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Great American Get-Together in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

Program Number: 21596RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/8/2014 - 9/15/2014;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: Snowmass, Colorado
Price starting at: $2,295.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking; Multi-Sport; Science & Nature
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 2 Brunches, 3 Lunches, 5 Dinners    

Join Road Scholar and revel in the pioneer spirit of Snowmass and Aspen, Colo., as we bring together lifelong learners from around the country amid spectacular scenery and the changing fall colors of the Colorado Rockies. This celebration of learning and adventure will combine museums, expert lectures, hikes, jeep adventures, river rafting and even a balloon festival! Enrich your experience with lectures by local experts about the history of the area, challenges to the natural environment and the most extensive archaeological dig in U.S. history — plus delight in a final dinner together while you enjoy an entertaining and educational cap to your week in beautiful Snowmass and Aspen.




Highlights

• Witness the highest-elevation balloon festival in America, the Snowmass Balloon Festival. You’ll see spectacular morning flights and an evening lighted ascension and concert.
• Experience the “top of it all” with field trips to the Continental Divide and the world-famous and breathtaking view of the “Maroon Bells.”
• Choose to hike, bike or take jeep rides in the spectacular Rocky Mountains, then go on an exhilarating rafting adventure on the Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon.



Activity Particulars

Activities in the field in small groups of up to 20 people including the instructor. Hiking up to three miles over uneven terrain in groups split according to desired intensity. Bicycling or rafting options according to desired intensity. Elevations up to 12,510 feet. Lodging at 8,200 feet.



Program limited to 150 participants, divided into smaller groups for most activities.



Coordinated by Mountains and Plains Institute.




Snowmass

Snowmass Village is a thriving community nestled in Western Colorado’s Snowmass Maroon Bells Wilderness Area and West Elk Mountain Range. The town is known as a gateway to world famous skiing, and is home to one of the most important paleontological sites in Colorado.



Accommodations
Lodging: Comfortable lodge with heated pool, hot tub sauna, one block from shuttle buses and restaurants in Snowmass Village.

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

Bill Bertschy is president of the Mountains and Plains Institute for Lifelong Learning and Service, founded in July of 2008. The Institute organizes and manages a variety of educational travel and service programs, working with organizations including Rocky Mountain Nature Association, Road Scholar, and others. Bill retired in 2008 after 35 years serving as the director of the Pingree Park Campus of Colorado State University. Bill received a PH.D. from the University of Northern Colorado in Higher Education Administration. He also received a M.Ed. and B.S. from Colorado State University. He belongs to several professional organizations and serves on two non-profit Boards of Directors including the Poudre Heritage Alliance. He served 1997-2005 on the Fort Collins City Council, and was Mayor Pro-Tem. Bill has traveled extensively worldwide and has led educational travel groups of students and others to Mexico and East Africa, most recently completing a service project in Tanzania that provided fresh water to a primary school serving 400 students. He has lived in Fort Collins for most of his life and is a native of Colorado.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   The Stonebridge Inn
  Aspen/Snowmass Village, CO 7 nights
 The Stonebridge Inn
Type: Lodge
  Description: See below webpage
  Contact info: 300 Carriage Way
Snowmass Village, CO 81615 USA
phone: 800-922-7242
web: www.stonebridgeinn.com
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call hotel Reserve directly with the hotel
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call hotel Reserve directly with the hotel
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check-in 3-5 pm; Introductory Meeting and Orientation 5 pm followed by dinner and opening program You will be staying at The Stonebridge Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Independent departures following breakfast; Hotel check-out 10 am You will be staying at The Stonebridge Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Acknowledgement of Risk-Liability Waiver Form to be mailed to the Mountains and Plains Institute office,155 W. Harvard Street, Suite 202, Fort Collins, CO 80525
  Parking availability:
No charge for outside parking lots, underground covered parking is an additional charge and not included in Road Scholar package.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Aspen/Snowmass Village, CO
  Nearest city or town:  Aspen
  Nearest highway: CO State Hwy 82
  Nearest airport:  Aspen Sardy Field (ASE)
  From End of Program
  Location: Aspen/Snowmass Village, CO
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Snowmass Village

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
High Mountain Taxi
phone: 970-925-8294
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $160 total for up to 6 persons
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

 

Distance:

 

45 miles

   

http://www.hmtaxi.com/ High Mountain Taxi offers door to door service from AMTRAK Station in Glenwood Springs to the Stonebridge Hotel in Snowmass Village. Call for reservations

