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March is here and spring is not too far behind. For us, the first sign of spring comes in an expanding list of upcoming volksmarches. We spied a few German marches in the mailbox this week that are worth marking on your calendars.

• March 12 and 13: Ansbach;

• April 30 and May 1: Hohenfels;

• May 22: Aviano, Italy;

• June 18 and 19: Bad Kreuznach.

We’ll provide more information as the dates approach.

• This weekend’s walk at Mühlhausen/Enz, Germany, is a Stammtisch walk for the Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club. The prize is a B-medal, but last year they had a very interesting prize that you might be able to get this year, too. It was a desk organizer that will hold pens and pencils and is also a digital clock, calendar and thermometer.

• Clark Soeldner tells us that the start for Sunday’s walk in Caselle di Selvazzano Dentro, Italy, is at the “Zona collaudo automezzi di fronte cucina Mappa” on via Parini.

• With next week being carnival week, there are a few mid-week walks. Tuesday’s walk in Winnenden, Germany, is featuring a special carnival menu featuring local foods.

We probably will head to Wednesday’s Krokustocht in Lanaken, Belgium.

• We’ve been to a couple of walks recently where vendors were selling fresh fruit at the start hall. Although we like fresh fruit, for some reason we usually just pass the tables by. However, we thought we would give them a try and bought big bags of apples and pears, and they have been very good. From now on, we will check these tables out and probably buy more. Wherever you live, you might find fruit or vegetables unique to that area at a nearby walk, so be on the lookout.

• Meanwhile, we recently received the good news that we have been awarded the contract to continue writing this column. We think we have been doing a pretty good job with it, but what do you think? If you have any ideas about what you would like to see in the column, we are open to suggestions. Please send your thoughts to us at: two.walkers@yahoo.com. We look forward to your input.

Sue Capp of the Heidelberg International Wandering Club sent us a rerport of the club’s trip to volksmarches in Kerlingen, Germany, and Grosbliederstroff, France. Here is our summary of her narrative:

“Jan. 30 found us on the road again, with the Heidelberg International Wandering Club. January’s club-sponsored trip took us to two walks in two countries, earning two stamps in one day. How cool is that! Starting bright and early from Patrick Henry Village, we began with our time-honored, traditional champagne breakfast, complete with tasty goodies. As always, a party atmosphere filled the bus.

“Our first stop was the town of Kerlingen, in the Saarland region of Germany, not far from the French border. Two trails were offered, 5 and 10 kilometers, meandering through both countryside and a couple of small villages in between. Upon returning to the start hall many of us enjoyed a nice hot bowl of pea soup and sausage to warm up.

“We won a group participation prize for the club, with one of our members selecting a wooden tea box that can be used for storing a variety of teas.

“Boarding the bus at 12:15 p.m. our driver, Stefan, set the course for our next destination, Grosbliederstroff. Situated along the Saar River about 40 minutes south and just over the border in France, we went to participate in their winter walk. We had our choice to walk trails of either 5 or 10 kilometers.

“The beginning of the event had us all walking a good distance on a path along the river. It was very pretty, with mallard ducks enjoying a swim and a skim of ice in spots on the river. Then a left turn away from the river took us on a nice jaunt through the woods and back into town.

“While several members headed back toward the start hall, I (Sue) decided to venture over to the still-open bakery, where I purchased a chocolate-filled doughnut, a couple of croissants and a loaf of French bread. Of course when I got back, the others saw these goodies and quickly departed to go buy their own.

“Because I was so late getting back to the hall, there was not much left in the way of native cuisine left to eat. A little serving of beef, chicken and sausage served over couscous and a cup of coffee was about it.

“After everyone had returned and was accounted for, we collected the two trophies we won (will donate them to the Kiddie Volksmarch in April), took a nice group picture, closed down the hall and headed back home to Heidelberg. What a glorious day.”

Thanks, Sue, for the excellent after-action report. Again, it sounds like you put together one heck of a fun-filled trip. We look forward to joining the HIWC soon on another bus trip.

• Thanks go to our fellow walkers for sending in brochures, all in date order! Here’s the list this week: Cath and Rob Floyd, Richard and Donna Glenn, Tim and Luchi Lynch, “Pat” and Cheryl Patterson, Rick and Wanda Sciascia, and Bob Gambert and Wayne Henry.

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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