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Program #20907RJ

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8 Days | 7 Nights
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. 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
4,500 to 12,100 feet during travel; overnight elevations from 4,500 to 6,200 feet

Itinerary for Jul 20 — Jul 27, 2013

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Type: Hotel

Description: The prime location of our hotel makes us the perfect home base for your Denver vacation or business trip. Hotel is located in the upscale Cherry Creek area where you'll find some of the best shopping, dining and entertainment in all of Colorado. We are just a few minutes from downtown Denver and the famously trendy LoDo (lower downtown) area.

Contact info:
455 South Colorado Boulevard
Denver, CO 80246 USA
phone: 303-388-5561
web: www.cherrycreekhoteldenver.com/

Room amenities: •AM/FM Radio •Alarm Clock •All Guest Rooms Air Conditioned •All News Cable Channel •Cable TV •Coffee Maker •Complimentary Wireless High Speed Internet •Colorado Granite Vanities •Free USA Today Delivered to Room •Hairdryer •Iron / Ironing Board •Modem Connection •Private Bath •Voice Mail •Work Desk With Lamp •Views Of Cherry Creek And The Rocky Mountains

Facility amenities: Fitness Center, Business Center, Indoor pool, free wireless Internet, restaurant and Lounge, Enterprise Car Rental Desk, 100% smoke free facility

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call hotel for rates
Call hotel for rates and reservations

Check in time: 3:00 PM

Day One: Saturday, July 20 - Check in at hotel between 3 and 5 pm followed by ...
Check in at hotel between 3 and 5 pm followed by 6 pm required Orientation-Welcome Dinner

Arrive To: Independent arrivals in Denver by 5 pm. Upon arrival at the hotel, you should check in at the front desk. Meet in the lobby at 6 pm. for directions to dinner. At the orientation and dinner, you will meet your Program Coordinator who will provide important travel and program details and answer all questions. You will also be provided with a name badge, and a package of information describing the program for the week.

Dinner: Meet in the Lobby at 6 pm. Orientation and welcome dinner, introductory lecture and information

Lodging: Holiday Inn Select Denver-Cherry Creek

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Contact info:
300 South Highway 13
Craig, CO 81625 USA
phone: 800-315-2621
web: www.holidayinn.com/hotels/us/en/craig/crgco/hoteldetail

Room amenities: Free Wireless Internet Mini-refrigerator Micro Wave Coffee Maker Premium cable TV Hair Dryer

Facility amenities: Two restaurants, Cocktail Lounge Indoor pool Hot tub-spa Fitness Center Business Center Wireless Internet Lounge area ATM

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

Elevator: Yes

Day Two: Sunday, July 21 - Denver to Craig: CACHE LA POUDRE - NORTH PARK SCE...
Depart From: Depart from hotel on motorcoach after breakfast traveling to Fort Collins then west on the Cache la Poudre Scenic Byway.

Breakfast: Full hot hotel buffet breakfast

Morning: CACHE LA POUDRE - NORTH PARK SCENIC BYWAY This Byway provides a glimpse of Colorado “pre-interstate and pre-ski resort”. Native Americans traversed Poudre Canyon, as did the fur trappers of the early 1800’s, followed by miners and lumbermen. Some of Colorado’s earliest history began in this area. The highlight of the east side of the Byway is Colorado’s only designated Wild & Scenic River -- the Cache la Poudre. The canyon walls tower above the highway. Vegetation on the east side is a little more lush with cottonwoods along the river and pine forests as elevations increase. The Byway tops out on Cameron Pass at an elevation of about 10,250 feet. Small villages and summer resort communities dominate the east side. The west side drops into North Park and is an entirely different world of sagebrush, grass and expansive views. North Park unfolds at an elevation of 8,100 feet in a basin carved by Ice Age glaciers. The Medicine Bow and Never Summer Mountains ring the park. The valley is home to some of Colorado’s oldest ranches, raising livestock and hay. The willows along the meandering Michigan and Illinois Rivers have provided perfect habitat for moose which were introduced in the 1970s. Elk, deer, antelope and beaver are also plentiful. North Park is a birdwatchers paradise. It is home to both golden and bald eagles, the red crossbill and sage grouse. The Byway ends in the town of Walden, county seat of Jackson County and the only incorporated municipality in the county. Walden has a population of about 750, while Jackson County is home to about 1,400 residents. The county covers about 1600 square miles. The nearest “large” town with health care and shopping amenities is Steamboat Springs, which is about 60 miles away over Rabbit Ears Pass

