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.
According to Merriam-Webster, a derecho is: “a large fast-moving complex of thunderstorms with powerful straight-line winds that cause widespread destruction.” The National Weather Service says that a long-lasting line of storms producing winds in excess of 58 mph and greater and leaving damage for 240 miles or more is a derecho. One of those occurred Monday morning, August 10th, popping up just west of the Omaha-Council Bluffs area just after sunrise and ravaging the landscape as far east as Indiana.
Four of the Iowa State Parks in our 20 Iowa Walks in 2020 program were affected by the derecho:
Big Creek – no power, limited services, some trail closures
Lake Macbride – closed
Ledges – no power, limited services, modern toilets affected, trails open
Palisades – Kepler – closed
Before heading to one of those four parks, contact it directly for an updated status. Use this link to navigate to the park of interest: Iowa’s State Parks
If you’re not a club member, you probably didn’t see our July – August newsletter. If you did see it, you might not know that our Westroads Year Round Event has reopened! Good news – all of those year round events will be available next year, with a few surprises. Bad news – our 20 Iowa Parks in 2020 program is coming to an end October 15, 2020. Good news – there’s still two more months of great walking weather to get them all done!
More bad news – we won’t be having any Group Walks in Iowa State Parks as planned for August 29th, October 2nd nor October 3rd. But our partner in these walks, the Greater Des Moines Volkssport Association, is planning a Group Walk of Stephens State Forest on September 26th at 10 a.m.
Bad news/Good news – our friends to the north, the Prairie Wanders Volkssport Club, have had to postpone their multi-event walking weekend from September 11 – 13, 2020 to September 10 – 12, 2021.
Our September 19, 2020 walk at Standing Bear Lake, Entrance 4 (between Fort and Military on 132nd Street) is still on, but the breakfast portion of the walk has been cancelled. Arrive anytime from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. to register and to walk. Masks are required for the registration, but are not needed once you start walking. Please bring $2 exact change in an envelope for each Fun Walker and/or $3 for each Credit Walker (book stamper). Bring your own pen to sign in. No need to rush this walk – you have until 2 p.m. to get back – and yes, we do check to make sure that the same number of people that start out are the same number of people that come back. ?
It’s hard to keep track of everything that’s changing, isn’t it! Our crack reporter and newsletter editor Julie put together another great newsletter – and in the last couple of days, we’ve got more news and updates to pass along to you.
Our May 9th Traditional Walk, rescheduled from April, is CANCELED.
No decision has been made at this time about our June 1st Club Meeting.
20 Iowa Parks in 2020 seasonal walking program has OPENED as of May 1st. All facilities are not open at the parks until at least May 15th, although one or two toilets may be available. Try to be flexible if you want to walk before the 15th and do follow all Iowa social distancing guidelines.
Speaking of the Iowa Parks program, Lake Anita State Park’s POC Jill reports that the Start Box is temporarily located inside the Park Office, until the campgrounds open on May 15th.
Still speaking of the Iowa Parks program, the June 6th Group Walks at Lewis and Clark and Stone State Parks have been CANCELED. These are fantastic walks that you can do on your own, but not with a group at this time. Maybe in the fall?
Omaha Hanscom Park YRE has REOPENED.
Omaha Westroads Mall YRE is still CLOSED.
A New Seasonal Walk, with Little Free Library!, has been ADDED in Southeastern Council Bluffs, courtesy of Sandy Spaulding. Info at: AVA website listing
Iowa’s Walking Club has posted on their website that their May 1st – 3rd Kickoff Weekend for the 20 Iowa Parks in 2020 Program has been POSTPONED. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has not decided yet on the status of the overall 20 in 20 seasonal walks starting May 1st. Stay tuned for updates!
Just added: a new Seasonal Walk May 1 – Sept. 30th in southeastern rural Council Bluffs! It even has a Little Free Library. See details here: Country Knolls – Council Bluffs
Our club hosts 8 different year round walks (YREs) that you can do on your own, at any time that the hosting business for our walk box is open. Of those 8 YREs, one has been closed and one has had some changes to their accessibility.
The Hanscom Park Walk, sanction #114315, registers at the Comfort Inn at the Zoo, and starts within Hanscom Park. The City of Omaha has reopened all city parks, so this walk has re-opened.
The Westroads Mall Walk, sanction #115089, registers at the AmericInn at 9720 W Dodge Rd, Omaha, NE 68114, just across the street from the Westroads Mall. The AmericInn is closed and the Walk Box is not available. The Mall itself has shortened its hours of operation, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Most stores in the mall are closed, as is the Food Court.is closed to shoppers and walkers.
Across the Missouri River, the Council Bluffs (Iowa) Black Squirrel Walk, sanction #114319, registers at Lansky’s at 1131 N Broadway, Council Bluffs, IA 51503. Lansky’s is closing earlier and is offering takeout food only, with no access to bathrooms. Operating hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Management has asked walkers to take the Walk Box outside to complete paperwork and then to return it.
Our Annual Soup Walk takes place on March 7th at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church at 5529 Leavenworth St., Omaha, NE 68106 (but parking is off of Marcy Street, one block south!). Registration takes place from 9 a.m. to noon, costing $2 for Fun Walkers and $3 for Credit Walkers PLUS 2 cans of soup. This year, we’ll have our standard mixed beef and mixed chicken soup offerings, plus a pot of tomato basil soup for our vegetarian friends. The raffle features 5 Grand Prizes and a host of smaller prizes, with chances priced at 50 cents each or 3/$1.
We have two 5 km routes for you to choose from or to combine. Both routes feature Little Free Libraries, while the North Route also offers the “Rockin’ Around the Clock” and “Ice Cream Parlors” programs. We’ll have Group Walks at 9:30 and 10:30 – just because the Ice Cream Parlor doesn’t open until 11 a.m.!
Soup Walk Volunteers: The Workers’ Walk will take place Sunday, March 1st at 3 p.m. Come 15 minutes early to do paperwork. No bathrooms available at start.
The Lincoln Volkssport Club is offering their annual Spring Walk on Saturday, March 21st at the Enclosed Shelter in Antelope Park, near the intersection of Normal Blvd and “A” Streets, Lincoln, NE. Registration is from 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.Fun Walkers walk FREE and Credit Walkers pay $3. There will be a Group Walk setting out at 9:30 a.m. to walk the 10 km route. Both the 5 km and 10 km routes go through neighborhoods and park areas. Your Group Walk leader likes to get ice cream at UNL’s Dairy Store after walking in Lincoln. Just sayin’ . . .
Our club and Iowa’s Walking Club (Greater Des Moines Volkssport Association) are putting the finishing touches on everything you need to start walking on May 1st. This special set of 20 walks in 20 Iowa State Parks in 20 different counties continues through October 15, 2020. Want more information? Check our website at: http://www.netrailblazers.club/2020-special-events/iowa-20-in-20-walks/Want to get regular email newsletters about those special walks? Send an email firstname.lastname@example.org we’ll get you on the mailing list.