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TOURS 2000: TWO SPECIAL WEEKS OF DAFFODILS AND MORE

Pre-Convention Tour from San Francisco to Portland, 19-30 March, 2000

     During the eleven days leading up to the 2000 Convention, the Oregon Daffodil Society's Pre-Convention Tour will introduce participants to the scenic and horticultural sights of Northern California and Oregon. It will immerse us in daffodils: a show, gardens of growers and fields of hybridizers, public display gardens and naturalized plantings.  The Tour starts with overnight at the Vintage Court Hotel in San Francisco on Sunday, March 19.  The bus tour will begin on Monday morning, March 20 at the Hotel and conclude Thursday, March 30 at the World Daffodil Convention Hotel in Portland, Oregon.

     Soon after leaving San Francisco and crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, our first stop will be at an award-winning garden on the Tiburon Peninsula belonging to an artist and avid gardener. We will enjoy coffee and muffins while strolling through this garden filled with an array of rare plants, many newly discovered.  Traveling northward, we'll savor the beauty and diversity of Northern California's wine country with visits to noted wineries and private gardens in both the Napa Valley and Sonoma Valleys.  We'll sip fine wines while enjoying daffodils and other plants in their gardens.  Lunch will be enjoyed under the gazebo at the Trefethen Winery, the last remaining nineteenth century wooden winery in Napa Valley, where the buildings date back to 1886. Then on to the garden at Matanzas Creek Winery, which is noted for its innovative use of California native plants.

After an overnight in Santa Rosa, we travel north and west, passing through the picturesque Anderson Valley and along the Navarro River to the Pacific Coast.   Amongst the Redwood groves the wild dogwoods, trilliums and other wildflowers should be at peak bloom.  We'll enjoy dramatic seascapes along the Mendocino Coast as we travel to the historic town of Fort Bragg. Several highlights here will be a tour of the Mendocino Botanical Garden and visits to several private gardens.   A ride on the famous narrow-gauge "Skunk Train" will be a memorable experience as the train passes through forests of stately redwoods to the summit of the Coastal Range.

After an overnight in the colorful town of Willits, the tour continues north to Garberville and the renowned daffodil garden of Nancy and Jerry Wilson filled with miniature-hybrid and species daffodils. The Wilsons will host us for lunch.   The afternoon is filled with more highlights - wine tasting and the inspiring "Avenue of the Giants," where Coast Redwoods (Sequoia sempirvirens) tower overhead.

In the town of Fortuna we'll participate in their Annual Spring Daffodil Show T hosted by the Fortuna Garden Club.   This show draws entries from exhibitors from Oregon and California.  If arranged in advance, some of us may help judge the show. We'll visit the unique nearby town of Ferndale where buildings adhere to a strict and beautiful Victorian theme. There will be a special daffodil show banquet in the evening.

River Lodge at Fortuna, California


We'll also spend time in local daffodil gardens such as the Christine Kemp Memorial at the Humboldt Botanical Garden and Stan Baird's garden at his home.  As our trip continues north we'll visit the Sun Valley Bulb Farm.  Then there will be final vistas of seascape and Redwood forest before entering Oregon.

Crossing into Oregon, another wealth of natural and horticultural treasures awaits us. The famous Oregon Pacific coastline is unmatched for scenic beauty.  A day of surprises awaits as the Tour takes us northward with visits to Sea Lion Caves, stunning coastal dunes and beautiful gardens. Just south of Coos Bay and nestled along the shoreline we visit 'Shore Acres State Park' where an incomparable display of more than 5000 daffodils and tulips should be at the peak of bloom.  Many of these spectacular blooms will be in one of the display gardens of the Oregon Daffodil Society.  Later, a stop will be made to visit the Darlingtonia Botanical Wayside, a sphagnum bog noted for 'Cobra Lilies'.

Departing the Coast, the tour bus will follow the Siuslaw River inland to the Coastal crest and then drop down into the horticultural and garden mecca of Eugene. Here we will visit a medley of award-winning gardens and nurseries.  Gossler Farms Nursery contains one of the largest collections of magnolias in North America as well as many rare and unusual shrubs, perennials and bulbs.

The final day of the journey will allow a stop in Hubbard, Oregon at the Grant Mitsch Novelty Daffodils. Here, acres of seedlings and cultivars registered by Grant Mitsch and Elise & Richard Havens await our view... a perfect way to whet our appetite for our return visit during the Convention.

Daffodil Festival Weekend Tour, March 16-19, 2000


Mother Lode Show at Kautz Ironstone Winery, Murphys

For those who want even more daffodils, the Northern California Daffodil Society presents a preliminary weekend tour. This tour will begin with overnight on Thursday, March 16 at the Vintage Court Hotel in San Francisco and end Sunday afternoon, March 19 at the Vintage Court Hotel.