Lunch: Lunch in Walden at locally owned restaurant

Afternoon: Participants will travel through Steamboat Springs (population 12,000), one of Colorado’s first ski areas and on to Craig. Steamboat Springs has been home Olympic skiers, Buddy Werner and Billy Kidd. Craig, Colorado is home to about 9,100 people. Ranching and coal mining drive the economy. Colorado’s largest electric power generating plant is in Craig. Wyman’s Living History Museum in Craig is our next stop. The Wyman Museum was founded by Lou Wyman. The dream started in 1949 in Elk Springs, Colorado. While Lou was filling up a water barrel for his sheep herders, he noticed an abandoned 1932 Lincoln. He paid $15.00 for it and has been collecting ever since. The museum opened in August of 2006. The Wyman family has gathered an absolutely unique collection from throughout the west, giving museum guests an experience spanning one hundred years of Colorado life, ingenuity and advancement.

Dinner: After the Museum tour, the Museum will host a special barbecue dinner on the grounds. Following dinner Lou Wyman will speak about his family homestead, growing up in the Yampa Valley, and changing life in the area.

Evening: Free to relax and prepare for tomorrow's adventures.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Craig

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Inn

Description: Experience the romance of the vineyards at the Wine Country Inn, Colorado’s first wine-themed hotel located in Palisade. Stroll through the working vineyards that surround the inn, an 80-room Victorian style hotel, which sits in the middle of 21 acres of vines. Wine Country Inn is adjacent to two wineries and a short drive from a dozen more. Get to know our ever-expanding wine industry, popular orchards and local art scene, while pampering yourself with first-class accommodations.

Contact info:
777 Grande River Drive
Palisade, CO 81526 USA
phone: 970-464-5777
web: www.coloradowinecountryinn.com/Accommodations/index.html

Room amenities: Free Wireless Internet Mini-refrigerator Micro Wave Coffee Maker Premium cable TV Hair Dryer

Facility amenities: Outdoor pool Hot tub-spa Fitness Center Business Center Lounge Outdoor Patio

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

Elevator: Yes

Day Three: Monday, July 22 - Craig to Grand Junction and Palisade: DINOSAUR DI...
Craig to Grand Junction and Palisade: DINOSAUR DIAMOND SCENIC BYWAY Visit to Dinosaur National Monument

Depart From: Board the motorcaoch after breakfast to travel along the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic byway.

Breakfast: Full breakfast at hotel restaurant

Morning: We start out by traveling west from Craig on US Highway 50 to Dinosaur National Monument. After being closed for over five years the Quarry Exhibit Hall located over the world famous Carnegie Dinosaur Quarry has reopened. The exhibit hall allows visitors to view the wall of approximately 1,500 dinosaur bones. The facility also features exhibits on life during the late Jurassic Period. A Park Ranger will explain the importance of the park and the conflicts with encroaching oil and natural gas production in the area. The Yampa and Green Rivers join deep within the National Monument. Local legend has it that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were frequent visitors of the Bassett sisters whose family homesteaded in what has now become part of the National Monument. Dinosaur National Monument's cultural history dates back at least 10,000 years. Indian rock art in the form of petroglyphs and pictographs reveal evidence of the first people who resided here. The Fremont Indians lived in the canyons of Dinosaur National Monument 800 - 1,200 years ago. Following the Fremont were the Ute and Shoshone, who still inhabit communities in the area today. Spanish explorers crossed the region in the 1700s. In the 1800s, settlers from Europe and the eastern United States arrived in the area and left their mark on the landscape with their homesteads. The Yampa and Green Rivers provide water for survival in the arid country. Those who had access to the rivers and a constant flow of water survived, while others dried up with drought and moved away. Now, many of the remains of homesteads are found alongside the Indian art work of the past.

