Travel Club


Previous Meeting Archive

Although the Mid-Valley Travel Club has been in existence since 1993, it is only since late 2004 that speakers have been asked to submit a summary of their presentation.

October, 2004*:

Tasmania: Down Under "DownUnder"
by Peter Ronai

Ask any American what he knows about Tasmania and he may immediately reply, "The Tasmanian Devil" or simply shrug his shoulders. He has a vague idea that Tasmania could be a country somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere. In fact, Tasmania is not a country, but the smallest state of Australia. It is an island situated south of the mainland - down under "Down Under." Tasmania is almost universally overlooked by visitors from overseas, which is a shame, since it contains some of the most scenically attractive regions in Australia. The island also has many birds and animals found nowhere else in the world, not even on the Australian mainland. This illustrated travel talk on Tasmania concentrates on the state's history, bucolic landscape, and unique fauna.

Peter Ronai is the much-traveled president of the Mid-Valley Travel Club. Raised and educated in Australia, he still has family in Sydney, whom he visits every few years. On his last visit, he detoured to Tasmania for a week to renew impressions from his previous visit there as a child almost 60 years ago.

November, 2004:

Grand Canyon of the Colorado: Images from Above and Below
by Bruce Johnson

(This summary by Peter Ronai)

The Colorado River rises in the Rockies in Rocky Mountain National Park, and winds for 1450 miles through Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Mexico, before emptying into the Sea of Cortex. Over millions of years it has carved out a number of canyons, the greatest of which is the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Bruce takes us on a rafting trip along the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. He examines the geology, ecology, flora and fauna of the Canyon, and describes some of the hazards of rafting the Colorado. His photos beautifully illustrate the grandeur and beauty of this quintessentially American landmark.


December, 2004:

Spain: The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago de Compostella
by Lela & Wilbur Jackson and Adele Birnbaum

The road to Santiago de Compostela, revered as the final resting place of the relics of St. James (Sant' Iago in Spanish), was one of the three most important pilgrimage routes of Medieval Christendom, along with those to Rome and Jerusalem. Today's travelers can retrace any part or all of this route by any combination of hiking, bicycle, bus, train or hitchhiking. Wilbur & Lela Jackson and Adele Birnbaum will present their separate experiences of traversing the spectacular countryside of northern Spain and of the fascinating towns and villages that grew along this famous pilgrimage route.

All three speakers are experienced travellers. Lela and Wilbur's previous presentations to the MVTC have included, "Poland", "Changing China", "Ireland", and "Teaching in Vietnam." Adele is Emeritus Professor of English at Willamette University and graciously acted as the Faculty Sponsor of the MVTC during our 7 year sojourn at Willamette.


* October, 2004 was the first month we started requesting that presenters submit a summary of their presentation. Accordingly, our 2004 archive contains only the October-December meeting summaries. The 2005 archive will contain all of the meeting summaries for 2005.

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Peter Ronai
Mid-Valley Travel Club