OLLI Special Interest Groups

SIGs provide learning or recreational opportunities outside of the scheduled OLLI classes.

Hiking 2011

Hiking Club

2014 Hiking season will be active starting in May.

Join the Hiking Club list to get email reminders - by calling the OLLI office at 474-6607  or emailing  UAF-OLLI@alaska.edu.


A glance at what we did in 2013

Friday, June 21
Angel Rocks Hike
With Patricia Mata-Celis

The group meest at Alaska Coffee Roasters on Geist Road at 8 am. Please bring a lunch and plenty of water. We will hike to the top, enjoy our lunch while taking in the scenery. This is a moderately difficult hike with uphill climbing.  
RSVP by calling Patricia at 388-4358 or 479-0088.

Thursday, June 27
Triple Lakes at Denali National Park
With Patricia Mata-Celis

An all day outing at a relaxed pace ending with dinner at 49th State Brewery in Healy. We will meet at the weight station, across from the turn off to Ester, on the Parks Hwy at 8 am. The hike starts at the Denali Visitor Center end ends at the McKinley Village. This hike is about 11miles long. The trail goes mostly through wooded areas and leads to the three lakes.  It is a newly established trail and is reported to be in good shape. Bring food, water, rain gear and mosquito repellent. Those not choosing to stop for dinner at the 49th State Brewery may drive their own cars to DNP.
RSVP by call Patricia 388-4358 or 479-0088.

Monday, July 1       
Chena Lakes Recreation Nature Trail
With Mary Matthews

This is a 2.5 mile flat and easy loop taking about 1.5 hours. According to “Best Easy Hikes in Fairbanks,” this is “an unspoiled gem tucked away in a forested corner of the park.” A free natural trail guide is included. Meet at Alaska Coffee Roasters on Geist Road at 11:30 for car pooling 15 miles to Chena Lakes. Bring a sack lunch and good walking shoes.   Return approximately 2:30 pm.
Information (Mary): 347-1454.  

Thursday, July 25
Historic Circle - Fairbanks Trail
With Frank Keim

We will walk approximately 4 miles from the trailhead at the parking lot to a viewpoint on top of the highest dome in the area. Here we will eat our lunch and enjoy views of the White Mountains to the north and the Alaska Range to the south. Then we’ll retrace our steps to our cars at the parking lot.
Meet at the Fox Store at 10:00 a.m. and we’ll car pool from there. This hike is for intermediate hikers and should last about 4-5 hours. If the blueberries are ripe, it could take an extra hour.   Wear good hiking shoes or boots and bring a raincoat.
Information (Frank): 451-9308

Friday, August 9
Healy Overlook at Denali National Park
With Patricia Mata-Celis

We will meet at the weight station, across from the turn off to Ester, on the Parks Hwy at 8 am. This strenuous, 4.5 mile hike with elevation gain takes about 2 hours one way. We will rest and have lunch at the top before descending. There are switchbacks to reach dramatic views at the 1200 ft overlook .We may stop for Burgers at the Monderosa Lodge in Nenana. Those not choosing to stop for dinner may drive their own cars to DNP.
RSVP by calling Patricia at 388-4358 or 479-0088

Wednesday, August 28
Birch Hill Trails
With Carol DeVoe

Meet at Birch Hill Ski Hut at 10 am for a two hour hike on the Birch Hill trails. This is a moderate level hike involving several ups and downs in a series of loops. One can chose to do some or all of the loops. Bring water and wear good walking shoes.  
RSVP by calling Carol DeVoe at 455-4577.

SIGs are led by OLLI members

Contact the OLLI office at 474-6607 or UAF-OLLI@alaska.edu to join a group

Hiking Club

Let's Travel

Games for Brains

Let's Play Pictionary

Rock Hounds

Lifelong Learning Book Club


Let's Travel

This group was formed to exchange ideas and tour information or just contact one another when we need a travel companion. This informal group primarily exchanges email to share travel discounts, travel tours and other travel information. Leader is Marcia Boyette.

