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Ageless adventures: Leaving boredom behind

ASHEBORO — Catamaraning on the Great Barrier Reef, exploring the Grand Canyon, basking in the beauty of The Badlands, noshing on New England lobster, touring the world-famous Alhambra palace in Spain — reads like the bucket list of an energetic 20-something, right?

Wrong.

These are some of the travel adventures making it to the bucket lists of Randolph County seniors, as they seek to capitalize on an active and adventurous retired life.

The Randolph Travelers, in conjunction with the Randolph County Senior Adults Association (RCSAA), sponsors trips to various locations throughout the world each year. The club offers opportunities to enjoy traveling and meeting other seniors who hold similar interests, including those who have said goodbye to the workday grind. It also includes those who are still working and have continually put off vacations in lieu of work and other responsibilities, but are now making time for exciting adventures around the world.

Charlotte Graham of Randleman is one Randolph County resident who has chosen to leave boredom behind. She has traveled on nearly a half-dozen trips and taken in countless sights with close friends over the last several years.

Her first trip was to California in October 2014. She and Martha Hough, along with Judy Routh Hayes, Linda Brown and Nancy Hall, traveled to San Francisco to take in the sights of Napa Valley, Old Sacramento and surrounding areas. They took a boat cruise to see the Golden Gate Bridge, visited Alcatraz Island and rode on the Sierra/Nevada Amtrak to Lake Tahoe, Nev. While in Lake Tahoe, they enjoyed another boat cruise and Graham had the opportunity to steer the vessel and meet the captain.

“Visiting places that you have only seen in pictures is just one of the many reasons why it’s such an amazing experience,” said Graham.

Graham enjoyed her first trip so much that she wanted to experience more travel.

Catching the travel bug

Next stop for the group of ageless adventurers?

San Antonio, Texas.

Along with Paula Keeter, Linda Brown, Ray and Cerelda Hopper, Nancy Hall, Cathy Smith and others from the area, Graham and the group enjoyed a stay on the San Antonio River Walk, visited the San Fernando Cathedral and experienced a beautiful light show that told the history of Texas.

They traveled to Austin to tour the Texas State Capitol Building and the Texas State History Museum. The also adventured to the Hill Country of Texas and stopped for a tour of the LBJ ranch, the former home of the 36th president, Lyndon Baines Johnson. The tour included views of a reconstruction of the farmhouse where LBJ was born and his ranch house, referred to as the “Texas White House.”

“It was a great trip!” said Graham.

With photos from several fascinating adventures filling the pages of her memory books, Graham and friends had caught the “travel bug.” In May of 2016, a trip to Michigan was planned.

“Cerelda (Hopper) and I were the only two from Asheboro to go on this trip, but it was fantastic,” Graham said.

The duo started out in Detroit. They toured the Henry Ford Museum and had dinner at Edsel Ford’s home. From there, they ventured up to MacKinac Island, Mich. Only accessible by boat, the island is known as a place where time moves at the pace of horse-drawn carriages and bicycles. They stayed at the exceptional Grand Hotel and enjoyed spectacular views from the world’s longest porch overlooking the Straits of Mackinac.

“Magnificent is the only way to describe it,” she said. “The movie ‘Somewhere in Time’ was filmed there and many prominent people have stayed there, including presidents and first ladies.”

The pair went on to visit Green Bay, Wis., and the home of Bonner’s Christmas Shop in Frankenmuth. They rounded out the trip with stops in Chicago, where they took city and boat tours.

Graham’s most recent trip was to the National Parks and Canyons. The highlights of this trip included stops at the Grand Canyon West, Grand Canyon skywalk, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Zion Park tram tour, Las Vegas, St. George, Utah and Valley of Fire State Park.

Next on her bucket list?

Visiting the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in northern Kentucky in September.

Want to go?

There are lots of safe and economical options, including day trips and overnight trips, as well as domestic and international destinations. You don’t have to be a member of the Randolph Travelers to participate on trips. Visit the Randolph County Senior Adults Association website at www.senioradults.org or stop by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Adult Resource and Education Center (REC) to pick up a travel catalog or learn more.

A few upcoming trips include:

* The Ark Encounter and Creation Museum (Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 18-20).

* Cape Cod the Islands (Oct. 1-8).

* Outer Banks (Tuesday-Thursday, Nov. 7-9).

* A holiday trip to New York City (Tuesday-Friday, Nov. 28-Dec. 1).

Contact Bill Craig, outreach coordinator, Randolph County Senior Adults Association, at 336-625-3389, ext. 232, to sign up.

The Randolph Travelers meets four times a year at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Adult REC, 347 W. Salisbury St., Asheboro. The next meeting will be Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 5:30 p.m. Plan to join the group for dinner and lots of travel discussion.

Article source: http://www.courier-tribune.com/lifestyle/20170804/ageless-adventures-leaving-boredom-behind

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