Lunch: Buffet Lunch in Rangely

Afternoon: We travel the length of the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic byway through mountains and rugged valleys to Colorado National Monument. The Monument celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011. The amazing geology of the Colorado Plateau begins here with the red rock formations that extend into Utah and northern Arizona. Between 1912 and 1921 Grand Valley residents completed the Serpents Trail which was the first motorized route into the Monument. The 23 mile long Rim Rock Drive was constructed by CCC and WPA workers in the 1930’s. We descend from the Monument into the Grand Valley known for its orchards and vineyards. In the late 1800s, settlers drew water from the Colorado River to irrigate their vineyards. To survive during Prohibition, they planted peaches, apricots, pears and apples. In more recent years, vineyards have replaced the older orchards and grape production is now a mainstay of the economy. Overnight will be at the Wine Country Inn, 777 Grande River Drive, Palisade, Colorado. The Wine Country Inn is a locally owned inn in the heart of Grand Valley vineyards and orchards. Locally produced wines are gaining worldwide fame. Participants may take part in a wine tasting from the Inn’s own cellar.

Dinner: Special Dinner and Wine Paring at Wine Country Inn, Palisade, Colorado. Menu will include locally produced “farm to fork” products and Enstroms* toffee cheesecake. Each course will be pared with wines produced from the Inn’s vineyards. The Inn will provide speaker who will explain the foods and wines. (*Enstroms located in Grand Junction is a world famous candy maker. It is reported that Queen Elizabeth orders English toffee from Enstroms.)

Evening: Free to enjoy the grounds and scenery of the Wine Country Inn

Lodging: Wine Country Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: Baymont Inn & Suites Cortez hotel is located off Highway 160 in scenic Southwest Colorado. Take in the sweeping views of La Plata, the Blue Mountains and Mesa Verde Ridge from your room. Our 100% smoke-free hotel is just minutes from Four Corners and other attractions. Enjoy the comfort and convenience of our AAA-approved Cortez, CO, hotel with free continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, a full business center, our on-site gym, heated indoor pool and hot tub, and sunrise / sunset deck.

Contact info:
2321 East Main Street
Cortez, CO 81321 USA
phone: 970-565-3400
Room amenities: Free Wireless Internet

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

Elevator: Yes

Day Four: Tuesday, July 23 - Palisade to Cortez: UNAWEEP TABEGUACHE AND SAN JU...

Depart From: Today we depart after breakfast traveling South to Cortez aling the Unaweep Tabeguache and the San Juan Skway Scenic Byways.

Breakfast: Full breakfast at the Inn

Morning: We arrive in Gateway, a tiny community where the geology changes dramatically from the Precambrian to the multicolored sedimentary formations of Dakota, Wingate, Kayenta, Entrada sandstone. The name of the community reflects that this is the Gateway to the geologic changes. The Owner of Discovery Channel has developed a large resort and auto museum in this very remote part of Colorado. Participants will visit the Auto Museum, which houses one of the finest collections of American automobiles in existence today. With just over forty vehicles in the privately owned Hendricks Collection, the Gateway Colorado Automobile Museum tells a story of how the automobile impacted society. It is an educational experience with historical perspective. Mining has been an important factor along the route. In the late 1800’s, high above the Dolores River, courageous men built the “Hanging Flume”. Water from the River was carried by the flume to be used for hydraulic mining of placer gold. This engineering marvel has been the recipient of many engineering awards. In 2012, a 48 foot section of the flume was repaired and/or reconstructed. Those working on it, with modern equipment, are even more baffled by the engineering feat accomplished by the original builders. The real mining story, however, is in the radium, vanadium and uranium found in the area. Radium from here was shipped to Madame Curie for her experiments in France; in the 1930s and through WWII vanadium was shipped from this area to be used in hardening of steel; and 60% of the uranium used during the Manhattan Project of WWII came from the Uncompahgre Plateau. Remnants of the uranium boom of the 1950s still remain along the route, and uranium exploration is once again drawing interest. Markers along the way point out that the Dominguez-Escalante Spanish Expedition who traveled through area in 1776 providing extensive written diaries about the area and giving place names that exist today.

