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BEGINS IN: PEORIA, ILLINOIS

The Illinois River: Paddleboats, Canals and Treasured State Parks

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Road Scholar
Program #4267RJ
4 Days | 3 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Jun 8 — Jun 11, 2014

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Type: Hotel

Description: Built in 1967, the building now known as the Mark Twain Hotel was purchased by the former mayor of Peoria in 1990. Guests are greeted by a style that is hip, yet warm and comfortable, beginning with the moment you walk in – you can even smell it in the atmosphere. Sink into the soft leather chairs in the lobby, cozy up to the custom-built oak fireplace and relax to the sounds of upbeat music and friendly conversation. Open up your laptop, reader or tablet - wireless internet access is always complimentary to Mark Twain Hotel guests. If you didn't bring yours, borrow a tablet from the front desk so you can catch up on your email or check on the weather. Or sip on a complimentary Starbucks coffee or cocoa as you browse 300+ titles in our DVD library. This is the Mark Twain Hotel and yes, you are still in Peoria.

Contact info:
225 NE Adams Street
Peoria, IL 61602 USA
phone: 309-676-3600
web: www.marktwainhotel.com

Room amenities: 100% Non-Smoking Guestrooms Cable/Satellite TV Iron/Ironing board Coffee Maker Microwave Flat Panel TV with DVD player Hair Dryer Room Service Mini-Fridge Contact Road Scholar if you need to make a reservation requiring special request such as an ADA compliant room.

Facility amenities: Airport Shuttle Fitness Center Free Local Calls Cable Coffee Maker Microwave Flat Panel TV with DVD player Hair Dryer Iron/Ironing Board Room Service Restaurant on Premises Mini-Fridge Fitness center on-site *Pool: There is no pool on-site, however you can ask at the hotel desk for a River Plex pass and shuttle ride to the Peoria River Plex where a pool is available. The River Plex is located a few blocks from the hotel.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, June 08 - Arrlival/Orientation/River Ecology
Afternoon: Hotel Check-in begins at 3 p.m. at the Mark Twain Hotel (located in downtown Peoria). Your room will be reserved under “Spirit of Peoria” group. You will receive your room keys from the hotel staff. Your coordinator, Kim Koehler, will be at a Road Scholar program check-in table in the hotel lobby, and you can check in with her anytime between 3-5 p.m. on Sunday afternoon to receive your program schedule, nametag, materials and luggage tags.

Dinner: 6 p.m. - Dinner will be held at Packard Plaza a short walk outdoors. Packard Plaza is next door to the hotel (approximately 100 feet). You will be advised of the location of the banquet room when you check in with Kim. A brief orientation meeting and introductions will be made following dinner.

Evening: A program on “River Ecology” by Brian “Fox” Ellis, historian and riverlorian for the Spirit of Peoria will set the tone for the days ahead. Brian will take you back in history as we learn about Native American trade routes, significance of Peoria, and the formation of the Illinois River valley through stories and song.

Lodging: The Mark Twain Hotel

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Located within Starved Rock State Park, Illinois' premier state park. Starved Rock Lodge and Cabins were designed by Joseph F. Booten and constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The lodge has a central lounge, known as the Great Hall, hotel wings and a dining room wing. On its exterior, the lodge is primarily constructed of stone, unhewed logs, clapboard and wood shingles. Booten’s design intended to impress upon visitors the idea of a “woodsy retreat”. This is seen in the way he designed round log purlins whose unevenly hewn ends extend beyond the lodge’s eaves. Despite the changes through modernization the lodge still retains much of the charm its architect intended. Relax in the rustic beauty and comfort of Starved Rock Lodge.

Contact info:
PO Box 570
Rt. 178 and 71
Utica, IL 61373 USA
phone: 800-868-7625
web: www.starvedrocklodge.com

Room amenities: 100% Non-Smoking Rooms Flat-screen TV Cable Hair Dryer Iron/Ironing Board Wireless internet Contact Road Scholar if you need to make a reservation requiring special request such as an ADA compliant room.

Facility amenities: Historic building with modern amenities Indoor pool Hot tub Sauna Outdoor patio On-site restaurant On-site lounge Computers available on second floor to check email Access to trails

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Two: Monday, June 09 - Enjoy a full day on the Illinois river learning a...
Enjoy a full day on the Illinois river learning about it's history, lore and ecology. The Spirit of Peoria travels at a leisurely pace of 7 m.p.h. as we make our way upstream.

Breakfast: 8-9 a.m. – Breakfast will be served on board the Spirit of Peoria Paddleboat. Boarding begins at 8 a.m.

Morning: 7:45-8 a.m. In the morning, participants can either take a shuttle van or walk a few blocks to the Illinois River where we’ll board the Spirit of Peoria for a nostalgic journey “up river” on a 19th century replica paddleboat at the leisurely pace of 7 m.p.h. Enjoy panoramic views, hear river stories, on board musical entertainment, and just relax as you gain a unique perspective of life on the river. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars!

Lunch: On board the Spirit of Peoria.

Afternoon: Afternoon presentations such as storytelling, piano, banjo, and guitar music, and maybe even an old time sing-a-long. Watch for the heron, egrets, bald eagles, white pelicans, red tail hawk, and even the occasional turkey vulture. Learn about commerce on the river as we travel upstream. Listen to the calliope ring through the river valley. Wine and cheese will be served mid-afternoon (complimentary)

Dinner: On board the Spirit of Peoria featuring Prime Rib.

