[Photo, Peter Abresch]
Photo By Roswita Case
Pictures of The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center taken during an Elderhostel® in June, '03

    These photos were taken during the Hiking and White Water Rafting Elderhostel® held at The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center in the southwest corner of North Carolina. This trip was the basis for the upcoming Name Games, the fifth in the Elderhostel® Mystery series. And while one or two people in the novel croak, expire on the spot, take the big dirt nap, I assure you we all made it through the week with nothing more harmful than laughter, excitement--plenty of that--and camaraderie. The captions in quotes under the photographs are taken from the book.


The Lodge with the great room on the left

Hmm, notice the drop off if you're careless


Evening entertainment in the Great Room, Lee Knight on the banjo

And gathering for the first hike


The door to the coffee kitchen

"the morning gloom of the Great Room"


Outside the coffee kitchen, "the balcony, cold against Jim's bare feet"

"God had done it again, spinning the world silently through the night until the sun could reclaim his majesty"


"the humps and bumps of mountains and foothills rising like castle keeps out of the mist"

The deck outside the Great Room


the Heritage Room where Jim "poured two plastic cups of wine..."

"... while Dodee fixed two cups of popcorn"


Outside the Heritage room they "sat outside under the shade trees..."

"... where a zephyr slipped across the rocking chair deck"


The chow hall where "Billy Riley paused at the dessert tray of chocolate cake squares"

The bedroom, "Jim manhandled the night table from between the beds"


"the mother of all stream crossings required going from a wobbly rock, to a pointed one in the middle..."

"... then to a slanted one barely awash before finally reaching the bank"


Two mountain dandelions along the trail

Our leader standing where one step could lead to oblivion.


The fire pit clearing with the parking lot ...

next to it where an odd car sat.


Glen Falls at the end of the hike

One small step for man -- means nothing, just liked the shot
(actually he only touched it, too dangerous to step on it)


Me and my lady

Next day rafting down the Nantahala River


Nantahala Falls where "they plunged onto the shelf..."

"... then washed off the edge of the world."


"Jim's side of the raft dropped into the trough"

"...as a wall of water swirled around him" -- except it was me


The next day's hike and the climb to Siler Bald...

... on the Appalachian trail, "No wonder Jim was huffing and puffing"


They ate lunch "on a rock outcropping on top of the hill"

"The skeletal trunk of a lone tree stood on the grassy knob"


Me and Jim finished the hike, and held on for support

Suited up the next day's rafting trip down Chattooga River


On the way along one of the most famous white water rivers in the country

Meet Mr. Bull Sluice -- I was one of the few who portaged around it


But the brave Elderhostelers who rode it ...

... came through laughing and high fiving.

    I think there were four of us out of the total of maybe thirty-five people who elected not to ride the Bull Sluice, a category four or five falls. In a way I'm sorry I didn't, but then, "Jim Dandy never liked roller coasters."
    All in all it was a great Elderhostel® and everyone had a super time. Although, when it was over, I was ready for a day or two of down time. Food was good, coordinators knew their job and made it fun for us, and The Mountain's stress on safety brought us all through with flying colors. Except .... for a delicious murder or two. Ohhhh yeah.
Peter E. Abresch.

If you would like to order Name Games from the author, based on the ELDERHOSTEL® from which the pohtos were taken, please click Click on [[Right Here].

[E-mail Peter E. Abresch]
Drop me a line.
    If you are a glutton for punishment, there are also photos of the Santa Fe Trail Elderhostel on which the IMBA Best Selling mystery, Painted Lady, is based. Click [[right here] if you'd like to see them.

    I put out the second Elderhostel Mystery Newsletter in April. If you'd like to see it, containing the latest on the newest mystery in progress, click here [NEWSLETTER]. If you'd like to sign up to receive future copies by email, keeping up with the lastest happenings on Jim Dandy and Dodee Swisher, and me, click on [THIS SPOT] and click on send.

To go to my home page click [RIGHT HERE]. There's a place to return here in the announcements.

Thank you for visiting. PEA

    Elderhostel is a federally registered trademark of Elderhostel, Inc.     [Elderhostel Inc.] has granted the Author permission to use its trademark solely for use in these fictional publications having an Elderhostel setting.