December 2021

Saturday, December 4th, 4 to 6 p.m. – annual Lights Walk at the Urban Abbey, 1026 Jackson Street in Omaha’s Old Market.  Surface parking lots and parking meters are available in the area. Cost is $3 per walker. The Urban Abbey will have hot drinks for sale, while our club will provide complimentary cookies. Our host has asked us to support their mission with the YES Maternity Group Home by bringing diapers for sizes 3 and up. We’ll be offering “diaper shares” for a $5 donation.  Donations are not required, but as always, are greatly appreciated. Register online using this eRegistration LinkMASKS REQUIRED DURING CHECK-IN.

Monday, December 6th, 7 p.m. – monthly club meeting at Morning Star Lutheran Church, 331 S. 85th Avenue, Omaha, in the chapel.  After our speaker, a short business meeting will be conducted, including in-person voting for 2022 Club Officers and the 2021 Walker of the Year. MASKS REQUIRED.

–>Note about voting: The club tried a new (free) way to conduct on-line voting for 2022 Club Officers and the 2021 Walker of the Year. We’re learning that several club members may not have received the link to vote, due to their internet provider’s spam filters. If you are a club member and wish to vote on-line (rather than in-person at the club meeting on December 6th), first check your Spam Folders for the November 16th invitation to vote. If you can’t find it, contact netrailblazers@gmail.com and you’ll be sent the link to vote.

12/31/2021 – That’s when all club memberships expire. Look for your renewal notice, coming soon.

The 2022 Calendar of Walks and Events will be posted as soon as a couple of details get finalized.  Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 9 a.m. at the Westroads Mall is the first group walk of the year, so mark your calendars now!

 

Pies and Lights and a Newsletter!

Our annual Pie Walk is coming up THIS Saturday, November 6th, starting at 9 a.m. The start location is the APWU at 13th and William Streets in Omaha, but better parking is available just a block north in the church parking lot at 14th & Pine Streets. (Hint: don’t drive Pine between 13th and 14th, even if it is on the map!) Check-in/walk-in registrations end at noon. Cost is $3 per walker. Please consider bringing a pie to share; all leftovers will be donated to the men’s shelter in Council Bluffs.  Register online using this eRegistration Link

Our next staffed walking event is our annual Lights Walk on December 4th, this year starting from the Urban Abbey at 1026 Jackson Street in Omaha’s Old Market.  Check-in/walk-in registrations run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the cost is $3 per walker. The Urban Abbey will have hot drinks for sale, while our club will provide complimentary cookies. Our host has asked us to support their mission with the YES Maternity Group Home by bringing diapers for sizes 3 and up. We’ll be offering “diaper shares” for a $5 donation.  Donations are not required, but as always, are greatly appreciated. Register online using this eRegistration Link.

Read more about these walks in our latest newsletter! Be sure to read up on how voting will be handled this year for club officers and Walker of the Year and take a peek at the very full 2022 Walking Calendar (coming soon to a website near you). Newsletter link: November – December 2021 Newsletter

Update to May 15th walk

Our May 15, 2021 walk is located at Mahoney State Park and was scheduled to coincide with their annual Free Park Entry Day.  Long story short, May 15th is NOT a free day and all vehicles must show an Annual Park Permit or purchase a One Day Permit.  The club apologizes for this situation.

Nebraska residents pay $6/vehicle.  Non-Nebraska residents pay $8/vehicle. You will pay this when entering the park.  This is in addition to the $3 fee for walking, payable to the club.

Take advantage of the great forecast for Saturday morning, well-planned trails and the lack of crowds.  Two routes have been laid out: an easy 5k and a more challenging 6k extension for the adventurous.  Join us, starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday! If you want to sleep in a little, registration is open until 11 a.m., but you do have to be off the trails by 2 p.m.

