Our first hike after a hiatus of almost three months took place around Birkenau in the Odenwald. The weather forecast had predicted all kinds of bad weather. Perhaps that was the reason why only three of us accepted the challenge and went hiking nevertheless. Eventually, we only got into one short shower towards the end of the hike.
The area is really pretty – rolling hills, forest, pastures, panoramic views. We hiked mostly on wide trails, which I am usually not too fond of. Right now those trails are ideal, though, because we can hike side by side and still abide by the rules regarding the minimum distance between two persons.
The cake today however (rather: the Redcurrant muffins) was home-made as we were not going to stop at a café. We will continue in this fashion except if we perhaps find a place with lots of space to sit outdoors. And sadly there is no sharing of food right now to avoid spreading an infection.
Still, we had lots of laughs and a good time hiking together again! And the next hike is already being prepared.
We will go to the Odenwald and hike around Birkenau. More details such as meeting point, trail profile, packing list are posted on Will Hike for Cake on Groups Place. For safety reasons, only members can see that information. If you want to know more about the hike or even participate, please Choose “Register” to create your account and become a group member.
We will follow the guidelines recommended by the German hiking association (Deutscher Wanderverband) during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a consequence, the number of participants is limited even more. Every participant needs to register with their full name and telephone number. We will also keep the recommended distance between each hiker, avoid crowded hiking hot spots, and so on.
But at least we can go hiking again together and socialize a bit!
Only a week ago, three of us went hiking around Lambrecht in the Palatinate. The S-Bahn had been quite empty, we kept our distance and ran only into few other hikers. We expected a similar situation at one of the PWV huts or that the hut might be even closed. Instead we encountered quite the contrary situation and were shocked at the mindlessness of people there. People sitting in clusters, children playing together. Inside the hut was a huge line-up for food and drinks. People were queueing along the counter and continuing in a U-shape inside the whole room. Aghast, we looked at each other and fled outside. In the next hut, the guy taking our orders and handling food and drinks clearly had a cold.
The whole experience left us at unease. While I was still thinking about whether to post a new hike with limited participants, stricter rules were published.
While I miss being outdoors and enjoying the spring weather, I am glad that rules are more severely enforced now. Last Sunday in the Palatinate it seemed people behaved irresponsibly, completely ignoring the risk of infection.
Until we continue our hikes, please stay safe, stay healthy, and please consider everyone around you. Not only old people are at a higher risk when catching COVID-19.
To be exact, we had not stopped hiking at all. Throughout the very mild past winter there was a hike every few weeks and a handful of us ventured outdoors. When the weather promised to get warmer, I thought it would be a good idea to plan a hike that could be shortened and thus tailored to everyone’s fitness level. It turned out to be a mediocre start into spring, however.
I picked a hike of one of my first hiking guide books. The hike was described as going along the Burgensteig, starting in Weinheim and ending in Schriesheim. When planning the hike in detail, I had already seen on my map that the suggested trail and the Burgensteig did not always match. Still, I thought it would be a good start. I manually shortened the hike because the suggested itinerary was too long for us. In addition I had an ulterior motive: going to a café in Leutershausen that we had discovered last fall.
Eventually only three of us signed up for Sunday. Knowing the other participants, it was clear that all of us would hike the full length.
The start in Weinheim was pretty, walking through the area of the Hermannshof, where spring was already in full bloom. Snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils, the first tulips, and so on. Once we headed into the Exotenwald, the trail became disappointing. Lots of asphalt, wide multi-purpose trails, and for quite a while the Burgensteig was identical to the Blütenweg. This meant walking through residential areas and passing backyards. Once the Burgensteig got interesting and narrow, but just a few meters further all trees on the slope had been cut down, and we walked through a kind of wasteland. Some of the views from the vineyards over the Rhine valley were nice, though.
The real highlight for me was the cake at the café – a Spanish marzipan rum cake. Simply divine! Next time I just need to remember to take a photo first and then start eating…
Every serious geocacher sooner or later looks at the different statistics in their profile. Did they cover all 81 combinations of difficulty & terrain? How many countries and counties did they find geocaches in? Did they fill their calendar and found at least one geocache on all 366 days of geocaching in a year? The opportunity to fill an empty sport in the calendat arises once a year for almost every date. February 29 is an exception and therefore a very special day for geocaching.
As 2020 is a leap year, I had set up an event for geocaching. Eventually only one other person signed up for this rare opportunity. This person is an experienced geocacher and a good friend. Together we have had quite some adventures, both successful treasure hunts and failures too. As the two of us had some unfinished business, we decided to tackle different geocaches than the ones I had planned for the group. A while ago we had been in the middle of a geocache treasure hunt and not able to continue. Sadly, a stage that should have contained a hint where to go next had been destroyed.
To be on the safe side, we first searched an easy traditional geocache to make sure we could log at least one find today. That geocache was discovered quickly. Then we tackled today’s main task and after many more riddles, codes, and calculating, we eventually reached our goal after more than 2 hours. We discovered the final location and were able to sign the log.
Our group had been called “Heidelberg Hiking & Geochaching” for a couple of years. So what is the origin of “Will Hike for Cake”?
A few weeks back I thought about what was unique about our group. All of us like hiking and enjoy being outdoors – but that should be a given for a hiking group. For us however coffee, cake or ice cream at the end is important, too. At some point during hikes people even start daydreaming and talking about what treat might be waiting for us. I thought “Well, we usually hike and then there’s cake”. Suddenly the very apt name “Will Hike for Cake” came to my mind.
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