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Tortoise Wing Green Tortoise Crawler Chronicle Tortoise Wing January 2009    

Early Booking Discount

Book your summer vacation now and save!

The early bird gets the worm.  And the early booker gets a discount!  Book your summer trip before January 31, 2009 and receive 10% off the trip fare! This offer is valid on new bookings only, for trips beginning between June 2009 and October 2009, and is not combinable with any other discount offers.

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New Trips: 'Round the Country!

Expand your travel options with the new USA Expedition and USA Trek


More information about the

USA Expedition

and the

USA Trek.

Come see this vast country, Green Tortoise-style. Our new USA Expedition and USA Trek trips offer a comprehensive way to do a grand tour of the United States. Both trips start and end in San Francisco, with Las Vegas connections available as well. That means: great hiking, gourmet cookouts, campfires under the stars, a lot of new friends, and the comfort of your rolling, sleeper-coach home. Each trip is designed to give you an ultimate mix of famous national parks and big cities, as well as a taste of small-town USA and way-off-the-beaten-path destinations. Both trips include stops in Las Vegas, Austin, New Orleans, Washington DC, and Chicago, and both have week-long mid-trip breaks in the Northeast, so you'll have time to explore Boston and/or New York at your own pace. But great cities are only one small part of Green Tortoise cross-country adventures. Big name national parks on the the USA Expedition include the Grand Canyon, White Sands, Big Bend, Great Smoky Mountains, Badlands, Arches, Bryce Canyon, and Zion.  The USA Trek includes stops at Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Badlands, Niagara Falls, Great Smokys, Carlsbad Caverns, Canyon de Chelly, Bryce Canyon, and Zion.  For more information, click the links at right.

PS - You can easily add a Green Tortoise Yosemite Adventure at the start or end of the USA Explorer and USA

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New Trip: Canyons & Coast

Our newest adventure: mountains, beaches, canyons--the Canyons & Coast has it all!


More information about the

Canyons & Coast

We are happy to introduce our newest adventure, the Canyons & Coast.  Starting in San Francisco, we head to Northern California for an incredible hike through old-growth redwoods to the Pacific Ocean, rafting and camping along the Trinity River, hiking the volcanic landscapes of Lassen, and cave-exploring and Native American history at Lava Beds.  We then head into Oregon, for a taste of famous Ashland, a soak in secret hot springs, and a visit to massive, deep-blue Crater Lake.  A mid-trip, recharge day in San Francisco gives you a chance to catch up on tourist sites, or simply sleep away the day at Golden Gate Park or Ocean Beach.  We then head to canyon country: Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Arches national parks are next, followed by a couple of days amongst the Navajo in the Monument Valley area.  The whole thing comes to a climactic end with almost three full days at the Grand Canyon, topped off with a night in Las Vegas before we head back to San Francisco.

Did we mention star-filled camp nights?  Gourmet cookouts?  Wonderful new friends?  It's all part of the Green Tortoise experience.


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The Driver's Side: My Year Driving

Green Tortoise Driver Seena Gives a Little Tortoise Insight

After meeting a veteran Tortoise driver and bus at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco in 2007, I decided I needed a mid-life shift. It began when I quit my teaching job, put my belongings in storage, and got behind the wheel of a big green bus in pursuit of adventure driving, shifting gears in life and on "The Bus."

I thought I had a clue what was in store for me: fabulous places, wonderful new faces, great conversations, party nights on the beach in Baja. All that was in abundance, but it turned out I was unprepared for so much more: The absolutely jaw dropping, awe inspiring sight of sunset on the rim of the Grand Canyon -- no photo can possibly convey being immersed in such grandeur; sumptuous meals prepared by multi-lingual prep crews; traveling with people of all ages from far flung places, an amazing number also taking time to contemplate their next settled destinations in life.

It’s been well over a year, I’m still happily behind a wheel, albeit of a school bus (for now), and I find myself hankering for more Tortoise Travel, plotting to trade that yellow school bus full of raucous ten year olds for a green one populated by international raconteurs.

My planned mid-life shift year is, happily, taking far longer than scheduled. It’s taken me further and inspired so many unplanned shifts it’s like . . . like . . um. . . like a Green Tortoise Adventure Tour! You never know where and when the shifts might happen, but you’ll be in good company and every twist will surely be scenic, mind-bending, and delicious.

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Green Tortoise Hostels

Friendly, convenient, funky!


More information about the Green Tortoise Seattle Hostel and the

Green Tortoise San Francisco Hostel

We've decided to toot our own horn and use this issue's "Friends of the Tortoise" section to tell you a little about our two wonderful hostels.  Both are centrally located, and offer such included amenities as free Internet, free breakfast, and free dinner three nights per week.  Each of our hostels is a great base for your exploration of the West Coast's two best cities, and both are located within walking distance of many sights. And our relaxed atmosphere and full-service facilities make them great places to just hang out and chill.

The Green Tortoise Seattle Hostel is located just around the corner from world-famous Pike Place Market.  The hostel just went through a beautiful rebuild and we're excited to see what you think.

The Green Tortoise San Francisco Hostel is located where North Beach (Little Italy), Chinatown, and the Financial District converge. Plus, our Adventure Travel office is located inside, so be sure to say hello when you stop by.

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"When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

Yogi Berra

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