Roots on the Rails Roots on the Rails

Upcoming Trips: 2022 North to Alaska with Tom Rush & friends

with Tom Rush, Seth Glier, and Monica Rizzio

September 11 – 18, 2022
ANCHORAGE - HOMER - SEWARD - ANCHORAGE

It’s become somewhat of a cliché to say that Alaska is an utterly magical place. But it is, oh, it is, and Alaska is rendered even more magical when accompanied by a live soundtrack provided by amazing musicians!

Alaska in September is stunning: the days are still long, the bugs are gone, the cruise ships have left.... there is room to breathe in the incredible beauty, history, and culture of all that surrounds us. Join us for an epic journey through some of Alaska’s most iconic and dramatic scenery – with the weather still temperate and before the winter sets in.

What could be better than traveling through this amazing landscape with the legendary Tom Rush and his hand-picked lineup of the best of the next generation of singer-songwriters – and in the company of a small group of folks who share your love of adventure and musical inspiration? By day we explore this fascinating region of glaciers, fjords, otters, eagles, orcas, mountains, rocky beaches, small towns and outpost communities. By night we gather for private, intimate, acoustic concerts in the company of amazing artists and one another.

Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula is known by the Kahtuht’ana Dena’ina people as Yaghanen, "the good land." It’s stunningly scenic, an area that encompasses a vast swathe of protected and pristine wilderness, including the immense Kenai Fjords National Park and Chugach National Forest. Within Kenai Fjords alone there are over 40 named glaciers, hundreds of species of birds, land and marine mammals, including endangered species such as the humpback whale, sei whale, gray whale, and Steller sea lion.

We’ll have opportunities to get close enough to marine glaciers to feel the rumble of their calving through the deck of our boat (hardy and willing souls may get a chance at an “Alaskan Baptism” as the captain navigates close enough so you can dunk your head under a glacial waterfall). To make sure you see and understand all of it, we travel with our own Naturalist – the estimable Elsabe Kloppers, who can explain the otherworldly chalky blue-green color of the Kenai River and the epic life cycle of the salmon that thrive in its waters. We’ll connect with culture-bearers from the Kenaitze Indian Tribe to gain a deeper understanding of Alaska’s indigenous people and their role in contemporary Alaskan life and learn all about the importance of the salmon as both an economic and ecological keystone of the region.

Roots on the Rails trips are extraordinary in that we travel together as a small community – artists, guests, and crew, ranging in size from 30 to 60 people – sharing adventures and gathering each night for music in about as up-close-and-personal way as you can imagine. We build in time for informal song circles for those amongst us who play, and opportunities for the trip’s musical headliners to share with us what inspires them, the provenance of your favorite songs, their observations on the state of the world and whatever else may be on their minds. 

We started these trips because we love to travel and we love music, and after twenty years of doing this, we still do. Please join us this September for an extraordinary trip to "the good land."

For the foreseeable future, participation in any of our trips will require proof of full Covid- 19 vaccination – that means providing us with documentation that you have received the full schedule of vaccines and boosters that meet the standards for travel in both your country of origin, and the country you’ll be visiting. We will require all of our guests to comply with any local masking, social distancing, testing, and other safety protocols required by any hotels, transportation, restaurants, and venues that we work with, and where trip organizers deem it necessary to protect the health of all participants. Whenever possible we will give you ample advance notice so that we are all fully prepared, but we also ask that everyone maintain flexibility and concern for the welfare of the group whenever we may need to make adjustments while en route. Such is the world we live in now, and we’re all getting pretty good at mid-course correction!

And what happens if global conditions change or a trip begins to look unwise or unsafe? Well, we’ll do what we’ve been doing for the last 2 years – we pivot. If safety becomes a concern with any of our trips, we will change what we have the power to change, and if that’s not possible, we’ll look to re-schedule or offer refunds. Please see our updated cancellation/refund policy under the "Fine Print" section further down this page.




THE ITINERARY:

Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022: Arrival in Anchorage. The air approach to the Anchorage airport from the Lower 48 is spectacular! On a clear day, it’s glaciers and mountain ranges as far as the eye can see, and you may even see moose on your final approach to the runway! It’s an easy 15 minute cab or rideshare to our Anchorage hotel where we’ll gather in the early evening for a check-in session and an informal opportunity to get to know your fellow travelers and the artists.

