Volksmarch column for the October 22, 2009 edition
Don’t forget that Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday. Be sure to set your clocks back one hour before going to bed Saturday night and then get up early to enjoy the extra hour of walking!
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The Schnelle Füße Koblenz always has a very nice fall walk. This weekend it starts in the town of Winningen, near Koblenz, Germany. In the past, the trails in this area have been through forests with resplendent fall foliage and beautiful views of the Mosel river. Walk routes vary from 5 to 50 kilometers. They are also offering a 25-kilometer bike route for bicycle enthusiasts. For the shorter distances, the prize is a tea light candle holder with a Nativity scene.
Another one of our favorite walks is in Gulpen, Netherlands, this Sunday. The walking club De Veldlopers from Gulpen are hosting their 47th Castle and Monument Walk. You can start the 5- and 10-kilometer routes between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., the 15 and 20 kilometer routes between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., and the 35 kilometer route between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Expect plenty of hills in this area. In fact, it is one of our standing jokes that "Gulpen" is the Dutch word for "hills." The start hall is at the Ontmoetingscentrum de Timpaan.
Folks in the Kaiserslautern, Landstuhl and Baumholder military communities can enjoy the Kindsbach, Germany, event this weekend beginning in the Mehrzweckhalle by the Bahnhof. The 5K, 10K and 20K begin on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Finish on Saturday by 5 p.m. and Sunday by 4 p.m. Look for the Ramstein Roadrunners’ flag at this walk on Sunday. Stop by and visit with these devoted walkers.
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It seems as if we’ve been blessed with excellent walking weather recently. This was not the case when Bob and members of the Tri Border Walking Club went to Blegny, Belgium. The light drizzle that greeted us as we drove into the parking lot had turned into a steady downpour by the time we hit the trail. The route was steep, muddy and slick in areas and we all got pretty wet and muddy.
By the time we got back to the start hall the rain had stopped and the sky was clearing as we drove back home. I guess we could just chalk it up to bad timing, but the lesson learned is to be prepared for any weather conditions. Always have an umbrella in the car. Water-proof pants and good water-proof boots are important, too. Dressing in layers is important because the rain gear makes you retain body heat; when you get too warm, just remove a layer of clothing. And, no matter how wet you get, don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids.
A week or so earlier, Bob went to the Bastogne militaria show and had a great time. He found a couple of "bargains" at the show and then visited the town of Bastogne. No trip to Bastogne is complete without trying the Ardennes ham and fresh croissants. After visiting the butcher shop and bakery for these goodies to take home, Bob passed by a restaurant on the main square where they had a "G. I. Menu" posted on a signboard. Their special was called the "Barracuda," which was a meter of sausage and a liter of beer or soft drink. A smaller version was the ".50 cal," which was ½ meter of sausage and a ½ liter of beer or soft drink. As novel as it sounded, Bob passed on the G.I. Menu and visited the Mardisson Memorial instead. Overall, it was a very nice morning in Bastogne. We are looking forward to the weekend trip for the historical walk on Dec. 12.
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The Heidelberg International Wandering Club is planning a weekend bus trip to the Köln, Germany, area on Dec. 5 and 6. They plan to attend two volksmarches in the area and visit the Köln and Alt-Hürth Weihnachtsmarkts. To sign up. contact Jochen at Jmunz.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Notes about this week’s volksmarch events:
• The walk at Schwaikheim, Germany, is a "Stammtisch" walk for the Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club.
• What is probably the last triathlon event of the year will be at Kleinwallstadt, Germany, this weekend. Walk between 5 and 50 kilometers, ride 30 kilometers, then swim either 300 or 500 meters.
• If you’re near Hohenlinden, Germany, the prize is a Teddy bear for completing their walk.
• Sorry, but no stuffed dogs that look like a Rottweiler this year at Rottweil, Germany, just B-medals.
• It might be a bit early, but Reichstett, France, is having a Halloween walk this Saturday evening.
• This will be a busy weekend of walking at Terno d’Isola, Italy. The Saturday morning walk follows the permanent, year-round route and is repeatable. The Saturday afternoon event is a special route to commemorate Pope John XXIII, who was born in this area. Sunday’s walk has some serious hills on the longer routes.
• At Sandrigo, Italy, the 6- and 11-kilometer routes will be through the fields. The 22K trail will be in the hills.
E-mail volksmarch information to email@example.com. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.