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Make the Mountains Glad: An Intergenerational Adventure in California’s High Sierra

Program Number: 15919RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/28/2013 - 8/2/2013; 7/26/2015 - 7/31/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Donner Summit, California
Price starting at: $597.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational; Outdoor Adventures, Misc.; Science & Nature; Walking/Hiking
Intergenerational
Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Program intended for grandchildren from 7 - 12 years of age.

Share your love of the great outdoors with your grandchild. Hike through fragrant pine forests and wildflower-strewn meadows, clamber over granite boulders and swim in hidden mountain lakes. After each day’s adventures, enjoy one another’s company in the comfort of the Sierra Club’s historic Clair Tappaan Lodge. Read books, play musical instruments, soak in the hot tub, stargaze, roast marshmallows - and join hands for the big dance. In the words of John Muir, together you will “make the mountains glad.”




Highlights

• Explore the crest of spectacular Donner Summit -- the early trade routes, emigrant trails, stagecoach roads and Transcontinental Railroad tunnels.
• Kayak, swim or relax on the shores of Donner Lake and Lake Tahoe.
• Ride the tram to the top of Squaw Valley for a day of swimming, skating and hiking.



Activity Particulars

Hiking 2-4 miles daily on uneven terrain. Elevations of 7,000 feet.



In keeping with the communal nature of the Lodge, guests are asked to choose a brief chore to do each day.



Coordinated by the Sierra Club.




Donner Summit

One of the truly historical landscapes of the Sierra Nevada, Donner Summit is treasured by residents, as well as by its many visitors throughout California, Nevada and the world. Hikers, skiers, naturalists, historians, climbers and train buffs are among the many whose interests find an outlet amid Donner Summit's historic and environmental gifts.



Accommodations
Hostel-like rustic mountain retreat. Spacious living room with huge stone fireplace, family-style dining, cozy library. Various-sized rooms. Bunk beds and shared bathrooms.

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

Pat Northrop has a K–12 physical education and biology teaching certification in California. She worked for four years with fourth and fifth graders in educational field studies and the World Strides Program. She also coordinated a Service Learning project constructing and repairing the Tahoe Rim Trail. Pat has used orienteering skills as a private pilot, as a search-and-rescue mission pilot with the Civil Air Patrol, and as an active outdoor adventurer.
 
Kirby Reed

Kirby Reed began his career as a naturalist at Conejo Unified School District Outdoor School, and as a whale-watching and deep-sea fishing expert for classes at Watsonville High School. He has coached co-ed youth sports and taught high school biology for more than 25 years, spending the last 16 years in the Tahoe Truckee School District. Kirby leads whitewater rafting trips in the summers and looks forward to leading Road Scholar adventures.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Clair Tappaan Lodge
  Northern California 5 nights
 Clair Tappaan Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Clair Tappaan Lodge is a grand old building constructed of huge wooden beams and hand-cut stone. Sierra Club volunteers built the Lodge in the 1930's and volunteers continue to maintain it. A small, friendly staff cares for the guests. In keeping with the communal nature of the Lodge, guests are asked to choose a brief chore to do each day. Sleeping accommodations are simple - Bunk beds in rooms that vary from small, two-person cubicles to family rooms that can accommodate from 4 to 12 people, to larger men's and women's dorms.(You may request a lower bunk.) People gather here from all corners of the globe to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the multitude of nearby opportunities for outdoor adventure. After a full day outdoors they relax on one of the many open decks, in the cozy library or in the hand-built hot tub and enjoy each other's company without the distraction of television or other electronic gadgetry. They meet new friends around the dining room table, in the spacious comfort of the living room or around the evening campfire. They return home inspired by their Lodge experience, making plans to return once again in the very near future.
  Contact info: 19940 Donner Pass Road
Norden, CA 95724 USA
phone: 800-679-6775
web: ctl.sierraclub.org
  Room amenities: This is a rustic Lodge with bunkbeds and limited storage space. Linens, blankets and towels, pillows and pillowcases will be provided for Road Scholar participants. Bring your own soap and toiletries.
  Facility amenities: The Lodge boasts a cheerful dining room, a large living room with a huge fireplace, a cozy library with a wood-burning stove, a recreation room, and a hot tub. All meals are included. Hearty breakfasts and dinners are served family-style. Guests prepare their own brown bag lunches from plentiful and varied ingredients. Vegetarian options are available for all meals.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Bathrooms are shared. There are two men's and two women's bathrooms with shower stalls and cubbies where you can keep your toiletries.
  Additional nights prior: $55 per night incl. 3 meals Sierra Club members save $5.00 per night.
  Check in time: 1:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $55 per night incl. 3 meals Sierra Club members save $5.00 per night.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 PM at the Lodge for check-in. You will be staying at Clair Tappaan Lodge that night.
  End of Program:
2:00 PM at the Lodge. You will be staying at Clair Tappaan Lodge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Each participant will be asked to sign a health form and liability waiver.
  Parking availability:
Free parking on site
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Northern California
  Nearest city or town:  Truckee, CA
  Nearest highway: Interstate 80 and Highway 40
  Nearest airport:  Reno Tahoe International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Northern California
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Reno

