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This weekend’s big walk is in Grafenwöhr, Germany. Colonel Avanulas R. Smiley, the Grafenwöhr Garrison Commander, extends a hearty welcome and invites all volksmarchers, especially those from the Grafenwöhr and Vilseck communities, to attend this event.

He states that, “A volksmarch is an excellent medium for Germans and Americans to participate in an interesting, healthy and relaxing sport in which language is not a barrier. It offers opportunities to get acquainted with the beautiful Oberpfalz landscape while meeting and talking to co-marching neighbors. This is important to continue promoting outstanding relations and friendships among the soldiers, civilians and family members of Germans and Americans, as well as people of all other nationalities, who also participate.”

We cannot agree more. In fact, we feel that the volksmarching traits that he describes can be applied all across Europe and the world. Once you have done a few walks in Germany, or wherever you live, you’ll be tempted to try a walk in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy or the Netherlands. After that, you’ll be hooked and will want to keep volksmarching when you move back to the States. This would not only benefit you as a walker, but it also would promote the growth of the sport.

To do this, you have to take the first step: if you are anywhere near Grafenwöhr this weekend, get out and attend this walk. The start location again this year is in the Jugendheim, near the church, on Kolpingstrasse. The start times for the 5-, 10-, and 20-kilometer trails are 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and 7 to 11 a.m. Sunday. Saturday’s finish time is 5 p.m.; Sunday’s is 3 p.m.

The award for completing this walk is a Teddy bear dressed in Lederhosen and wearing a Bavarian hat. Join your fellow American and German Volksmarchers this weekend in beautiful Grafenwöhr and enjoy the trails as well as the superb hospitality of the club members!

Allenbach, Germany, is offering B-medals again this year from their animal series of gifts. Allenbach is in the “backyard” of the Baumholder and Kaiserslautern Military Communities, and close to the Eifel Community, too. Start the 5- and 10-km trails Saturday and Sunday between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and the 20-km route from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Finish both days by 5 p.m.

One of the prettiest fall walks we have ever done was through the forests around the town of Hahnstätten. We recommend this walk and its beautiful autumn colors. Hahnstätten is just north of Wiesbaden, so this Sunday you can do two walks in one day. Or, you could walk in Hahnstätten Saturday and the do the Wiesbaden event Sunday. We’ll let you work out the details; just go and see the pretty countryside.If you missed the spectacular Heidelberg volksmarch a few weeks ago, you have another chance Sunday. The Heidelberg-Boxberg march affords folks the chance to walk 5-, 10- or 15- kilometer routes starting at 7:30 a.m. Parking for this event will be in Emmertsgrund with a shuttle bus taking you to the Waldparkschule start hall in Boxberg.

Saturday’s walk in Strasbourg, France, is usually an evening illumination walk. This year, however, the start and finish times have been moved forward by two hours so the event finishes as it is getting dark. You can start the walk between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. You must finish the 10 kilometer route before 7 p.m. We’re sure you will enjoy the city of Strasbourg at any time of day!Having mentioned Strasbourg, let us mention the Heidelberg International Wandering Club’s upcoming bus trip. Nov. 6 will find them heading to the volksmarch in Willstätt-Sand. Afterwards they plan a side trip to “Les Secrets du Chocolat” museum in Illkirch, France, which is near Strasbourg. To go, you need to sign up and pay before October 31. Contact Trip Captain Summer Moore at summeramv@live.com. If you are looking for a witch to add to your Halloween decorations, head to Pfaffenweiler this weekend for their volksmarch. Saturday is an afternoon walk with a noon start time. Sunday the start hall opens at 7 a.m.Clark Soeldner in Italy tells us, “If you walk at Orti di Bonavigo Sunday, your prize will be a half-pound of tortellini and a half-pound of tagliatelle. Their flier notes all new courses this year.”With the Christmas market season rapidly approaching, we love the combination of a volksmarch followed by shopping at a Christmas market. So, if you know of a volksmarch near a market, please drop us a line at two.walkers@yahoo.com so we can spread the word.

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


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