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Intergenerational Yosemite, Gold Panning, and Dinosaurs

Program Number: 20349RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/11/2013 - 8/16/2013; 6/28/2015 - 7/3/2015; 7/12/2015 - 7/17/2015; 8/2/2015 - 8/7/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Oakhurst, California
Price starting at: $925.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational; National Parks
Intergenerational
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt    

Program intended for grandchildren from 8 - 12 years of age.

Explore the wonders of central California with your grandchild. Journey into a 100-year-old underground home and learn about the creatures of prehistory at the Fossil Discovery Center. Search for gold like a prospector, ride a steam engine through the sugar pine forest, build an underwater robot, and hike through the magnificent domes, granite cliffs, meadows, and Sequoia groves of Yosemite. Take part in interactive evening presentations where you meet rescued birds, explore the night sky, sing campfire songs and much more.




Highlights

• Explore Yosemite Valley from Bridalveil Falls to the Yosemite Museum’s Indian Cultural Exhibit and Yosemite Falls.
• Visit the Fossil Discovery Center of Madera County to view the fossilized remains of giant mammoths discovered at the site.
• Sift through the silt in search of gold as local gold panning experts help you in your quest for fortune. Later, learn about how robots work and join together to create and manipulate a real underwater robot!



Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile, each day, over uneven terrain. Elevations up to 7,200 feet.




Date Specific Information

8-11-2013, 6-28-2015, 7-12-2015, 8-2-2015

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
Tranquil conference center; no TVs or telephones in sleeping rooms.

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

Eric Hagan is a credentialed teacher and the technology director of Mountain Home School Charter and Glacier High School Charter in Oakhurst, California. Eric began his career in education working as an outdoor education instructor in the Sierra Nevada. It was through this experience that he fell in love with the beauty of the mountains, the history of Native Americans and settlers, and sharing this knowledge and love of learning with others. Currently some of Eric’s classes include Lego robotics, underwater robotics and ballroom dancing. Eric and his family enjoy wake boarding, hiking, dancing, snowboarding, rock climbing, archery, and board games together.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)
  Oakhurst 5 nights
 Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Program begins with registration 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Please do not plan to arrive before 2:00 PM or later than 6:00 PM. (Sleeping rooms may not be available until 4:00 PM.) You are asked to check out of your sleeping rooms by 9:00 a.m. on Friday.
  Contact info: 43803 Highway 41
Oakhurst, CA 93644 USA
phone: 559-683-8162
web: www.conferencecenter.org
  Room amenities: All rooms have private baths.
  Facility amenities: In keeping with our tranquil retreat setting, you are not disturbed by the distraction of televisions or telephones in sleeping rooms. Satellite TV is available in the main lodge, as well as a recreation room with ping pong/game tables. Our "Fourth Green" Recreation Complex features fields for basketball, volleyball, football/soccer and horseshoes. Walking/hiking trails on-site and nearby, including a self-interpretive nature trail on ECCO grounds. The towns of Oakhurst, Bass Lake, North Fork and Mariposa feature a number of fine arts galleries and museums. Bass Lake offers swimming/boating opportunities 5 miles from ECCO.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior:  Unfortunately we are unable to offer early arrivals or extended stayovers beyond the scope of our published program times.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after:  Unfortunately we are unable to offer early arrivals or extended stayovers beyond the scope of our published program times.
  Check out time: 9:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in 3PM (but not earlier than 2 PM nor later than 6:00 PM, please!) Staff is not available to assist you before or after those times. Program Orientation Begins at 5PM You will be staying at Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO) that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast on the final day. 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:
Parking is available directly in front of lodge rooms. All rooms have ground-floor entry.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Oakhurst
  Nearest city or town:  ECCO is 4 miles north of the center of Oakhurst
  Nearest highway: ECCO is set 1 mile back from Highway 41.
  Nearest airport:  Fresno/Yosemite International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Oakhurst
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Fresno, CA

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

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

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$75.00 - subject to change until reservation is confirmed with ECCO
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

 

Distance:

 

50 miles

   

ECCO highly recommends renting a vehicle if at all possible, for free time options. ECCO shuttle is available only on program opening/closing days; maximum capacity is 4 persons. Other private transportation companies are available in our area; call Kristen at 559/683-8162 for names and contact information.

