Travel Club


Schedule for 2017-2018
(24th 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 2017-2018 season (Travel Skills) or 2018-2019 (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 23 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.

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


Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Troubled Beauty: Sangkhlaburi and the Thai-Burma Border

Recently a travel writer described Sangkhlaburi as "Thailand's best kept secret."

My husband Larry and I have traveled to this part of Kanchanaburi state every year since 2003. This region is the site of the "Death Railway," immortalized in the film "Bridge Over the River Kwai". Most foreign tourists will stop in Kanchanaburi town, look at the bridge and the cemetery where so many prisoners-of-war are buried, but few will venture further.

This slide presentation will take you from exotic Bangkok to remote Sangkhlaburi, and farther into the jungle where tourists never go.

Nonna Crook


Thursday, October 12,
England: Grandma's Tour For Teens

Chuck and Cherie Bennett were guides for a specialized tour of England for their teen granddaughters. Their main interests were Stonehenge, Harry Potter, and castles and palaces, so the Bennetts were based in Bath, North Yorkshire, and London. The 17-day tour included the North York Moors Railway, York, Warwick Castle and Kensington Palace. The girls also were introduced to English gardens, cream teas, the Cotswolds, and a walk on the moors. They stayed in a 17th-century Yorkshire longhouse. Their favorite part was the polo match in Wiltshire, but the Bennetts underestimated teen girls' shopping impulse.

Cherie & Chuck Bennett

Panel Discussion: Traveling with Teens

Cherie & Chuck Bennett
Thursday, November 9,
Hidden Rajasthan and the Holi Festival

From maharajas to merchants, palaces to temples, and rats to camels, join us on an exploration of some of the highlights and hidden treasures of Rajasthan, the largest state in India.  We will visit some of the major cities and take a sunset camel ride in the desert.  We will "crash", from a distance, a lavish Indian wedding and catch a quick glimpse of a popular television show in production.  Vicariously experience the Holi Festival, a very colorful affair indeed.

Virginia Vanderbilt
To be rescheduled
Thursday, December 14,

Double Feature!
1. Experiencing Quito, the Highlands and the Galapagos
2. Botswana and South Africa

1. Enjoy Gary Pederson's professional quality iMovie, as he takes us on a beautifully documented journey to Quito, the Ecuadorian highlands and the Galapagos Islands, the UNESCO World Heritage biological zone that is a "melting pot" of unique land and marine species.

2.  Experience Cape Town, South Africa, and Safaris in Zambia and Botswana.  Travelers Gary and Catherine Pederson share their experiences engaging with Africa’s people and wildlife.

Gary Pederson

Long program—No Travel Skills

Thursday, January 11,

Encountering Berlin...a City Always "Becoming"

While preparing to leave Berlin in May of 2017, Dave Hedeen read the following caption that addressed the huge construction cranes that seem to crowd the skyline, especially in the “Mitte” District of the city: “Berlin is a city that never is, but is always becoming.”  This description applies just as well to the history of Berlin…and to the “edginess” of contemporary Berlin. If one takes the time and pays attention…experiencing Berlin turns into an encounter with history, cultures, and an amazing energy that keeps the city in a state of “Becoming.”

Although their first encounter was with the intrigue and confrontation of West Berlin during the Cold War in 1961 through 1963, Dave and Mary Hedeen have lived in Berlin for three month periods seven times over the last nine years…each time finding Berlin in a different state of “Becoming.”

Dave and Mary Hedeen


Thursday, February 8, 2018
France: Normandy to the Riviera

Join Doug and Nancy Fisher for an extensive tour of the beauties of France.  Starting in Normandy, see the "tapestry town" of Bayeux and the nearby historic D-day beaches, the American and German cemeteries and iconic Mont Saint-Michel.  Then it's on to the fabled Loire Valley, land of elegant, quintessentially French chateaux and gardens.  Tour the less visited Dordogne region, home of cliff dwellings and prehistoric cave paintings.  Continue to the fabled Riviera at Villefranche-sur-Mer, experience the French Alps at Annecy, and end your tour with the delights of Paris.

Doug & Nancy Fisher


Thursday, March 8,
Magic Patagonia: Enticing Lands at the End of the Earth

Join club member Eric Schuman as he takes you on a visit to southern Chile and Argentina.  See rheas, guanaco, and colorful vistas at Torres del Paine –South America's most spectacular national park.  Visit two breathtaking glaciers, and laugh at Eric as he stumbles at a tango lesson in Buenos Aires – then discovers himself in the middle of a political demonstration in a crowd of 500,000 protesters.  (Note: he survived.)

Eric Schuman


April 12,
Nepal: Before Tragedy

Two weeks after we returned from Nepal, the earthquake struck and demolished many of the fantastic cultural sites that we had seen. We’ll share pictures and stories of our travels through Kathmandu, Pokhara, and our trek around the Annapurna range.

Steve & Toby Rhine


May 10,
Surprising Singapore

Discover the prosperous, vibrant but paternalistic city-state of Singapore, a dynamic blend of Asian and Western cultures.  Experience the historic British Colonial center and the Chinese, Indian and Muslim quarters.  See the fabulous holiday lights where the world goes shopping on Orchard Road.  Visit the Botanical Gardens with the world's largest collection of orchids, and the new Garden by the Bay, with its award-winning conservatories and futuristic "super-trees," and rise above it all in the "Singapore Flyer."

 Dick & Jane Groff

Renting a Villa in Tuscany

Gayle Atteberry


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.

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