Category Archives: Year Round

April Club Meeting notes and news

Speaker: Elmo Diaz, blacksmith

Our April club meeting featured an engaging speaker on the topic of blacksmithing, club business and tasty treats. Our next club meeting is May 7th at 7 p.m. at Morning Star Lutheran Church, in the preschool room at 331 S 85th Ave, Omaha, NE 68114.

The April 7th Pete Dowling Memorial “Spyngo” Walk features two 5k loops, one of which overlaps with a run that morning, so folks are being asked not to use that loop until 10 a.m. Luckily, Claudia Dowling and friends will have treats for walkers and a display showing Pete’s contributions to the club over his nearly 35 years of association.

Plans for the 4 County Walks the first weekend of October are in place. We’ve decided to call it “Discover Small Town Nebraska 2018” and you can read all about it here.  Sandy Spaulding and the Coordinating Committee have put together 4 walks, 2 dinners, wine tastings and entertainment over 3 days and 2 nights.  

Looking for a walking partner to do our club’s Year Round Events?  Contact Sandy (or send us an email at and she will put you on the list of walking partners.  A Year Round Event (YRE) is a self-registered walk that you can do any day of the year. It is not staffed and the trail is not marked, but good maps and directions are included in every Walk Box that contains all the info you need to walk a YRE.

Our next club event is the April 21st “Meet and Eat” in Shelby, Iowa. Meet at The Corn Crib (right off I-80, on the northwest side of the off-ramp) at 9:15 to do paperwork and use bathrooms. After the walk at 9:30, come back for lunch with the group at The Corn Crib.

Happy New Year! 2018 walking opportunities

Happy New Year! Was one of your resolutions to do more walking? Our national organization, AVA: America’s Walking Club, has been promoting an online challenge called.  “Invest in Your Health: 401k”. Look for more details at AVA.

Locally, you can join one of our Meet and Eats in January indoors at the Westroads Mall at 8 a.m. on January 20th. Walk 5k or 10k – then join the group for a Food Court late breakfast, early lunch or brunch!

Later that day, the NWFT holds its Annual Meeting and Dinner at 5:30 p.m. (social time for the first 1/2 hour – don’t miss it!) at Valentino’s Pizza at 5022 S 108th St, Omaha, NE 68137.  Members pay only $12, non-members pay $17. Reservations are due to Butch Spaulding by January 12th, so make your reservation today! Enjoy a lovely evening with friends, celebrate with our 2017 Walker of the Year and close out last year’s business with the installation of our slate of club officers for 2018.

Members should be looking in the mail for their 20 page booklet full of walks and activities for 2018. What’s a non-member to do? Wait for an email – or better yet, join today! A membership form is available here.

#OptOutside Walk coming soon!

Reminder of our November 24th #OptOutside walk:

#OptOutside is the hashtag, or identifier, used on Twitter to make a term searchable by other social media users. This one refers specifically to the idea of walking, hiking or enjoying the great outdoors on the Friday after Thanksgiving, rather than giving the day over to shopping.  Our club and other walking clubs across the U.S. are organizing to offer #OptOutside events.

Our event will be a group walk of the Hanscom Park/Ford Birthsite Year Round Walk, either the 5k or the 10k.  Folks will meet at the Hanscom Park Pavilion at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, November 24th to sign paperwork and pay fees.  ($1.50 Fun Walkers, $3.00 AVA/IVV credit, exact change much appreciated.)  Groups will set out at 10 a.m. to work off some of that Thanksgiving turkey. Lunch together is a possibility – the Greek Islands or the 11-Worth Café are both nearby and local favorites.

Can’t make it to our event because you will be out of town?  Try locating a walk near where you will be by searching the AVA’s website for walks all across the United States:  OptOutside – AVA website link  There are some fabulous walks out there. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to #OptOutside with the Trailblazers or with the AVA!


Upcoming Events – late August, early September

Our Breakfast Walk is coming up on September 9th in Plattsmouth’s Memorial Park.  The Harvest Festival will be happening at the same time, so an exciting atmosphere will surround our walkers on that day.  Remember that it starts at 8 a.m., registration runs until 11 a.m. and to bring a pre-cooked breakfast item to share, plus $3 for Credit Walkers, $1.50 for Fun Walkers.  Breakfast available at the Volunteer Fire Department Pancake Feed from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. plus many food vendors.

What if you’ve volunteered to work the walk on September 9th or can’t make it that day? Well, the Workers’ Walk on Saturday, August 26th at 9 a.m. is for you!  Leave the breakfast items at home, but come 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork and to pay.