Morning: Zebulon Miracle will be a step on guide from Grand Junction to Cortez. Mr. Miracle is a Grand Junction native and has been Curator of the Museum of the West for over ten years. He has degrees from the University of Colorado in history and anthropology. He recently helped restore uranium mining sites and a 48 foot section of the Hanging Flume. He is well versed in the history, geology, culture, flora and fauna of this incredible Byway. Along the route we will learn about the diverse geology from beginning to end. Unaweep is a native word that roughly translates to mean “canyon with two mouths”. Unaweep is a geologically unique canyon that cuts across the Uncompahgre Plateau in western Colorado. It is unique because two creeks, East Creek (which flows into the Gunnison River) and West Creek (flows to the Dolores River), flow out of opposite ends of the canyon, separated by the almost imperceptible Unaweep Divide at an elevation 7,000 feet. Precambrian rock forms the canyon walls; aspen and pine forests dominate the vegetation. Also along the route we learn about the ancestral Puebloans built structures and occupied the area between 750 and 1000 A.D. Archaeological digs have revealed fifteen feet deep, centuries-old middens containing projectile points, stone tools, bone awls and bones from game animals. In addition we will spot an interesting landmark. In 1914, a wealthy New Yorker had a home built of local stone and known as the Driggs Mansion. The home is in a meadow below Thimble Rock. Unfortunately, Mrs. Driggs was less enchanted with the dwelling and its location and it was abandoned after a few years. The majority of this scenic byway travels through the Unaweep Seep that is a 55 acre Area of Critical Environmental Concern because of its a unique wetland ecosystem that is home to the rare and beautiful Nokomis Fritillary butterfly.

Lunch: Chuckwagon Lunch in Naturita

Afternoon: After lunch we travel along the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway. This Byway is often described as the Crown Jewel in the state byway system. The landscape ranges from limitless alpine forests and pristine mountains to fertile valleys and ancient apartment complexes. It is as old as the most famous mining camps and as modern as the latest condominium development. The Byway skirts the edge of the famed Telluride ski area. Nestled in a bowl of mountains, Telluride was one of the most prolific gold and silver mining communities in early Colorado. The Byway provides views of the incredibly beautiful San Miguel Range including several peaks over 14,000 feet in elevation. The Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant, located near Ophir was the world's first commercial system to produce and transmit alternating current (AC) electricity. In the summer of 1890, Westinghouse Electric supplied the station's generator and motor. They were installed in the winter, and from spring 1891 provided alternating current electricity that was transmitted 2.6 miles to a motor-driven stamp mill at the Gold King Mine that was at risk of shutdown from lack of timber fuel for its existing steam mill. The Byway crosses Lizard Head Pass at 10,222 feet above sea level just below the unique Lizard Head Mountain (13,113 feet). The road follows the Dolores River passing through several small mining and agricultural communities. As we descend into Cortez, the byway leaves the Precambrian formations and once again enters the Wingate, Entrada and Kayenta sandstone formations. Vegetation becomes sage-desert scrub. Agricultural interests dominate the valley floor and Mesa Verde looms above.

Dinner: Participants will be on own for dinner. Main Street in Cortez has several small, family owned eateries where participants can mingle and get acquainted with the locals.

Evening: We visit the Cortez Cultural Center for an evening performance. Native American presentations differ nightly. Performers might be dancers, flute maker/player, sand painter, story teller, or the like

Lodging: Baymont Inn and Suites Cortez

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Motel

Description: As one of the world's most unique lodging concepts, the BEST WESTERN Movie Manor is attached to a historic drive-in movie theatre, which means guests can watch movies on the big screen from the comfort of most rooms every mid-May to mid-September, while enjoying fantastic mountain views.

Contact info:
2830 US Highway 160 W
Monte Vista, CO 81144 USA
phone: 719-852-5921
web: www.bestwestern.com

Room amenities: Internet Data Ports Premium TV Channels Coffee Maker Hair Dryer

Facility amenities: High Speed Internet Business Center Fitness Center

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

Day Five: Wednesday, July 24 - Cortez to Monte Vista: TRAIL OF THE ANCIENTS SCEN...
Cortez to Monte Vista: TRAIL OF THE ANCIENTS SCENIC BYWAY Visit to Mesa Verde National Park

Depart From: After breakfast we depart to travel along the Trail of the Ancients Scinic Byway and Mesa Verde National Park