 

Snowmass Village/Denver International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Colorado Mountain Express
phone: 800-525-6363
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for current rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

4 hours 

 

Distance:

 

220 miles

   

Airport code is DEN

 

Snowmass Village/Eagle County Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
High Mountain Taxi/Limousine
phone: 970-925-8294
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for current rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

67 miles

   

Airport Code is EGE

 

Snowmass Village-Aspen Sardi Field (ASE)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Stonebridge Inn Hotel Shuttle
phone: 970-923-2420

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

No charge from Aspen Sardi Airport (ASE)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles

   

Gateway airport is Aspen Pitkin County Airport (ASE). Hotel has free shuttle from Aspen Airport. Participants should call the above number once they land in Aspen and ask for a pickup. Aspen/Pitkin County Airport offers 14 daily flights with as many as 18 on Sundays from Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), and Chicago (ORD).

 
Driving Directions
  Snowmass Village from East or West-Interstate 70 Follow I-70 west or east to exit 116 in Glenwood Springs, take Exit 116, to Hwy 82. Follow the signs for Snowmass Village/Snowmass Ski Area. In approximately 38 miles, turn right onto Brush Creek Road at the traffic light, following signs toward Snowmass Village/Snowmass Ski Area. Take Brush Creek Road for six miles until you enter Snowmass Village. On the right will be the Village Center and a small Conoco gas station. Take a left onto Wood Road. Take an immediate right on to Carriage Way. Stonebridge Inn is located 2 1/2 blocks up the road on the left hand side--directly across from parking lots #1 and #2.
Elevation Note: 8,575 in Snowmass Village to 12,095 on field trips

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: Hotel check-in 3-5 pm; Introductory Reception and Orientation 5 pm followed by dinner and opening program:
(Monday, September 8)

Note: There is an ingrained pioneering spirit in Snowmass Village that dates back to the early 1900s. Ranchers saw promise in the small mountain nook with its vibrant creeks and rivers, bountiful land, and incredible backdrop. That pioneering spirit rings just as true today as it did over 100 years ago. Throughout the past century, athletes, artists, adventurers, and outdoor enthusiasts have flocked to Snowmass Village for the ultimate mountain experience.



   
 Arrive To: Welcome to beautiful Snowmass and Aspen! Please schedule arrival no later than 4 pm to allow for time to check-into your room and prepare for our Welcome Reception at 5 pm sharp.
 Dinner: Our opening dinner buffet folows our Welcome Orientation and Reception
 Evening: As a conclusion to dinner we will have special welcome remarks by our Road Scholar hosts and an introduction to the Snowmass and Aspen area.
   
Accommodations: The Stonebridge Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Morning Presentation; Field trips begin late morning and afternoon as we discover the Aspen region.
(Tuesday, September 9)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a hearty breakfast buffet with hot and cold choices and made to order omelets and eggs.
 Morning: We gather this morning continuing our chance to get to know each other. This is also a time in which the group will be brought up to date on the developments of the schedule, changes due to opportunity, needs and weather.
 Morning: We begin our Discover Aspen Field Trips, groups will daily explore the Aspen region with a variety of selected activities. Some groups will participate in all activities and some will choose activities based upon physical activity level.
 Lunch: We enjoy a picnic box lunch in one of our field trip destinations.
 Afternoon: Continue morning field trips. Enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery as we journey to the top of it all, the great Continental Divide at Independence Pass or immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of the Maroon Bells rising over 14,000 feet from our high lake vantage point. All participants will have the opportunity to see both sights during the program.
 Dinner: Dinner tonight is own own to explore the many dining options of Snowmass Village.
 Evening: Free evening to explore the town of Snowmass Village or relax and spend time with new friends.
   
