Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.
We cringe when we head to the gas pumps because the price keeps going up. However, we have a couple of ideas that might keep fuel prices from having an impact upon your volksmarching.
First, join your local volksmarch club. These clubs are always looking for new members and will welcome you with open arms. Once you join, you’ll have a new network of friends with which to plan your walks. Most clubs plan bus trips to walks across Europe. The frequency of these trips will vary from club to club, but they offer several benefits: someone else does the driving and worries about parking, you can spend more time looking at the scenery, and it allows you to stray a little farther from home than you might if you were going on your own.
If you don’t want to join a club, you can still start your own volksmarch network. At work, watch for the tell-tale signs of avid volksmarchers. Look for such things as beautiful beer steins on their desks. Perhaps they are always preoccupied with the Stars and Stripes Travel section on Thursday mornings. Or perhaps the Monday-morning conversation is always about a 10k or 20k walk in one town or another. Once you identify likely candidates, ask them whether they are volksmarchers, and if they are, you can then form your own walking network.
Carpooling is a great benefit of networking, but one must observe certain points of etiquette. First, you can’t always be the passenger; you should offer to drive sometimes. If you don’t have a car, let the others know so they won’t be wondering when you are going to offer to drive. Second, as a passenger, offer to contribute to the cost of the driver’s gas. Or, perhaps offer to buy their start card and lunch in exchange for the ride.
Next, as a carpooler, remain flexible to the desires of the others in the car. If the driver plans to walk only 10 kilometers, don’t ask him or her to sit and wait while you do a 20k route. On the other hand, if you only want to go 10 kilometers while the others are walking 20, take a book or something to keep you occupied while you wait for the others to finish. Last of all, with the hot bratwurst and flowing beer at the end of the walk, make sure you have a designated driver so you get home safely.
By incorporating some of these strategies, you should be able to enjoy volksmarching in spite of the rising cost of gas.
As we travel to our walks, we must remain security conscious. We were sorry to hear from Rob and Cath Floyd that their car was broken into at a walk in France. In spite of the fact that they had their gear out of sight in the trunk, the thieves broke into the car and got into the trunk. We encourage you to redouble your efforts and remain vigilant in your security efforts.
The "Wanderfreunde ‘Glück Auf’ Wölfershausen Werratal" have coordinated three walks and a swim event for tomorrow. They have staggered the start times for the walks in Dankmarkhausen, Kleinensee, and Wölfershausen, so that you can walk either 5 or 10 kilometers at each town. After these walks, head to the town of Heringen for an IVV swim event. It is not often that you can earn four IVV stamps in one day!
Next Wednesday, May 28, is the start of the 4-day walk in Rodenbach, Germany. Hosted by the Niederländische Wanderverein von Rodenbach, participants march either a 5K or 10K trail each night starting at 5 p.m. (and finishing by 10 p.m.). Saturday you also have the choice of a 20K beginning at 4 p.m. Those individuals who complete at least 3 days’ walks will receive a medal; those who complete 1 or 2 days’ walks will receive a certificate. In case you were wondering, you’ll get a different stamp in your IVV kilometer and/or event books each day. Again this year they are offering a wide selection of Dutch souvenirs for sale as well as typical Dutch food, drinks and snacks. If you have never tasted Dutch Poffertjes, these alone will make the trip worthwhile. Here is a chance to experience some of the Dutch culture without having to make the long trip. This is a "close walk" for folks in the Kaiserslautern and Baumholder military communities. For more information, email the club at email@example.com.
Monday, June 2, marks the beginning of the 13-week Summer Evening Walk Series in St. Odiliënberg, Netherlands. Each Monday evening they will be offering a different 10 kilometer route which you can start between 4:30 and 7:00 p.m. We have done these walks several times in the past and they are very good walks.
Make sure you mark your calendars for these two major Volksmarch events:
26 & 27 July – Stuttgart6 & 7 September – HeidelbergThese are walks you won’t want to miss!
This week’s "atta-boys" and "atta-girls" go to: William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro, Manfred Dahl, John and Evelyn Golembe, Denise Grant, Lew Harrison, Egon Hatfield, Wayne Henry, Ramona and Horst Kechelen, James Kelly, Doug LeVien, Tim and Luchi Lynch, John and Patty Marsh, Pat Patterson, Dawn St. John, and Nancy Shawley. Thanks for the extra effort by Jennifer West who was back in Germany for a while and who sent us six envelopes full of fliers!
Miscellaneous short notes about this week's volksmarch events:
¶ The walk in Petit Rechain, Belguim, is close to the WWII American Cemetery at Henri Chapelle. If you are in the area, make sure you stop and see this beautiful cemetery. We have seen signs on the highway for an outlet mall in the area south of Petit Rechain, so if shopping is your thing, look for this mall after your walk.
¶ The prize at the walk in Reutlingen, Germany, is a desk article that is a clock, picture frame and pen holder.
¶ Clark Soeldner’s Italian walking notes:
The start for the walk in Pasian di Prato is next to the "Centro de La Nostra Famiglia" in Via Cialdini 29. A unique twist to this walk is the option to walk an additional 3 kilometer loop so that the 13K route can become 16K, and the 18K can become 21K. Just make sure you get your start card stamped to reflect the extra distance. If it rains, expect all the courses to be cancelled except for the 6 kilometer trail which will be repeatable.
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.