Late January 2021 updates

  1. We’re getting out to stretch our legs on Friday, January 29th at Prairie Queen Recreation Area by Werner Park! This is a FREE walk and is not eligible for AVV/IVV Credit, so leave your books and your money at home! Online registration is REQUIRED at https://forms.gle/ekcFfZxMcsaP8fAVA We’ll start walking promptly at 2 p.m. on a 5k group walk around the lake, so arrive a bit earlier to check-in. COVID-19 protocols are in effect: masks must be worn while gathering and whenever within 6′ of someone outside your household.  Take Hwy 370 to S. 126th Street, go past Werner Park to the Lincoln Road roundabout and then use the 3rd exit to go west one block to the parking lot from where we’ll be starting.  Please dress for the weather. Don’t count on the sidewalk around the lake being shoveled!
  2. We will NOT have our regular monthly club meeting on February 1st. No in-person club meetings have been scheduled at this time.
  3. We’ve had to make a change to our March 6th Soup Walk this year – it’s more like a “No Soup for You!” Walk. ? We won’t be able to share soup with each other, but that just means more for those people depending on local food banks for a meal, right? We’ve asked for chicken- or beef-based soups in the past, but we’re asking for 2 cans of hearty soups – think of meal substitutes – of any flavor. The local food banks that we’re supporting are the St. Columbkille/Tri-City Food Pantry and the New Visions Men’s Shelter in Council Bluffs. Start Point and times have not changed. See our 2021 Walk Calendar page for details.

Welcome to 2021!

Our New Year’s resolution for 2021? To offer great walks and to make new friends! Club membership in 2021 is FREE! Download the form and either email the completed form to netrailblazers@gmail.com or print it and send it to the address on the form.  

Our latest club newsletter can be downloaded here.  As always, club members get the full newsletter emailed directly to them.  This introduces our new club president, the implementation of our calendar year club dues structure and offers the chance for one lucky person to win a FREE registration to the AVA’s 2021 Biennial Convention, to be held in Madison, Wisconsin.

We’ll be announcing the 2020 Walker of the Year at our January 11th Zoom meeting (link sent to club members by hard-working past president Lee). In-person club meetings are still on hold at this time.

You did see our 2021 Walk Booklet, didn’t you? We’ve got 8 Traditional Events scheduled, starting in March. We have 10 Year Round Walks that you can do (almost) every day of the year and 3 Seasonal Walks starting April 1st (information on this page). One of them is only available via the Online Start Box, so if you don’t have an online account, now is the perfect time to create one and get familiar with the process. A tutorial is in the works to supplement the great “Help” sections available with each step of the process.  

We’re sending out a big THANK YOU! to the folks with the Lincoln Volkssport Club, which closed at the end of 2020. Their passion and commitment to great walks continues.  Our club has picked up the Lincoln Capital and Seward Year Round Walks, with the help of former LVC members. The Nebraska City walk has been turned into one of our new Seasonal Walks, but don’t worry – it closes after the Apple Jack Festival.  

If your 2021 resolution is to be more active, we want to be your partner.  And you can always do those Year Rounds in snowshoes.  ?

 

 

November Updates

There’s a newsletter, of course, but there are some important things you need to know about November.

  • The November 7th Pie Walk in Ashland is CANCELLED.
  • The December 5th Lights Walk in downtown Omaha has been MOVED to Nebraska’s Christmas City: Seward, Nebraska.  Register online at Christmas City eRegistration and arrive at Living Word Lutheran Church, 1300 West Hillcrest Drive, Seward, NE 68434 between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.  The cost is $2 for Fun Walkers and $3 for Credit Walkers (book stampers) payable by exact change or a check (made out to NWFT) placed in an envelope when you check in.  After your 5k or 10k walk, stay for a tour of Nebraska’s largest Christmas lights display. Starting at 6 p.m. you can drive through the Magical Christmas Lights of Seward at the fairgrounds. Cost is $20 per vehicle (not payable to us). See https://magicallightsofseward.com/ for all the details.
  • Voting for Club Officers and 2020’s Walker of the Year will take place during November.  Details are in the newsletter, although the start of voting may be delayed because of some technical difficulties.
  • The December 7th club meeting is CANCELLED.  
  • Finally, membership during 2021 is FREE!  Club membership allows you to get all this news delivered to your inbox as it happens, receive the full newsletter as soon as it comes out, and the opportunity to vote for club officers and Walker of the Year.  Here’s a link to the membership form, so that you can take advantage of this great opportunity.  The full details on how the free membership works are . . . you guessed it! . . . in the newsletter.

 

October Walks

The long-term weather forecast for October is warmer and drier than normal, so that means a great walking forecast.  Here’s a rundown (or should that be walkdown?) of October walking events.