 
Driving Directions
  Eastern Sierras via Tioga Road THIS ROAD IS SEASONAL AND CLOSES FROM OCT/NOV TO MAY/JUNE. BE SURE TO CHECK ROAD CONDITIONS BEFORE CHOOSING THIS ROUTE. From Hwy 395 take Hwy 120 westbound. You will travel through some of the most beautiful parts of Yosemite, dropping down into Yosemite Valley. Watch the signs for Hwy 41 southbound. Take Hwy 41 southbound toward Oakhurst. (It will be 1 to 1-1/2 hours driving time from Yosemite Valley.) After exiting the park's south gate, travel approximately 12 miles. ECCO will be on the left, after the turn to Cedar Valley Road. Watch carefully because the signs are a little hard to see from this direction. Keep an eye out for the Christ Church sign, since we share a driveway with them. Once you have turned into the Christ Church parking lot, follow the signs one mile back to ECCO.
  From Fresno Yosemite International Airport 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. ECCO is on the right. Look for the large “Sierra Sky Ranch” neon sign. Ours is the first driveway after the SSR sign.
  From Northern California 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, on the right--the first driveway past the neon sign for Sierra Sky Ranch. Watch for the red and white "Welcome Road Scholar" banner. Turn into the driveway (shared with Christ Church) and follow the signs one mile back to the conference center.
  From San Francisco International Airport (Option 1) Take Hwy 101 south toward San Jose. Exit on Hwy 152 eastbound toward Gilroy. Stay on Hwy 152 until it merges with Hwy 99 southbound. In Madera, exit on Gateway Avenue. Turn right on Gateway to Cleveland. Turn left then make an immediate right onto Cleveland. Turn left on Hwy 145. Go about 15 miles to Hwy 41. Turn left and go approximately 26 miles. Although you will stay on Hwy 41, your first landmark will be the traffic signal at Hwy 41 and Hwy 49. Continue north on Hwy 41, toward Yosemite, approximately 4 miles. ECCO will be on the right-hand side of the road and is the first driveway after the big Sierra Sky Ranch neon sign. (We share the driveway with Christ Church.) Follow the signs one mile back to the conference center.
  From San Francisco International Airport (Option 2) 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. Sign/entrance to ECCO is on the right side of Hwy 41, just after the big Sierra Sky Ranch neon sign. Drive 1 mile back to the conference center.
  Southern California (Including Fresno) Take I5 north to Hwy 99. Take Hwy 99 north to Fresno. In Fresno take Hwy 41 north toward Yosemite. 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. Continue north, toward Yosemite, approximately 4 miles. ECCO will be on the right-hand side of the road and is the first driveway after the big Sierra Sky Ranch neon sign. (We share the driveway with Christ Church.) Follow the signs one mile back to the conference center.
Elevation Note: ECCO's elevation is approximately 3100'.On field trips the bus may stop at an elevation of 7,000 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: Arrival. Greeting and Dinner. Evening program.
(Sunday, August 11)
   
 Dinner: Please plan to arrive at ECCO between 3 and 5 p.m. After check-in, take time to relax before our get-acquainted social hour with a brief orientation beginning at 5 p.m. Dinner follow at 6 p.m.
 Evening: Orientation and video introducing Yosemite
   
Accommodations: Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Climb to the top of the world and hike in a grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park.
(Monday, August 12)

Note: Bus trip to Yosemite is 30 miles each way on country roads. Approximately 3 hours of bus time today.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in Lyles Hall and pack your own sack lunch.
 Morning: Depart after breakfast for the Sentinel Dome trail. Hike to the top for a 360 degree view of the Sierra. .
 Lunch: We will have our sack lunch at Glacier Point.
 Afternoon: We drive to the Mariposa Grove and hike through the Giant Sequoia Grove learning about the largest living things on earth!
 Dinner: 6:00 p.m.- Dinner in Lyles Hall. Dinner will feature a delicious main entree of beef, chicken, fish, or pasta. Always served with salad, vegetables,and dessert.
 Evening: 7:00 p.m. Evening Program - We at ECCO have a number of interesting evening programs. Our schedule will include some of the following: A bird rescuer that will bring live birds, musical guests, a children's book writer, an ice cream social, or an evening of campfire songs.
   