Mary Ptacek of Tater Tours is bring 51 walkers to walk the Downtown Omaha walk on Monday, September 11th, scheduled to arrive at 11 a.m.  Would you be willing to walk with these out-of-towners that day and give them a warm welcome to Omaha? 5k and 10k walkers are both welcome.  Like being an ambassador? Tater Tours will be in Lincoln the next day (Tuesday, Sept. 12th) to start the walk around 8 to 8:15 a.m. and off the trail by 11 a.m.

Speaking of September 11th, that’s the date that club meetings resume.  84th Street is STILL not open from Methodist Hospital south to Pacific Street, so plan your route in advance to arrive by 7 p.m. at Morning Star Lutheran Church at 331 S 85th Ave, Omaha, NE 68114.

Want to get out of the house? We’ve got stuff for you to do!

Saturday, January 28 – group walk of Historic Fremont.  Bundle up and meet at Hy-Vee, 840 E 23rd St.  at 9:45, ready to walk at 10 a.m.  Plan to enjoy Hy-Vee’s great salad bar or buffet after.

Saturday, Feb. 4 – annual Shelby Soup Cook Off.  Always a great event (see ).  If you would like to carpool/tandem drive, meet at the old Mall of the Bluffs parking lot by 4:15 (Madison Ave. exit, turn left, at light turn right between Bucky’s and Hy-Vee, go through the stop sign.  We will be on the right in the first parking lot).  If anyone would like to set up another carpool location, let me Sandy Spaulding know. The location in Shelby is at the Cardinal Lofts gym, 304 Western St.

Monday, Feb. 6 – monthly meeting at Morningstar Lutheran Church, on the lower level.  Our speaker will be from The Wild Bird Habitat Store.  Join us at 7 p.m. for this interesting program and information on our 2017 walks.  Treats to follow!

Saturday, Feb. 11 – Des Moines Skywalk – this will be a carpool event.  If you would like to ride or drive, let Sandy Spaulding know.  We will be leaving from the old Mall of the Bluffs – see directions above.   If anyone would like to set up another carpool location, also let Sandy know.  If you are driving yourself, note the change of the start point – CAPITAL SQUARE, 400 LOCUST ST, MAIN FLOOR.  More information from AVA’s website at: Des Moines Skywalk.

Happy New Year of Walking – 2017!

Congratulations to our 2017 slate of officers and committee chairs:

  • President – Lee Frantz
  • Vice President – Larry Boehm
  • Secretary – Tricia Abel
  • Treasurer – Butch Spaulding
  • Historian – Diane Fenlon
  • “The Committee” Chair – Sandy Spaulding
  • Newletter Chair – Julie Brown

Come visit with them and other friends at the Annual Meeting and Dinner, to be held Saturday, January 21st at the Valentino’s at 5022 S 108th St, Omaha, NE 68137.  Social time begins at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m.  Cost is $15 for members and $18 for non-members and includes buffet, soft drink and tip.  Come find out who our 2016 Walker of the Year is!

Our next “Meet and Eat” will take place the following Saturday, January 28th, at 10 a.m. starting from the dining area in the Fremont Hy-Vee, 840 E 23rd St, Fremont, NE 68025.  5k walkers will register and then drive to the May Museum at 17th and Nye Avenue to begin their walk; 10k walkers start from the Hy-Vee. Lunch afterwards will take place at Hy-Vee’s restaurant there.  The 5k and 10k routes have been changed a bit from 2016, so be sure to stay when walking with someone who has the new map!

February 11th is Des Moines’ annual SkyWalk and is expected to be the site of our next “Meet and Eat” – look for more details coming soon.

Our January – February 2017 newsletter is attached.  January – February 2017 Newsletter  This is not the full version of the newsletter, as we’ve noticed that this website has been attracting a number of . . . overseas . . .visitors to the site. Club members will still receive the full versions that they’ve come to know and love.  Want to be a member? It’s only $10 a year for membership ($15 for a family) and supports all of the great activities that you’ve come to expect from us.


October – November events

Saturday, October 15 – Shelby, IA Meet and Eat  We will start walking at 10 a.m., so arrive 15 minutes to sign paperwork and pay the $3 fee ($1.50 for Fun Walkers).  If you drive yourself, park on the north side of The Corn Crib (the gas station that look like a barn just north of the interstate on the west side)  Carpools from Westroads at 8-8:15 or Mall of the Bluffs at 8:45.  We will have lunch at the Corn Crib after the walk.

Saturday, October 29 – Lincoln, NE  Hosted by the Lincoln Volkssport Club The walk starts from the City Impact Building, 1035 N. 33rd Street, Lincoln, NE. Start times are 8:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and you must be off the trail by 12:45 p.m. The 5k and 10k trails go through Wyuka Cemetery and surround neighborhoods. $3 fee.

