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Road Scholar, formerly known as Elderhostel, the premier educational adventure for older adults, continues to grow at Kelly Place. Chosen as the first off-college-campus Elderhostel site in the nation (1980), Kelly Place continues this tradition with the following detailed program offerings.

In 2010 Elderhostel revised its registration requirements as well as adopting the name, Road Scholar. Adults who are not elderly and are 40 and up are now welcome to enroll in all programs.

Enjoy Mesa Verde Country's red rock canyons and moderate temperatures. McElmo Canyon Research Institute specializes in small educational study groups emphasizing archaeology, Native American arts and culture. Our archaeological preserve includes 25 Anasazi sites, an Anasazi pottery collection, pottery studio and hiking trails into canyon country. McElmo Canyon Research Institute, hosted by Kelly Place, is located 12 miles from Cortez Colorado, and is 25 miles from Mesa Verde National Park.

Click here to visit Road Scholar website to view or sign up for our programs.


Meet Diane McBride as facilitator, guide and instructor for our programs.

Diane McBride is our Group Leader for all of the Road Scholar programs. She will attend to your individual needs and make sure the group has a wonderful and memorable experience. She is also an instructor for many of the archaeological features of our programs. Diane brings to Kelly Place two passions: archaeology and education. She has taught preschoolers through adults in a variety of settings including the Anasazi Heritage Center Museum and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. She has been a contract coordinator for the Cultural Site Stewardship Program on Canyons of the Ancients National Monument since 2008, helping to ensure that the ancient sites are not desecrated or destroyed . Diane has also served as the Executive Director of Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance, a non-profit partner organization for Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and the Anasazi Heritage Center. In her free time, you can find Diane hiking the canyons and mesas or traveling the world with her husband and best friend, Bob.


Road Scholar and McElmo Canyon Research Institute,
Present the 2018 Programs


Hiking To Ruins in the Southwest

March 31-April 6 May 19-25 Sept. 15-21 Oct. 6-12

Hike through sculpted red-rock canyons with spectacular mountain views. The canyons and mesas of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park and Hovenweep National Monument are the sites for unique hikes led by experienced archaeologists. Explore a 40-acre archaeological preserve with prehistoric "cliff-dweller" ruins, petroglyphs, and hiking trails into canyon country. You will begin to recognize and identify unexcavated ruins and uncollected pottery sherds as you hike into areas seldom visited by others. Discover the natural beauty of a land which was once home to thousands of Ancestral Puebloan people. Enter thousand-year-old dwellings and an underground ceremonial chamber and learn what is known about the ancient civilizations and what is still a mystery.



Archaeology, Native American Art: Southwest Intergenerational Program

June 23-29 July 14-20 Aug. 11-17

Intergenerational programs offer the opportunity for grandparents to share with grandchildren ages 10-13 an activity-filled experience just for them. The Southwest comes alive during this week of exploring the cultures of prehistoric and modern Native Americans. Learn to excavate and recognize artifacts while working on a 1,000-year-old site, led by an archaeologist. Discover Native American arts as you create your own pottery, weave a small rug in the ways of the Navajo and imagine what life was like for the ancient Puebloans as you descend into a prehistoric ceremonial kiva. Meet modern day members of the Ute and Navajo tribe and enjoy their music, A special field trip to Mesa Verde National Park, accompanied by an archaeologist, takes you back in time to wonder at the skills of the ancient cliff-dwellers.



Ancient Treasures: Photography in the Four Corners

April 14-20 Sept. 1-7 Oct. 20-26

Discover the color and history of the southwest through the lens of your camera on a journey to capture the spectacular land formations and ancient ruins of the Four Corners. Southwest photography teachers will guide you to snap stirring images of rock art, Ancestral Puebloan dwellings, desert wildlife and plants, majestic mountains and sculpted red-rock canyons. Learn in the classroom basic information about your camera and how to visualize your shots in order to get the best images. Enjoy outings to each of the Four Corners including the exotic hoodoos of Bisti Wilderness, Valley of the Gods, Mesa Verde, Canyons of the Ancients and more. Practice your enhanced artistic eye as your guides interpret the breathtaking landscapes, prehistoric ruins and ancient cultures. The unique vistas of Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado are gathered for you to explore and capture in the Four Corners.


