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June 10-13, 2018

Zabriskie Point Mark Comon

Our sights this year for the Academy’s post-meeting tour are set on Death Valley National Park. Situated between eastern California and Nevada, it’s known for colorful rock formations and Badwater Basin’s salt flats, which is North America's lowest point. Above, Telescope Peak Trail weaves past pine trees. North of the spiky salt mounds known as the Devil’s Golf Course, rattlesnakes live in Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. [Image: Zabriskie Point; credit: Mark Comon]

We’ll make camp for two nights at the deluxe Inn at Death Valley, a historic park lodge located within a true oasis next to the Panamint Mountain range. Our Deluxe rooms are part of a 50-million dollar renovation of the property finishing in April. One night we’ll be treated to a unique star-gazing opportunity, organized by a member of the local astrological society. Death Valley is a certified Gold Tier Dark Sky Park. The star gazing will be spectacular. The adventure then continues to another oasis, Las Vegas, for a final night; plenty going on including Rod Stewart, Hamilton and J. Lo the 13th. We hope you’ll join us for this unique opportunity to experience the hottest, driest and lowest National Park in America. A brochure with full details is coming shortly.

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Contact Geoff or Phebe at ATA for more information – 706-663-2171, travelata@aol.com



Sunday, June 10

Departing by coach, we’ll plan a “harmony” stop at a winery gift store that also offers snacks. Lunch in the junction town of Barstow will be at the Black Bear Diner, well known for burgers and specialty sandwiches. A little further along the way, we’ll stop in Shoshone at the Charles Brown General Store.

  • Late afternoon arrival at the Oasis. Bring your swimming suit to enjoy a cooling dip in the spring fed pool to shake off the road dust.
  • Welcome dinner at the Inn at Death Valley
  • Depending on the best weather, one of our two nights we’ll head out around 8pm for an “evening under the stars.” Guided by a local astronomer we’ll enjoy the magnificence of Jupiter, Saturn and the milky way. This is a rare opportunity as we’ll be under a truly dark sky.

Monday, June 11

Our guided morning desert tour will shake any sleepy heads awake. Famous attractions include Badwater Basin’s salt flats containing the lowest point in North America, and the Devil’s Golf Course, a large salt pan on the floor of Death Valley. From Dante’s View and Zabriskie Point we’ll overlook the famous badlands, and Artist’s Drive gives colorful perspective to the rock canyons. The afternoon will be dedicated to enjoying the pool, the air conditioning and perhaps a tram ride across the road to the Borax Museum. Here you can find artifacts from the booming mining era that created a lot of wealth. Included are antique wagons, carriages and a steam locomotive.

Note: Golfers should get an early start to play the world’s lowest course at 214 feet below sea level. 

Tuesday, June 12

This morning we again tour in the cooler hours before heading to Las Vegas – two and a half hours via Parumph where we’ll stop for lunch. Our hotel here, the 5–Star Wynn Resort and Casino, offers an award winning spa and buffet as well as many themed restaurants from which to choose, including Italian and Pan-Asian.

Rod Stewart, Jennifer Lopez, the Osmonds, the Broadway hit Hamilton, Cirque de Soleil (La Reve is performed in-house), minor league baseball, magicians, comedians, musical reviews- all are scheduled to perform in Vegas the 12th and 13th of June. In other words, Vegas has something for EVERYONE. 

You might want to book an extra night or two. Tonight is open for you to seek out that very special experience that Las Vegas offers for you.

Wednesday, June 13

Here breakfast is on your own to enjoy a fabulous buffet or quick coffee and bagel. If you decide to stay longer and enjoy the wonders of Las Vegas, one fresh opportunity is a sky ride on the new High Roller observation wheel, a 30-minute ride to give you a bird’s eye view of all of Vegas. Then, perhaps join the Walking Gourmet from 2-5:00pm for a culinary tasting tour of five different Vegas Strip restaurants, including cocktails! Even tips are included in this gustatory exploration. And, with J. Lo and Hamilton in town the 13th, staying another night is very tempting!

We hope you’ll join us!

Please send us your contact information and email or fax so we will make sure you are added to our list for this trip and emailed about future trips as well - Geoff or Phebe, 706-663-2171, travelata@aol.com