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Thanksgiving in Yosemite: Celebration in the Sierra Nevada

Program Number: 16642RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/25/2013 - 11/29/2013; 11/24/2014 - 11/28/2014;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: Oakhurst, California
Price starting at: $799.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays; National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 11; 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt    

Experience the serenity of Thanksgiving season in Yosemite. Relax, refresh and regroup before the seasonal rush in the “Queen of National Parks.” With a veteran Yosemite naturalist, study the park’s geology and the unique adaptations flora and fauna use to survive the harsh winters. After spending quiet evenings around cozy woodstove fires enveloped by the sounds of the season, return home recharged for the holidays.




Highlights

• Venture to serene and near-solitary areas of Yosemite with views of Bridalveil Fall, Half Dome and Cloud’s Rest mantled with snow. Stop at Tunnel View for your breathtaking first glimpse of Half Dome, and stand before natural marvels like El Capitan.
• On the floor of the valley, enjoy lunch at the historic Ahwahnee Hotel, examining its unique architecture and basketry up close.
• Enjoy a relaxing week of wine, dine, and daily celebration. On Thanksgiving day, enjoy our buffet and the options of joining in various activities, or relaxing with wonderful company.Other fine dining experiences include dinner at the Wawona Hotel and lunch at the Ahwahnee hotel.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile per day; some uneven terrain. Lodging 1,000 feet from dining hall and classrooms. Elevations of 3,100 feet




Date Specific Information

11-25-2013

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



11-24-2014

In addition to lunch at the world famous Ahwahnee hotel, this specific program also includes dinner at the historic Wawona hotel in Southern Yosemite. Each day is filled with unique dining experiences, instruction from a park ranger, and free time to relax and enjoy our tranquil retreat center. It is a great idea to spend this holiday at ECCO, in the shadow of the Queen of National Parks.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst.




Oakhurst

With Yosemite National Park and the expansive Sierra Nevada just out the backdoor, Oakhurst is an active community and gateway to the region’s many natural splendors, including fine hiking trails and native wildlife.



Accommodations
Clean, comfortable, rustic conference center on 162 forested acres, walking trails on-site. Rooms are without televisions or telephones (both available in main lodge).

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Shirley Spencer

Shirley Spencer has lived in the Sierra Nevadas since 1979. An educator and seasonal Ranger at Yosemite National Park since 1986, she also instructs at Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Canyonland and Arches national parks. Shirley is also a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and holds a California State Teaching Credential for secondary and middle school science. In 2009, she published her book, “Flowering Shrubs of Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada,” which includes 40 of her original watercolors and scientific descriptions of each plant. An avid hiker, backpacker, skier, kayaker, scuba diver and mountaineer, Shirley teaches rock climbing with her husband Mark. She is also an accomplished watercolor painter, vocalist, guitarist and organic farmer.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO)
  Oakhurst, CA 4 nights
 Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO)
Type: Conference Center
  Contact info: 43803 Highway 41
Oakhurst, CA 93644 USA
phone: 559-683-8162
web: www.conferencecenter.org
  Room amenities: Climate-controlled, hair dryers in lodge rooms. All rooms have private bath. Satellite TV & Wi-fi available in main lodge. No televisions or telephones in sleeping rooms to preserve the tranquility of your stay with us.
  Facility amenities: Climate-controlled, hair dryers in lodge rooms. All rooms have private bath. Satellite TV in main lodge only. You are not disturbed by the distraction of telephones and televisions in your sleeping rooms to preserve the serenity of your stay with us.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior:  We are a conference center, and groups often have our facility booked before or after your Road Scholar, making the availability of early arrivals and stayovers unlikely.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM
  Additional nights after:  We are a conference center, and groups often have our facility booked before or after your Road Scholar, making the availability of early arrivals and stayovers unlikely.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 p.m. You will be staying at Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO) that night.
  End of Program:
12:30 p.m. You will be staying at Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO) the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Ground-floor entry is available in front of sleeping rooms.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Oakhurst, CA
  Nearest city or town:  Oakhurst
  Nearest highway: Highway 41
  Nearest airport:  Fresno Yosemite International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Oakhurst, CA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Fresno

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
ECCO
phone: 559-683-8162
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$75.00 per person, subject to change until reservation is confirmed
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

 

Distance:

 

