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FORT DAVIS, TEXAS

Starry Skies and Campfires: Intergenerational Adventure in the Mountains of Far West Texas

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Intergenerational

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Road Scholar
Program #9943RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
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.
Elevation Note
Fort Davis is located at 5,050 feet. Program encounters elevation near 7,000 feet.

Itinerary for Jun 15 — Jun 20, 2014

Expand all
Type: Lodge

Description: The lodge is located on 10 acres less than a mile south of historic Fort Davis, Texas. The relaxing, inviting atmosphere features lectures, entertainment, meals, and lodging all on site within easy walking distance. Mountain Trails Lodge & Outdoor Learning Center, formerly Davis Mountains Education Center, in association with Elderhostel and Road Scholar, has provided educational adventures to adults and youth since 1989.

Contact info:
501 E Musquiz Dr
PO Box 1138
Fort Davis, TX 79734 USA
phone: 432-426-3481
web: www.mountaintrailslodge.com

Room amenities: Duplex cabins feature wireless Internet access, heating and air conditioning, and private porches. Each cabin has a coffee maker, microwave, small refrigerator, private bath with shower, reading lights above the beds, and sitting area.

Facility amenities: From your front porch, enjoy wide vistas of the Chihuahuan Desert and foothills of the Davis Mountains. Star pad and telescopes are located on premises for star gazing with our staff astronomer. Classroom and dining areas are within easy walking distance. Parking is available at each room with secure parking on site during your program travels. Satellite television and telephone for local calls are available in common areas.

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

Additional nights before: $94.00
Lodging is available nights before and after program. For those arriving via our El Paso shuttle, please remember that our shuttle runs on program start and end dates ONLY. If you wish to arrive early or stay late, you may rent a car at the El Paso airport and park it at the Lodge.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, June 15 - Arrivals, Regional Studies
Afternoon: 3:00 PM Check in at Mountain Trails Lodge. 4:30 PM Welcome and orientation session.

Dinner: Special Father's Day meal at the Lodge.

Evening: Overview of the natural world of the Chihuahuan Desert and "sky island" mountains in the region. Our presenter will explain the different landscapes and ecosystems, and discuss the botany and wildlife you will experience here.

Lodging: Mountain Trails Lodge & Outdoor Learning Center

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: The lodge is located on 10 acres less than a mile south of historic Fort Davis, Texas. The relaxing, inviting atmosphere features lectures, entertainment, meals, and lodging all on site within easy walking distance. Mountain Trails Lodge & Outdoor Learning Center, formerly Davis Mountains Education Center, in association with Elderhostel and Road Scholar, has provided educational adventures to adults and youth since 1989.

Contact info:
501 E Musquiz Dr
PO Box 1138
Fort Davis, TX 79734 USA
phone: 432-426-3481
web: www.mountaintrailslodge.com

Room amenities: Duplex cabins feature wireless Internet access, heating and air conditioning, and private porches. Each cabin has a coffee maker, microwave, small refrigerator, private bath with shower, reading lights above the beds, and sitting area.

Facility amenities: From your front porch, enjoy wide vistas of the Chihuahuan Desert and foothills of the Davis Mountains. Star pad and telescopes are located on premises for star gazing with our staff astronomer. Classroom and dining areas are within easy walking distance. Parking is available at each room with secure parking on site during your program travels. Satellite television and telephone for local calls are available in common areas.

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

Additional nights before: $94.00
Lodging is available nights before and after program. For those arriving via our El Paso shuttle, please remember that our shuttle runs on program start and end dates ONLY. If you wish to arrive early or stay late, you may rent a car at the El Paso airport and park it at the Lodge.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, June 16 - Fort Davis National Historic Site, Balmorhea Stat...
Fort Davis National Historic Site, Balmorhea State Park, Swimming, Wildlife, Snakes and Bugs!

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the Lodge.

Morning: Explore Fort Davis National Historic Site, which depicts the history of buffalo soldiers, Native American inhabitants and skirmishes, and life at the fort for the soldiers and their families. Walk a part of the Butterfield Overland mail route and San Antonio-El Paso road as you participate in an educational program with uniformed rangers or volunteers.

