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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

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 the 300+ titles in their DVD library.

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

Facility amenities: Airport Shuttle Free Local Calls Cable Coffee Maker Microwave Flat Panel TV with DVD Player Hair Dryer Iron/Ironing Board Room Service Restaurant on Premise (hours vary) 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, September 28 - Independent Arrivals / Check-in / Welcome Dinner ...
Independent Arrivals / Check-in / Welcome Dinner / Orientation / Presentation on River Ecology

Afternoon: Hotel Check-In begins at 3 p.m. at the Mark Twain Hotel, Peoria. You room will be reserved under "Spirit of Peoria" group. You will need to check in at the hotel desk for your room keys. You may need to provide a credit card for incidentals that may occur during your stay. Your coordinator, Kim Koehler, will be at the Road Scholar program check-in table in the hotel lobby. You can check in with her anytime between 3-5 p.m. on Sunday afternoon to receive your program schedule, materials, and luggage tags.

Dinner: 6 p.m. - Dinner will be held at the 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.

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: 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 Corp. 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 changes in modernization the lodge still retains much of the charm it's 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 TV Cable Hair Dryer Iron/Ironing Board Wireless Internet Contact Road Scholar if you need to make a reservation requiring a 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

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Two: Monday, September 29 - Depart hotel for breakfast aboard the Spirit of P...
Depart hotel for breakfast aboard the Spirit of Peoria Paddleboat / Travel up river to Starved Rock State Park / Lectures: River History, Storytelling and a musical performance / Check-in to Starved Rock Lodge / Evening Presentation with Mark Twain

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.

After arriving at the Spirit of Peoria we'll enjoy our breakfast before our morning lectures.

Our morning sessions will cover river history and storytelling, including 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.

Following our visit with Mr. Twain we'll 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. Starved Rock Lodge and Cabins were designed by Joseph F. Booten and constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp. 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 changes in modernization the lodge still retains much of the charm it's 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 TV Cable Hair Dryer Iron/Ironing Board Wireless Internet Contact Road Scholar if you need to make a reservation requiring a 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

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Three: Tuesday, September 30 - Optional Morning Hike / Visit to Starved Rock Vis...
Optional Morning Hike / Visit to Starved Rock Visitor Center / Videos on the Civilian Conservation Corp / Lecture on Woodland Indian Cultures / Free Time / Evening Presentation on Birds of Prey

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.

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 and includes 100 steps up, and 100 steps down. The optional hike will take approximately an hour. 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. PLEASE NOTE: Starved Rock State Park recently sustained storm damage at the park. At the time of this printing, several trails are closed, and require maintenance before they can be re-opened. We cannot know the status of the trails at this time for the September program. This does not affect the optional Monday hike to the top of Starved Rock at this time; as that trail is currently open. We will have more information at a later date and will provide additional options for utilizing free time in the event trail availability does not improve prior to the program.

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 - Transfer back to Peoria visiting the I & M Canal ...
Transfer back to Peoria visiting the I & M Canal along the way / Arrival in Peoria at approx 2:30 PM for independent departures

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.

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: After breakfast we'll depart from Starved Rock Lodge. You will bring your luggage with you to the motor coach when you check out of your room.

Once aboard the motor coach, we'll 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.
Currently selected:Prices Starting At:
Sep 28 — Oct 1, 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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