Stars and Stripes March 13, 2008
Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.
The days are getting longer and so is the weekly list of Volksmarches. We hope you are enjoying the milder weather, even though it seems to have meant more rain. On March 30, we switch our clocks forward one hour. While you’re marking that date on your calendar, also write down the Aviano Road Runners’ Volksmarch on April 13. This will be the club’s 32nd annual Madonna del Monte event. There will be more information as the walk date approaches. In the meantime, if you can volunteer, e-mail Sandra.email@example.com for information on how you can help.
Washington’s “Walk ’Round the Monuments” after-action report: On a visit to the States last month, I (Bob) was able to beat the winter storm in Old Town Alexandria, but got caught in it the next day in Washington, D.C. It was cold and windy and the rain from the day before had frozen in many places, making the footing a bit dangerous. The start for this walk was at the reception desk at the Columbia Plaza Apartments at 2400 Virginia Ave. N.W. near 23rd Street, about four blocks from the Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro station.
After registering for the walk, I headed out with my 18-page directions and map to tackle the 11-kilometer route. I had a feeling the 17k route would be too much with the weather as bad as it was. The sights featured on this walk are all the famous Washington landmarks: Lincoln, Jefferson and FDR memorials, the Washington Monument, the White House and the Capitol. The 17k walk has all of these plus the Supreme Court, Union Station and the National Archives.
Having spent several years in the D.C. area when stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, I was familiar with these sights. What I really enjoyed were the two relatively new monuments on the trail — the Korean War Memorial and the World War II Memorial. My father served in both conflicts and I found both of the monuments very moving.
While the monuments were the highlight of the day, the highlight of the evening was a visit to the Stars and Stripes central office in Washington, where we met several staff members. After two years of writing this column, we found it nice to put some faces to the names we have been corresponding with.
Upon our return to the Netherlands, the town of Schinveld was having a walk, and since it is close by, we decided to give it a try.
This is the walk that has taken us through a field of Scottish Highland cows. This time the cows, complete with horns, were on the path with us. Lorraine was wondering what we’d do if they decided to charge because there was an electric fence on one side of the path and thick brush on the other. Bob just kept saying, “They are domesticated and used to being around people.” Lorraine said, “Just don’t make eye contact with them.”
We eventually passed them at a wide spot on the trail, but it is hard to tell who was keeping a closer eye on whom. Once past, we noted several more Highlanders in the brush, so we were definitely outnumbered!
The only disappointment at Schinveld was that no IVV credit was given for the walk, even though the flier said it would be. It was still an enjoyable walk and the pea soup at the control point was very good.
Wednesday’s walk in Gulpen, Netherlands, is the first of this year’s Midweekwandeltochten. Now through November there be one Wednesday walk each month. Routes are five, 10 and 15 kilometers, with start times between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for the 5k trail, and 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. for the 10k and 15k trails. Dates are March 19, April 16, May 14, June 18, July 23, Aug. 13, Sept. 17, Oct. 15 and Nov. 19.
A great big “Dank u wel” to the following people who sent fliers: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro, Theresia Fontaine, Susan Fowler, Bob Gambert, John and Evelyn Golembe, Lew Harrison, Wayne Henry, Ramona and Horst Kechelen, Diane Lockman, Tim and Luchi Lynch, Pat Patterson, Dawn St. John and Nancy Shawley.
Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s events:
More than 600 years old, the town of Freudenberg-Alchen, Germany, hosts its 20th International Walking Days this Saturday and Sunday. If you fancy half-timbered houses, then visit the historical part of Freudenberg for a treat. The six-, 11- and 20-kilometer trails begin between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day, and you must finish by 5 p.m.Sunday’s Trier-Ehrang, Germany, event is always a nice walk. Organizers are offering B-medals, but maybe you can get an authentic Roman coin left over from last year’s walk. Start the 5k and 10k between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. and the 20k between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.; finish your trail by 5 p.m.The prize at Korneuburg, Austria, is a ceramic horse- drawn cart carrying two children. Lorraine saw it on display at Rothenburg and says it is much prettier than the picture on the flier.Schlüsselfeld, Germany, is also offering B-medals this year, but last year it had a door wreath with an Easter theme. Maybe you can still get one.The prize at the Wallburg, Germany, walk is a candleholder designed as a broken pitcher.The prize at Grolsheim, Germany, is a first-aid kit.Clark Soeldner’s Italian walking notes:
The middle school on Via Papa Giovanni XXIII is the start location for the walk at San Stino di Livenza, Italy.The start for the walk at Campeis a Pinzano Tagliamento, Italy, is next to the headquarters of the Association Amis di Cjampees.E-mail Volksmarch schedule information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09703-0278.