See this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

We believe that an important part of reaching volksmarch goals is proper, long-term planning. We like to look several weeks, even months, in advance in an effort to prepare for walks. We mark them on the calendar and make plans around these commitments. If you wait until the last minute to make plans, something else might have popped up on your radar screen and pushed volksmarching off.

Here are a few dates to mark on your calendars to assist with your planning. There will be more details on the walks in this column as the dates get closer; all walks are in Germany unless otherwise noted.

• Jan. 30: Mons, Belgium.

• Feb. 6-7: Clermont, Belgium.

• Feb. 7: Forstfeld, France.

• Feb. 13: Lichtenwald.

• Feb. 13-14: Battice, Belgium.

• Feb. 20-21: Bad Marienberg.

• Feb. 20-21: Hessenstein (Idar-Oberstein).

• Feb. 27-28: Rothenburg o.d.Tauber.

• Feb. 27-28: Rheinböllen.

• Feb. 27-28: Trois Ponts, Belgium.

• March 6: Delft, Netherlands.

• March 6-7: Wißmannsdorf.

• March 7: Margraten, Netherlands.

• March 13-14: Queidersbach.

• March 13-14: Simmern.

• March 21: Trier-Ehrang.

• March 28: Daylight-saving time ends.

• March 28: Luxembourg city, Luxembourg.

• March 28: Bad Münstereifel.

• March 31: St. Julian.

• April 3: Sittard, Netherlands.

• April 10: Lisse, Netherlands.

This list is based upon the fliers we have received as well as a quick look through the IVV 2010 event book. If you know of an upcoming walk that you have enjoyed, or if your club is sponsoring an event, please send us a flier or an e-mail with the details so we can spread the word.

• • •

We did our first walk of the new year in the nearby town of Beek, Netherlands. It was the organizers’ 11th annual Wafelwandeltocht; at the end of the walk, you turn in your start card and get a waffle. A freshly made waffle would have been better than the store-bought variety we received, but it was still pretty good. A fresh layer of snow made the route slippery in areas, but it was not too bad. And we’ve got our first walk of the year crossed off our list. How about you?

• • •

We received a nice Christmas letter from Mike and Pam Medolo, formerly of the Kaiserslautern Sunny Coyotes. They’ve been back in the United States for just over a year and they’re still volksmarching like crazy. In the past 12 months, they’ve walked in all of the New England states, plus Pennsylvania, Maryland and Alabama. They were also able to do several volksmarches in Canada. In the process they achieved several milestones: Pam completed her 1,200th volksmarch; Mike walked his 2,300th volksmarch and passed 26,000 kilometers. Our hats are off to both of them.

Speaking of milestones, two members of the Heidelberg International Wandering Club have been very busy walking. Ruth Armstrong recently passed the 11,000-kilometer level and Terry Fulmer reached the 10,000-kilometer level. Kudos and high-fives to all of these fantastic walkers!

• • •

Familiar names again this week have mailed fliers to us:. Thanks to John and Evelyn Golembe, Ramona and Horst Kechelen, Tim and Luchi Lynch, "Pat" and Cheryl Patterson, Bob Gambert, Lew Harrison, Wayne Henry and Nancy Shawley.

• • •

Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s events:

• The walk in Limburg on der Lahn, Germany, should be an exceptional event. This is a beautiful city surrounded by pretty countryside. There are hills on the different routes and they might be slippery, so be careful.

• The prize for walking or skiing at Strauss, Austria, is a B-medal, but we feel the real prize will be the scenery.

• The walk in Riederich, Germany, is a Stammtisch walk for the Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club. Look for the club’s blue flag at the start hall and go up and say, "Hi!"

• Saturday morning’s Monteforte d’Alpone, Italy, event is the 15th "For the Smile of Children" walk. Events start with the Expo opening at 9 a.m. and continue with the morning walk. Saturday afternoon’s walk is limited to 120 participants and will tour the wine country of Soave. You must register in advance for this particular walk.

Activities continue with Sunday’s walk starting at 8:30 a.m. This is quite a walk as there are usually more than 18,000 participants. The sign-ups are at the top of the hill in the area just past the church. Prizes include wine, a blanket, a 10-pack of pudding, cooking cream and three fruit juices, all in a recycled bag. This prize bundle is limited to the first 10,000 participants. If you have room after all of the restoros, they have free pasta at the end. For more information in English, call 0039-349-0854525.

• The longer routes at Fossalunga di Vedelago, Italy, will enter the Italian military airfield at Istrana. You will walk on the road along the runway, go around the end of the runway and then exit the base. It would be wise to ask permission before taking pictures on the air base.

E-mail volksmarch information to Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.

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