Past Presentations

Click the down arrow at far right to read more about these presentations.

2023-2024 Season Presentations:

our greek odessey- Five weeks of independent travel

Our Greek Odyssey         Ron Kelemen and Kathy Ellis-Kelemen

Last spring, Ron and Kathy Kelemen traveled independently in Greece for five weeks. They stayed in eight different places, some well-known and others bypassed by most tourists. They connected with the locals, hiked to ancient ruins, experienced spectacular views, and ate well-perhaps a little too well. How did they put this together and get around? What would they do differently next time? Join them as they relive their Greek Odyssey.

View the presentation here

One Woman's Journey - Four Months Exploring Northern Thailand

Presented by Ellen Froot

Are you looking for a place to escape the PNW winters, curious about retiring abroad? Please join me as I share my solo experience of spending four months in Chiang Mai, Thailand. During that time, I immersed myself in the culture, explored the area, mixed with the locals, connected with ex-pats, and got a taste of what retirement life might be like there. I'll share the good as well as the bad, and if I will be returning.

Click here to watch the presentation.  

Cruising the St. Lawrence Seaway and Gaspé Peninsula

Presented by Sandra Gangle

Sandra and Gene traveled on a small ship on the St. Lawrence River,  from Toronto to Quebec, then around the Gaspé  Peninsula to Halifax, Nova Scotia and beyond.  Beautiful weather, magnificent scenery

Click here to watch the presentation.  

2022-2023 Season Presentations:


Presented by 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. But overwhelmingly their experience was of local people welcoming them and teaching them about generosity and priorities in life. You may also want to read her bestselling, award-winning book about these adventures: “Monkeys on the Road.” 

View the presentation here.  (Because of its large size, you may need to download the file to your computer and then play the file.  The pictures start at 23 seconds.)


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.

A resource guide for wolf watching in Yellowstone.    Click here to watch the presentation. 

Brazil’s Pantanal National Park and Namibia 

Presented by 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 and wildlife in Namibia.

   Click here to watch the presentation. 

Italy & Ireland - Inch by Inch and Foot by Foot 

Presented by 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. 

   Click here to watch the presentation. 

The Basque Country and Adventures by Rail in the Swiss Alps 

Presented by 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. 


   Click here to watch the presentation. 

Athens to Normandy: A Voyage through Art and History 

Presented by 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. 


   Click here to watch the presentation. 

Note: The pictures start after the introduction at 2:34.


Presented by Kyle Martz


Kyle Martz, also known by his trail name 'Mooch,' will be presenting a photographic memoir from his experience hiking 2650 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!  


  Click here to watch the presentation.  

HIKING To mt. everest Base Camp 

Presented by 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.   


  Click here to watch the presentation.  

(The pictures start at 2 minutes 53 seconds.)

The Falklands, Santiago and Punta Arenas

Presented by 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.

  Click here to watch the presentation.  

Previous Season Presentations:

morocco- a land of beauty, contrast and history

Presented by Ron and Kathy Kelemen

PreCovid, Morocco was one of the safest Arab countries to visit, and it will probably resume that status once the pandemic is over.  It is downright picturesque.  Join Ron and Kathy Kelemen as they camped in the Sahara Desert and explored its modern and ancient cities, its beautiful countryside, and archeological ruins in 2017.

View the presentation here. (Note, the audio starts off quite bad, but improved at 2:40)

papua new guinea cross-cultural experience

Presented by Dale Ryan and Laura Simpson Ryan

Dale and Laura shared photos and stories from their two year stint in the Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea, the land of the unexpected! They served as educators in remote Menyamya, Morobe Province, in PNG. You can view the recording here.  Please know there is conversation only for the first 1:30, then the video portion begins.  

If you are interested in knowing more about Papua New Guinea, the Ryan's recommend an Australian documentary video called "First Contact". 

First Contact is a 1983 Australian documentary film which recounts the incursion of gold-prospecting Australians into the unexplored interior highlands of New Guinea in 1930, then inhabited by a prosperous native population numbering in the region of one million.  Inhabitants of the region and surviving members of the gold prospecting party recount their astonishment at this unforeseen meeting. The film includes both moving and still pictures taken by Michael Leahy, leader of the party, and contemporary footage of the island's terrain.

Here are links to the film.  Part 1:     Part 2:


Presented by Eric Schuman and Ron & Kathy Kelemen

Long before Covid travel restrictions abroad, many Americans have taken to the roads with their motor homes, trailers, campers, and tents.  Eric Schuman (owner of a small motor home) and Ron and Kathy Kelemen (owners of a small Airstream) will tell us what it’s like to travel with an RV, the pros and cons of each mode,  and what you need to know if you’d like to hit the road with one.  Along the way, they will share photos of some of the amazing sights they have experienced on the road.  View the presentation here. (Note, presentation starts at 3:30).

