Monday is Valentine’s Day. Why not spend some quality time with your sweetheart on a volksmarch? The list of walks is pretty short, but certainly you can find a volksmarch somewhere.

As a word of warning to the guys reading the column, be careful if you are thinking about giving your Valentine some chocolates this year. You might be sabotaging a New Year’s resolution she made to lose weight. A volksmarch is a better choice! An hour or two of walking vigorously through the countryside will be an excellent workout for both of you.

But you still had better get her some flowers. A volksmarch is no substitute for those!

We usually put the “high-five” section toward the end of the column. This week, we want to put it up near the top because of a milestone reached by one walker in Europe. According to the latest edition of The American Wanderer, the newspaper of the American Volkssport Association, “Pat” Patterson recently completed his 7,300th volksmarch, covering a staggering 111,000 kilometers! That deserves a big “high-five,” plus a “way to go!” We look forward to seeing “Pat” and his wife, Cheryl, in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany, in a couple of weeks.

We also hope to meet our Italian volksmarch guru, Clark Soeldner, at Rothenburg. If the snow is not too bad, he hopes to come up for this big event. After averaging about eight e-mail exchanges with him per week for the past five years, it will be nice to meet the man who gives us so much information about Italian volksmarches.

We are planning a trip to Italy soon so we can do a couple walks with Clark and get the Italy stamp in our IVV books.

• Meanwhile, Clark sent us the following information about this weekend’s walks in Italy:

• The walk in Concamarise will have a special award of a primrose for all women with a start card.

• The flier for the Noventa Padovana event notes the walk passes numerous villas in the Noventa Padovana area.

• The Malo walk is in the mountains; expect elevations of 400 to 500 meters. If your name is Valentino or Valentina, you will receive a floral souvenir.

• For folks who like to walk the longer routes, here is a list of projected 42-kilometer marathon walks in Germany. This list is from the Terminliste 2011 booklet. We do not have fliers for these walks, so we can’t provide more information at this time. We just want to give the dates so you can start your long-range planning. This week, we’ll list the walks through July. We’ll provide the rest in the near future. • March 26 and 27: Hahnstätten;• April 9: Wissmannsdorf;• April 16 and 17: Rhaunen;• April 17: Glauchau;• May 8: Büren-Barkhausen;• May 14 and 15: Anrifttal-Rhulkirchen;• June 2: Montabaur;• June 4 and 5: Schömberg;• June 11: Bücheloh;• June 11 and 12: Gräfinau-Angstedt;• June 18: Sangerhausen;• June 18 and 19: Dörlesberg;• July 2 and 3: Idar-Oberstein;• July 16 and 17: Gänheim;• July 30 and 31: Alt-Hürth.

• Dogs are not allowed in the start hall at Sunday’s walk in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg.

• Now, our heartfelt thanks go out to the folks who send in the fliers that make these columns possible. This week they are: Richard and Donna Glenn; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; John, Mary and Tess Laub; Tim and Luchi Lynch; “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson; and Rick Sciascia.E-mail volksmarch information to Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.

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