Muir Trail Trek
Travel Class

Travel and Adventure

Friday, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Library 1533

Terry Moss, Tom Dole, Jennifer Kerr, Bob Seyfried

The sharing of travel experiences serves as an excellent aid in both the planning and execution of travel plans. Others' experiences, both good and bad, can help take much of the mystery and hassle out of our own travel adventures.

In this seminar, members can meet informally to share such experiences, listen to speakers on travel subjects of interest, and perhaps find companions willing to team up on particular tours.

This is an open, drop-in seminar limited in attendees to the number of chairs available as determined by Fire Department regulations. You cannot sign up in advance. Get there early to get a seat!

PLEASE NOTE: No food and only certain drinks are allowed in the library.


Feb. 7: Welcome and John Muir Trail
July 2013 proved to be the year for Dennis Fox to complete a 44-year goal: hiking the 200-mile John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada. He and two friends spent 25 days carrying all their food and belongings. They finished their journey atop 14,496-foot Mount Whitney. They ascended and descended 10 mountain passes, dealt with torrential rain, forded numerous streams and swatted countless mosquitoes. The rewards: Fantastic views of glaciated mountain peaks, lush wildflower-filled meadows and indescribable sunsets.
Feb. 14: Trains and Planes, Boats and Bikes, Plus Boots on the Ground
Elly Thomas took a really unusual Danube River trip, with adventures and misadventures in Vienna, Budapest and Prague. She followed up with train travel with some intrigue and then a serene week with her family in southern Germany.
Feb. 21: Real Out of Africa Experiences
Join Jim Jones as he shares his experiences and photos in his two trips to Africa. In spite of so much to explore in that vast continent, Jim fell so in love with Zambia, he returned to the same national parks in two consecutive years, South Luangwa, and Lower Zambezi, even staying in some of the same camps. His were real Out of Africa experiences including game walks, night drives in open Land Cruisers, and leopards, elephants, hippos, and Cape buffalo making regular visits to camp.
Feb. 28: Presidential Road Trip
While they may not be your ultimate travel destination, the home sites and libraries of U.S. Presidents are certainly worth a visit if you happen to be in the neighborhood. Kurt and Nancy Findeisen visited 10 presidential sites this past spring during a cross-country road trip. As a result of their experience, they visited two more afterward and intend to visit all the Presidential Libraries on future trips. Their slide presentation will feature highlights from each of the home sites and libraries, including some little-known facts about the life and times of the Presidents, and a picture of the communities and family life that influenced these Presidents' early years. In addition to some personal highlights, they will describe why you might enjoy your own presidential history road trip.
March 7: Life Aboard a 21st Century Tramp Steamer
Any mention of travel by "tramp steamer" in a conversation will, for many of us, conjure up images of a somewhat disreputable vessel offering minimal comfort for adventurous travelers. If you're curious about conditions aboard today's version of the classic "tramp," step up the gangway and aboard the Hatsu Courage or the Ever Conquest to hear Bob Orr describe a couple of his recent trans-Pacific crossings. If being at sea for a two or more weeks with no port stops and no shipboard entertainment appeals to you, or if you have a fascination with large mechanical objects, or if you're just on the lookout for a fresh travel experience, you might want to update your knowledge of this mode of travel and perhaps even sign on for a journey to Taiwan or Hong Kong. Bob will also cover the specifics for booking your cabin and show his photos of Hong Kong, where he spent a week before returning home by the more normal mode.
March 14: Cuba in Contrast: 1979 and 2013
Vick Vickland went to Cuba on a social services study tour with the National Association of Social Workers in 1979, when the revolution was fairly new, and there was a lot of Soviet influence. He was interested in returning to see the differences without the Soviet influence and support. He will report on the experience of getting there in January 2013, as well as some of the changes he observed, and what has not changed. He will challenge future visitors to learn more about the structure of Cuban society.
March 21: Cycling the Czech Republic
After working with ancestry.com and online digital archives, Mary Euretig learned where her paternal grandfather had emigrated from in the Czech Republic. Armed with that knowledge, she had a strong desire to explore the area. As a solo traveler and avid cyclist, she decided to integrate a cycling tour into the search for the homeland of her grandfather. Mary will take you on her journey of discovery through the Bohemian countryside south of Prague, famous for its magnificent castles, charming red-tiled roofed villages, impressive architecture, sparkling lakes, rolling hillsides and lovely forests.
March 28
Spring Break; No seminar.
April 4: Pont du Guard Redux
Two millennia ago, the Romans built one of their magnificent structures, the bridge supporting an aqueduct in southern France. The Pont du Gard survives today, mostly intact, the sight of which momentarily conveys you to Roman times. Yes, we can view and touch this structure, one of the tallest constructed by the Romans. We can marvel at the craftsmanship, understanding that the stone blocks were fit precisely by hand; the Romans did not use mortar between the joints. Yet, of the construction, there is much lost to history. How did the Romans measure the slope so precisely? When was the structure built and by whom? This presentation by Tom Hessler will explore the mysteries of the Pont du Gard and its aqueduct, based on his recently published historical novel, The Aedifex: Building the Pont du Gard. Note: This is essentially the same presentation that Tom made several semesters ago, updated somewhat.
April 11: Wild and Crazy Safari
Chuck and Peggy Marsh and Debbie and Steve Viramontes and eight equally wild and crazy friends, using two Land Rovers, took a safari in 2011 into the wilds of Kenya and Tanzania. They spent many days getting African massages in said Land Rovers, visiting all the national game parks and driving into the middle of the wildebeest migration. They took way too many pictures and videos and even voyaged in a rickety boat to an island paradise for two nights. There were stopovers in Dubai and Zanzibar. All will be revealed!
April 18: Southwest Adventure Caravan
Starting in Durango, Colorado, and then moving to Mesa Verde, Tom Smithson will explore regions of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah that the casual tourist doesn't necessarily see. He takes the roads less traveled, visiting National Parks and Monuments along the way, including Indian pueblos, cultural centers and museums. Included are stops in Santa Fe and Albuquerque with the Balloon Festival as a highlight. High points will be Mesa Verde, Lake Powell and the Rainbow Bridge, the Silverton-to-Durango railroad, the north rim of the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, Colorado River rafting and Antelope Canyon with its spectacular water-carved walls.
April 25: European Road Trip
In 2010, Patty Wood and a friend drove through France, Germany, Luxemburg and Switzerland in a rental car. Their presentation highlights the building of a medieval castle in France using only the tools, techniques and materials available in the 13th century; a visit to the WWI battlefields in the Alsace region near Verdun; and their stay in the Alpine village of Gimmelwald, Switzerland.
May 2: Crocs and Hippos and Sharks, Oh My!
Join Tom Miner on his recent five-week overland truck camping trip from Victoria Falls to Cape Town, visiting Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. During this trip, he paddled the Upper Zambezi among crocodiles, studied 2000-year-old petroglyphs at Bushman's Paradise, was charged by angry hippos deep in the Okavango Delta, dune-surfed the world's tallest sand dunes in Namibia, visited a Himba village where adults never bathe in water, and tasted South Africa's finest red wines. Arriving in Cape Town, one the world's most beautiful cities, he celebrated by going cage-diving with great white sharks.