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Thanksgiving in Yosemite: Celebration in the Sierra Nevada

Program Number: 16642RJ
Start and End Dates:
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

11-24-2014

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 5 nights
 Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO)
Type: Conference Center
  Description: ECCO is a conference center situated on 162 acres in the Sierra Nevada foothills 12 miles south of the south entrance to Yosemite National Park. Our grounds are forested with oaks, incense cedar and manzanita, which provide a home to deer, raccoons, coyotes and squirrels. Our pond features a swan and other waterfowl as well as perch and bass. (Fishing is catch-and-release with barbless hooks.)
  Contact info: 43803 Hwy 41
Oakhurst, CA 93644 USA
phone: 559-683-8162
web: www.eccoyosemite.org
  Room amenities: Rooms are individually climate-controlled with private baths. Each room has a hair dryer. Most rooms have wireless internet access.
  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 basketball, volleyball, frisbee golf, soccer/football fields and a horseshoe pitch. Wireless internet is available in all meeting rooms and Lyles Dining Hall. Bring your own laptop or device. Lyles Dining hall is accessible 24 hours, including access to a refrigerator, microwave, toaster, and hot/cold drinks. Walking/hiking trails are on-site and nearby, including a self-interpretive nature trail onsite at ECCO. Reading material appropriate to each program is available in the dining hall. The towns of Oakhurst, Bass Lake, North Fork and Mariposa feature a number of fine arts galleries, shopping, recreation, and museums. Bass Lake offers swimming/boating opportunities 5 miles from ECCO.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Additional nights prior:  Because we are a conference center we are rarely able to accommodate early arrivals or late departures.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after:  Because we are a conference center we are rarely able to accommodate early arrivals or late departures.
  Check out time: 9:00 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. Health and Supplemental Information Forms plus Liability Waiver to be completed and returned to ECCO no later than 3 (three) weeks before program begins.
  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 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 Airport 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. Turn right 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 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 Southern California ECCO can be reached by car from Southern California by taking highway 5 north to 99, then take Hwy 41 north toward Yosemite in Fresno. Once you drop down into Oakhurst 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 Yosemite Valley ECCO is approximate 1-1/2 hours from Yosemite Valley. As you exit YV, follow the signs toward 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 sign. Turn left there and follow the signs to ECCO about a mile back.
  From the Eastern Sierras (Reno, etc) **THIS ROUTE IS SEASONAL AND IS USUALLY CLOSED BETWEEN LATE OCTOBER THROUGH MAY--CHECK BEFORE MAKING PLANS TO USE THIS ROUTE.** Take 395 either north or south to Hwy 120. Go west on Hwy 120 and enter Yosemite National Park through the Tioga Pass entrance. Follow signs down to Yosemite Valley. Watch for signs for Highway 41 to Fresno. Turn right at Bridalveil Fall/Highway 41. Go approximately 45 miles past the south park entrance. ECCO is approximately 12 miles south of the Yosemite southern entrance. Watch carefully for the sign; it is very difficult to see coming from Yosemite. Keep an eye out for the Christ Church sign. We share a parking lot with them. Turn into the Christ Church parking lot, then follow the signs 1 mile back to ECCO.
  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 24)
   
 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. The rest of the evening is yours to enjoy.
   
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 25)
   
 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: A seasonal program will be presented after dinner.
   
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 26)
   
 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 short journey to Wawona's Pioneer History Center, for an examination of the pioneering years of Yosemite National Park, then mosey over to the enchanting Victorian Wawona Hotel, where you'll meet musician/historian Tom Bopp for a brief historical tour of the grounds.
 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 27)
   
 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: After dinner, continue to relax, socialize, enjoy games
 Afternoon: At 12:15 gather in Lyles Hall for a social hour before our Thanksgiving celebration, including wine, sparkling cider and hors d'oeuvre.
 Dinner: At 1:00 p.m. Our annual gala Thanksgiving Dinner Is served!
 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!"
 Evening: "Leftovers" are served at 6:00 p.m.
   
Accommodations: Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Class about the Sierra Nevada Flora and Fauna, Departures
(Friday, November 28)
   
 Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. Breakfast in Lyles Hall.
 Morning: 9:00 a.m. Class - a wrapup of the week's adventures, discussing Sierra Nevada flora and fauna.
 Lunch: 11:30 a.m. Enjoy an early lunch in Lyles Hall.
 Afternoon: Depart for home or your next destination.
   
Accommodations: Evergreen Conference Center Oakhurst (ECCO)
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.

Suggested Reading List


Reading Resource List


Author: Various


Description: An extensive reading resource list will be included with your preparatory materials for this class.





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