anyone  have any feedback on the Harambe
Texas site of elderhostel?]
Thank you.
Bob Modell