Last April in Travel we featured Northern California's Victorian village of Ferndale. As home of the tallest living Christmas tree, this is the town that goes all out for Christmas. On Dec. 8 St. Nicholas gallops into town on a white horse, hands out candy to the kids. Lots of caroling, crafts. Other trees lining Main Street will be decorated by youngsters from Ferndale Elementary School. The chamber has put together a packet of information about this charming little town near the redwoods. Tips on specialty shops, restaurants, lodging, art galleries. Write to the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 325, Ferndale, Calif. 95536, or telephone (707) 786-4477.
A series of budget trips is being booked by the Sierra Club (non-members are eligible). Coming up in February is one to Yosemite. Skiing, hiking, ice skating. This is a four-day package. Prices out to $147/$199 for round-trip transportation from Los Angeles, accommodations at Yosemite Lodge. Club members are scheduling a 17-day bus trip next summer to national parks in Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming. A good buy at $659 (transportation from Los Angeles, accommodations, a raft trip, some meals). Details from Adam Burk, P.O. Box 66231, Los Angeles 90066. Telephone (213) 645-7473.
Free Trip Planner
Travel Tidings is the name of a new trip planner that's being published twice monthly. Up to 100 travel ideas per issue along with toll-free telephone numbers. The publisher includes "information for the adventurous and not-so-adventurous." Everything from safaris to motor-coach tours. Lists of tourist bureaus with telephone numbers and addresses. A "destination report" accompanies each issue. In the works for November is a cruise report. For a sample copy, write to Travel Tidings, 2326 Pacheco Place, Santa Rosa, Calif. 95401-5733. Be sure to ask about subscription prices. The publisher made no mention of this in his correspondence.
Arlene Hastings of Sherman Oaks wants the name of a "reasonably priced riding ranch in Arizona." A new brochure just arrived from the operator of Middleton Ranch in Arizona. This is outside Tucson en route to Nogales. Accommodations for up to eight guests in four double rooms. Figures out to $100 a day single or $150 double. Meals, riding included. Or there's a bed-and-breakfast rate of $40 single, $60 double. Details from Middleton Ranch, P.O. Box 504, Amado, Ariz. 85645, or telephone (602) 398-2883.
Readers curious about current shows in Reno, Tahoe, Las Vegas can call (213) 976-1776 for a 90-second taped message. Describes acts in each of the resort towns. Phone line open 24 hours a day. This is a new service that's offered by Show Information Line of Van Nuys. Note: There's a 55-cent charge for each call.
More on Nevada. For a 24-page guide that lists 150 campgrounds in the state, write to the Nevada Commission on Tourism, Capitol Complex, Carson City, Nev. 89710. These same people will mail you a brochure describing 16 historic communities, including ghost towns. A map pinpoints each destination.
We've had a flurry of inquiries from readers about the Travelers' Century Club, which ranks as the world's most exclusive travel organization. To qualify, a member must have visited a minimum of 100 countries. The current record-holder is Parke G. Thompson of Akron, Ohio. Thompson landed in the 1985 Guinness Book of Records with 288 countries to his credit. Since then he's added 11 others. Mrs. Thelma Leonard of Marina del Rey is another top contender with 257 countries. Members meet regularly, exchange travel tips, information. For details write to Travelers' Century Club, 8033 Sunset Blvd., Box 9, Los Angeles 90046.
England--Jeannie Phillips, San Luis Obispo: Praises the "beautiful Ivy House, 2 Victoria Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 1EN, England. About $15 per night for two (with a toddler)."
England--Bonnie and Charley Wyle, Los Angeles: Somerset House, 35 Bathwick Hill, Bath, Avon BA2 6LD, England. Rates: 59/145.
England--Reg Jones, Corona del Mar: "Of interest to your senior readers may be the recent easing of age restrictions for car hire in Britain. I picked up a car rental pamphlet which led me to Team Cars Ltd. in West London. This agency is located 10 minutes from M4 Motorway to the west, and to the north-south circle (ring) road now surrounding London, which provides easy exodus from this busy city. Minimum-maximum age requirements are 23-75. They also provide free collection/delivery service to Heathrow and Gatwick airports. But the best news for drivers of any age is the price. A peppy little Ford Fiesta hatchback cost 12.50 per day inclusive of tax and insurance for my six-week rental. Write Team Cars Ltd., 327 King St., Hammersmith, London W6 9HN, England."