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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 Sep 28 — Oct 1, 2014

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Type: Hotel

Contact info:
500 Hamilton Boulevard
Peoria, IL 61602 USA
phone: 309-674-2500
web: www.fourpointspeoria.com

Room amenities: Bathroom: Grab Bars In Bathroom Accessible Shower and/or Bathtub Signature Bath Amenities Hairdryer Room Features: 100% Non-Smoking Guestrooms Cable/satellite TV Iron/ironing board Individual controlled air conditioning/heating Work desk with lamp

Facility amenities: Facility Amenities & Services Internet & Computer Access in the Hotel's Business Center Wireless high speed Internet access (Free) Indoor pool & whirlpool Health/fitness center on-site Free parking Free airport shuttle Free shuttle to surrounding area (stop at the registration desk to make arrangements for the shuttle)

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, September 28 -
Afternoon: Hotel Check-In begins at 3 p.m. at the Four Points by Sheraton, Peoria. You will need to check in at the hotel desk for your room keys. Tell the desk staff you are with the Spirit of Peoria. You will need to provide a credit card for incidentals that may occur during your stay. Once you have parked, this is also a good time to have your parking ticket validated by the front desk at the hotel. Road Scholar Program Check-In is 3-5 p.m. in the hotel lobby. Kim Koehler, your Road Scholar Group Leader will have a table set up in the lobby to greet you. Pick up your Road Scholar program schedule, materials, and luggage tags at this time.

Dinner: 6 p.m. - At hotel banquet room, short walk within the hotel. We will give you further information on the banquet room location upon your arrival.

Evening: Following dinner we will have a brief program orientation, to provide program information and to introduce participants. After dinner enjoy a presentation and storytelling on "River Ecology" presented by Brian Fox Ellis, Riverlorian from the Spirit of Peoria.

Lodging: Four Points by Sheraton

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Located within Starved Rock State Park, Illinois' premier state park.

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

Room amenities: DVD player.

Facility amenities: Historic building with modern amenities include an indoor pool and on-site restaurant and lounge.

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

Elevator: Yes

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Two: Monday, September 29 -
Breakfast: 8-9 a.m. - Breakfast is served on board the Spirit of Peoria Paddleboat. Boarding begins at 8 a.m. If you have medications that you need to take earlier in the morning, you may wish to bring supplemental non-perishable breakfast items, such as a breakfast granola bar with you to the program. A coffee maker is located in your room.

Morning: 7:45 - 8:00 a.m. This morning we depart Peoria for our day-long journey up river to Starved Rock Lodge! You will bring your luggage to the lobby this morning prior to departure. Your luggage will travel ahead to Starved Rock and be waiting for you in your room. Think about what items you may want to put in a small bag to bring with you on the boat. Shuttles are available from the hotel to the waterfront to board the Spirit of Peoria Paddleboat. Enjoy a number of morning sessions including river history and storytelling, including the on board musical entertainment as we travel up river at the leisurely pace of 7 m.p.h. Coffee and hot tea are complimentary on the first deck, and soda is complimentary on the second and third deck.

Lunch: A buffet lunch menu is served on board the Spirit of Peoria. Lunch items may include a number of different types of salads, variety of breads, cold cut meats and cheeses, sandwich toppings, and dessert.

Afternoon: Afternoon presentations such as storytelling, piano, banjo and guitar music, and maybe even an old-time sing along. Watch for the white pelicans, heron, egrets, and bald eagles along the river. Learn about commerce on the river as we travel upstream. Listen to the calliope ring through the river valley. Wine and cheese is provided mid-afternoon on the second deck (complimentary).

Dinner: Buffet dinner served on board the Spirit of Peoria featuring Prime Rib.

