The West Linn Adult Community Center has a walking group which meets at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Join them for exercise and great conversation.

When you are part of the walking group, that's what you do: walk.

Sometimes, though, the walking group at the West Linn Adult Community Center takes time to stop and smell the roses during their walks. And the walkers always have great discussions on a variety of topics, politics excluded. The focus is on starting the day with a great walk, getting some fresh air, connecting with others and forming new friendships.

The walkers get to know the neighborhoods they visit. They are becoming quite the experts in evaluating the homes for sale, noting the prices, how long they've been on the market and when they sell. And sometimes they encounter the new families moving in.

The walking group meets at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday in front of the WLACC. From the center, they have plenty of options of where to go, and are exploring the different trails one at a time. Currently, Duane Funk is the leader and sets the course. He's been doing this since the year 2000. I would call that quite a dedication for the course. When I asked him what motivates him, he mentioned that he likes to walk, but not by himself. So what better way to do it than with a group of nice people?

Les Reed, another walker, has been participating for about seven months, and says that he enjoys it very much because it gives him more energy for the rest of the day.

Fran Wiegand says walking with the group is a great way to socialize, and she likes the early walking start to a new day. She participates in many of the other activities offered by the center.

Zahra Sadegh, originally from Iran, has also become part of the group. She's working on improving her English, and what better way to do it than with friends? Welcome, Zahra.

The size of the group varies. The morning this photo was taken there were eight people, including a young lady, obviously out of school and joining in the fun.

Walking is a great way for people of all ages to stay fit. The walks keep our minds alert with our talks, our hearts filled with friendship, our bodies fit and healthy and together sharing what Mother Nature brings us. Rain or shine (no snow days though!), the group will be walking the trails in West Linn, or simply enjoy other people's front yards or their flowerpots, listening to the birds, walking the streets, and knowing that having this good start to the day will help us deal with whatever issues develop that day.

The walks take about an hour, so come join us to smell the roses. For more information, call the WLACC at 503-557-4707.

The lunch menu this week features sesame beef, rice noodles, sugar snap peas and coconut rice pudding on Friday, July 14; pan-fried chicken, fettuccine Alfredo, Brussels sprouts and shortbread cookies on Monday, July 17; and meatball sandwiches, tortilla soup and lime-pineapple Jell-O on Wednesday, July 19. Cost is $5 per person. The West Linn Adult Community Center is located at 1180 Rosemont Road.

Mieke Wiegman is the volunteer editor of the WLACC newsletter and a board member of the Friends of the Adult Community Center.

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