Travel Club


Schedule for 2016-2017
(23rd Season)


Attendance at meetings of the Mid-Valley Travel Club, now averaging around 70, and ranging up to a record high of 130 in June 2010, reflects the quality of presentations offered by Club members, for which we are most grateful. The Mid-Valley Travel Club encourages new voices. If you are interested in a possible contribution to our 2016-2017 season (Travel Skills) or 2017-2018 (Travel Destinations or Travel Skills), please use the form on our web site's home page or speak directly to Dick or Jane Groff, the Program Chairpersons.

We continue to meet Salem area residents who are frequent travelers, yet are unaware of the Mid-Valley Travel Club, despite our 21 successful seasons since 1994 and publicity provided by the Salem Statesman Journal and the Salem Public Library's newsletter. If you have friends who travel, please direct them to the Club's comprehensive website:
and PLEASE bring them along to meetings. Larger attendances encourage more lively discussions, from which both neophytes and experienced travelers can learn.

September 15,
Intriguing India: Northeastern States & the Andaman Islands

Pritam will share his travels in the northeastern states of Sikkim, Assam and Meghalaya and the Indian Ocean islands, the Andamans. Traveling in cars & jeeps with local guides, in these mountainous Himalayan regions they visited Buddhist monasteries, a Hindu Temple, lakes, waterfalls, rivers, war memorials and museums. Highlights included sighting the third highest peak of Kanchenjunga, and elephant and jeep safaris in the Kaziranga National Reserve where Asian Rhinos and other wild animals roam. In the Andamans, tropical cruising and ocean sights contrasted with a visit to the notorious Cellular Jail at Port Blair, where the British rulers sent many freedom fighters to spend the rest of their lives in small solitary cells. This is all part of the tapestry of "Intriguing India."

Pritam Rohila
Tips from a Former Lost Luggage Agent Rev. Gary Zerr
October 13,
Villages of Northern Italy

Travel with the Oppligers as they explore the wealth of art, sculpture, literature, architecture and science in Florence. Experience more great art in Giotto’s Padova; mosaics in Ravenna, the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi, and Siena’s unique cathedral. Join them for a number of uniquely "Village Italy" adventures: a concert in Lucca, the marble town of Carrara, a boat up the Ligurian coast to the colorful Cinque Terre, and the “Way of Silence” in Lago d’Orta. They also travelled with their taste buds, doing truffle hunting, wine tasting; seeing olive oil made the old-fashioned way, and making their own five-course lunch as part of an Italian cooking lesson. Recommended reading: “Saving Italy”, by Robert Edsel.

Al & Jayne Oppliger
Traveling for a Total Solar Eclipse Dick & Jane Groff
November 10,
Portugal: Feet, Fleets and Festivals

Join Virginia as she shares her May/June 2015 trip to Portugal: Experience a seven-day self-guided walking tour along the shore, hills, cliffs and castles between Lisboa and Sintra; see the spot where fleets of Portuguese ships set sail to discover new worlds; admire the scenery along the Douro River on a seven-day river cruise; drool over luscious custard tarts; discover the connection between a bookstore in Porto and Harry Potter; and participate in Lisboa’s San Antonio festival and Porto’s festival of San Joao (Saint John). See why June is a great time to visit this beautiful little country.

Virginia Vanderbilt
Traveling with Your Pets Terri Ellen
December 8,
Egypt: Above and Below the Water

In February 2016 Laura visited Egypt for 15 days to experience both topside sights and also to dive the Red Sea. She first flew into Cairo and on to Luxor, and then journeyed across the desert to Marsa Alam where they met the dive boat to begin the second half of their adventure. Laura will show you the ancient wonders of Egypt and also the wonders of the Red Sea. It was an unbelievable trip that took two years to save for, and she would go again in a minute. Please join us to see why.

Laura Tesler
Traveling in a Muslim Country
Laura Tesler
January 12,
Sewing and Traveling in Tanzania

John Francis and Caye Poe of Dayton spent six weeks in Tanzania, mainly bolstering a sewing center at a small Maasai orphanage. It was similar to a project they had done a few years earlier in Madagascar. Their purpose was to help a group of rural women establish a sewing business, to earn income and, in this case to help the orphanage. While there Caye and John also visited Zanzibar and traveled through the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater to see the wildlife.

John Francis & Caye Poe
Ways of Cutting Travel Costs
John Francis & Caye Poe
February 9,
Rails to Trails

Ron and Kathy Kelemen use Rails to Trails guidebooks to increase their enjoyment of areas they visit. Railways converted into biking/walking lanes throughout the continent provide fascinating insights into history, beautiful sights, and as an extra bonus- railroad grades are always flat to gentle! It's a wonderful way to get exercise while travelling and learn the history of the area. In the summer of 2016 they drove cross-country with their trailer visiting many trails along the way including the Erie Canal, The Badlands trail, and the Hudson Valley in New York.

Ron & Kathy Kelemen
Ask the Experts Panel Moderated by Cherie Bennett
March 9,
Croatia: Dream of the Adriatic

Discover the vibrancy of Zagreb, the wonders of Diocletian's palace in Split, and Dubrovnik -- the "Pearl of the Adriatic." See how quickly Croatia recovered from the most devastating European war since 1945, and hear about privately led affordable tours, where you are the only guests.

Eric Schuman
Arranging an Affordable Private Tour
Eric Schuman
April 13,
Baja from Tip to Toe

Join the Caudill’s on a 13-day adventure down the entire length of Baja California, approximately 1000 miles by bus on the trans-peninsular highway. See and hear their many experiences along the way, including petting the California Grey Whales in the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in the Pacific Ocean, hikes in the desert, visiting wineries in the Guadalupe Valley, and stopping in small Mexican villages.

Phil & Mauureen Caudill
May 11,
Repositioning to Down Under with Stops In Between



Richard & Sydney Hatch


Chartering a Sailboat in the San Juans Richard & Sydney Hatch


All meetings are held in the Loucks Auditorium, Salem Public Library at 7:00 p.m.
More information can be obtained by following the "Meeting Details" and "Directions" links below.

Dick & Jane Groff, Program Chairpersons
Don Jacobsen, Club President
Derek Stables, Founding President
Peter Ronai, Immediate Past President; Current Webmaster and Treasurer

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This Web site created by:
Peter Ronai
Mid-Valley Travel Club