  • Sunday, October 4th – Hitchcock Nature Center, 27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, IA 51542. Check in is from 9 a.m. to noon. The trail is rated 3B (pretty hilly and dirt under your feet), so be sure to come early enough to be off the trail by 3 p.m. Hiking sticks are strongly recommended. In addition to the $3 walk fee (exact change or check made out to NWFT), each vehicle load of people needs to bring $3 in exact change to feed the kiosk as an entry fee to the Nature Center. eRegister by 9 p.m. Saturday or fill out a Start Card at the check in table. COVID-19 protocols are in place and must be followed.
  • Monday, October 5th – NO CLUB MEETING.
  • Thursday, October 15th – End date of 20 Iowa Parks in 2020 program. Flat, hilly or in-between, there’s a walk waiting for you! Early October is the perfect time to enjoy these parks, with no crowds, few bugs and the best weather for getting in a quick 5k or 10k.
  • Saturday, October 17th – Walk for Wildlife (sponsored by Iowa’s Walking Club). Jester Park Nature Center, 12130 NW 128th St, Granger, IA 50109. Register at the Outdoor Recreation Center building between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. (Since they can’t get into the building to set up before 10:30 a.m., give them a few minutes to set up, please!)
  • Saturday, October 24th – Wyuka Cemetery Walk (sponsored by Lincoln Volkssport Club). City Impact Building, 1035 N 33rd St, Lincoln, NE 68503. Register between 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m., be off the trail by 1 p.m. Historically, this is a pretty flat trail, so you should be able to make good time on the trail. This walk is FREE to all walkers. This is the final walk for the Lincoln Volkssport Club and this walk is their gift to the walking community. Let’s show them some love and come out in droves!

Change of Venue for September Walk!

You know how there are only two real seasons in the Midwest:  Winter and Construction Season? Well, our scheduled walk for September will not take place at Standing Bear Lake because they have closed the trails just west of our Start Point.  We’ll have to reschedule this walk for another year.

Our September 19th walk will start at the Subby Anzaldo/Columbus Park at 1329 S. 24th Street.  Registration and walk from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m, please be off the trail by 2 p.m.  From the Subby Anzaldo Columbus Park, this trail leads through the historic Field Club neighborhood, President Gerald Ford birthsite and Hanscom Park, Omaha’s first public park.  The 10k trail extends this walk along a portion of the Field Club Trail.  Bring a mask and maintain social distancing guidelines as you complete your registration.  Fun Walkers pay $2 and Credit Walkers (book stampers) $3 – please use exact change or write a check to “NWFT” and have the payment sealed in an envelope.  Dogs on leashes and strollers welcome; the trail to/from Columbus Park and through Hanscom Park is hilly.

eRegistration below:

September Walk, latest Newsletter

Walk has moved!  See latest post (September 9, 2020).  Our next walk will be September 19th at Omaha’s Standing Bear Lake, Entrance 4 (N. 132nd Street, between Fort and Military – closer to Military) from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.  We’ll be offering a 6k around the lake and a 10k that adds some hills in the Saddlebrook neighborhood to the west of the lake.  Please register online at: eRegistration Link .  Pay when you arrive: $2 for Fun Walkers, $3 for Credit Walkers (book stampers).  Group Walk at 8:30 a.m.  We will be observing COVID-19 protocols, so bring your mask and pen and an envelope containing payment (exact change or check made out to “NWFT”).

Our latest newsletter, containing 2021’s tentative schedule and plenty of insights from President Lee and Coordinating Committee Chair Sandy, is available here:  September – October 2020 newsletter  As always, club members get the full newsletter directly in their inboxes, hot off the press!  Be sure to send in your “Walker of the Year” nominations to newsletter editor Julie, whose email address is listed in the full newsletter.  

Our Response to COVID-19

The Board of the Trailblazers, with guidance from our parent walking club, the AVA, has adopted a set of COVID-19 protocols for our walks.  Highlights include using masks when checking in, asking for pre-registration via our eRegistrations page and only accepting exact change placed in an envelope for our walks.

You can read the full set of protocols here: COVID-19 Protocols

eRegistration for our September 19th walk at Standing Bear Lake is available here:  eRegistration Page

Unfortunately, we cannot have a September 14th club meeting, for all sorts of logistical reasons.  We are looking at options for October.