Adventuring Interest Group

Our group goes on “adventurous” outings — sometimes in San Francisco Bay or Monterey Bay locations, sometimes further afield such as Panama and Canada.  We sometimes visit museums and other places of interest, take history walks or nature tours, and do whatever inspires us. We usually go once a month and welcome ideas for adventures from our members. 

A group of OLLI Adventurers is shown on our annual December holiday trek to San Francisco by foot, train, ferry, cable car, and trolley. We ran hard to catch this New Orleans, vintage trolley running on the SF F line at Fisherman's Wharf. It's the same trolley we took on our first San Francisco trip in 2000. We visit museums and factories, go to plays, take history walks and nature tours, and do whatever interesting comes along. We usually go once a month, sometimes more often, but nothing on a regular basis. We try to be consistent on the fourth Thursday of the month. We welcome ideas for adventures from our members. We have a large group but since not everyone does everything, our group outings run approximately 7 to 20 participants. We often share events with Art & Architecture and Digital Photography groups, and almost always meet to carpool. Join our email list and see what you've been missing!

Coordinator: Kathryn Nance,,831-425-4569

Membership Status: Unlimited, but a few events are size-limited and the coordinator will request an RSVP. In such cases, reply only if you plan to participate.

Meets as announced by email, on webpage, in the newsletter, and on Institute's calendar. If you do not have email, please find another member of the group who will inform you of the details of the activities.

For more information about interest groups, and to find the contact information for this group, Click here.

Previous Trips:

Elkhorn Slough Safari, April 2010

Trip to Pinnacles National Monument — March 30, 2009

Trip co-leader Robert Franson was struck by large, fantastic rock formations with names like Machete RidgeElephant RockToogsOsiris, and Flumes Formation

Robert can be seen, right, with our other trip leader, Craig Miller, moving boulders off the trail

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Left, sawtooth cliffs at the Pinnacles.


Serengeti in Salinas

On Tuesday, April 8, 2008, about a dozen members of the Adventuring interest group had a special tour of the "Wild Things/Vision Quest" African wild animal park near Salinas. The critters housed there are former TV and screen stars. It was a good opportunity to be up close and personal with animals we rarely see.

Davenport Cement Plant tour Tuesday 3/25/2008.

This is a very popular tour with amazing views from the tallest building in Santa Cruz County. A very old industry dating back more that 100 years, this tour is vital to any understanding of Santa Cruz history. That said, here are the details: Departing from Java Junction in the Gateway Shopping Center (River St. & Hwy 1) Tuesday 3/25 at 9:30 AM for our tour at 10 AM. Since this is so popular, if you can drive a carpool, come prepared to do so. (I suggest a $3 gas donation to your driver). We should be finished by noon, and some may want to stay longer and eat lunch at the new Roadhouse restaurant in Davenport. Bring your camera and real shoes - this is a heavy industrial area. And yes there is an elevator. And we go rain or shine. Not necessary to RSVP me, just show up about 9:00 AM to arrange carpooling. And don't forget your [member's] badges! /Craig Miller.

Lifelong learners at Cemex - 2008

San Francisco — December 2007

Eleven of us ventured forth yesterday to Oakland by train, SF by ferry, trolley, cable car & bus, and "Baby Bullet" train to San Jose. Below are some pictures to prove it. Participants were Leslie Kalinsky, Paul Henry, May Clark, Matt Miller, Arlene Orens, John & Sheila Bartlett, Lynn Houser, Kathy Cairns, and Saliie Johnson led by Craig Miller and group dynamics.

At the Cable Car Powerhouse

Santa Cruz County Fair — Sept 13

We toured the Agriculture Museum, led by our own Bill Patterson, a docent there.

SF Opera — September 9

Sixteen lifelong learners attended the SF Opera in Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park. Craig reported that a great day was had by all.

Lifelong learners in Golden Gate Park

Watsonville Wetlands Adventure, Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Seventeen lifelong learners visited the Patrick J. Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center and the Watsonville Wetlands Nature Center in the morning followed by an excellent lunch at Jalisco Restaurant on Main St. in Watsonville.

Letter from Joan and Lou Rose:

Hi Adventurers -

Thanks for joining us today on a visit to the Watsonville Wetlands and the two visitor centers: Watsonville Education Resource Center (WERC) and the Ramsay Park Nature Center. It's great to have such enthusiastic, eager-to-learn friends!

It was fun tramping around a slough with Michelle Templeton and seeing ruddy ducks, cinnamon teals, coots, a green heron, swallows and a "teen-age" cormorant. (Elliot was probably disappointed we didn't see a snake!)

Lunch at Jaliscos afterward was frosting on the cake... that is, salsa on the burritos!

If you're interested in helping preserve the wetlands, there are many ways to get involved, such as joining Watsonville Wetlands Watch, helping restore the wetlands on community workdays, helping create a native plant demonstration garden or propagating native plants in the greenhouse, becomng a docent, and other volunteer opportunities. For more information, contact Rachel Garrett at WERC (831) 768-1622 or see the WERC website: or The Watsonville Wetlands Watch site:

Again, thanks for coming. Your informed questions and attentive interest made a real impression on those who met with us.

Joan and Lou

Oakland Museum of California, Thursday, April 19, 2007

A joint adventure with the Art & Archetecture Group. April 19. Click below to see photos of the trip:

Cabrillo Horticulture Dept. Tour, 3/29/2007

Cabrillo College Horticulture Department, located above the college, with a grand view of the entire Monterey Bay, is home to a three-year-old, nine-million-dollar, cutting-edge facility for the training of our community members in all aspects of horticulture.

We toured the facility, classrooms, library, instructor offices, shade houses, and tool-storage facilities, with a longer tour of the hot-house facility and the many intriguing engineering systems that support the generation of plants. We finished with a stroll through the Salvia Gardens that grow Salvia Plants from around the world.

Cabrillo College's collection is noted as one of the most extensive, housing some plants only found in these gardens. Ernie Wasson of Cabrillo conducted the tour; thanks to President Bill Patterson for setting this up.

There was a fine Lunch afterwards at Cabrillo's Sesnon House.
San Francisco, December 2006

12/28/06: Eight of us (Matt Miller, Mary Stabler,Steve Zaslaw, Sallie Johnson,Harriet Talan, Priscilla Douglas, Brooke Ewoldson + me) sallied forth yesterday for our annual holiday trip to San Francisco. All connections were successfully made as we rode trains, ferry, bus and streetcar from San Jose to Oakland to San Francisco and return. Boy were those waves rough on the Bay, but the weather turned out sunny (if windy), and we enjoyed a delicious Dim Sum lunch in Chinatown and a well-deserved rest at the new Westfield Shopping Center on Market.
Happy Holidays!/Craig

Photo of us at Jack London Square in Oakland after getting off the train and walking to the SF ferry dock: