Travel Briefs REI lecture highlights Caucasus Mountains REI Mountain View has scheduled a free travel lecture on the "alternative Alps" in Eastern Europe 7 p.m. today.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â© More than 15,000 feet high, the Caucasus Mountains in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia offer an alternative to the European Alps. With the recent establishment of Georgia’s first national parks, those who enjoy trekking off the beaten path can readily explore the range’s rock spires, glaciers, alpine valleys and ancient stone hamlets.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â© Eka Tchvritidze, a Tushetian mountaineer, horseback rider and founder of the travel company Wild Georgia!, will introduce her homeland in the northern Caucasus with slides of trekking, climbing and horseback riding in Tusheti National Park. Tchvritidze will discuss day hikes and horse-supported journeys that access the mountain culture of Georgia.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â© REI Mountain View is located at 2450 Charleston Road.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â© For more information, call customer service at 969-1938. Docents demonstrate Nordic walking For a strenuous spin on the morning stroll, learn Nordic walking at the Saratoga Gap Open Space Preserve 9-10:45 a.m. Saturday. Meet at the Caltrans vista point parking lot at the intersection of Skyline Boulevard and Highway 9.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â© Midepeninsula Regional Open Space Preserve docents Suzanne Schleck and Rebecca Pickart are scheduled to lead a vigorous, fast-paced trek while teaching a walking style that burns more calories while reducing stress on hips and knees. Bring hiking poles if you have them, although they are not required.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â© The hike is free and open to the public.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â© For more information, visit www.openspace.org.