As January comes to an end, so does our fifth year as writers of this column. A lot has changed since our first article on Feb. 2, 2006, and most have been positive changes. We have met plenty of new walking friends and have seen beautiful cities, gorgeous countrysides and shared many happy moments on the trails across Europe.

We are indebted to many people who make this column possible. In addition to the editors, both in Kaiserslautern and in Washington, D.C., we owe thanks to the many readers who send in fliers and e-mails that advertise the walks. The assorted books and websites we sometimes refer to do not provide all of the information we need for the weekly walks chart, so without the fliers, we would be hard-pressed to put the walks chart together.

As we head into our sixth year, we promise to do our best to get you out on a volksmarch trail near you. We feel that once you’ve been exposed to a volksmarch or two, you’ll love the experience, want to do more, and continue to look for volksmarches when you get back to the United States.

Here are some more dates for your long-range planning. All walks are in Germany, unless stated otherwise:

• Feb. 13: Ettelbruck, Luxembourg;

• Feb. 20: Crailsheim;

• Feb 26: Manhay, Belgium, 82nd Airborne walk;

• March 20: Flamierge, Belgium, 17th Airborne walk;

• March 27: Daylight-saving time starts;

• April 9: Lisse, Netherlands, Keukenhof walk;

• April 29: Kiddie Volksmarch at Patrick Henry Village, Heidelberg;

• May 8 and 9: Ramstein Spring Volksmarch;

• July 30 and 31: Stuttgart;

• Sept. 24 and 25: Heidelberg;

• Oct. 30: Daylight-saving time ends;

• Nov. 24: Ramstein Turkey Trot;

• Dec. 10: Bastogne Historical Walk.

We provide these dates so that you can not only plan to attend these walks, but also volunteer to help your local club when it sponsors one. If you know any more walks that you think are noteworthy, please send us a message so we can spread the word. Send us your after-action reports also.

Good luck to the Heidelberg International Wandering Club as a busload of walkers head out for a “doubleheader” walk. Saturday they will head to Kerlingen, Germany, (the start hall is just outside Kerlingen in Wallerfangen) for their first walk of the day. Then they will cross the border into France for the walk in Grosbliederstroff. Two walks in two countries on the same day. Sounds like fun.

Sunday’s Volksmarch in Horrheim is a Stammtisch walk for the Stuttgart club The prize for this walk is a B-medal, but last year the sponsors had a soft, Beanie Baby-like turtle as the prize. They might still have some of them this year.

From Italy, Clark Soeldner tells us, “The walk in Cordenons is flat and easy. In the past, for the 21-kilometer route, they set up a grill to cook pancetta for small sandwiches. The weather is usually cold, so be prepared!”

• A million thanks to this week’s flier contributors: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro; Richard and Donna Glenn; Tim and Luchi Lynch; “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson; and Wayne Henry and Rick Sciascia. Keep our postal workers hopping!

E-mail volksmarch information to Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.

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