Volksmarch column for the weekend of July 9-11
July 7, 2010
The place to walk this weekend is Malmedy, Belgium. We have done this walk several times and have never been disappointed.
The routes go through the forests and hills of the Ardennes, and there are plenty of distances to pick from. Saturday, you can walk six-, 12-, 20-, 30- or 42-kilometer trails, and Sunday’s are six, 12 and 20 kilometers. If you’re an early bird, you can hit the trails at 6 a.m.; if you’re not, you can still start until 2 p.m.
While you are in Malmedy, make sure you visit the very nice museum and café at the Baugnez 44 Historical Center in the Malmedy suburb of Baugnez. The museum is adjacent to the field where American prisoners of war were massacred in 1944 and across the street from the memorial dedicated to their memory. For more information on the museum and café, visit www.baugnez44.be.
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On a recent trip back to the States, Bob walked a permanent trail in Mill Valley, Calif., and a very nice walk it was. With the use of a GPS unit, the start hall was easy to find. The trail wound through the residential area, the shopping district and the nearby countryside.
Probably the most exciting part of the morning was the drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to get to Mill Valley. It was the first time Bob had seen the bridge, let alone driven across it. On the way back across the bridge, Bob stopped at the tourist information and viewpoint to take pictures and get the obligatory refrigerator magnet.
The next day found Bob taking a walking tour of the famous Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco. This was not an IVV walk, but rather a private tour company event. For about three hours, the guide took us all over Haight-Ashbury, pointing out the architecture and famous buildings. The houses of the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin were two of the more noteworthy.
After Haight-Ashbury, Bob — with help from the trusty GPS — was able to find Pier 39 and the Hard Rock Café for lunch and guitar pins. All told, it was a great San Francisco day.
If your summer travel plans include a trip to the States, make sure you check out the American Volkssport Association website, www.ava.org. You can find club walks as well as more than 1,800 permanent volksmarches.
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No matter where you walk, make sure to maintain proper hydration and protect yourselves from the sun. Whether you use a hat or sun block, don’t fall victim to the hot sun. And if you walk with the family pooch, make sure he gets regular drinks and breaks also.
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Miscellaneous notes about this week’s volksmarch events:
• The tiny town of Niederfeulen, Luxembourg, is hosting a walk Sunday. This walk will take you through some gorgeous countryside that was bitterly fought over in the winter of 1944-45.
• Wednesday’s walk in Hestroff, France, is advertised as being “on the Maginot Line.”
• A cute wire basket with a cloth lining is the prize for completing the walk in Zuchering, Germany, this weekend.
• If your weekend travels have you anywhere near Heidelberg, Germany, make sure you go to the Saturday evening castle illumination.
• In the past, the prize at the Cimolais, Italy, walk has been a T-shirt.
• The prize at the Lusia, Italy, walk is six pounds of fresh mixed vegetables, but only for the first 500 participants.
• The Chatillon, Italy, walk is another good mountain hike. You will receive extra credit for distance due to the ups and downs.
E-mail volksmarch information to email@example.com. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09752.