Monday, Sept. 12, 2022: We depart Anchorage via private chartered motor coach for a drive down the Turnagain Arm – a great spotting site for Beluga whales – and make our way to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center for a chance to see a great cross section of Alaskan wildlife close up. The AWCC takes in orphaned and injured animals and provides them with care in spacious and natural enclosures on their 200 acre property. Some of the highlights include moose, brown and black bears, wood bison, elk, muskox, bald eagles, and a whole host of other critters. We’ll take the turn onto the Kenai Peninsula and start climbing up into the stunning mountains of the Chugach National Forest, before descending into Cooper Landing and catching our first glimpse of the chalky blue-green waters of Kenai Lake. We’ll take a leg-stretching stop at the Soldotna Visitors Center for a stroll along the elevated boardwalk right on the Kenai River –  an even more astonishing color of blue-green. Heading further south, if the day is clear, we should be able to see across the Cook Inlet to a magnificent chain of active volcanoes and glaciers, including Iliamna and Redoubt. For the rest of the drive we hug the coastline all the way into Homer, our home base for the next two nights. After settling into our hotel, we’ll provide shuttle service around town and out onto the legendary Homer Spit so you can explore and get some dinner. In the evening, we’ll gather for our first acoustic, unplugged concert with our featured artists!

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022: After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we board our private charter boat to explore Kachemak Bay. We’ll make a stop at Bird Island to see puffins in their natural habitat, then head over to Seldovia, an utterly charming outpost community accessible only by water or air. On previous trips over we’ve seen whales and sea otters and tons of sea birds – it’s a great ride! Within a few blocks of the small boat harbor are shops, galleries, restaurants, and a short stretch of the original boardwalk. Hike a block uphill and you arrive at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church perched idyllically on a knoll. More adventurous hikers can head out on the cleverly-named Otterbahn Trail for a 3.2 mile out and back through the rainforest to Outer Beach where, in case we missed it the day before, the views of Iliamna and Redoubt are spectacular. We’ll head back across the bay and have a little down time before heading out to sample more of Homer’s great restaurants, then enjoy another evening of unforgettable music!

Wednesday, Sept.14, 2022: We retrace our steps up the peninsula before turning South at Moose Pass and through the Kenai Mountains and along the shores of its many glacier-carved lakes before emerging into Seward, gateway to the Kenai Fjords National Park. We’ll settle into our harborside hotel and have a chance to explore the town, notably home to the Alaska SeaLife Center, the only facility in Alaska that combines a public aquarium with marine research, education, and wildlife response. Marine life in residence includes spotted seals, Stellar sea lions, ringed seals, puffins, eider ducks, guillemots, a Giant Pacific Octopus, and whatever marine critters are in the facility for rehab at the time. The Center was established with funds from the settlement of the Exxon Valdez oil spill criminal prosecution, so studying the long-range impact of such ecological disasters is a key part of its mission. Another night of great music awaits us!

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022: Today, we head out into Resurrection Bay and the Kenai Fjords National Park for a spectacular day-long adventure! The park is home to over 40 glaciers that flow into the bay from the Harding Ice Field, creating a rich habitat and feeding ground for otters, porpoises, multiple whale species, sea lions, dolphins and countless sea birds – and we’ve seen most of them each time we’ve visited. With onboard naturalists and experienced captains, they know how to navigate us to the best possible viewing sites (Elsabe, OUR naturalist, gets to play tourist for the day!) We’ll also get up close to two tidewater glaciers, and you haven’t lived until you’ve had a Bloody Mary, chilled with a chunk of glacial ice the deckhands just fished out of the water! Our vessel is a 90 foot, stable catamaran with spacious viewing decks, heated cabins, large fog-free windows, snack bar, and restrooms – for a comfortable and adventurous day out on the water. We return to Seward in the late afternoon with time for more exploring (there is also no shame in napping!) before another night of music.

Friday, Sept. 16, 2022: After breakfast, we have a range of options before we board our late afternoon train. You can choose between a visit to Exit Glacier to do some do some easy hiking to about as close as you can get to a land-locked glacier without helicoptering in to it, or take the bulk of the day to thoroughly explore the Alaska SeaLife Center, maybe a sea kayak tour of Seward’s harbor, or even visit the working kennel of Iditarod mushers, meet the dogs and learn all about this fascinating discipline. In the late afternoon we board the spectacular Alaska Railroad Coastal Classic train where we’ll have our own dedicated glass-topped car with an outdoor observation platform. Our route takes us through some spectacular backcountry landscapes, surrounded by mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers – National Geographic has rated is as one of the Top Ten most scenic rail journeys in North America. We have a sumptuous dinner on board, watch the sunset over Turnagain Arm before our return to Anchorage, and our hotel, where the adventure all began. 