Accommodations: Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: We will search for gold, ride an authentic steam train and experiment with underwater robots.
(Tuesday, August 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in Lyles Hall.
 Morning: We will take a short drive up to the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad where we will learn how to pan for gold as well as about the California gold rush. We will also learn and logging history in the area as we ride a train pulled by an authentic steam engine.
 Lunch: 12 noon.Lunch in Lyles Dining Hall.
 Afternoon: Let's get wet! We will learn about robotics and experiment with how to make and maneuver underwater robots! We will also enjoy a swim in the experiment "tank," a pool.
 Dinner: 6:00 p.m. Dinner in Lyles Dining Hall
 Evening: Evening Program - Each evening's program may consist of an activity, video, or a live performance, including an evening of astronomy and star gazing.
   
Accommodations: Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Amazing antiquities. Today we will visit a 100 year-old underground house and gardens as well as a fossil center, displaying bones of pre-historic animals
(Wednesday, August 14)

Note: Trip to the San Joaquin Valley today; approximately 3 hours of bus time



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in Lyles Dining Hall and pack your own sack lunch
 Morning: Today we will explore the underground Forestiere Gardens, which were hand dug. We will then learn about pre-historic animals that were found right here! We will then get to try our hand at being an archaeologist digging for evidence of earlier times.
 Lunch: We will have our sandwiches with accompanying items at the Fossil Center.
 Afternoon: We will finish up our archeological experience at the Fossil Discovery Center and depart for ECCO in the afternoon. When we get back, we'll have several options for optional structured free time activities.
 Dinner: 6:00 p.m.Dinner in Lyles Dining Hall.
 Evening: Evening Program - Each evening's program may consist of an activity, video, or a live performance, including an evening of astronomy and star gazing.
   
Accommodations: Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Today we will explore Yosemite Valley. We will see Bridalveil Fall and Yosemite Falls. Bring your swim suit so that we can have an afternoon swim.
(Thursday, August 15)

Note: Drive time to Yosemite Valley is approximately 3 hours total.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in Lyles Hall and pack your own sack lunches for a picnic in Yosemite.
 Morning: After breakfast we will depart for Yosemite. We will explore Yosemite Valley, beginning with a stop at Tunnel View. From there it is a short ride to Bridalveil Fall. We will also see other historical sites in the Valley.
 Lunch: We will eat our sack lunch in the amphitheater area of Yosemite Lodge.
 Afternoon: After lunch we are off to explore Yosemite Falls. This will give us the opportunity learn about the geologic formations of Yosemite Valley. We will then walk to the swimming pool for a relaxing afternoon. Departure from the pool will be at 3:30.
 Dinner: 6:00 p.m.Dinner in Lyles Dining Hall.
 Evening: Evening Program - We'll sing songs, tell stories, and roast s'mores by the campfire.
   
Accommodations: Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: We will have breakfast and then watch a slide show of our experiences of the week. Then we will say farewell to our new friends.
(Friday, August 16)
   