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the motel

Morning: The Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway takes participants to Mesa Verde, which was designated a National Park in 1906. The mesa top ruins and cliff dwellings have been abandoned for over 700 years. Ruins were photographed by W.H. Jackson and written about by the Hayden Survey in 1874. In the 1880s, while looking for stray cattle, members of the Wetherill family explored and began publicizing the ruins. Each year new discoveries are made. In 1997 hydrologists found part of an ancient reservoir fed by a 1400 foot canal that provided irrigation water for crops grown by the Ancestral Puebloans on the arid mesa tops. The morning will be spent with a step on guide from the Park. Mesa Verde National Park Tour: A three hour chronological account of the ancient culture of Mesa Verde with stops and short walks to pit houses and early pueblo sits and overlooks of inaccessible canyon dwellings. Tour will also include a one-half mile round trip walk into Spruce Tree House, the second largest cliff dwelling on Chapin Mesa. (Participants who do not wish to participate in this portion of the tour are able to sit at a shaded overlook or browse the Chapin Mesa Museum.)

Lunch: Lunch is at the Far View Cafeteria in Mesa Verde National Park. After lunch we leave Mesa Verde and rejoin Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway.

Afternoon: Ancestral pueblos, Spanish conquistadors, silver & gold miners, hearty settlers all left a deep foot print along this Byway. The Dominguez Escalante Spanish Expedition of 1776 traveled through here and many place names were given by them and recorded in their extensive diaries. The La Plata Mountains come into view on the north side of the road. Silver mining in the La Plata’s during the late 1800s brought early settlers to the area. Author Louis L’Amour purchased a ranch in this area and the inspiration for many of his books came from the landscape and local legends. In Durango, we connect with the Silver Thread Byway. The highlight of the route is Wolf Creek Pass in the San Juan Mountains. Reaching an elevation of 10,857 feet, the Pass was made somewhat famous in 1975 by Country music artist C. W. McCall's humorous spoken word song “Wolf Creek Pass”, in which the pass is fondly described as "37 miles o' hell -- which is up on the Great Divide." The Silver Thread Byway then enters the San Luis Valley. At over 8,000 square miles The “Valley” is about the same size as the State of Massachusetts. The valley is bound on the west by the San Juan Mountains and on the east by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, with the average elevation over 7,000 feet. Once part of Mexico, some of the land is still owned by descendants of original Spanish-Mexican Land Grants. Agriculture is the major economic resource. Potatoes, barley, alfalfa and quinoa are major crops. The valley is a flyway for many migrating birds, including the Sandhill Cranes, with an occasional Whooping Crane among the gray Sandhill Cranes.

Dinner: Dinner at the Movie Manor Restaurant

Evening: As one of the world's most unique lodging concepts, the Best Western Movie Manor is attached to a historic drive-in movie theatre. If guests choose to do so, they can open the drapes of their picture windows, turn on the sound that is piped into their room and watch movies on the big screen, while enjoying fantastic mountain views. Movies are G, PG, or PG-13. Guests can get popcorn and other snacks at the snack bar. The drive in theater was completed in 1955 by George & Edna Kelloff. In an effort to create a year-round business, George Kelloff built 14 motel units with large picture windows that face the movie screen. The concept was a success and now includes 59 motel rooms, a restaurant, and an RV Park. George Jr. and his wife currently operate the property. This is the only drive-in movie motel in the country and has been featured on NBC Dateline, PBS; BBC Radio; NPR, Smithsonian Magazine and many other media forums.

Lodging: Best Western Movie Manor Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Inn

Contact info:
37478 W. Hwy 50
Gunnison, CO 81230 USA
phone: 970-641-1650
web: www.waterwheelinnatgunnison.com/amenities.html

Room amenities: Free WiFi Coffee Maker Hairdryer Mini-Refrigerator Micro Wave Premium TV Channels

Facility amenities: Free Internet WiFi Business Center Laundry Fitness Center Horseshoe pits

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

Day Six: Thursday, July 25 - Monte Vista to Gunnison: SILVER THREAD SCENIC BYW...
Depart From: We board our motorcoach after breakfast to discover more of the Silver Thread Scenic Byway.

