Volksmarch column for the November 19 edition
Stars and Stripes November 19, 2009
Next Thursday is the Ramstein Roadrunner’s Annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. We are featuring the walk this week so that on Thanksgiving morning you can be out on the trail bright and early.
Early is important because of the beautiful beer mugs being given as prizes; they probably will not last long. The mug shows a view of the Brandenburg Gate as seen through a hole in the Berlin Wall. Nothing says, “I’ve been on a volksmarch in Germany!” any better than this prize.
There also will be B-medals from previous walks. As with all walks that offer B-medals, the quantities are limited and are given out on a first-come basis. These prizes are so nice that we are surprised there are any left from earlier walks. You can choose between a wooden nutcracker and a 14-inch snowman, complete with a green outfit, hat, scarf and shovel. Both would make very nice Christmas presents. In fact, we have mailed some of these to the States as gifts the past two years.
The event begins at the TV 03 Turnhalle at the intersection of Jahnstrasse and Landstuhler Strasse in Ramstein village. The easiest way to get there is to take the road connecting Landstuhl and Ramstein, heading toward Ramstein village, and the Turnhalle will be on the left, less than a half-kilometer from the little traffic circle near the Shell service station.
The six- and 11-kilometer trails start between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.; the finish time is 3 p.m. Please finish by that time so club members and other volunteers can quickly clean up the hall and get home to their Thanksgiving meals. Don’t forget to take some baked goods to donate to the club.
If you have the day off, can you think of a 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 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 quality time on the trail with family or friends.
If you can’t make it to the walk but want some information about the Ramstein Roadrunners, see their Web site, www.ava.org/clubs/ramsteinroadrunners.
• • •
Here are some other upcoming events to be aware of:
• Christmas markets will be opening soon across Europe. If you know of a volksmarch near a Christmas market, let us know so we can spread the word.
• Friday is the last day to sign up for the Kaiserslautern Sunny Coyotes’ bus trip to Metz, France, on Dec. 5. This is a beautiful evening walk that goes through the city’s Christmas market. Contact Helen Wallace at email@example.com or phone Leonard Cotterell at 06337-8732 for seat availability.
• Advance registration for the Bastogne Historic Walk ends Monday. For more information, see www.bastognehistoricwalk.com and click on the English link at the top of the page. Since this is the 65th anniversary of the battle, there will be extra attractions during this weekend of activities.
• • •
According to the DVV Web page, Saturday’s walk in Gundelfingen, Germany, has new start times. It is now an afternoon/evening walk starting between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The start times Sunday were not changed.
• • •
Miscellaneous short notes about this week’s events:
• Good luck to members of the Heidelberg International Wandering Club as they head off Saturday to Rixheim, France, to walk, shop and have an all-round good time.
• We have enjoyed the walk in Bingen, Germany, in the past. This year, organizers are not offering a prize, 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 Heilsbronn, Germany, is a snowman tea light holder. Ramona Kechelen reminds us that this event is convenient for walkers at Ansbach.
• Clark Soeldner offers this tidbit on this week’s walk in Italy: “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, they have had 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.