Introducing Lanny Wagner and Steven W. Martin of Ranger Images Photography

About Lanny Wagner: Although I grew up in Florida, I have spent the majority of my adult life living in the American Southwest, in California and New Mexico. I never tire of exploring old and new stomping grounds and experiencing nature's showcase. I understand time dictates the need to drive to many of my favorite spots, but I prefer walking, as my grandmother taught me at a young age, "true treasures are found on foot". My love of photography was also gained from her husband, my grandfather, as he started shooting in the 1920's. They both taught me so much, patience, a love of nature, and most important, respect for all things, and this still influences my life and photography today. I have had more "best days ever" than I can count, some with my camera and others without. The trick for me when I am out in nature is remembering it is not about getting the best shot, but just about being there. I currently live in Mancos, Colorado near Durango with my beautiful wife Stacy and our pet rabbits, Jake and Bella.

Lanny's Current Exhibitions: My photos are currently on display in several locations around the Four Corners area of the United States including Moab, Durango (Ultimate Mountain Living) Dolores and Cortez, Colorado. I also spend time shooting in the Panhandle of Florida and have my beach photos displayed in several locations there including Kiss Bakery (Destin) and Pelican Isle Condos. I recently had a photo selected and published in Landscape Photography Magazine which is based in the UK. Along with my partner Steven W Martin, we recently completed a night photography session at the request of the National Park Service at Hovenweep National Monument. The photographs will be used to educate visitors on the night sky in this area. Recently (2016) I was selected to complete a photo inventory for the Bureau of Land Management (Tres Rios Field Office SW Colorado) of all of the Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) located on public land in the area. The inventory lasted over two months and required extensive hiking/overnight camping into remote areas to capture the essence of each WSA. In November 2016, I spent over a week in the country of Iceland capturing landscapes and traveling throughout the country. I have several of my photos currently displayed in Iceland. Two of my photos were selected and received awards by the Center of Southwest Studies located in Durango, CO at Fort Lewis College. They are currently there on display through December 2016 as part of a program celebrating the National Park Services 100 year anniversary.
To learn more visit: Lanny Wagner's gallery.

About Steven Martin: Conservation Photography with Purpose Steven spent 29 years protecting public lands, natural, cultural and historic resources throughout the Western United States. Today, Steven utilizes the medium of digital photography to capture the essence of the West's natural wonders, historic and cultural resources in the hope these images inspire an appreciation for the lands and resources that remain in the public trust for the benefit and enjoyment of everyone. Steven is constantly in search of ways to promote conservation and continued public stewardship of these irreplaceable resources through his photography. "Description of the inspiration or the meaning of a work of photography... lies in the work itself. The endless discussions of creativity appear to me to be pointless intellectual carousels; their purpose seems more the presenting of burnt offerings and worshiping of modish identifications than the achieving of mutual enlightenment." Ansel Adams, ca. 1983. Steven's honors and experience are too long to list here.
To learn more visit: Steven W. Martin's gallery.


Service: Artifact Preparation and Curation

June 2-8

Centuries ago, the Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi) people left their homes in the canyons and mesas of Southwest Colorado in search of a different life. Archaeologists have studied these dwellings and the possessions they left behind for clues to understanding their culture. Working at the McElmo Canyon Research Institute, you will assist with the classification, cataloging and protection of ancient artifacts from sites on the property while you learn to identify and appreciate the remarkable lives of these ancient people. Tour the curation facility at the Anasazi Heritage Center, headquarters for Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and spend a day at Mesa Verde National Park with your archaeologist guide to exercise your new insights.

Click here to visit Road Scholar website to view or sign up for our programs.

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