Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

Next Thursday, Nov. 27, the Ramstein Roadrunners Annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot takes place. We are going to feature the walk this week so next Thursday morning you can be out on the trail bright and early.

Early is important because organizers are offering B-medals from the past two years and these prizes probably will not last long. As with all walks that offer B-medals, the quantities are limited and will be given out on a first-come basis.

These prizes are so nice; we are surprised that there are any left from the earlier walks. You can choose between a wooden nutcracker (the one that looks like a soldier and costs about 30 euros at most stores), or a 14-inch-tall snowman, complete with a green outfit, hat, scarf and shovel. Both would make great Christmas presents. In fact, we have mailed some back to the States as gifts the past two years.

The event begins at the TV 03 Turnhalle at Jahnstrasse and Landstuhler Strasse in Ramstein village, Germany. The easiest way to get there is to take the road connecting the towns of Landstuhl and Ramstein, head in the direction of Ramstein village, and you’ll see the Turnhalle on your left, less than a half-kilometer from the little traffic circle near the Shell gas station.

The five- and 10-kilometer trails start between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.; the finish time is 3 p.m. Please finish by that time so the club members and other volunteers can clean the hall and get home to their Thanksgiving meals.

Don’t forget to bring some baked goods to donate to the club.

If you have the day off, there is no better place to be than Volksmarching in the Ramstein area. Thanksgiving might be an American holiday, but a touch of German culture would make this holiday unique. A brisk walk through the forests and fields to build up the metabolism and then having a bratwurst and a cold beverage to hold you over until turkey time sounds like a great way to put a new spin on the holiday.

Take the opportunity to log a few extra kilometers and spend some quality time on the trail with family or friends.

If you can’t make it to the walk next week but want some information about the Roadrunners, check out their Web site: runners/home.htm.

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We received two fliers for torch walks this week and news that one walk that has been a torch walk in the past was downgraded to a regular day walk. It is the walk in Gundelfingen that has been changed to a regular day walk only. This is bad news because we are joining the Heidelberg International Wandering Club on this bus trip and were really looking forward to the torch walk. The original plan was to visit a glass factory and some outlet shops during the day and then go to the torch walk in the early evening. Now it looks as if the glass factory is out but the outlet shops are still on the agenda. If you would like to go on the trip, there are a few seats available on the bus. The cost for club members is 35 euros (about $44). Please contact trip captain Ryan DiSilvestro at for more information.

An early return to Heidelberg is OK because it will allow us to get an early start on Sunday morning as we head to the Spangdahlem Bazaar on our way back home. While Lorraine is checking out the loden coats and other Christmas items, Bob will be hanging out with his friend Peter Dupré of Aviation Arts and Collectibles at Peter’s booth. As the name states, Peter’s specialty is aviation artwork, but he also carries a variety of other military prints and collectibles. We’ll also be looking for pottery from Soufflenheim, France. We’ll be there on Sunday, so come up and say, “Hi!”

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A hearty “Merci” to some of our fellow walkers who took time out of their days to mail us volksmarch brochures. This week they are: Maya, Tom and Petra Casarez; William Castro and Maureen McHugh-Castro; Ramona and Horst Kechelen; Tim and Luchi Lynch; John and Patty Marsh; Wayne Henry; and Pat Patterson.

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Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s volksmarch events:

• The walk in Albstadt has B-medals this year, but last year’s prize was a teddy bear with a scarf and stocking cap. Hopefully there will be some more this year, because it could be an excellent stocking stuffer.

• We have enjoyed the walk in Bingen in the past. Organizers are not offering a prize this year, but it should still be a nice walk. Afterward, take the ferry across the Rhine and visit Rüdesheim. Use this as a practice run for visiting the Rüdesheim Christmas market in December.

• The prize for the walk in Tiefenbach is a “Vliestasche”; we translate that as a “fleece pocket,” but I’m told it is a fleece bag instead.

Clark Soeldner’s tidbits for this week’s Italian walks:

• The Fagagna walk is high on my list of favorites. It is in the hills with beautiful views, especially toward San Daniele. In the past, for the longer distances, there was a restoro at a private residence that has a fantastic mosaic, called the Four Seasons, along the entire face of the building. This has to be seen, it cannot be described.

E-mail volksmarch information to Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09703-0278.

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