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022: Finally, a free day in Anchorage! Anchorage is a fascinating city, with many attractions within easy walking distance of our downtown hotel. We’ll also be organizing a side trip up to Hatcher Pass, one of Alaska’s most scenic high points, with a stop at a reindeer farm before returning to Anchorage in time to freshen up and head out to the evening’s concert – this time at a beautiful downtown performing arts venue where our group will have preferred seating to enjoy a final night of music.

Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022: We bid one another a fond farewell until we meet again! For those wishing to extend their stay in Anchorage, with advance notice we can get you our group rate at our hotel.


THE ARTISTS:

TOM RUSH: Folk icon Tom Rush is a gifted musician and performer whose shows offer a musical celebration and a journey into the tradition and spectrum of what music has been, can be, and will become. His distinctive guitar style, wry humor and warm, expressive voice have made him both a legend and a lure to audiences around the world. His shows are filled with the rib-aching laughter of terrific story-telling, the sweet melancholy of ballads and the passion of gritty blues.

Beginning his career in Boston at the famed Club 47, Tom helped shape the folk revival in the '60s and the renaissance of the '80s and '90s. His early recordings introduced the world to the work of Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and James Taylor. He is credited by Rolling Stone with “ushering in the singer/songwriter era.”

Having just celebrated his 50th year on stage and in the studio, Tom continues to break new ground. His YouTube clip of “Remember Song” has become an internet sensation with close to 6 million plays. His crowd sourced, sold out 50th Anniversary concert at Boston’s Symphony Hall was filmed and broadcast by PBS and the video documentary Tom Rush - No Regrets won Best Documentary at the New Hampshire Film Festival and is screening throughout New England.

SETH GLIER: Grammy-nominated Seth Glier is a singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. NPR describes his voice as “otherworldly” while praising him as “an engaging performer and storyteller.” His critically acclaimed, emotionally dense catalog of work often draws upon traditional roots music, experimental instrumentation, and moody atmospherics that result in soulfully intelligent stories that can alternatively fight the power or break your heart. With five albums, five Independent Music Awards, and even a U.S. State Department-sponsored international tour under his belt, Glier has also played with a diverse list of artists such as Ani DiFranco, Martin Sexton, James Taylor, Ronnie Spector, and Marc Cohn.

Seth’s latest record, The Coronation, was born from and during the pandemic, and “forced me to reflect on myself and the state of the planet in ways I never have before. It explores fear, destruction, hope, healing, love - and everything in between.” With two previous Roots on the Rails trips under his belt, we’re delighted to welcome Seth back!

MONICA RIZZIO: With a perspective equally influenced by her Texas roots and her Cape Cod home, Americana singer-songwriter Monica Rizzio has emerged as one of the finest talents in the East Coast music scene. Monica released her debut album, aptly named Washashore Cowgirl, in 2016; where it was Monica’s solo introduction after a decade in the trio Tripping Lily. Sunshine is Free is her expansion -- after time spent on the road, she realized it was time for her to start collaborating again and recorded the album in Nashville with producer Michael Rinne and a stellar lineup of guest musicians.

Monica Rizzo has a keen ability to connect; her songs are often autobiographical but delivered through a fictional approach that aids in creating a universal experience for the listener -- whether it’s expressed using her trademark sense of humor or with such striking honesty that the pain in her voice is tangible.


PRICING:

$3989.00 per person. Includes double occupancy hotel accommodations for each night of the trip, motorcoach transportation, private vessel tour of Kachemak Bay, Kenai Fjords tour (lunch on board), Alaska Railroad Coastal Classic Gold Star Service (dinner on board), all music and trip activities, and best-in-house seating at Anchorage concert on 9/17. Solo travelers will be paired with a similarly-gendered roommate (unless Solo Hotel Supplement is purchased).

Solo Hotel Supplement: $850.00 per person. For those solo travelers wishing to have their own hotel room each night of the trip.

Add-on Anchorage hotel nights: $250 a night. For those who may wish to arrive early or linger longer, we can get you our group rate at the Anchorage Sheraton.

TO PURCHASE:

Pay in full for maximum savings! 2% discount  It makes our life much easier if trips are paid in full, and we pass the savings in time and bookkeeping on to you. 
• Per person – Pay in Full: per person: $3909.22
     - OR- 
• If you'd rather pay a deposit to hold your space(s): $300.00 per person deposit.
     THEN: Within 30 days of deposit, pay your remaining balance of $3689.00 through our online store:

• Or Contact Sarah at sarah@rootsontherails.com or 802-258-1397 to set up a convenient interest-free monthly credit card draw.

Credit cards (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover) and checks accepted. Payment plans at no additional charge are happily accommodated. Payment plan must be agreed upon and set up within 30 days of sign-up. Deposits, whether paid separately or as part of a full payment up front, are non-refundable, though they can be applied to a future trip with us. Liability release signature required.

