We hope 2013 is off to a good start for volksmarchers everywhere.

For the second year in a row, a white Christmas eluded us. Rain and temperatures in the 50s took a bit of fun out of the Christmas atmosphere, but we know that winter weather will be here soon. If you choose to brave the ice and snow, be careful both on the trails and on the roads to get to the events.

If you see the German phrase “Die Strecke wird nicht geräumt oder gestreut,” it means the trails haven’t been cleared or salted. This often includes the parking lot and sidewalk in front of the start hall, so watch your footing!

This weekend’s walk in Völklingen-Ludweiler, Germany, is not far for walkers in the Kaiserslautern Military Community. Völklingen is about 80 kilometers southwest of Kaiserslautern, and the Ludweiler neighborhood is about four kilometers south of Völklingen. The start hall is at the Warndthalle on Hohlstrasse. Start the 5- and 10-kilometer trails both days between 7 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. This event is for IVV credit only.

About 80 kilometers in the other direction is the event in Bretzenheim, not too far from Bad Kreuznach. Bretzenheim is about 40 kilometers southwest of Wiesbaden, so walkers from both the Kaiserslautern and Wiesbaden communities could be there. You can start the 5- and 10-kilometer routes between 7:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The start for the 15-kilometer trail stops at 1 p.m. his walk has an unspecified B-medal is the award.

Here in the Netherlands, we will be looking at the walks in Vijlen and Puth this weekend. Vijlen is close to the Three Lands Point and the trails go through some very pretty countryside. The Puth walk is also very pretty and is close to Schinnen. Both can be slippery if icy or muddy.

Good luck to the Ramstein Roadrunners as they head to Paris this weekend by train for the Paris Illumination walk. I hope they bundle up!

Every time we have done this walk, it has been very cold! Very pretty, too!

Here are more German walk phrases that are important year round. “Hunde an die Leine führen,” means dogs must be kept on a leash. Dogs are allowed at a volksmarch, but they should be kept on a leash near the start hall and control points. They always must be on a leash in and near woods and nature protection areas.

You might see “Hin(weg)” or “Rück(weg)” when the outward (Hin) and return (Rück) trails loop back over themselves. These may be written on the ground or pavement.

We hope these vocabulary terms are helpful, especially to newer walkers. Let us know if there are other phrases you would like to know about.

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

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