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Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

Gee, has it been a year already? We are enjoying writing this column so much that we are a month late in thanking all of you for the help you gave us during the first year. We have met quite a few readers via e-mail, but have been able to meet only a few in person. We hope you’ll recognize us at a walk and come up and introduce yourselves.

Thanks especially for sending the fliers. This column wouldn’t be possible without them. They give much more information than the Web sites, and we try to pass that information on. It is a rare day that we don’t receive fliers in the mail. Even if you send just one, it might be the only one we receive for that particular walk, and without it we would not be able to list the walk. We would rather receive 20 copies of a flier and sort through the duplicates than miss a single one. Please keep our mailroom staff busy.

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The Rothenburg after-action report will have to wait until next week, as the deadline for this column is before the walk. A year ago at Rothenburg, I (Bob) talked briefly with John and Suzie Savoy as they signed in for their first Volksmarch. In the column, we wished that it was the first of many for them. John and Suzie, if you are still in Europe, please drop us a line and let us know how your first year of walking has been. E-mail us at two.walkers@yahoo.com.

The invitation to e-mail us is open to all. Let us know what your favorite walk is and we’ll share it with everyone. If your club is hosting a walk, please give us a few weeks of advance notice so we can talk it up.

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Does anyone know anything about “Chuckie” Tansey, the little boy with all the medals, whose picture we ran a couple of weeks back? We’ve not heard from anyone and we’re eager to find out more about him.

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Michael Gdowski sent us an e-mail about the walk in Aschbach, Germany, that he and his wife attended a couple of weeks ago. They found it in spite of our incorrect directions in the paper.

He reports the terrain was easy, “almost American-mall stroller friendly” and that the scenery alternated between farmland and forest. He also says that the weather was great when they left the house, stayed nice until they hit the first control point and then it started to rain. By the time they got home the weather was fine again. Raise your hand if that has happened to you. As a Volksmarcher, you have to be ready for any kind of weather at any time. (I’m putting my hand down now so I can type a little quicker … not that it helps much.)

It also helps to have a good map or navigational software so you can find your way. We have been using AutoRoute for the past few years and it has worked very well. Thanks to the Gdowskis for sharing their experience.

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On Sunday, we will be at the walk in Margraten, Netherlands. This is one of our favorite walks for several reasons. The countryside is beautiful and so are the animals. In the past, one of the control points was near a barn with newly born lambs. Neither of us has spent much time on farms, so we were impressed.

The main reason we like Margraten is because it is the home of the American Netherlands Cemetery for servicemembers who gave their lives in World War II. “Home” is an appropriate word because all of the 8,300 graves have been adopted by Dutch families. Lorraine once asked an older couple why they were placing a bouquet at a gravesite. As the woman’s eyes welled up, she replied, “Because we are in debt [to them].”

Stop and visit one of the four women or one of the six Medal of Honor recipients buried there, or read the names of the 1,722 missing in action on the walls of the Court of Honor. The cemetery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with details at the Web site www.abmc.gov. (Dogs are not allowed, so leave Fido at home.)

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For those in the Bamberg, Germany, area, the walk this weekend in Gerach is convenient. The prize is a rabbit figure, and the event includes live music Sunday. Start both days between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. and finish by 4 p.m.

If you live in the Eifel region, you should make the walk in Hermesdorf a priority this weekend. There is no prize, but it is featuring a new 15-kilometer route.

And, for those in the Stuttgart area, the walk in Mühlhausen is the walk for you. The prize is a digital clock with alarm and snooze function, calendar and thermometer all rolled into one. Look for members of the Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club at this walk. They have registered for this walk, so they should be there in force.

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Thanks again to the contributors to this week’s column: S. Alderson; Mary Campbell; Tom, Petra and Maya Casarez; Manfred Dahl; Theresia Fontaine; Bob Gambert; Michael Gdowski; Lew Harrison; Wayne Henry; Jan and John Jensen; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; James Kelly; David Kuik; Tim and Luchi Lynch; John and Patty Marsh; Dave Miller; “Pat” Patterson; Mary Jo Piccin; the Reynozo clan; Dawn St. John; Nancy Shawley; Regina Tiedermann; Jose Valdez; and Ed Whitworth.

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Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s events:

• If you go to the walk in Tiefenbach, Germany, make sure you go a few miles farther south and visit the town of Braunfels and its castle.

• The prize at Ludwigshafen- Pfingstweide is a shovel decorated with an Easter theme.

• Dogs are not allowed in the start hall at Ettelbruck, Luxembourg.

Finally, here are notes from Clark Soeldner, our Italian walking guru.

• The walk at Monteforte d’ Alpone has some beautiful hilly panoramas along the route and passes near the Soave Castle.

• Caselle di Selvazzano Dentro has several routes and all of them are flat. (That’s something we don't see very often.) The start is at zona collaudo automezzi di fronte cucina Mappa, via Parini.

Please e-mail Volksmarch schedule information for any country to two. walkers@yahoo.com. By conventional mail, send brochures (in date order if possible) to: Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09703-0278.

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