Afternoon: Check-in: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m. Program Registration: Anytime between 4:30 – 5:15 p.m., come over to the Road Scholar desk, located in the hotel meeting room, to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet containing your name tag, the up-to-date schedule, other important information we will review during Orientation, and to confirm the time and place of the session. If you arrive late, please pick up your packet at the front desk. Orientation: We will gather at the hotels meeting room at 5:30 p.m. where the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcoming and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, engaging in available activities on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. This program uses a combination of either a motor coach or 13 passenger turtle top vans. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may be changed due to local conditions and/or circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: Dinner at the Hassayampa Hotel will be the All American Classic BBQ. A serve-your-self buffet of BBQ chicken and ribs, salad, sides and dessert will be offered. Water, ice tea and coffee will be included. Alcoholic beverages available at the hotel lounge.
Activity note: Walking of less than one mile round trip on slightly hilly city blocks. Longer walking options available around downtown area and Courthouse Square. Van shuttle available for those that choose not to walk.
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in hotel conference room. A rotating selection throughout the program week of eggs, potatoes, meat, danish, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, coffee, tea and juice.
Morning: When you arrive in downtown Prescott it is not hard to step back in time and imagine life in the old west. Prescott was the Arizona Territorial capital from 1864-1867. What better way to start an exciting week and to get a sense of territorial life both geographically and socially then from true natives of the area. Enjoy a introductory presentation on the geology and geography of Central Arizona by geologist Mike Young. Mid-morning join Melissa Ruffner a famed local historian and fourth-generation Arizonan whose great-great-uncle was the first U.S. Marshal in Arizona Territory for a history presentation on Prescott. Melissa will set the stage of early territorial history and then lead the group on a walk-about the historic Courtyard Square.
Lunch: Plated lunch at the Palace Restaurant. Located in the middle of famed "Whisky Row" - the Palace first opened its doors in 1877 and is a favorite restaurant of locals and visitors alike. A selection of lunch items from a group menu will be offered. Water, ice tea, hot tea, sodas and coffee will be included. Alcoholic beverages for purchase available from your server.
Afternoon: Afternoon field trip to Sharlot Hall Museum (two blocks walk - shuttle available) with guided tour of the museum grounds. As you prepare for your outing, remember that Arizona did not enter the union until 1912 as the 48th state! The museum chronicles pioneer life in the Arizona Territory and commemorates Prescott as the site of the original Arizona Territory capital. Trained museum docents will interpret the rich history and significance of this era with tours of the original territorial governor's mansion (constructed of rough-hewn logs) and other historic buildings on the grounds during this 1.5 hour tour.
Dinner: Buffet dinner at the Hassayampa Hotel will be the "Paisano" - pasta, chicken Parmesan, vegetable side dish and salad will be offered. Water, ice tea and coffee will be included. Alcoholic beverages available for purchase at the hotel lounge.
Evening: Enjoy a lively performance with longtime local cowboy poets and musicians, Ken and Lynne Mikell in the hotel conference room. Ken and Lynne are a wealth of information on regional cowboy music and poetry. They will have you singing along to some of your favorite western and cowboy songs.
Activity note: Walking a couple blocks on sidewalks. The town of Jerome is built on a hillside, so expect some minor inclines and grades as you walk around town. Driving distance today of 100 miles/2 hours total.
Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hassayampa Hotel.
Morning: Board vehicle(s), depart for the Verde Valley - one hour drive - to spend the morning in the colorful former copper mining town of Jerome. Jerome which during its mining heyday boasted 15,000 residents, is a true western town that has been transformed into an artist colony today. The views from town overlooking the Verde Valley and the distant red rocks of Sedona are stunning. Enjoy a stop at the Douglas Mansion, part of the Jerome State Historic Park. The Douglas Mansion, now the park Visitor Center, houses interesting exhibits, an informative video and bookstore. Your Group Leader will provide commentary and make connections between the mining activities in Jerome and the development of the Verde Canyon Railroad. Time for independent exploration of the park will be provided. Depart for Cottonwood (10 miles) to lunch.
Lunch: While in Jerome, enjoy lunch on your own. The town has many unique eateries to choose from and your Program Leader will be happy to assist with recommendations.
Afternoon: Ride the Verde Canyon Railroad! The Verde Canyon Railroad trip is often referred to as the finest train ride in Arizona and acclaimed as Arizona’s longest-running nature show. The remote wilderness of the Verde Canyon is renowned for its towering red rock pinnacles and clean, green waters. The train rolls past Indian ruins, through a 680-foot man-made tunnel, over old-fashioned trestles and under clear azure skies. This picturesque setting is further enhanced by the variety of indigenous flora and fauna and the many migrating waterfowl. Over thirty bald and golden eagles winter in this riparian respite each year. The 40 mile train trip travels at a leisurely pace and is within site of the Verde River. Passengers enjoy this four-hour scenic train ride in first-class style aboard renovated passenger coaches and open-air viewing cars pulled by vintage locomotives.
Dinner: Dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. Enjoy a Mexican buffet dinner including enchiladas, tacos, rice and beans and more. Water, ice tea, hot tea, sodas and coffee will be included. Alcoholic beverages available for purchase from your server.
Evening: Depart for Prescott, 1 hour drive time. Late arrival back at Hassayampa Hotel.
Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel restaurant.
Morning: Enjoy an interesting and stimulating morning presentation by Karen Landis' on "A Year in the Life of the Arizona Cowboy - Karen and Mike Landis" — Mike is a legend in these parts and was known as Arizona's No. 1 cowboy — They both ranched together for 29 years. Under Mike's tutelage and her indomitable spirit, Karen became a 'cowboy' in her own right and the two of them became one of the best-known ranching couples in northwest Arizona. Karen will share her knowledge about this unique Arizona industry.
Lunch: Light lunch (must save room for dinner) at the Hassayampa Hotel.
Afternoon: Enjoy a presentation by your coordinator on the Reality and Myth of the Wild West and Hollywood Movie Industry, or Holidays in the High Country after lunch followed by time to relax or take a brisk walk in Prescott or around Courthouse Square in anticipation of the evening's festivities. In late afternoon enjoy a social hour in the historic ballroom. A cash bar with beer, wine and soft drinks will be set up prior to your Thanksgiving feast.
Dinner: Thanksgiving Dinner (served late in the afternoon) with Turkey and all the trimmings graciously hosted by your coordinator and the staff of the Hassayampa Hotel. Save room for dessert!
Evening: Following dinner, enjoy socializing and join your coordinator for a program wrap up and final farewells.
Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in hotel restaurant. Program ends following breakfast. Safe travels!
Morning: Wrap up and goodbyes, program ends after breakfast with hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!