Lunch: Picnic lunch under cottonwoods and native oaks at Balmorhea State Park.

Afternoon: Swim in the two-acre natural artesian pool and enjoy a nature walk to the desert cienega. Search for a wide variety of wildlife, including birds, turtles, snakes and endangered fish. On the way back, we'll visit Buzz the Snake Guy, where we'll view an exhibit of live reptiles and arthropods and learn about these fascinating desert creatures.

Dinner: At the Lodge.

Evening: Evening program on BUGS! Set up white sheets and turn on black lights to see what shows up. A fascinating array of colorful moths, as well as perhaps a scorpion or two, will not be able to resist the allure. Wear dark clothing and close-toed shoes.

Lodging: Mountain Trails Lodge & Outdoor Learning Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: The lodge is located on 10 acres less than a mile south of historic Fort Davis, Texas. The relaxing, inviting atmosphere features lectures, entertainment, meals, and lodging all on site within easy walking distance. Mountain Trails Lodge & Outdoor Learning Center, formerly Davis Mountains Education Center, in association with Elderhostel and Road Scholar, has provided educational adventures to adults and youth since 1989.

Contact info:
501 E Musquiz Dr
PO Box 1138
Fort Davis, TX 79734 USA
phone: 432-426-3481
web: www.mountaintrailslodge.com

Room amenities: Duplex cabins feature wireless Internet access, heating and air conditioning, and private porches. Each cabin has a coffee maker, microwave, small refrigerator, private bath with shower, reading lights above the beds, and sitting area.

Facility amenities: From your front porch, enjoy wide vistas of the Chihuahuan Desert and foothills of the Davis Mountains. Star pad and telescopes are located on premises for star gazing with our staff astronomer. Classroom and dining areas are within easy walking distance. Parking is available at each room with secure parking on site during your program travels. Satellite television and telephone for local calls are available in common areas.

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

Additional nights before: $94.00
Lodging is available nights before and after program. For those arriving via our El Paso shuttle, please remember that our shuttle runs on program start and end dates ONLY. If you wish to arrive early or stay late, you may rent a car at the El Paso airport and park it at the Lodge.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, June 17 - Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center, McDonald Observa...
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the Lodge.

Morning: Explore Chihuahuan Desert Botanical Gardens and Nature Center. Your guide will lead you on interpretive hikes through botanical gardens, cactus greenhouse, mining history exhibit, and geology exhibit. In Modesta Canyon, visit a natural spring and look for water bugs. Walk through geologic layers of sedimentary and volcanic history.

Lunch: At the Lodge.

Afternoon: Join staff for a solar viewing program before exploring the world-renown University of Texas McDonald Observatory. See inside two large research telescopes, including the world's third largest single structure optical telescope: the Hobby Eberly Telescope (HET).

Dinner: Regional specialty.

Evening: Participate in a Star Party at McDonald Observatory. Identify constellations in the night sky and observe celestial objects through several telescopes manned by astronomers behind the visitor's center.

Lodging: Mountain Trails Lodge & Outdoor Learning Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: The lodge is located on 10 acres less than a mile south of historic Fort Davis, Texas. The relaxing, inviting atmosphere features lectures, entertainment, meals, and lodging all on site within easy walking distance. Mountain Trails Lodge & Outdoor Learning Center, formerly Davis Mountains Education Center, in association with Elderhostel and Road Scholar, has provided educational adventures to adults and youth since 1989.

Contact info:
501 E Musquiz Dr
PO Box 1138
Fort Davis, TX 79734 USA
phone: 432-426-3481
web: www.mountaintrailslodge.com

Room amenities: Duplex cabins feature wireless Internet access, heating and air conditioning, and private porches. Each cabin has a coffee maker, microwave, small refrigerator, private bath with shower, reading lights above the beds, and sitting area.

Facility amenities: From your front porch, enjoy wide vistas of the Chihuahuan Desert and foothills of the Davis Mountains. Star pad and telescopes are located on premises for star gazing with our staff astronomer. Classroom and dining areas are within easy walking distance. Parking is available at each room with secure parking on site during your program travels. Satellite television and telephone for local calls are available in common areas.

