2022-2023 zoom Meetings 

Sept. 8, 2022 Monkeys on the Road: One family's van life adventure driving from the USA to South America      Mary Hollendoner

After a decade in the corporate rat race, Mary was ready for a change. So she and her husband quit their jobs, pulled their six-year-old daughter out of school, and moved into an old camper van. They planned to take a year off to drive from California to Argentina in search of a simpler life. What followed were three-and-a-half years of heartwarming personal encounters, breathtaking wilderness campsites, and occasionally terrifying situations. They were surrounded by an angry mob in Mexico, their van’s battery exploded on a highway in Colombia, and they got stuck in Bolivia when a revolution erupted around them. But overwhelmingly their experience was of local people welcoming them and teaching them about generosity and priorities in life. Join Mary for a presentation full of stories and photos about this trip. You may also want to read her bestselling, award-winning book about these adventures: “Monkeys on the Road.”

Oct. 13, 2022 Wild Wolf Watching in Yellowstone National Park    Bruce and Kelly Hazen

Yellowstone National Park is known as the best place in the world to see wolves in the wild. Over the past 16 years, Bruce and Kelly Hazen have watched wolves in Yellowstone during their twice a year visits. Learn the insider tips and tricks to making the most of your wolf watching adventure. Topics include: where, when, and how to comfortably observe wild wolf behavior, wolf watching etiquette along with equipment and supply needs. You will learn what to expect during a typical day in the life of a wolf watcher. Hint: Be crepuscular.

Nov. 10, 2022    Highlights of Brazil’s Pantanal National Park and Namibia      Tom Ferron

Tom will share his experiences photographing the exotic animals of Pantanal National Park in western Brazil, along with thundering Iguazu Falls on the Brazil-Argentine border.  By contrast, he will also share the beauty of the deserts of Namibia and its wildlife.

Dec. 8, 2022 Italy and Ireland:  Inch by inch and foot by foot    Virginia Vanderbilt

Two of our favorite countries; one of our favorite modes of transportation.  Join Virginia and Michael as they explore tiny portions of extraordinary countries on foot.  Compare the pros and cons of different walking holidays: Totally independent; partially programmed; and all inclusive.  Is a ramble through a foreign destination in your future? Join us to share the experience of very slow travel and to see what the options are.  

Jan. 12, 2023 The Basque Country and Adventures by Rail in the Swiss Alps     Eric Schuman

Join Eric Schuman on a Rick Steves tour of Spain and France. Then travel through the Swiss Alps on a Road Scholar trip, traversing 800 miles of spectacular mountains, glaciers and lovely Swiss cities.  Learn about an almost Covid adventure and a near disaster at 40,000 feet. 

Feb. 9, 2023 Athens to Normandy: A Voyage Through Art and History   Sandra Gangle

Sandra and Gene Gangle traveled the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts in a small ship, the Aegean Odyssey, in early summer 2022.  They visited Greek, Roman and Venetian historic sites, as well as art museums and cultural centers in Spain, France and Portugal.  Sandra painted many of the architectural sites she viewed during the trip. 

Mar. 9, 2023   Hiking the 2600-mile Pacific Crest Trail    Kyle Martz

Kyle Martz, also known by his trail name 'Mooch,' will be presenting a photographic memoir from his experience hiking 2600 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Throughout this 21-chapter presentation, Kyle will depict his stories of the wildlife, weather, and people of the Pacific Crest Trail. Born in Salem, Kyle graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts in Environmental Science from Willamette University. Kyle will share how growing up and studying in the Willamette Valley inspired his thru-hike last summer. 'Mooch' is now back in civilization and is excited to share his experience with the Mid-Valley Travel Club community!  

Apr. 13, 2023 Hiking to Base Camp of Mt. Everest    Scott English

Flying in/out of the world's most dangerous airport, 92 miles hiked, a total of 25,000 feet of elevation gain, bitter cold with gusting winds but it was worth it all to reach Mt. Everest Base Camp.  

May 11, 2023 Falkland Islands and Santiago    Eden Rose Brown

Join intrepid traveler Eden Rose Brown as she explores the diversity and wonders of the Falkland Islands and Santiago, Chile.  Spend time on two of the most species-rich sites in the Falklands - 47 species of birds on Sea Lion Island alone!  There we’ll observe dramatic cliffside Rockhopper Penguin colonies, burrowing Magellanic penguins, Southern Giant Petrels, South American Sea Lions, and Orcas patrolling for unwary Southern Elephant Seals – along with a close call with a Striated Caracara.  On Pebble Island, we’ll explore moorlands, rocky cliffs, deep ponds and wetlands that provide homes to a variety of birds and the world’s second largest accessible King Penguin colony. 

In addition to the nature safari, we will also spend time in vibrant Santiago and Stanley, the quaint, English village/capital of the Falkland Islands and discover the interesting history of English and Argentinian claims over the Islands.  Please join Eden as she recounts this amazing journey, half a world away.


Postponed - Take a Trip on Route 66    Sharon Elaine Thompson

Road trip! Why do those words excite us? Is it the freedom to explore? To discover the unusual, the past, or ourselves? Whatever it is, driving Route 66 is the iconic American Road Trip. So in celebration of my 70th birthday, with my friend and trusty navigator, we crossed the country on frontage roads, small town main streets, and twisty desert mountain passes. We cruised the 2248 miles through eight states from Chicago to Santa Monica covering a hundred miles a day, stopping for roadside kitsch, colorful murals, family history, old restaurants and hotels, and burros. We met people from all over the world who knew more about Route 66 than many Americans. We drove though history and geography. We discovered towns that were still proud and making the most of what they had, towns that had given up, and towns that had died. We got lost, detoured, and made side trips. It was a delightful, surprising, sometimes silly, and sometimes sad twenty-six days. In short, it was everything a road trip should be.