Sunday, Oct. 30 -Pie Walk workers’ walk  Meet at 1:45 at New Cassel parking lot near the auditorium (lower level parking area on the north).  We will start walking at 2. Exact change of $3 per person ($1.50 for Fun Walkers) is appreciated.

Saturday, Nov. 4 – Pie walk starting at New Cassel  See the list of volunteers needed for this walk (at the end).  There is no refrigerator in the auditorium, so if you bring a cream pie, please make arrangements to keep it cool.

Monday, Nov. 7 – meeting at Morning Star Lutheran Church at 7 p.m.  Speaker will be from the Kim Foundation.  We are still accepting nominations for walker of the year.  Either email them to Julie Brown or Jim McGahan.  Or bring them in a sealed envelope to the meeting.

Volunteers needed for pie walk:
  • Registration 9 a.m.-12 – 1 person
  • Kitchen-Cutting pie, making coffee, cleaning up-10-3 – 2 people
  • Greeter – 1 person
  • 10 K group walker-9:30 – 1 person
  • 5 K group walker-9:30 – 1 person

Let President Sandy know if you would be able to help in any of these areas – email

August Event updates

Our walk on Saturday, August 13th is set for 8 a.m. at the Hanscom Park Pavilion. Enter the park from the southeast, just west of Park Avenue on Ed Creighton Avenue, off the Martha Street exit on I-480.  A picture is attached to give you an idea of where the pavilion is located within the park.  DON’T go further west to the entrance to the tennis courts and swimming pool!  There will be road work on 32nd Avenue, on the west side of the park, so keep that in mind as you navigate.  The fee for credit walkers is $3 and $1.50 for fun walkers. Please bring exact change to speed up the registration process. Afterwards, the group will be heading to the 11-Worth Cafe for a late breakfast or early lunch. The 11-Worth Cafe is at 2419 Leavenworth Street and is an Omaha icon.


Hanscom Park walking start point

The second event of the month will be on August 27th, at 10:30 a.m., on the other side of the river. Meet us at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, 200 Pearl Street, Council Bluffs, IA for our personalized tour!  Those wanting to join us for lunch after the tour will walk a very short distance to the Main Street Cafe, at 102 Main Street.

Feb – Mar Upcoming Events

Westroads Group Walk  Saturday, February 20th.  Meet near the children’s play area between Penney’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods at 7:45 a.m. so we can start walking at 8 a.m.  We will have the walkbox there for registration.  5k and 10k options available. Credit walkers pay $3; Fun walkers pay $1.50. Exact change is appreciated!

Soup Walk Workers’ Walk  Saturday, February 27th at 1 p.m.  St. Vincent de Paul Church, 14330 Eagle Run Drive in the gathering space of the church (inside, but we have to be quiet).  Restrooms will be available. 5k and 10k options available.  Arrive about 15 minutes early so walkers can start at 1 p.m. Fun walkers pay $1.50. Exact change is appreciated!

Soup Walk – Saturday, March 5 at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 14330 Eagle Run Drive, Omaha, NE – use school entrance with “St. Vincent de Paul” above the door.  Start times 9 a.m. -12 a.m., finish by 3 p.m.  5k and 10k options available. Bring two cans of soup; one for the Food Bank and one to share.  Make sure to save some time for soup and conversation after the walk.  There will be some fun prizes at the raffle.  Raffle tickets are still a bargain at $.50 or 3 for $1.

Lincoln St. Patrick’s Day Workers’ Walk – Sunday, March 6th at 1 p.m. See directions below.

Monthly Meeting – Monday, March 7th at 7 p.m.  Our monthly meeting will be at Morning Star Lutheran Church.  We will have a musician (Walter Graham) showing us his tricks before a short business meeting and snacks.

Lincoln St. Patrick’s Day Walk  Saturday, March 12th, start 9 a.m.-11a.m.,  be off the trail by 1 p.m.  New location!  Fallbrook YMCA,  700 Penrose Drive, Lincoln, NE.  From I-80 East & West: take EXIT 401(US 34), west on US 34 to Fallbrook Blvd North, it will change name to Tallgrass Parkway after a “roundabout”, continue on Tallgrass to Penrose; right on Penrose to YMCA on left. From south: take I-180 north from downtown to where it becomes US34, & follow above directions

Des Moines St. Patrick’s Day Walk – Saturday, March 19th, start 9 a.m. -11 a.m., finish by 1:30 p.m.  Start Point is at the VFW, 4029 Urbandale Ave, Des Moines, IA 50310. The route is on city sidewalks and recreational trails, From 1-35/I-80: take exit 131 (Merle Hay Rd), go south to Urbandale Ave, then left (east) to start point.