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Delta Trekkers plan Almond Blossom walk
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It’s all about fun, fitness and friendship.

Going for a walk is a passion for the Delta Tule Trekkers who are headed for this month’s Ripon Almond Festival on Saturday, Feb. 23, billing their monthly outing as a walk between the two counties of San Joaquin and Stanislaus.

A chapter of the American Volksport Association, the Delta chapter joins others in the state on treks through San Francisco to Sonoma County and the Low Desert in Southern California in side-by-side 5K and 10K events.

The group plans to take in the festival after their walk – some with pets – that ends at Mistlin Sports Park after touring the area along and over the Stanislaus River with its riparian woodlands,  walking through the community and visiting the Stouffer Park area.

Registration begins at the Ripon Recreation area parking lot at Parallel Avenue and Reynolds Drive next to Highway 99 at a cost of $3 – free if no credit for the walk is required.  Trekkers’ route takes them through the woods and across the bike bridge over the Stanislaus River with several restaurants in town for lunch and dinner as well as at the festival grounds.

Walkers register by filling out a start card and a waiver at the starting point.  All participants must carry their start card and have it validated at the checkpoint returning it at the completion of the walk.

Each walker is advised to pick up their own personal route and information binder at the starting point of each event.

A Volksport is described as a leisurely walk through a scenic and historic area “with friends” over a pre-marked route usually from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.  It is an event that is always non-competitive and the participants walk at their own pace in an “excellent recreational activity” for the entire family.

Anyone who completes the course is eligible to receive awards for their efforts.  Its members say it is a great way to meet new friends and also a fun way for individuals to receive exercise. 

Those new to the Volksmarching are suggested to walk slowly over the route and enjoy the scenery and the fresh air and joggers may find that the walks are an enjoyable change of pace.

The Delta Tule Trekkers who say they “just walk for the health of it – one step at a time” – meet on the second Monday of each month at Angelinos Restaurant on North Main Street in Manteca. 

Each walk,  including one routed around Manteca’s murals,  follows interesting and historical parts of the many communities as well as through parks and on trails – mostly paved city streets and smooth trails with the exception of Mariposa.

Participants in wheelchairs or walkers with strollers are often advised to limit themselves to the 5K walks.

In mid-April the Delta group will take part in the Stockton River Walk along the Calaveras and San Joaquin rivers levee trail where they are going to experience “lovely residential areas,” along with a golf course and landscaped boulevards, water birds and recreational boats and Port of Stockton activities.

Other Volksmarches are planned from Mariposa in the 49er country to Ione, Galt, Merced, Lodi, Oakdale and Fresno.

Memberships run from $7 for seniors over 60 to $12 for families with children under 18.  Checks may be mailed to Joan Sykes, Delta Tule Trekkers, 3315 Cherryland Avenue., Stockton, CA, 95215.

For more information call Joan Sykes, (209) 931-0557 or check