On Friday morning, we will travel by bus from San Francisco to the town of Murphys, 125 miles east in the foothills of the Sierra. In the mid 1800s this was the region of the California Gold Rush (the "Mother Lode"). Now it is an area of outdoor activities, historic sites, scenic wonders and lush vineyards. Along the route we'll stop to see a grower's daffodil garden and visit 'Daffodil Hill', where acres of naturalized daffodil plantings trace back to 1877. The Spring displays include over 300 historic cultivars with an estimated 400,000 blooms.

On Saturday we'll visit the "Spring Symphony of Daffodils and Wine," hosted annually by the Kautz Ironstone Vineyards. A major facet of this festival is the Northern California Daffodil Society's Mother Lode Daffodil Show.  As well as daffodils in the show, there will be naturalized daffodils blooming throughout the vineyards and hundreds of show varieties grown in half-barrels for public display.  Will we agree with the judges' decisions on paintings entered in the daffodil-theme art show?  A serious competition, one winning painting will appear as the label on the next release of wine!

Make a special note of this: the Festival's featured daffodil personality
will be Rod Barwick of Tasmania! Rod will be making his first trip abroad. In addition to being ever-present at the Daffodil Show, Rod will delight us Saturday afternoon with a presentation: "My View of Seeing Daffodils Up-side Down."

Irish Days at Murphys California

Nearby, the historic town of Murphys will be celebrating Saint Patrick's
Day
. There will be a shuttle bus between KIV and Murphys where special events are scheduled throughout the day.  The historic town is full of shops, boutiques, pubs and inns.

On Friday evening and Saturday morning we will be able to help stage and judge the daffodil show on the working floor on the winery. On Saturday evening we'll feast at the festival's Gourmet Banquet where KIV opens its wines of the next vintage, pairing them with special dinner dishes.  Each banquet dish will have been the category winner in the festival's culinary competition. Rod Barwick will again entertain us at the Banquet.

Sunday morning we depart from Murphys to the Sierra Nevada where above snowline we find one of California's natural wonders - the famous 'Calaveras Big Trees' (Sequoiadendron giganteum) Giant Redwoods. Among the world's 'oldest living things', their life range can reach 4000 - 5000 years. Differing from the Coastal Redwoods which resprout from stumps, these stately giants only reproduce from seeds.

At historic Columbia, we visit one of the largest and most important mining towns along the Mother Lode.  Between 1850 and 1870, $87 million in gold was extracted from the local placer mines. Step back in history as you stroll through the restored village closely resembling its appearance in the Gold Rush days.

Late afternoon return to San Francisco.


Cost of Tours

San Francisco to Oregon Tour cost estimate is $1525US (double
occupancy) with a minimum of 30 participants.

Should there be 40 or more participants, the cost per person will be $1395US (double occupancy). (Prices are subject to change.)

Cost includes:

  • all transportation by bus

  • Skunk Train

  • eleven nights lodging (Sunday through Wednesday of the following week)

  • four dinners, seven lunches

  • entrance fees where required

  • wine tasting

  • services of an ADS member and an accompanying tour guide

  • and gratuities to the bus driver.

A deposit of $200US will secure a reservation for the San Francisco to Portland Tour.


Weekend Murphys Daffodil Festival Tour cost estimate is $495US (double occupancy) for the minimum of 20 participants.

Should there be 40 or more participants, the cost per person will be $405US (double occupancy).

Cost includes:

  • all transportation by bus

  • Friday evening dinner and Saturday evening Banquet

  • three nights lodging (Thursday through Saturday)

  • entrance fees where required

  • wine tasting

  • services of an accompanying tour guide

  • and gratuities to the bus driver.

A deposit of $100 will secure a reservation for the Daffodil Festival Tour.

Meals other than those specified on the itinerary as well as extra personal expenses (e.g., laundry, phone calls, alcoholic beverages) are NOT included in the tour cost.


Tours Contact and Information

Tour reservations and arrangements are to be made with the tour operator:
Geostar Travel Inc.
4754 Old Redwood Highway - Suite 650A
Santa Rosa CA 95403
telephone 800-624-6633; fax 707-579-0604; e-mail: jbhopper@sonic.net.

Direct any general questions on the SF-to-Portland Tour to the Oregon
Daffodil Society 2000 Tour Manager:
Gene Cameron
Box 503
Newberg, OR 97132
telephone: 503-628-0204
e-mail: godsawesomeacres@compuserve.com

Direct any general questions on the Daffodil Festival Weekend Tour to the Northern California Daffodil Society Tour Manager:
Bob Spotts
409 Hazelnut Drive
Oakley CA 94561
telephone: 925-625-5526
email: rspotts@netvista.net

Brochures and information on the two tours including itineraries and
cancellation/refund policy are available from Geostar Travel Inc. (800-624-6633).

"This article is by Len Forster, Oregon Daffodil Society, and Jan Moyers, Northern California Daffodil Society, and appears in the March issue of the Daffodil Journal"

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Copyright 1997-99 Northern California Daffodil Society.  All rights reserved.
Updated May 04, 2003