Accommodations: The Stonebridge Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Pre-selected Field Trips for all from Mountain Excursions, to historical walks in downtown Aspen.
(Wednesday, September 10)

Note: Several activities will be available for participant's choice: hiking from 2-6 miles; bicycling; historical or culinary walks in Aspen; 4 wheel drive drives to mountain tops. All participants will participate in four exciting adventures during the program plus the raft excursion and also including the two field trips to Independence Pass and Maroon Bells.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a hearty breakfast buffet with hot and cold choices and made to order omelets and eggs.
 Morning: Today we continue our Discover Aspen Area Field Trips, groups will daily explore the Aspen region with a variety of pre-program selected activities. Some of you may choose taking hikes into the National Forest amidst aspens in their changing hues of Autumn; some may take an exciting bicycle ride; some may head into the hills by 4 wheel drive vehicle; or some may choose to discover the history and well preserved Victorian architecture of the old silver now ski boom town of Aspen.
 Lunch: Lunch today will be a Box Lunch on a field trip.
 Afternoon: Continue morning field trips. Some may choose to learn about the food treats of Aspen with a unique guided walk with tastings of Aspen's hidden culinary treasures. Or take a scenic bicycle ride of varying lengths, or the other choices offered in the morning.
 Dinner: We enjoy a dinner buffet in our hotel.
 Evening: This evening following dinner we will be joined by local experts for a presentation on a unique aspect of the Aspen area from sensitivity to the environment to the fascinating local history.
   
Accommodations: The Stonebridge Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Rafting the mighty Colorado River, choice of a swim in the world famous Glenwood Hot Springs or exploring the Glenwood Springs downtown.
(Thursday, September 11)

Note: This raft trip is the most popular route that allows you to experience the best of the mighty Colorado River. The trip begins in with some exciting but moderate rapids and then the journey continues through the incredible sky high walls of the Glenwood Canyon formed millions of years ago. The raft guides will fill you in on all the local knowledge of the area as you paddle your way through Glenwood Springs: a truly great stretch of river!



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a hearty breakfast buffet with hot and cold choices and made to order omelets and eggs.
 Morning: We depart the hotel for the scenic drive to Glenwood Springs for our half day raft trip. This is the most popular route that allows you to experience the best of the mighty Colorado River. The trip begins with some exciting but moderate rapids and then continues through the incredible sky high walls of the Glenwood Canyon formed millions of years ago. The raft guides will fill you in on all the local knowledge of the area as you paddle your way through Glenwood Springs: a truly great stretch of river!
 Lunch: Lunch today will be a BBQ Lunch cooked alongside the Colorado River following the Raft Trip.
 Afternoon: Following lunch participants will have the choice of soaking or swimming in the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs; or exploring on own by foot the historic town of Glenwood Springs. Glenwood Hot Springs is the world’s largest hot springs pool. The hot mineral water has been drawing visitors from all over the world since 1888, when the original spa opened. But even before that, the Ute Indians made yearly pilgrimages to the springs which they considered to be sacred. We arrive back in Snowmass by mid-afternoon.
 Dinner: Tonight is an opportunity to dine on own in Aspen. Shuttles will be arranged or utilize the convenient and free local transit system to explore the restaurants and town of Aspen. Snowmass restaurants may be the choice of some who feel so inclined.
 Evening: Free evening to explore the town of Aspen or relax and spend time with new friends. Set time will be arranged for shuttle back to hotel.
   
Accommodations: The Stonebridge Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Field trip to Independence Pass and Maroon Bells; Free time and optional activities
(Friday, September 12)

Note: Independence Pass is a scenic location for the Continental Divide. The Continental Divide, also called the Great Divide, is a natural boundary line separating waters that flow into the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico from those that flow into the Pacific Ocean. It runs north-south from Alaska to northwestern South America.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a hearty breakfast buffet with hot and cold choices and made to order omelets and eggs.
 Morning: This morning, the second opportunity to enjoy either the spectacular mountain scenery as we journey to the top of it all, the great Continental Divide at Independence Pass or immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of the Maroon Bells rising over 14,000 feet from our high lake vantage point.
 Lunch: Lunch today will be on your own.
 Afternoon: This afternoon is free. Several optional activities will be offered in addition to scheduled shuttles between Snowmass and Aspen for shopping and exploring. The optional activities will be announced, some at an additional fee.
 Dinner: We enjoy a dinner buffet in our hotel.
 Evening: We gather for a special evening presentation to be announced.
   
Accommodations: The Stonebridge Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Balloon Festival Kicks Off! Afternoon Field Trips
(Saturday, September 13)

Note: Famous for some of its unique competitions, the Snowmass Balloon Festival is one of a kind boasting one of the most colorful balloon festivals in the world, coinciding with the turning of aspen trees during the fall colors season. A coordinated launch of all balloons participating in the Balloon Festival. Pilots will attempt to maneuver as close as possible to two different targets, location to be determined by official judges, based on the winds the morning of competition.



   
 Morning: Today begins the Snowmass/Aspen Balloon Festival. We will gather early before sunrise for a quick cup of coffee and snack and then travel by several conveyance options the short distance to the Ascension Grounds to watch the inflation and lift off of dozens of colorful hot air balloons.
 Brunch: We dine a bit later this morning following the balloon ascension. Enjoy a hearty breakfast brunch with hot and cold choices and made to order omelets and eggs.
 Afternoon: Following our early lunch, we continue our Discover Aspen Area Field Trips, groups will explore the Aspen region with a variety of selected activities.
 Dinner: We enjoy a dinner buffet in our hotel.
 Evening: Enjoy the beautiful Night Glow event of the hot air balloons with their illumination from the engines as they rise tethered above the landscape.
   
Accommodations: The Stonebridge Inn
Meals Included: Brunch, Dinner

Day 7: Balloon Ascension and "Dance"; Gondola ride up Snowmass Mountain; Closing Dinner
(Sunday, September 14)

Note: A coordinated launch of all balloons participating in the Balloon Festival. Pilots matched in pairs will take off with a partner balloon, each holding one end of flagging tape . The two balloons that remain in the air the longest with the flagging tape intact win this portion of the competition. Once aloft, the balloons will float effortlessly above the Snowmass Valley perhaps dropping down for a splash-n-dash in ponds, offering spectacular views and tremendous photographic opportunities.



   
 Morning: Our second chance to watch the balloons rise. We will gather early before sunrise for a quick cup of coffee and snack and then travel by several conveyance options the short distance to the Ascension Grounds to watch the inflation and lift off of dozens of colorful hot air balloons.
 Brunch: We dine a bit later this morning following the balloon ascension. Enjoy a hearty breakfast brunch with hot and cold choices and made to order omelets and eggs
 Afternoon: This afternoon take a ride on the gondola above it all on Snowmass Mountain. Some may choose to hike around the area at the top of the gondola.
 Dinner: A special closing dinner will be held with tribute to our week's themes.
 Evening: Closing remarks from our Road Scholar hosts.
   
Accommodations: The Stonebridge Inn
Meals Included: Brunch, Dinner

Day 8: Independent departures following breakfast; Hotel check-out 10 am
(Monday, September 15)
   
 Depart From: Independent departures following breakfast; Hotel check-out 10 am; reserve airport shuttles at the front desk the night before departure.
 Breakfast: Enjoy a hearty breakfast buffet with hot and cold choices and made to order omelets and eggs.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
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


Aspen & Central Colorado Trails: A Hiking Guide


Author: Warren Ohlrich


Description: This hiking trail guide contains detailed route descriptions and maps for 36 hikes in the high country and Wilderness in the Central Colorado area around Aspen, including Leadville, Redstone and Marble, Crested Butte, and the Fryingpan River Valley. Features include a foldout map, a trail selection guide, and a section on Wilderness and Wilderness ethics.



Messages in Stone: Colorado's Colorful Geology


Author: Vince Mathews and the Colorado Geological Survey


Description: Introduction to the rocks, structures and geologic history of Colorado. Includes discussion of landforms and geologic hazards. Lavishly illustrated with photographs of Colorado sites and maps. Appropriate for geologists and non-geologists.



Scenic Driving Colorado, 3rd (Scenic Routes & Byways)


Author: Stewart M. Green


Description: This guidebook offers travel and historical information for 30 visually stunning driving routes, from Pawnee National Grassland of the Great Plains to Rocky Mountain National Park, the San Juan Mountains, and the deserts of the Colorado Plateau.



Tomboy Bride: A Woman's Personal Account of Life in Mining Camps of the West


Author: Harriet Fish Backus


Description: Just after the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, twenty-year-old Harriett Fish took the train from Oakland to Denver to marry her fiancé George Backus. After the wedding, they journeyed by narrow gauge train to Telluride high in the San Juan Mountains. George was an assayer for the Tomboy, a silver and gold mine at timberline over 11,000 feet high. This is just over the ridge from the Yankee Boy Basin mining area we visit on our four-wheel drive trip. Author Harriett Fish Backus, describes their life in vivid detail. Over half the book covers their years at the Tomboy; also covered are their mining and milling experiences in British Columbia, Idaho, and back to Colorado. At the beginning of World War I, George pioneered the process still used today to concentrate molybdenum, a metal used to strengthen steel. This is the best book that covers everyday life in the mining camps of the West.





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