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
North Lake Tahoe Express
phone: 866-216-5222
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Shuttle to Truckee: Approximately $40 per person / Taxi to Lodge: Approximately $30
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

   

For Airport Minibus service from Reno Tahoe International Airport to Truckee Amtrak/Train Depot, make advance reservations with North Lake Tahoe Express at 1(866) 216-5222 / Cost is approximately $40 per person. Taxi service from Truckee Amtrak/Train Depot to the Lodge costs approximately $30.

 
Driving Directions
  From Reno, NV Take I-80 West. Pass Truckee and Donner Lake. Take the Soda Springs/Norden exit and go 2.4 miles east on old U.S. 40, Donner Pass Road. Look for the Clair Tappaan Lodge sign slightly up the hill on your left. A loading / unloading zone is available just beyond the CTL sign and parking is available on the opposite side of the road. Distance - 45 miles.
  From Sacramento, CA Take I-80 East. Take the Soda Springs/Norden exit and go 2.4 miles east on old U.S. 40, Donner Pass Road. Look for the Clair Tappaan Lodge sign slightly up the hill on your left. A loading / unloading zone is available just beyond the CTL sign and parking is available on the opposite side of the road. Distance - 90 miles.
  From San Francisco, CA Take I-80 East across the Bay Bridge and continue on I-80 past Sacramento. To save time take the I-80 bypass around Sacramento. Follow above directions from Sacramento. Distance -180 miles.
Elevation Note: Altitude above 7000 feet

Equipment Requirements: Hiking boots or sturdy comfortable shoes are required for full participation in this program. Cameras and binoculars are optional.
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: Welcome/Orientation
(Sunday, July 28)
   
 Afternoon: Plan to arrive at the Lodge in plenty of time to unpack and settle in. You and your grandchild may want to hike the Lodge Nature Trail before dinner.
 Dinner: 6:00 PM - Dinner at the Lodge
 Evening: We'll gather for introductions, orientation activities, and a tour of historic Clair Tappaan Lodge.
   
Accommodations: Clair Tappaan Lodge
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: West Shore of Lake Tahoe / Homewood Wildlife Shelter / Evening Campfire
(Monday, July 29)
   
 Breakfast: Prepare brownbag lunches before breakfast. Breakfast is served at 8:00 AM.
 Morning: Hike some of the most beautiful trails of Lake Tahoe's scenic west shore. Then go for a swim in Tahoe's clear cold waters, or just enjoy relaxing on the beach of this magnificent lake.
 Lunch: Eat your lunch as you enjoy the scenic beauty all around you.
 Afternoon: Watch your grandchild smile as a small bird sits on her shoulder, a tortoise crawls on her lap, a furry rabbit cuddles in her hands or a friendly snake wraps around her arm. While learning how to safely handle these "domesticated" rescued animals from the Homewood Wildlife Shelter, your grandchild will also learn how to respect related creatures in the wild.
 Dinner: Dinner included.
 Evening: Gather around the campfire for an evening of song - complete with tasty roasted marshmallows.
   
Accommodations: Clair Tappaan Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Hike to Mountain Lakes / Meet 'Kirby's Critters'
(Tuesday, July 30)
   
 Breakfast: Prepare brownbag lunches before breakfast. Breakfast is served at 8:00 AM.
 Morning: Together with your grandchild, you'll hike through fragrant pine forests and wildflower-strewn meadows to a lovely hidden mountain lake. There you can choose to take a refreshing swim or just dangle your feet and relax by the water's edge, enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
 Lunch: Eat your lunch by the shore of a mountain lake.
 Afternoon: After a full day of adventures, return to the welcoming Lodge. Join a spirited game of volleyball, soccer or tetherball in the Lodge meadow. Or, if you prefer, relax with a good book or sketchpad on one of the Lodge's many spacious decks, read in the quiet of the library, or chat with your new-found friends.
 Dinner: Dinner included.
 Evening: Learn all about the Natural History of our area from our wonderful co-leader, Kirby Reed and 'Kirby's Critters.'
   
