Linda from Colorado Springs, CO
Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/23/12 - 09/28/12
This was my 1st RS trip, so I didn't know what to expect. I guess I'd have to say now that I'm hooked - on RS trips and the Island Park area!
The leader for the Road Less Traveled RS trip had selected some wonderful places around Island Park, ID for us to explore: Mesa Falls, Harriman State Park, and the Cascade Corner of Yellowstone NP, to name a few. The daily hikes were enjoyable and each place we visited had interesting geology, history, flora, fauna and scenery! Fortunately the weather cooperated, too, adding to our enjoyment of each day's outing.
The evening lectures covered the history of the area, the geology of calderas and geothermal activity in the Island Park area and Yellowstone, and the work being done by the Henrys Fork Foundation in safeguarding the river and its fish. I enjoyed these lectures and learned a lot.
The accomodations at the Angler's Lodge were far better than I had expected, considering that this area is a fishermen's(as in "grungy outdoorsmen" :-)) mecca. I was quite impressed with the setting right there on the Henrys Fork; the rooms; the deck looking out on the river with a pelican, cormorants and an occasional fly-fisherman; the food; and the friendly staff. Considering that this was the end of the "tourist" season for the lodge and they were trying to empty their refrigerators, the breakfasts and dinners were still outstanding - something different & delicious each day.
The folks who had signed up for this trip were as wonderfully enjoyable as everything else I experienced on this trip.
Of course there may have been a few things that might have been done differently or better, but overall I have only praise for the total experience I had. I certainly plan to do this again!
Pieter from Wickenburg, AZ
Number of programs attended: 16
Date attended: 09/23/12 - 09/28/12
Definitely spectacular hiking along rivers, falls, lakes and a volcanic crater; many wildlife moments and nice fall colors. But read the details. This is not "classic" Yellowstone National Park; Old Faithful is one-and-a-half hours away so you cannot even get there in your free time. Your accommodations are a fishing lodge; comfortable and clean, but a little rough on the edges outside. It is on a beautiful river, but the advertised "private" balcony is a narrow common porch; if you are lucky it might have a chair. The lodge's restaurant had potential, but I would rate meals marginal by Road Scholar standards (and for the program price). I learned I was there the last week before the restaurant would close for the season so, it seemed so obvious, the menu was dictated by what was left in the freezer. Steak; several different cuts served the same night and on the tough side. Cod; rubbery-tough, not flaky. Farm-raised cutthroat trout; fishy smell and taste. Chicken; okay. I did not hear anyone raving about the trout dinner there on the Henry's Fork River, world renown for rainbow trout (catch and release only). Broccoli and cauliflower practically every night. Bread was good. Breakfast typical. The last evening we ate BBQ at another restaurant nearby; excellent! The learning experience was below Road Scholar standards; Road Scholar advertises "lectures by experts in their field." With one excellent exception, all lectures were give by the hiking leader who, to her credit, had boned up on history, geology, etc. but was no expert in these fields, so it seemed to me. I do not recommend the end of September date (when I attended) because of the meals. The June date is probably better because they say you can see the mosquitoes taking off and landing on the airstrip. If this is your first trip to the Yellowstone area pick a Road Scholar program that hikes within the national park. (My comments are based on experiences at fifteen previous Road Scholar programs.)