Winter Tours Offered by UAF Summer Sessions 
Yes, "Summer Sessions" arranges "winter" trips.  Get more information on their website www.uaf.edu/summer/travel/


Games for Brains

Mondays 10:05 – 11:15 (following Strong Women Class)
Fairbanks Senior Center (North Star Counsel on Aging)
1424 Moore Street
If interested call Darlene Supplee at 452-1735
40 below zero is the cutoff point for closing the Center – call 844 for temperature


Let's Play Pictionary

This SIG is currently on hiatus - If interested.
Please call Barbara  Rondine at 456-2462.


Rock Hounds

Meet the second Friday of each month with a potluck at 6:30 pm in room #154 of the University Park building. We  plan to have a field trip once a month during the summer.  For more information contact Maria Polly at akmpolly@ hotmail.com.


Lifelong Learning Book Club

Meets seven times a year on third Tuesdays 1:30 - 3:00 pm, Noel Wien Library Conference Room

Discussion Leader: Georgine Olson

December 2013no discussion (winter break)

January 21, 2014 (one author, two books) –
Paris in Love: a memoir by Eloisa James

2007 was a bad year for best-selling romance author James. Cancer claimed her mother, and she learned that she, too, had the disease. Though her cancer was treatable, James and her husband felt they needed a respite. Taking a sabbatical from Fordham University, where she is known as Shakespearean scholar Mary Bly, James and her Rutgers professor husband spent the year in Paris with their two children. James, planning to work on various literary projects, instead found herself on Facebook and Twitter, musing about food, fashion, and family. These musings became the basis of this charming memoir of a healing year where, without the constant claims of academia and of publishing, the family rediscovered simpler pleasures of life. (memoir; 2012; 260 pgs)

Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James

Set in the scandalous Georgian era, this is a gracefully written, lusciously sensual, delectably witty, and exquisitely romantic historical romance. If Shakespeare had written an 18th-century romantic comedy, it might look something like this - offering a larger-than-life portrait of Georgian England, complete with oversexed aristocrats, posturing courtesans and a feuding duke and duchess. (romance; 2007; 384 pgs)

February 18, 2014 - Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

In the 1920s, a couple in their early 50s takes advantage of cheap land to build a homestead in Alaska. But the work is backbreaking; the winters are brutally cold, and their isolation only reminds them of their childlessness. There's a glimmer of light, however, in the mysterious girl who lurks near their cabin. Though she's initially skittish, in time she becomes a fixture in the couple's lives –and it’s uncertain whether the girl is real or not. The writing style is spare and straightforward, and there’s enough detail about hunting and farming to avoid familiar pieties about the Last Frontier. The book's tone throughout has a lovely push and pull - Alaska's punishing landscape and rough-hewn residents pitted against the child’s charmed appearances – with an ending both surprising and true. (Alaskana, 2012, 336 pgs)

March 18, 2014 - Dancing at the Rascal Fair by Ivan Doig

In 1889, two young Scotsmen, Rob Barclay and Angus McCaskill arrive in Montana, where for 30 years they struggle to find personal happiness and wrest a living from this demanding land. Losing the woman he loves, Angus marries Rob's sister Adair; their difficulties create conflict, and then a bitter breach, between the two men. But if the thorny individualism of Rob and Angus results in lives that are never easy, they are beautifully described in Doig's strong, savory prose. America's frontier history comes vividly to life in this absorbing saga filled with memorable characters. (historical fiction; 1987; 405 pgs)

April 15, 2014- Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

Brooks imagines the life of Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk, the first Native American to graduate from Harvard. The story is told by Bethia Mayfield, the daughter of a preacher who traveled to Martha’s Vineyard to “bring Christ to the Indians.” In 1660, when Bethia is 12, the family takes Caleb, a Wampanoag Indian, into their home to prepare him for boarding school. Bethia is a bright scholar herself, and though education for women is discouraged, she absorbs the lessons taught to Caleb and her brother Makepeace. When the boys are sent to Cambridge, Bethia accompanies them as a servant to a professor. She marries a Harvard scholar, journeys with him to Padua, and finally returns to her beloved island. In flashbacks, Brooks skillfully relates the woes of the Indian Wars, the smallpox epidemic, and Caleb’s untimely death shortly after his graduation.   (historical fiction, 2011, 306 pgs)

May 20, 2014 - booktalk & title selection for September 2014–April 2015