Breakfast: Breakfast in Motel restaurant

Morning: We travel a highway full of scenic beauty and natural wonders, with rich geology. The Byway passes through Colorado’s two least populated mountain counties with a combined population of about 1500 people. Geologists believe three eras of volcanic eruptions created the Byway’s terrain. One eruption about 26 million years ago, labeled the La Garita, is believed to be the single largest volcanic eruption in Earth’s history. The caldera is about 45 miles across and we drive through part of it on the byway. We arrive in the town of Creede is located in a narrow mountain canyon at an elevation of 8,844 feet. Silver was discovered here in 1889. Mining was the area's main industry through the years until 1985. In its heyday, Creede was one of the roughest mining towns in Colorado. Robert Ford, who shot Jesse James, was the “boss”. He ran the saloons and brothels until he met his demise at the wrong end of a shotgun. Harsh cold and snowy winters were hard on fire trucks and the town needed a place to keep trucks so they would start in the winter. The concept for an underground facility began in 1976, when a local miner proposed building an underground fire station where the temperature remains 50 degrees year round. This project was so well accepted that in 1990 local citizens decided to build a community center and mining museum underground with the fire trucks that we will visit. Three out of work Creede miners began breaking rock in 1990. By 1992, the mining portion of the museum was completed and most of the displays were in place. While the museum has never been used for the commercial production of silver, it was 'mined' from solid rock and is an authentic example of the methods and techniques used in the 'boom' days of Creede, Colorado. The enthusiasm and ingenuity of these local mountain folk has created one of the best mining museums in the country. Local former miners are the docents and provide the intriguing story of mining in the San Juan Mountains.

Lunch: Lunch on own. There are several very small family owned restaurants where participants can visit with local residents while dining. Creede has a population of about 300 residents. After the mines closed in the 1980’s it has depended entirely on tourism for survival.

Afternoon: Following the Rio Grande River, the Byway is lined with willows and boggy meadows which provide perfect habitat for moose. We stop at a cluster of waterfalls on North and South Clear Creeks. South Clear Creek Falls is a clean sixty foot drop from the edge of the sand colored volcanic tuff to the boulders below. North Clear Creek Falls drops about a hundred feet. It is possible to get views from several angles and is an excellent photo stop. The Byway continues to the summit of Spring Creek Pass and enters dense spruce fir forests. Windy Point pull off, offers a spectacular view of eight peaks of the San Juan Mountains ranging from 12,821 to 14,309 feet in elevation. The Slumgullion Earthflow is another geologic wonder on this Byway and has been designated as a National Natural Landmark. The huge multi-colored earth flow (slide) occurred about 700 years ago when the cliff face collapsed and ran downhill. It moved significantly again about 350 years ago. The United States Geologic Survey (USGS) tracks the movement of the slide. We see a marker on the road marking the Alferd Packer massacre site. In the winter of 1873 Packer set out with several companions on a prospecting venture. They became lost during snowstorms and spent the winter in the mountains near Lake City. In the spring only Packer stumbled out alive. He claimed to have been injured and separated from his companions. The remains of his companions were found and there was evidence of cannibalism. Packer was charged with cannibalism, but claimed self-defense. He was tried and convicted in Lake City. The story is part of the local history and retold time and again. The tiny (population 375) town of Lake City is the only incorporated town in Hinsdale County. It was a mining and transportation center in the 19th century. The entire town is on the National Historic Register. This is the perfect community for a stop to peruse the Victorian buildings housing unique locally owned shops.

Dinner: Dinner tonight at The Trough – locally owned restaurant next door to our motel. This is the finest restaurant in Gunnison and the place the locals eat!

Evening: Overnight tonight at Water Wheel Inn – The Water Wheel Inn is owned by “Dr. Jim” Valenzuela. Stricken with multiple sclerosis a few years ago, Dr. Jim had to give up his successful practice as a surgeon. Loving Gunnison and the outdoor life, he purchased the motel and relocated his family. He is heavily involved in the community, is able to maintain an active physical life, and has even saved the life of a hotel guest. Gunnison is home of Western State College. It is frequently one of the coldest places in the U.S. It is on the Gunnison River and in the heart of rich farming and ranching country.

Lodging: Water Wheel Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The prime location of our hotel makes us the perfect home base for your Denver vacation or business trip. Hotel is located in the upscale Cherry Creek area where you'll find some of the best shopping, dining and entertainment in all of Colorado. We are just a few minutes from downtown Denver and the famously trendy LoDo (lower downtown) area.

