Photo: Shirley Corneliusfrom Shirley Cornelius, Whitman County Library Business Manager

Once upon a time, 30 years ago I took up Volkssporting as a way of spending time with my Mom and sister. That first experience led me to become involved with a Volkssporting club in Spokane where I eventually rose to the Presidentís office. 

 During that time, I met the man who would later become my husband. Brian was back in the states after time spent in the Air Force in Germany. And, he was also an avid Volkssporter. 

 Over the next two years, Brian and I traveled the Northwest and Canada together walking as many as 30 kilometers (18 miles) in one day.  We also started organizing Volkswalks and in preparing for a walk up Steptoe Butte, Brian proposed to me.  Over the years we have taken our kids walking wherever we have traveled including Germany where Brian first began the sport. 

 Volkssporting is the official name for noncompetitive walks and hikes, bike rides, swims, and in some regions cross-country skiing and snow shoeing.  The movement began in Europe in 1968 and today has spread to 28 countries worldwide.

 With all joy that Volkssporting has brought to my life, Iím especially excited to host a guided walk in Colfax on Saturday, April 21. The walk will leave the Colfax library at 1:00 p.m. and all levels of walkers are encouraged to walk either a distance of 5K (3.1 miles) or 10K (6.2 miles).  

 During the walk, participants will learn more about the historic sites in Colfax including the Perkins House, St. Ignatius Manor and a number of architectural treasures in the downtown core. In the spirit of volksmarching, German inspired refreshments will be served after the walk. The event is free and registration is not required.

 When it comes to the great outdoors, we have another exciting development at Whitman County Library. We now offer themed backpacks containing gear and guides for hiking, birding, and fishing. These are available for checkout thanks to support from the Bonnie Belle Collection, Maribeth Kjack, the Whitman County Parks Department and the Tom Bihn Company.

 The bird watching backpack contains binoculars and birding books for adults and children. The fishing backpack includes a fishing pole, tackle box with fishing gear, bait, extra line, first aid kit, and fishing related kidís books. The hiking backpack is filled with maps and trail guides of Whitman County and the surrounding area, plant and bird watching manuals, childrenís books on hiking, a compass, binoculars, and a first aid kit.

 Also included in the hiking backpack is the Colfax Volkswalk guide just in case you canít attend the guided walk on April 21. That guide can also be obtained at the Colfax Library or found at the Lilac City Chapter of AVA at http://www.lilaccityvolks.com/colfax.html.

 For additional information, contact Shirley Cornelius at Whitman County Library 509-397-4366. For additional information about the club and other local walks visit www.lilaccityvolks.com or the national AVA website address is www.ava.org.

For a complete list of events and programs happening in all fourteen Whitman County Library branches, visit the Whitman County Library website or our Blog at http://whitmancountylibrary.blogspot.com, the library's events calendar, Facebook, Twitter,  or call the library at 397-4366 or 877-733-3375 toll-free.