50 miles

 
Driving Directions
  From Fresno Yosemite International Airport BE AWARE THAT GPS AND ONLINE MAPS WILL USUALLY SEND YOU DOWN THE WRONG DRIVEWAY. FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS PLEASE. From FYI turn left on Clinton Avenue. Cross McKinley Avenue, which becomes Peach Avenue. Turn right at the on-ramp to Fwy 180 headed westbound. Merge onto Hwy 41 northbound (toward Yosemite). Stay on Hwy 41 for approximately 45 miles. You will drop down into a valley where the town of Oakhurst is located. At the traffic signal at the intersection of Hwy 41 and Hwy 49, YOU WILL NOT TURN. This is just for identification purposes. Stay on Hwy 41 approximately 4 miles north of Oakhurst. ECCO is on the right. Our driveway on HWY 41 is just a few feet after you pass Road 632. We share a driveway with Christ Church. On our driveway, continue past the church and a small retirement community. The driveway ends at ECCO.
  From Northern California BE AWARE THAT GPS AND ONLINE MAPS OFTEN LEAD YOU DOWN THE WRONG DRIVEWAY. PLEASE REFER TO THESE DIRECTIONS. Take Hwy 99 south. Exit on Hwy 140 east (toward Yosemite). At the intersection with Hwy 49, turn right. Hwy 49 dead ends at Hwy 41 in Oakhurst. Turn left on Hwy 41. ECCO is 4 miles north of the intersection of Hwy 41 & Hwy 49. Stay on Hwy 41 approximately 4 miles north of Oakhurst. ECCO is on the right. Our driveway on HWY 41 is just a few feet after you pass Road 632. We share a driveway with Christ Church. On our driveway, continue past the church and a small retirement community. The driveway ends at ECCO.
  From San Francisco Airport BE AWARE THAT GPS AND ONLINE MAPS OFTEN LEAD YOU DOWN THE WRONG DRIVEWAY. PLEASE FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS. Take Hwy 101 south to Gilroy. Exit eastbound on Hwy 152 and stay on 152 until it merges southbound with Hwy 99. Exit on Hwy 145. At the end of the offramp turn left. Go over the freeway and turn right. Turn right again on Cleveland Avenue. Continue on Cleveland about a mile to 145. Turn left on 145. Go about 20 miles then turn left on Hwy 41. Once you drop down into Oakhurst, ECCO is 4 miles north of the intersection of Hwy 41 & Hwy 49 on Hwy 41. Our driveway on HWY 41 is just a few feet after you pass Road 632. We share a driveway with Christ Church. Once on our driveway, continue past the church and a small retirement community. The one mile driveway ends at ECCO.
  From San Francisco International Airport (Option 2) BE AWARE THAT GPS AND ONLINE MAPS OFTEN LEAD YOU DOWN THE WRONG DRIVEWAY. PLEASE REFER TO THESE DIRECTIONS. From SFO go either to Oakland or across the Hayward Bridge (92) to Hwy 580. Travel 580 east (toward Stockton) to Hwy 205 (toward Stockton) east to Hwy 120 (Manteca) to Hwy 99 (Fresno/LA). Travel south on 99 to Merced, exit Hwy 140 east to Mariposa. Turn right onto Hwy 49, follow Hwy 49 to Hwy 41 at Oakhurst. Turn left onto Hwy 41 and travel north about 4 miles. Our driveway on HWY 41 is just a few feet after you pass Road 632. We share a driveway with Christ Church. Once on our driveway, continue past the church and a small retirement community. The one mile driveway ends at ECCO.
  From Southern California: BE AWARE THAT GPS AND ONLINE MAPS OFTEN LEAD YOU DOWN THE WRONG DRIVEWAY FOR ECCO. PLEASE USE THESE DIRECTIONS. Take Interstate 5 north to Hwy 99. Take Hwy 99 north to Fresno. In Fresno take Hwy 41 north toward Yosemite. ECCO is approximately 1 hour from Fresno. On Hwy 41 you will go up into the Sierra foothills and then drop down into the valley where Oakhurst is located. Although you will stay on Hwy 41, your first landmark will be the traffic signal at Hwy 41 and Hwy 49 in Oakhurst. Continue north, toward Yosemite for approximately 4 miles. ECCO will be on the right-hand side of the road just past Road 632. We share a driveway with Christ Church. Once on our driveway, continue past the church and a small retirement community. The one mile driveway ends at ECCO.
  From Yosemite Valley BE AWARE THAT GPS AND ONLINE MAPS OFTEN LEAD DOWN THE WRONG DRIVEWAY TO ECCO. PLEASE REFER TO THESE DIRECTIONS. ECCO is approximate 1-1/2 hours from Yosemite Valley. As you exit YV, follow the signs toward Hwy 41. while traveling out of the park, you will pass the turnoff for Glacier Point and Badger Pass as well as the Wawona Hotel. Exit through the south gate of the park and continue on Hwy 41. ECCO is on the left approximately 12 miles south. Our sign may be difficult to see from that direction, so watch for the Christ Church sign. Turn left there and follow the signs to ECCO about a mile back. Landmarks to find our driveway are that it is between the roads of Cedar Valley and Rd 362. If you see Road 632 or the Bass Lake cut off (Rd. 222), you have gone too far. Once on our driveway, you will pass Christ Church and a small retirement community. The one-mile driveway ends at ECCO.
  From the Eastern Sierras NOTE: THIS HIGHWAY IS SEASONAL AND CLOSES BETWEEN LATE OCTOBER & JUNE/JULY--DEPENDING ON WEATHER CONDITIONS. IF TRAVELING CLOSE TO THOSE DATES, BE SURE TO CHECK ROAD AVAILABILITY. From Lee Vining/Hwy 395, take Hwy 120 westbound over Tioga Pass through the Yosemite high country. At the stop sign at Crane Flat turn left. At the Hwy 140 intersection turn left. Watch for signs directing you to Hwy 41. Turn right then right again at Hwy 41 toward Tunnel View. Stay on Hwy 41. As you travel out of the park, you will pass the turnoff for Glacier Point and Badger Pass as well as the Wawona Hotel. Exit through the south gate of the park and continue on Hwy 41. ECCO is on the left approximately 12 miles south. Our sign may be difficult to see from that direction, so watch for the Christ Church Episcopal sign. Turn left there and follow the signs to ECCO about a mile back.
  Highway/Weather Information Check the following for up-to-the-minute road conditions and weather information: Weather for Oakhurst and Yosemite National Park: www.wunderground.com Road Conditions: www.dot.ca.gov Road Conditions Telephone: You can also call 1-800.427.7623 for current highway conditions.
Elevation Note: 3,100 ft

