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Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

The Grafenwöhr Garrison Commander, Col. Brian T. Boyle, extends a hearty invitation to all Volksmarchers, especially those from the Grafenwöhr and Vilseck communities, to this weekend’s walk in Grafenwöhr.

Very conveniently located for the nearby military communities, this popular Volksmarch is in a beautiful area and is always well organized.

The start location is again in the Jugendheim, near the church, on Kolpingstrasse. Start times for the 5, 10 and 20 kilometer trails are 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and 7-11 a.m. Sunday. Saturday’s finish time is 5 p.m.; Sunday’s is 3 p.m.

The award is a 30-centimeter decorative autumn figure of a lady holding a pumpkin.

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!

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Mark your calendars for the Ramstein Roadrunner’s Annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot on Nov. 22. The prize is a 35-centimeter-tall snowman figure, complete with hat, scarf and shovel. Make sure you get there early because quantities are limited, and we bet these prizes will be going fast.

The walk starts between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. and you can choose either 5 or 10 kilometers. Here is a chance to launch a preemptive strike on the post-Thanksgiving meal stuffed feeling by getting in a good, vigorous workout and raising your metabolism before you attack the turkey and stuffing.

As with all Volksmarches, there is a lot of work that needs to be done. If you have the time, please help the Roadrunners with this big event. I (Bob) recall being a young soldier away from home and alone on holidays and how it was not much fun. If I would have had a Volksmarch to work at, it would have made the holiday a lot more bearable. Please contact the club at Ramsteinroadrunners@yahoo.com. I’m sure they’d be glad to hear from you.

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With the shorter days and colder weather upon us, more walking clubs will be offering just 5- and 10-kilometer trails. The number of control points may also decrease. While most clubs typically have two control points during the summer for a 10-kilometer course, many will only provide one during the fall and winter; we’ve even attended a couple that had no controls at all. Keeping this in mind, it’s even more important to carry a water bottle with you. In the colder climates, you, your family and even your dog must still stay hydrated. Don’t let the cold weather fool you … carry fluids.

More clubs will be offering broth at control points instead of tea. If you’ve walked by it in years past, give the broth a try. It’s a great warm alternative and tastes terrific. We’ve never had a bad cup, and we’ll gladly take this homemade soup over tea on a cold day. Another favorite — pea soup! It’s also time to keep your eyes open for pea soup at the start halls. Before I (Bob) tried the pea soup, I thought it sounded kind of gross, but was I wrong! On a cold day, it is the kind of soup to stick to your ribs and really warm you up. We have seen some varieties with all kinds of vegetables mixed in, and some have meat in it as well. It is now at the point where if it is a cold day and they don’t serve pea soup, we’re disappointed! Try it … you’ll like it!

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Two of the walks in Belgium, Battice and Welkenraedt, are only a few kilometers apart. You can do both on Saturday or split them up. Please note that the Battice walk is Saturday only. The town of Battice is the home of one of the forts that ring the city of Liege. The Battice fort was built between 1934 and 1937 and withstood a 12-day siege by the Germans in May 1940. After the fall of the fort, it was used as a testing ground for new German weapons. The fort is gradually being restored and has several kilometers of underground corridors that connect turrets and bunkers. The motor and machinery of one of the cannon turrets has been restored and can be raised out of the bunker and revolved. For more information, visit http://welcome.to/fort-battice.

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The 2008 DVV Terminliste (annual Volksmarching event book) is due to hit the streets any time now. While this book is a great source of scheduled German Volksmarches for the coming year, clubs do make occasional changes. You should always check out the DVV Web site at www.dvv-wandern.de to make certain you have up-to-date listings.

Thanks a million to the folks who make this column possible by sending us fliers. This weeks contributors are: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro; William Collins; Manfred Dahl; Bob Gambert; Egon Hatfield; Wayne Henry; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; James Kelly; Tim and Luchi Lynch; Pat Patterson; and Nancy Shawley.

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Notes about some of this week’s events:

• Walk in Heidelberg, Germany, this weekend and then visit the castle and other sights of this fabulous city. The Heidelberg-Emmertsgrund march affords folks the chance to walk 5, 10 or 20 kilometers on Saturday or Sunday.

• The start for the walk in Wiesbaden- Klarenthal, Germany, is at the Geschwister-Scholl-Grundschule, which appears to be near Klarenthaler Strasse to the west of downtown Wiesbaden. They will offer B-medals at the reduced price of only 2.50 euros.

• Allenbach, Germany, offers B-medals this year, but maybe you can pick up one of last year’s onyx elephants with the upturned trunks. We were pleasantly surprised by how nice these prizes were last year when we attended this walk. This walk is in the “backyard” of the Baumholder and Kaiserslautern Military Communities, and close to the Eifel Community, too. Start the 5K and 10K Saturday and Sunday between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and the 20K, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Finish both days by 5 p.m.

• The big print on the flier says Geretsried, but the start hall is in nearby Gelting, Germany, located between Munich and Bad Toltz. The prize is a B-medal, but last year they gave out a silver hiking shoe on a key chain. You might be able to get one of them this year at the reduced price of 3 euros.

• In addition to the walk, a trip into the town of Bassano del Grappa, Italy, is worth the visit. Don’t miss the covered bridge. Of special interest is the grappa shop on the east end of the bridge. But don’t sample the grappa unless you have a designated driver.

E-mail Volksmarch schedule information to two.walkers@yahoo.com. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09703-0278.

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