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Tours
There are no classes the afternoon of Tuesday, July 25, so Letterforum has arranged tours (12:30–5:30) to three area highlights, plus a barbeque at 7 on Tuesday evening. Tour sign-up form

Outdoor Adventures       $35   

Shenandoah National Park lies astride a beautiful section of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which form the eastern rampart of the Appalachian Mountains between Pennsylvania and Georgia. The drive winds along the crest of the mountains through the park, providing vistas of the spectacular landscape to east and west. We will explore the sites along the beautiful Skyline Drive, stopping at lookout points to take plenty of pictures and a gift shop for local souvenirs.

Next, we will head east to Luray Caverns, eastern America's largest and most popular caverns. From well-lighted, paved walkways explore cathedral-sized rooms filled with towering stone columns and crystal-clear pools. Hear the world's only Stalacpipe Organ (stalactites produce tones of symphonic quality when electronically tapped by rubber-tipped mallets). Outside the caverns we visit the Car & Carriage Museum, an extensive exhibit of transportation and costumes from the early 18th to 20th centuries, and the Garden Maze, a one-acre ornamental garden creating one of the largest mazes in the Mid-Atlantic states.

History and Wine       $35

Our exploration of the Civil War in Virginia begins at the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park. Learn how Virginia Military Institute cadets fought alongside the Confederate Army to force the Union Army from the Shenandoah Valley in 1864. View "Field of Lost Shoes," the award-winning film on the Battle of New Market, and visit the battlefield, the Hall of Valor Civil War Museum, and 19th century Bushong Farm, where nine structures interprete Shenandoah Valley farm life.

Our next stop is the Shenandoah Vineyards on 26 acres of rolling hills. Eleven varieties of grapes grow in the vineyard, mostly Riesling, Vidal, Seyval, Villard Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. A tour of the winery demonstrates how the grapes are grown, harvested, and processed. A wine tasting follows.

Monticello       $35

Monticello, located near Charlottesville, Virginia, is the estate of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the U.S. The house is of Jefferson's own design and is situated on the summit of an 850-foot-high peak (monticello means little mountain in Italian). Monticello, which took 40 years to build, is the only home in the U.S. that has been designated a World Heritage Site. Your visit includes a guided tour inside; much of the interior decoration reflects the ideas and ideals of Jefferson himself.

Jefferson considered gardening to be a fine art, so we will walk around the gardens and grounds. Jefferson's gardens, orchards, and vineyards were a botanic laboratory of ornamental and useful plants from around the world.

Barbeque on the Quad    $20

Join Letterforum on the Quad for a scrumptious Barbeque dinner, Tuesday 7 pm (Tuesday dinner is not included in meal tickets). Register for the festivities on your Housing Registration form and add $20 per person.

Carla Koller at The Travel Place is available to assist participants with all their travel plans. You can contact Carla at [email protected] or at 301-299-4850.