A Deep South Antarctic Adventure

Presented by Eden Rose Brown

What does it mean to set foot in the Antarctic, the most inaccessible end of our beautiful planet?  Join intrepid world explorer Eden Rose Brown as she shares her once-in-a-lifetime expedition to the Antarctic deep south.  Sailing on a converted Russian ice breaker, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Eden and her companions sail through the ice as far south as Detaile Island, below the Antarctic Circle, to a place few travelers experience.  Along the way, she’ll share stories, pictures and video from nine landings on the seventh continent, kayak among breaching humpback whales,learn some Antarctic lore, and delight in the unique wildlife and austere, pristine beauty this amazing land has to offer.   View the presentation here. 

himachal pradesh and the spiti valley of india

Presented by Nonna Crook

Ten years ago Nonna's husband Larry worked with the Tibetans in Dharamsala, India.  The presentation includes a trip to the Spiti Valley in the northern section of Himachal Pradesh state.  This area is in the Himalayan foothills, a mountainous region with steep glacial valleys, dotted with Buddhist monasteries.  It is a place of austere beauty with a harsh climate, ancient culture, and hair-raising rough roads leading to remote colorful villages.  They traveled by car in the first two weeks of October, always with an eye on the weather, afraid that snow would close the Kunzum Pass, which, at 15,000 ft, is one of the highest passes in Northern India.  View the presentation here.

East Africa-A Six country solo female journey

Presented by Abbie Hitchen

Abbie shows photos and shares stories of her journey through East Africa, including highlights of Capetown, Victoria Falls, safari adventures, relaxing in Zanzibar, mishaps in Botswana and Tanzania, and what it's like to work while traveling.  Enjoy her observations of African culture, the Rwandan genocide and its amazingly quick recovery, and the wonderful people she met along the way.  View the presentation here.

a week on the owyhee-travel through time

Presented by Stephanie Hazen

Stephanie Hazen and Ray Temple recount their adventures rafting down Eastern Oregon’s Owyhee River.  Big horn sheep, desert flowers, rapids, petroglyphs, colorful basalt cliffs, golden eagle nests and a bit of Oregon history await you in this hour long presentation.  View the presentation here.

Sri-lanka - the hidden gem of south asia

Presented by Ron and Kathy Kelemen

What’s not to like about this place?  Other than the long flight to get there, Ron and Kathy Kelemen found Sri Lanka in January to be downright refreshing and low cost.  While there are a few similarities with Malaysia, Bali, Thailand and India, Sri Lanka is unique in its own right and quite easy to travel independently.  As periodic guests of local Rotarians they got to experience this country from a unique perspective. They share some of their insights and photos of Sri Lanka’s serene beauty, people, hospitality, historic sites, travel tips, and more.  View the presentation here.

Britain's South Hams 

Presented by Cherie and Chuck Bennett

Join Chuck & Cherie Bennett as they explore the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and learn what a South Ham is. Many Brits consider this one of their favorite areas of Britain. This quiet, isolated region of beautiful countryside and picturesque villages has a deep and abiding link with the D-Day landings at Normandy and other maritime history, including the Mayflower and Drake's Golden Hinde. Gorgeous coastline, harbours, gardens and stately homes fill out the program. View their presentation here.

tantilizing tasmania

Presented by Dick and Jane Groff

The Groffs share their driving exploration of Australia’s own “down under”, the island state of Tasmania.  About the size of Ireland, Tasmania is a laid-back island and mostly uncrowded - on one 6-hour drive we encountered only 2 other cars but 6 wallabies!  Highlights included meeting one of the (in)famous Tasmanian devils, seeing Cradle Mountain, and exciting, scenic boat tours on the island’s east coast among the tallest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere. View their presentation here.


Presented by Pritam Rohila   

Located at the height of 7,710 feet, deep in the Peruvian Andes, Machu Picchu is perhaps the most important archaeological site on the South American continent. It was a fortified royal retreat along the extensive Inca foot highway, lost to the outside world until its discovery by Hiram Bingham in 1911. Flying from Lima in a small plane between mountain peaks and over narrow valleys; experiencing altitude sickness at Cusco; and waiting for clearance of the landslide blocking the train track to Machu Picchu; getting there for us was an adventure. But encountering picturesque stepped agricultural terraces of Machu Picchu, along with its stone dwellings, its Temple of the Sun, and Hitching Post of the Sun, made it all very worthwhile.   View the presentation here.   

Hiking in switzerland

Presented by Jim Brown  

Jim's hike of the "Alpine Pass Route" from Sargans to Morges can be hiked in about 15 days, but Jim chose to make it 50 days! With several detours along the way, highlights included Loèche-les-Bains and Grindelwald, Ticino and the Chestnut Festival (la fête de la châtaigne) which takes place near Locarno on Lago Maggiore.    View Jim's presentation here.

Gibraltar, rock solid british

Presented by Dick and Jane Groff

34,000 Brits clinging to a rock. Dick and Jane will share their day exploring the staunchly British enclave of Gibraltar.   View the presentation here.