Contact info:
455 South Colorado Boulevard
Denver, CO 80246 USA
phone: 303-388-5561
web: www.cherrycreekhoteldenver.com/

Room amenities: •AM/FM Radio •Alarm Clock •All Guest Rooms Air Conditioned •All News Cable Channel •Cable TV •Coffee Maker •Complimentary Wireless High Speed Internet •Colorado Granite Vanities •Free USA Today Delivered to Room •Hairdryer •Iron / Ironing Board •Modem Connection •Private Bath •Voice Mail •Work Desk With Lamp •Views Of Cherry Creek And The Rocky Mountains

Facility amenities: Fitness Center, Business Center, Indoor pool, free wireless Internet, restaurant and Lounge, Enterprise Car Rental Desk, 100% smoke free facility

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call hotel for rates
Call hotel for rates and reservations

Check in time: 3:00 PM

Day Seven: Friday, July 26 - Gunnison to Denver: COLLEGIATE PEAKS AND TOP OF T...

Depart From: Today we begin after breakfast our coach journey back to Denver but with much beautiful scenery ahead on the Collegiate Peaks and Top of the Rockies Scenic Byways.

Breakfast: Breakfast in Motel Restaurant

Morning: Leaving Gunnison, a short drive along U.S. 50 over 11,312 foot Monarch Pass will take us to Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway. The Byway parallels the Continental Divide the Arkansas River The state gemstone, the aquamarine, is mined on Mt. Antero. Local rockhounds also look for garnets, tourmaline, agates and other gemstones. The Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway picks up where Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway ends Colorado’s highest peak, Mount Elbert (14,440 feet) and Mount Massive (14,421 feet) are visible to the west. Historic ranches dot the meadows below the high peaks. Evidence of old stagecoach roads and abandoned rail lines are marked on the hills and along the river to the east. The Byway takes us to the Town of Leadville, the highest incorporated town in the U.S. Leadville’s history begins with gold mining, then silver. The Climax Molybdenum Mine fueled the economy from about 1924 until its closing in the early 1980s. The closing devastated Leadville economically. Capitalizing on its location, tourism has sustained the community of 2,900 people. Leadville is full of stories and among the most amazing stories is that of Horace A.W. Tabor. By grubstaking a couple prospectors he soon became one of the country’s wealthiest individuals. HAW Tabor built the Tabor Grand Opera House in 1879 that we will visit All of the materials were brought in by wagon from Denver. A local guide will take participants through the opera house, tell the Tabor story, and allow them time on the stage and backstage. The Matchless Mine was the only thing Tabor owned when he died penniless in 1899. On his deathbed, he told his wife Baby Doe to “hang on to the Matchless”. The mine was never worked after HAW’s death. Baby Doe lived out the rest of her life in poverty. She lived in a shack at the mine and died there during the winter of 1935. During our visit to the mine, we will have a local docent whose family had ties to the Tabors and remember Baby Doe.

Lunch: Lunch on own in Leadville. There are many small family owned restaurants for the participants to enjoy while visiting with locals.

Afternoon: Leaving Leadville we will travel over Fremont Pass passing Copper Mountain Ski Area near Camp Hale. During WWII the Army needed a place to train a division of soldiers in the science and art of mountain warfare. Camp Hale was established in 1942 and 16,000 men were assigned to the camp. The Tenth Mountain Division tested equipment, skied, climbed, fought cold temperatures and dealt with isolation to become one of the most elite divisions in the army. The route then joins Interstate 70 for the return to Denver passing through the mile long Eisenhower Tunnel bored through the Continental Divide. The tunnel provides a quick easy passage through the mountains avoiding the two lane road over 11,992 foot Loveland Pass, known for its winter avalanches. The tunnel is the longest mountain tunnel and highest point on the Interstate Highway System. Finished in 1979, it was one of the last major pieces in the completion of the Interstate Highway system in the U.S. The Interstate then passes through several small communities that date back to the discovery of gold and silver in the 1800’s. Participants will arrive in the Mile High City of Denver. Started in 1859 by gold seekers who were rushing to the Rockies, Denver has evolved in to a diverse, sophisticated city.

Dinner: We dine at the hotel restaurant for our final closing dinner.

Evening: Free for packing and reflection of our amazing journey.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Select Denver-Cherry Creek

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Eight: Saturday, July 27 - Departure after breakfast, check out by 10 am.
Depart From: Independent departures after breakfast

Breakfast: Full breakfast in hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

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.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
7 nights of accommodations
17 meals: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners
28 Expert-led lectures
19 Field trips
1 Performances


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