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

Additional nights before: $94.00
Lodging is available nights before and after program. For those arriving via our El Paso shuttle, please remember that our shuttle runs on program start and end dates ONLY. If you wish to arrive early or stay late, you may rent a car at the El Paso airport and park it at the Lodge.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, June 18 - Horseback Ride or Jeep Tour, Marfa Lights
Breakfast: At the Lodge.

Morning: Experience the backcountry in the breathtaking Davis Mountains. On horseback or in a jeep, watch for wildlife, birds, and trees and plants indicative of the Chihuahuan Desert.

Lunch: Picnic lunch.

Afternoon: After your horseback ride or jeep tour, relax at Mountain Trails Lodge. Throw a frisbee, take a nap, or play games.

Dinner: At the Lodge.

Evening: Discuss Marfa Lights phenomenon and possible causes, then travel to the viewing area between Alpine & Marfa to look for these mysterious lights.

Lodging: Mountain Trails Lodge & Outdoor Learning Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: Private working ranch in the mountains near Big Bend National Park. Owned and operated by the Carter family, who ran the horseback concession in Big Bend National Park for years. Craig Carter is a well-know Texas and western country singer.

Contact info:
South Highway 385
Marathon, TX 79842 USA
phone: 432-376-2260
Room amenities: Rustic ranch lodge. No amenities. Bring your own hairdryers, shampoo and conditioner and any other toiletries or amenities you require.

Facility amenities: Experience authentic Texas ranch living! Lodge has rooms with two twin beds with shared bathrooms, and some cabins a short walk from the main lodge. Tents are set up for kids and grandparents who want to truly experience life outdoors (Outdoor restroom and bathhouse nearby). Expansive covered veranda provides a lovely spot to watch the sunrise and sunset, listen to stories of ranch life, and enjoy fabulous West Texas BBQ and hospitality. Evening entertainment around the campfire, when musicians are available and fire conditions permitting.

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

Bathroom: Indoor plumbing in lodge. Shared bathrooms. Outdoor privvy for tent camping.


Day Five: Thursday, June 19 - Alpine and Museum of the Big Bend; Marathon, TX, ...
Alpine and Museum of the Big Bend; Marathon, TX, Historic Cattle & Railroad Town; West Texas Ranch BBQ; Music and Stories Around the Campfire

Breakfast: At the Lodge.

Morning: Drive to historic Alpine, Texas. We'll visit the world-class Museum of the Big Bend on the campus of Sul Ross State University. A docent will give you a glimpse into the fascinating history of the Big Bend region - from pre-history (archaeology & geology), native American residents, and Spanish explorers to the more recent history of cowboys and ranchers, soldiers at the Fort, railroads, the formation of Big Bend National Park, and Sul Ross State University. A special program at the museum will include a hands-on craft or activity for adults and kids to enjoy together!

Lunch: At the Reata Restaurant, named after the Texas ranch in the movie "Giant."

Afternoon: Stroll down historic Murphy Street in Alpine and stop for ice cream at Murphy Street Raspa Company. Travel south through Marathon, Texas, to a real working West Texas ranch.

Dinner: Traditional West Texas cowboy BBQ brisket cookout.

Evening: Live like Texans in the 1800s! Kids and adventurous adults sleep outdoors in tents, others sleep in the ranch's guest lodge, in twin beds with shared bathrooms, or under the stars on the covered veranda. Cowboy singing and s'mores around a campfire (weather and fire conditions permitting).

Lodging: Spring Creek Ranch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, June 20 - Final Home-Cooked Breakfast, Farewells
Breakfast: Early Vaquero breakfast at the Ranch.

Morning: Vans depart Spring Creek Ranch promptly at 7:30 AM Central time. Shuttle riders transferred to the El Paso International Airport by 11:00 AM Mountain time. All others returned to Mountain Trails Lodge by about 9:00 AM Central time.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Fort Davis, TX
Fort DavisTwo historic cemeteries are within walking distance of the Lodge. Participants can walk or drive to downtown Fort Davis, less than a mile from the Lodge. Fort Davis boasts a walking tour of its historic buildings and sites, the Overland Trail Museum, an 1800s broom shop, Davis Mountains Nut Company, and a few gift shops.

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 ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
9 Field trips
4 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances

Ratings

5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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