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check in, Social Hour at 5pm and Dinner at 6pm.
(Monday, November 25)
   
 Arrive To: You will be given specific arrival time/location instructions in your preparatory materials, which will be mailed to you no later than six (6) weeks prior to program start.
 Afternoon: A get-acquainted social hour begins at 5 p.m. with wine, non-alcoholic beverages and hors d'oeuvre.
 Dinner: Dinner is served at 6:00 p.m. in Lyles Dining Hall.
 Evening: At 7:00 p.m. we will give a brief orientation session, followed by introductions. Afterward we'll hear listen to and sing along with music performed by the Sierra Chambermaids.
   
Accommodations: Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO)
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Field Trip to Yosemite Valley and Lunch at the world-famous Ahwahnee Hotel
(Tuesday, November 26)
   
 Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. breakfast in Lyles Dining Hall.
 Morning: Field trip to Yosemite Valley.
 Lunch: Lunch at the world-famous, historic Ahwahnee Hotel, followed by a tour of its great rooms with their exquisite Indian basketry displays and elegant stained-glass windows.
 Afternoon: If you choose, you may skip the Ahwahnee Hotel tour in order to explore other locations in Yosemite Valley such as the Ansel Adams Gallery, the Indian Museum and the Visitors Center. At approximately 3:00 p.m. board the bus for return to ECCO. You will arrive at ECCO at about 5:00 p.m.
 Dinner: Dinner in Lyles Dining Hall
 Evening: Enjoy a live birds of prey presentation with local wildlife rehabilitation expert, Diane Ganner.
   
Accommodations: Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Class Focusing on the Geology of Yosemite and Sierra Nevada, Field Trip to Wawona's Pioneer History Center, and Class about Yosemite Artists & Their Influence
(Wednesday, November 27)
   
 Breakfast: 8:00 am Breakfast in Lyles Dining Hall
 Morning: Class "An Overview of Yosemite/Sierra Nevada Geology" with instructor Shirley Spencer.
 Lunch: Lunch in Lyles Dining Hall
 Afternoon: 1:00 p.m. Class "Yosemite Artists & Their Influence" with Shirley Spencer
 Afternoon: At 2:45 p.m. board bus for Wawona. Tour the Pioneer History Center wit Shirley Spencer. Explore the grounds of the Wawona Hotel. At 4:00 p.m. meet with Topp Bopp for a historical presentation on the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner in the elegant dining room of the Wawona Hotel. Following your meal take a few minutes to listen to the music of Tom Bopp before returning to ECCO.
   
Accommodations: Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Free Time in the Morning before Our Thanksgiving Celebration, Followed by a Bell Concert in Walters Chapel
(Thursday, November 28)
   
 Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. Continental breakfast in Lyles Hall
 Morning: After breakfast, take the morning to relax amid ECCO's tranquil grounds, or explore the surrounding area. At 11:00 a.m. join us, if you wish, for an optional Holy Eucharist service in Walters Chapel.
 Afternoon: At 12:15 gather in Lyles Hall for a social hour before our Thanksgiving celebration, including wine, sparkling cider and hors d'oeuvre.
 Afternoon: After dinner, continue to relax, socialize, enjoy games
 Dinner: At 1:00 p.m. Our annual gala Thanksgiving Dinner Is served!
 Evening: "Leftovers" are served at 6:00 p.m.
 Evening: An interactive bell concert in Walters Chapel, led by Suzy Gazlay, assisted by Cindy Hoover. Suzy says "It is definitely a do-it-yourself bell "concert." Road Scholar folks will be ringing the chimes. It's guaranteed success with no note reading involved. That's what makes it so much fun!"
   
Accommodations: Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Class about the Sierra Nevada Flora and Fauna, Departures
(Friday, November 29)
   
 Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. Breakfast in Lyles Hall.
 Morning: 9:00 a.m. Class - Concluding classes include discussing the current challenges that face Yosemite National Park.
 Lunch: 11:30 a.m. Enjoy an early lunch in Lyles Hall.
 Afternoon: Depart for home or your next destination.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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