Evening: After a full day on the river, we will arrive at Starved Rock State Park at approximately 6 p.m., depending on river and weather conditions. Trolley transfer from the boat landing to the lodge. After you have had time to settle into your room, join us in the Great Hall at Starved Rock Lodge for a visit from “Mark Twain”. Bob Anton has performed as “Mark Twain” since the late 1970’s. He is retired from Peoria Public School District and was captain of the Spirit of Peoria from 1998 to 1993, as well as captain on the Julia Belle Swain. Have your questions ready, because “Mr. Twain” loves to share his opinion on his past, as well as past and present matters! We will have a brief meeting following “Mark Twain” to review our itinerary for the next day.

Lodging: Starved Rock Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Located within Starved Rock State Park, Illinois' premier state park. Starved Rock Lodge and Cabins were designed by Joseph F. Booten and constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The lodge has a central lounge, known as the Great Hall, hotel wings and a dining room wing. On its exterior, the lodge is primarily constructed of stone, unhewed logs, clapboard and wood shingles. Booten’s design intended to impress upon visitors the idea of a “woodsy retreat”. This is seen in the way he designed round log purlins whose unevenly hewn ends extend beyond the lodge’s eaves. Despite the changes through modernization the lodge still retains much of the charm its architect intended. Relax in the rustic beauty and comfort of Starved Rock Lodge.

Contact info:
PO Box 570
Rt. 178 and 71
Utica, IL 61373 USA
phone: 800-868-7625
web: www.starvedrocklodge.com

Room amenities: 100% Non-Smoking Rooms Flat-screen TV Cable Hair Dryer Iron/Ironing Board Wireless internet Contact Road Scholar if you need to make a reservation requiring special request such as an ADA compliant room.

Facility amenities: Historic building with modern amenities Indoor pool Hot tub Sauna Outdoor patio On-site restaurant On-site lounge Computers available on second floor to check email Access to trails

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Three: Tuesday, June 10 - History of Starved Rock State Park/Walk to the "T...
History of Starved Rock State Park/Walk to the "Top of the Rock"/Native history, traditions and culture/Illinois Raptors

Breakfast: At Starved Rock Lodge.

Morning: In the morning, we have planned a guided hike to the top of Starved Rock (optional). You will hear the stories of the rock and the Native Americans who lived in this area. Afterwards, hikers and non-hikers will meet at the Starved Rock Visitor’s Center to find out about the spectacular geological rock formations which form the backdrop of this premier park, learn about the Civilian Conservation Corp.’s role in developing the park, an overview of the trails and history of the park over the years. We will return to the lodge mid-morning. Back at the Lodge we’ll learn about the history and culture of the Eastern Woodland tribes that lived in the Starved Rock region. Lou Aiello is a botanist, travel museum curator, and former naturalist for the Isle a la Cache Museum.

Lunch: At Starved Rock Lodge.

Afternoon: Continue our exploration of the Woodland Indian culture including the Illiniwek, Ottawa, and Potawatomi tribes that lived in this area. Learn how to make rope, about trading, travel methods, food preparation, hunting techniques and the conflicts with other tribes. Lou will look for volunteers to assist in demonstrating techniques. Mid-afternoon, you will have free time to use the indoor pool, go for a hike, visit the wood carving sculptures, or even just to rest and relax in your surroundings.

Dinner: At Starved Rock Lodge. We will have a brief meeting after dinner to review our departure and itinerary for the following morning.

Evening: This evening experience a live presentation on birds of prey. Learn about the American Bald Eagle, peregrine falcon restoration, and other Illinois raptors. Be sure to bring your camera!

Lodging: Starved Rock Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Four: Wednesday, June 11 - Visit Starved Rock Lock and Dam/ Illinois & Michi...
Visit Starved Rock Lock and Dam/ Illinois & Michigan Canal boat ride/Return to Peoria/Independent Departures

Breakfast: At Starved Rock Lodge.

Morning: After breakfast, we’ll board the motor coach and go across the river to the Starved Rock Lock and Dam and the Illinois Waterway Visitor’s Center to learn about our modern waterway system. (If we’re lucky, we may get to watch a barge go through the locks!) Meet the rangers who work at the Visitor Center and attend a presentation on the Army Corp. of Engineers maintenance of the lock and dam and river channel. Don’t forget your camera! This is the best location to get that postcard photo of Starved Rock! At our next stop, we’ll go back in time and take an excursion on a full-size replica of an 1848 packet boat pulled by a mule. As you ride along a section of the historic Illinois & Michigan Canal, your captain and crew will take you back in time with stories about this hand-dug waterway. You will even get a lesson “Mule Tending 101”. The 96-mile canal was the final link in America’s great water highway system of the 19th century, which enabled people to travel by waterway from the East Coast all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. The canal’s most famous celebrity, before he became famous, was “Wild Bill”. James Butler Hickok grew up on a farm in LaSalle County and drove mule teams on the I & M Canal.

Lunch: Lunch at the Lock 16 Café and Visitor’s Center in LaSalle, Illinois before we depart for Peoria.

Afternoon: After lunch we will board the motor coach and begin our journey back to Peoria where we will bid a fond farewell. We end right where we started, your vehicle will be waiting for your return. Estimated arrival time/end of program in Peoria is at 2:30 p.m.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Currently selected:Prices Starting At:
Jun 8 — Jun 11, 2014 waitlist only  

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
3 nights of accommodations
9 meals: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
7 Expert-led lectures
1 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences
4 Performances

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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