 Breakfast: Share journal entries from the week, sign autographs, watch a slide show, and say farewell to our new friends.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Evergreen Conference Center, Oakhurst (ECCO) Bass Lake
Fish or swim in Bass Lake's beautiful blue waters. For additional information, visit www.basslakechamber.com/
  California State Mining & Mineral Museum
One of the finest gem and mineral museums in the country. For additional information, visit www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=588
  Golfing
1) River Creek Golf Course - www.rivercreekgolfcourse.com/ - 9-hole course in Ahwahnee, 5 miles from ECCO 2) Sierra Meadows Country Club - www.sierrameadows.com/ - 18-hole course in Ahwahnee, 5 miles from ECCO 3) Wawona Golf Course - www.yosemitepark.com/activities_warmweatheractivities_golfing.aspx - 20 miles from ECCO, within the boundaries of Yosemite National Park If you are interested in golf, please consider our program, "Fore! Golf Yosemite & Two Great Courses in the Beautiful Sierra Nevada" - program number 17247.
  Mariposa Grove
Mariposa Grove is a Sequoia Grove located near Wawona, California in the southernmost part of Yosemite National Park. It is the largest grove of Giant Sequoias in the park, with several hundred mature examples of the tree. Two of its trees are among the Twenty Five largest Giant Sequoias in the world. For additional information, visit www.yosemite.ca.us/mariposa_grove_of_giant_sequoias/
  Mariposa History Center
This is a marvelous exploration of central California's early years. For additional information, visit mariposamuseum.com/
  Nelder Grove
We find Nelder Grove the most peaceful and soothing of the Yosemite-area giant sequoia groves. It's in a narrow draw with a brook flowing through the center of it, and besides the giant sequoias, you'll find lots of other big evergreens, especially cedars, plus several dogwoods. For additional information, visit www.yosemitehikes.com/not-yosemite/nelder-grove/nelder-grove.htm
  Sierra Mono Indian Museum
The North Fork Mono Families first incorporated in 1966 to form the Sierra Mono Museum for the purpose of preserving Tribal history. The museum offers both static and living history experience. The doors have been open to the public since 1971. Permanent collections include a wide variety of Native American baskets and cultural artifacts. Also on display is the Tettleton Wildlife Diorama Collection consisting of over 100 freestanding taxidermy animals of North America and Asia. Other collections include historical photographs, cultural items, beadwork and weapons. Our gift shop is stocked with locally made authentic Indian Crafts, books and gifts. Every Thursday, Elders gather to weave, bead and dine on potluck lunch. During the fall they can be found cracking acorn for holiday events or cleaning Sourberry and Redbud sticks for weaving supplies. Guided tours offer a walk through the collections, stories, songs, and nature walk with signage explaining usage of indigenous plants. Classes in language and Basketry are held throughout the year. Visiting the museum offers a glimpse at Mono Indian lifestyles of yesterday and today. For additional information, visit www.sierramonomuseum.org/
  Oakhurst Bass Lake
Bass Lake is one of the most popular vacation spots in Central California. The lake was created back in 1899. It was enlarged 6 years later, and work on the present dam began in 1909. At 3,500 feet in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains, the 4-mile long lake is on the north fork of Willow Creek which is a tributary of the San Joaquin River. Its waters turn powerful, electricity-producing turbine engines for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), the world's largest non-government utility. Because of its altitude, it's not unsual for Bass Lake to have snow on the ground for several weeks during the winter--not tons of snow...but enough snow to carry chains in your trunk...and, as locals put it, enough snow to be beautiful but not bothersome. Bass Lake is popular for all of the right reasons. It's close to California's Central Valley (1 hour from Fresno) via Highway 41 and only 20 minutes from Yosemite. Nature lovers appreciate the lake, and so do fishermen--it's stocked with trout, bass, salmon, catfish, crappie and bluegill. Water skiers appreciate the warm water--75 to 78 degrees in the summer. The lake has excellent marina facilities.
  Fresno Flats Historical Site
Fresno Flats Historic Park recaptures the flavor of 19th Century life in the Sierra Nevada foothills and mountains of Central California. Eastern Madera County is the southern end of the historic Mother Lode gold fields, but the people who settled here came not so much for gold but more to build their lives and raise their families, making their living as farmers, merchants and using the rich natural resources of the mountains. The museum complex is built around two restored and furnished homes dating to the 1870s. Both have been designated by the State of California as Points of Historical Interest for their unique construction styles once common throughout Northern California, but virtually unknown today. They were saved from demolition, moved to Fresno Flats Historical Park and restored by the volunteers of Sierra Historic Sites Association, as were a pair of early-day one-room schools, two 19th Century jails and several other farm buildings. For additional information, visit www.fresnoflatsmuseum.org/about.html
  Sierra Mono Museum
Sierra Mono Indian Museum Roads 225 & 228, North Fork 9:00 - 4:00 Tuesday-Saturday 559-877-2115 Admission: $3/Adults $2/Seniors $1/Students The North Fork Mono Tribe is the original inhabitant of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The tribe consists of two clans: the golden eagle and the coyote, both of which are represented at the entrance to the museum. The Mono way of life is featured in the museum through examples of fishing, hunting, acorn gathering, cooking, healing, basketmaking, games and ceremonies. Also featured is the Tettleton Wildlife Collection, one of the finest in California.
  Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad
The Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad is a restoration of the old narrow gauge Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company Railroad. A section of the original railbed has been reconstructed using the same techniques used at the turn of the century. Two vintage Shay steam locomotives have been brought in from the Westside Lumber company and restored to provide authentic motive power for the trains. Shay number 15 was built in 1913 and weighs 60 tons. Number 10, built in 1928 weighs 83 tons and is the heavest operating narrow guage Shay locomotive today. Railcars once used to provide transportation for logging and track repair crews have been refurbished and are now operated for passenger excursion. Antique Model "A" Ford gas engines power the trolley-like "Jenny" cars over the route. For additional information, visit www.ymsprr.com/
  Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau
Check out the Yosemite-Sierra Visitors' Bureau for the wealth of activities available to visitors to our area, from photo, art and antique galleries to outdoor recreation activities to many sites of historical interest. For additional information, visit www.yosemitethisyear.com
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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