Evening: We should arrive at Starved Rock at approximately 6 p.m., depending on weather and river conditions. Trolley transfer from the dock to the lodge, hotel check-in. Your room keys will be given to you as you enter the lodge. 8 p.m.: Evening presentation by "Mark Twain" in the Great Hall. Bob Anton retired from Peoria Public School District 150 and was captain of the Spirit of Peoria from 1988 to 1993 as well as captain on the Julia Belle Swain. Former Julia Belle Swain owner and Captain, Dennis Trone (who died in 2008 in a plane crash) got him started as a Mark Twain impersonator. Trone said of Anton, “You know, you look a lot like Mark Twain.” He found Anton a white suit and he has now been doing Twain since the late 1970s. We will have a short group meeting after the presentation to review the 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.

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

Room amenities: DVD player.

Facility amenities: Historic building with modern amenities include an indoor pool and on-site restaurant and lounge.

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

Elevator: Yes

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Three: Tuesday, September 30 -
Note: This morning there is an optional guided hike to Starved Rock in the morning for those who are interested. We will discuss this more at our orientation meeting the first night of the program. In the afternoon, you will have free time to hike the trails, swim, read a book, or enjoy the veranda.

Breakfast: Breakfast at Starved Rock Lodge. Items include: scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, breakfast breads, cold cereal selection with milk, juice, coffee, hot tea

Morning: Learn about the history of the park, the surrounding bluffs and the river. The first morning activity is *OPTIONAL. There will be an *optional guided hike to the "Top of the Rock" to hear the stories of the rock and the Native American Indians who lived in this area. There is an incline as you hike to the rock. There are 100 steps up, and 100 steps down on this hike. We take an hour to do it. Those choosing not to hike, will remain at the lodge and will rejoin the hikers later in the morning. We will talk about this more during our orientation meeting on the first night. Following the hike we will join the Non-Hikers at the Starved Rock Visitor Center to learn about the Civilian Conservation Corp's role in developing the park, an overview of the trails and history of the park. Mid-morning we will return to the lodge to begin our exploration of Woodland Indian History and Culture through a presentation given by Lou Aiello botanist, travel museum curator, and former naturalist with the Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, IL.

Lunch: Lunch at Starved Rock Lodge.

Afternoon: Continue your 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, rope making, and the conflicts with other tribes. Lou will look for volunteers to assist in demonstrating these techniques. Mid afternoon, you will have free time to use the pool, hike the trails, view the wood carving sculptures, or even just to rest and relax and enjoy your surroundings.

Dinner: Dinner at Starved Rock Lodge. We will have a short group meeting after dinner to review the itinerary for the next day.

Evening: This evening experience a live presentation on birds of prey given by George and Bernadette Richter of Save Our American Raptors (S.O.A.R). Learn about the American Bald Eagle and other Illinois raptors. Don't forget your camera!

Lodging: Starved Rock Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Four: Wednesday, October 01 -
Note: There is some walking today, and we will be getting on and off the motor coach throughout the morning as we make our stops. You will bring your luggage with you to the motor coach when you check out of your room.

Breakfast: Breakfast at Starved Rock Lodge. Items include: scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, fresh fruit, bagels and cream cheese, cold cereal selection with milk, juice, coffee, hot tea

Morning: Depart from Starved Rock Lodge. Board a motor coach for a journey across the river to the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center to visit the Starved Rock Lock, which is one of eight that are located on the waterway. Meet the rangers and attend a presentation about the Army Corp of Engineers maintenance of the lock and dam and river channel. Afterwards, we will depart for Lock 14 for a canal boat ride on the Illinois & Michigan [I & M] Canal. The full sized replica of an 1848 packet boat will be pulled by a mule as participants enjoy the scenery, history and fun on this historic waterway that changed the face of the nation. A docent will guide you back in time to what it was like to be on the canal during the early days. The I & M's most famous celebrity, before he actually became famous was "Wild Bill". James Butler Hickok grew up on a farm in La Salle County and drove mule teams on the I & M Canal.

Lunch: Lunch at Lock 16 Visitor's Center & Café in La Salle, Illinois before we depart for Peoria.

Afternoon: Departure: We will board the motor coach for our return trip to Peoria. We will arrive back at the hotel in Peoria where we started and where we will bid a fond farewell. Program ends at approximately 2:30 p.m. upon arrival in Peoria.

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.
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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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