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Now that Labor Day is behind us and we head toward the middle of September, what does that mean to us? First, the pretty autumn colors are starting to appear. Second, the kids are in school, so maybe a Wednesday Volksmarch becomes a possibility. Third, the days are getting shorter, but that means we will have the chance to do some torch walks and soon we’ll “fall back” and get our Daylight Saving Time hour back.

One excellent place to see some pretty fall colors is Heidelberg, Germany, and there are only two more weeks until the Heidelberg International Wandering Club hosts its annual volksmarch. We have our hotel reservations and are looking forward to the trip.

There’s plenty of time to make arrangements to both do the walk and volunteer to help. Remember, no amount of effort on your part is too small — whatever you can do will be appreciated. Several veteran volksmarch volunteers will be on hand to assist you. For more information, contact Rob or Cath Floyd at hiwc@yahoo.com or check out the club’s website at www.hiwc.de.

• This might be your weekend to walk in Austria. The Wandersportfreunde Maria Brettfall has planned a weekend full of activities in Strass im Zillertal. It offers four walking routes, including one to the Pilgrimage Church of Maria Brettfall. There is a fifth route if you count the permanent volksmarch.

For bike enthusiasts, there are “out and back” bike trails! Peddle to Kaltenbach and back for the 30K, to Zell am Ziller and back for the 46K, or finally, to Mayrhofen and back for the 64K. You can cut these routes in half by stopping at any of these three towns and taking the train back to the start hall. This gives you a choice of six bike distances. Complete one walk or bike event and you will receive a hand-made cowbell as the award.

Friday and Saturday evenings there will be concerts in town, and Sunday there will be live music in the start hall. So whether you walk, bike or listen to music, you have lots of options.

• There are two Stammtisch walks this weekend for the Stuttgart German American Wandering Club. Friday, their blue flag will be at the walk in Schorndorf. This event starts between 1 and 5:30 p.m. On Sunday, they will be at the Weissach walk, which starts between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.

• For another interesting event, the folks in Markt Schwaben, Germany, are offering three walking routes and two bike distances. The prize for these events is a candle that looks like a bouquet of roses. The events start Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at 7 a.m.

• The walk in Sien, Germany, appears to be close to Baumholder, while Sunday’s walk in Witt-lich is fairly close to walkers in the Bitburg/Spangdahlem area. Both are for IVV credit only.

• There are also a couple of nice walks in the Tri-border area. The Organisation A.M.T.F. Plombieres in Belgium is hosting its 40th Annual International Walk of the Three Frontiers. A patch that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Belgium is the prize. We picked up a couple of these a year or so ago, and they are nice, even if they are a few years old.

• The Czech Republic has both bike and walking events this weekend in Cheb. Located northeast of Bayreuth, Germany, Cheb appears to be just a few kilometers across the border. For those working on your Europa Cup award, here’s a chance to get your Czech Republic stamp.

• From Italy, Clark Soeldner reports: “To get to the Rovereto event, exit the A22 at Rovereto and go east toward Albaredo. At Albaredo, bear south to Malga Tof, about 10 kilometers from Rovereto. Expect narrow mountain roads. Keep an eye out for WWI fortifications.”

Wow, this sounds like a difficult walk!

• Sunday we’ll be in Wijlre, Netherlands, walking with our fellow club members from the Tri-border Walking Club. It will be nice to walk and talk with old friends and new club members.

• The Ramstein Roadrunners recently took a bus trip to the walk in Crailsheim, Germany, followed by a side trip to Dinkelsbühl. Gene Behrends sent us the following after-action report.

“We had a great trip to Crailsheim and Dinkelsbühl. About 25 Roadrunners made it including several first-timers, including one family who had only been here in Germany about three weeks. The trails were nice, as was the weather. The final Kontrolle was a really pleasant picnic-like set-up with a fest tent, outdoor tables, etc, even fresh-cooked brats. It was almost like a mini start hall. As always, the food was worth the trip. The general vote for the “dinner winner” was the maultaschen.

“The Dinkelsbühl side trip was also highly enjoyable. The town never fails to please. In addition to just walking around, we found the museum was definitely worth a stop. We got to witness traditional German wedding customs, as there was a wedding party coming out of the church as we got there.

“Everyone had a super time, and they are looking forward to our October trip to Bischofsdrohn for their walk and then to Zell for the new wine fest.”

Thanks, Gene, for the report. It sounds like you had a very nice time. We hope to get to Ramstein to join you guys some time soon.• High fives to this week’s group of contributors: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro, Michael and Michelle Connor, Cath and Rob Floyd, Bob Gambert, Richard and Donna Glenn, John and Evelyn Golembe, Wayne Henry, Ramona and Horst Kechelen, Tim and Luchi Lynch, “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson, Richie and Young Sook Reeder, Rick and Wanda Sciascia and Nancy Shawley.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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