Accommodations: Clair Tappaan Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Walk Back in Time / Swimming at Donner Lake / The Big Dance
(Wednesday, July 31)
   
 Breakfast: Prepare brownbag lunches before breakfast. Breakfast is served at 8:00 AM.
 Morning: Walk back in time with your grandchild. Explore the crest of Donner Summit and witness firsthand the work of those who came this way in ages past - from the puzzling Native American petroglyphs, the Emigrant Trail and Old Stagecoach Road, to the Transcontinental Railroad tunnels and famous China Wall. History is all around you.
 Lunch: Head to scenic Donner Lake to relax and eat your lunch.
 Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon of swimming and playing at the beach. You and your grandchild may also choose to rent a kayak, canoe or pedal boat.
 Dinner: Dinner included.
 Evening: Join hands with your grandchild for the Big Dance. Mambo, samba, cha-cha, line dancing... All taught by a wonderful, enthusiastic instructor.
   
Accommodations: Clair Tappaan Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Squaw Valley - Cable Car Ride, Swimming, Skating, Hiking. Truckee Arts and Crafts Fair.
(Thursday, August 1)
   
 Breakfast: Prepare brownbag lunches before breakfast. Breakfast at 8:00 AM
 Morning: Enjoy panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe as you ride Squaw Valley's world-renowned cable car 2000 vertical feet up to High Camp. At the top you may choose to go swimming in the pool or skating at the outdoor rink, visit the Olympic Museum or take a hike across alpine meadows.
 Lunch: Relax and enjoy your lunch.
 Afternoon: For a real challenge, hike to the top of Emigrant Peak and gaze at the magnificent panorama stretching for miles around you.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner in our favorite Squaw Valley Village restaurant.
 Evening: Then return to the Lodge for an evening of storytelling and stargazing.
   
Accommodations: Clair Tappaan Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Visit the Emigrant Trail Museum / Farewell Picnic Lunch
(Friday, August 2)
   
 Breakfast: Prepare brownbag lunches before breakfast. Breakfast at 8:00 AM
 Morning: Learn the triumphant history of the Stephens-Townsend party and the tragic story of the Donner Party at the Emigrant Trail Museum in Donner Memorial State Park.
 Lunch: Eat a picnic lunch on the shore of magnificent Donner Lake. Say a fond farewell – Until we meet again.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Northern California Donner Lake / Historic Truckee
Explore Old Town Truckee. Enjoy a leisurely rafting trip down the scenic Truckee River. Go swimming or fishing, kayaking or paddle boating on Donner Lake, just a ten minute drive from the Lodge. Bicycle along the Truckee River Path from Tahoe City to world-famous Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Try the Emigrant Trail Family Bike Path or the challenging Hole-in-the-Ground Loop. For a real thrill try rock climbing at Donner Summit! Equipment rentals and instructors are available locally. For additional information, visit www.donner-lake.com (Once around the lake)
  Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe, famous for its clear deep water and magnificent setting, is just 25 miles away from the Lodge. Sailing and kayaking, hiking and mountain biking, fishing, golfing and tennis, horseback riding - The recreational opportunities are endless. For additional information, visit www.laketahoeconcierge.com
  Music Festival
Big band & dance, jazz, opera, classical music - All offered during the summer months at the Lake Tahoe Music Festival. A calendar of events is posted online. For additional information, visit www.tahoemusic.org
  Squaw Valley
Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, offers a terrific adventure program that includes a ropes course, skyjump bungee trampoline. flying trapeze and climbing wall. Squaw Valley High Camp, at the top of the cable car tram ride, features a large roller skating rink, a swimming lagoon and spa, and the Olympic Museum. Visitors may also sign up for guided full moon and sunset hikes. For additional information, visit www.squaw.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.

Suggested Reading List


Donner Summit, A Brief History


Author: Margie Powell


Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad


Author: David Haward Bain


Lingering in Tahoe’s Wild Gardens


Author: Julie Carville Stauffer


My First Summer in the Sierra


Author: John Muir


Sharing Nature with Children


Author: Joseph Cornell


The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada


Author: John Muir Laws


Western Train Adventures: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Author: Mark McLaughlin




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