TRAVEL INSURANCE:

We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance for your trip. By purchasing through this link to Squaremouth (an aggregator where various insurance company policies can be compared at no additional cost to you), we receive a small commission (about five percent). This helps us keep our trips as affordable as possible. On virtually every trip we have someone who needs to cancel at the last minute due to injury or illness, family emergency, or any number of unexpected circumstances. Those who had purchased the trip insurance were disappointed to be missing the trip, but very relieved that they were not losing all the funds they had paid us, the airlines, hotels, and others. We hate to see anyone have to cancel a trip within our 90 day window and lose their investment, which is why we stress the importance of trip insurance. We also recognize that we all operate with different litmus test for what feels safe these days, and should you find yourself in a situation where the trip is still happening, but you make a personal decision not to participate, we may not be able to find a buyer for your space and would not be able to issue a refund. Really, truly, we think travel insurance is worth it.


THE FINE PRINT:

Our customers are extremely important to us, and when travel disruptions occur, we are committed to working with you to minimize the financial impact. In the event that you need to cancel a trip for whatever reason, we will work with you to try and find a buyer for the space you are needing to give up. Often this works out well for all: the person needing to cancel recovers most, if not all, of their investment, and a person who might have been on a waiting list gets to go on the trip - however, there are no guarantees.

We understand that the new realities of travel are such that we need to be more flexible than ever before. We are also an extremely small business with many fixed costs that can't always be recovered if a trip needs to be postponed or cancelled due to health and safety concerns. Given that the world continues to be filled with unknowns, we are proceeding ahead with guarded confidence that we can deliver the products promised (with some reasonable degree of change when necessary) and will be completely transparent if a scheduled trip looks like it needs to be adjusted in any way that might impact your enjoyment of the experience. Please read through our cancellation policy carefully and feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

Pandemic-specific cancellation policy: In the event that Covid-19 or other concerns cause Roots on the Rails to postpone or cancel a trip, guests will have 30 days to inform us of their choice of one of these three options:
  • a) Holding their reservation at the price they paid and therefore gaining priority access to claiming a spot on the re-scheduled trip within 30 days of our announcement of the new trip dates.
  • b) Transferring any payments to another trip, pending availability.
  • c) If the re-scheduled trip is not viable for a guest, and they wish to request a refund, such requests must be made within 30 days of the announcement of re-scheduled trip dates.
General (non-pandemic-related) cancellation policy: Deposits, whether paid separately or as part of a full payment up front, are non-refundable, though they can be applied to a future trip with us. Outside of deposit and credit card fees, full refund will be given up until 90 days prior to start of trip. 50% refund 60-90 days. No refund less than 60 days prior to start of trip. Reservations are fully transferable to another person.

The payment of a deposit or any part or full payment for a reservation shall constitute consent to all the provisions contained herein. Flying Under Radar, LLC shall not be held responsible for property loss or damage and/or any damages resulting from illness, personal injuries or death which may be sustained by reason of, or while engaged on, any trip or tour whether due to the ownership, maintenance, use, operation or control of any vehicle, hotel, common carrier or any other conveyance used in carrying out these tours. We can assume no liability due to any cause whatsoever whether caused by failure or delay or other irregularity, acts or omissions occurring during a tour under which the means of transportation or other service thereby is offered or supplied by owners, operators or public carriers for whom Flying Under Radar, LLC acts only as agent. Flying Under Radar, LLC reserves the right (at its discretion) to alter or omit any part of the itinerary, or change any reservation, feature and/or means of conveyance without notice or for any reason whatsoever and without allowance or refund and with extra costs, if any, resulting therefrom paid by the passengers. Although all artists are contracted to appear, lineup is potentially subject to change due to illness or force majeure. We reserve the right to cancel any tour prior to departure, in which case payment will be refunded without further obligation on our part. Flying Under Radar, LLC shall not be responsible for any injury to person (whether or not resulting in death) or damage to property.

Flying Under Radar, LLC strongly urges individual passengers to obtain appropriate insurance coverage. Baggage is at the owner's risk entirely. The transportation companies concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not aboard their carriers or conveyances. The passenger contract in use by the carriers concerned (when issued) shall constitute the sole contract between the transportation companies and the purchaser of these tours and/or passage. By accepting the ticket the passenger also agrees to its terms and conditions. By forwarding of deposit, the passenger certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other passengers. Flying Under Radar, LLC reserves the right to cancel or withdraw any person as a member of the tour at any time. Flying Under Radar, LLC and Roots on the Rails management reserve the right to refuse service to anyone whom it considers incompatible with the best interests of its services or its guests.