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

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.  ?

 

 

Your Vote Counts!

Relax – it’s almost time to vote for our 2020 Walker of the Year and our 2021 Club Officers. A proposed set of amendments to the bylaws concerning club dues is also on the ballot. Because our bylaws require us to give 14 days’ notice to club members before voting on an amendment, voting won’t begin until November 25th.  Our club president emailed the details to all current club members this morning, which are also attached here for your review.

Club members will be sent an email with a link to vote online for all three items: 2021 Club Officers; 2020 Walker of the Year; Proposed Amendments to the Bylaws. (Club members with another adult in the household will be sent a second email.) If you don’t vote online, the club will have to mail you a ballot, to conform with our bylaws stating that a majority of club members have to approve an amendment to the bylaws.  That costs money (and a bunch of time) to do, so remember: Your Vote Counts!  

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!

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.

 

What’s a derecho, anyway?

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

 

Summer 2020 News

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.  ?