The Veluwezoom Chronicles

The Journey of journeys through the Veluwezoom woods. Done by two Tolidos every summer, planning to establish a dynasty for centuries to come. Pictures taken at the same spot every year. See the guys grow old and incapable!





Ron (left) and Edwin (right), August 1997. First time pictures were taken, but we've been doing this walk ever since 1975, or something...




Ron and Edwin, July 1998. Ron wearing same shirt, trousers and shoes as last year...




Ron and Edwin, august 1999. Lousy pictures, this year, but hey! we were there....

Rescanned the pics in 2004, guess all looks better now (or even worse, if you like)



Ron and Edwin, July 23, 2000. First time pictures were taken digitally. And it shows.



Ron and Edwin, August 13, 2001. This was on a Monday with a moderate temperature of 20 C and no sun at all. Prediction of Ron for 2002: worldwide economic recession and both will be equipped with a GPRS phone. Edwin: 'anything may happen'.




Ron and Edwin, August 19, 2002. Again on a Monday, but quite a warm day this time (29 C) with some showers at the beginning and sun later on. The moor is more purple than ever and all fences have disappeared, including the one we used to pose for.
Edwin has lost a spectacular amount of weight, illustrated by the trousers he's wearing (borrowed from Ron, who wore them last year).
Yes, both carry a GPRS phone! Predictions for 2003 by Ron: will carry a new digital camera, an economic renaissance will be on its way and we will already have had new elections. Edwin foresees many changes in his personal and business life...




The guys are back! This time on the 26th of July 2003, a bit earlier than the past two years. Therefore, the forests and the moor are still a lot greener. It's a good, sunny day with 24 C. The rain only falls when we drive back to the west. A very small Sony digital camera is used for taking pictures.
Yes, life has changed considerably for Edwin who just sold his apartment, moved in with Karen and bought a new house with her. And much more is yet to come next year, he firmly believes! Ron on the other hand, claims to be in an extremely volatile phase in which 'a lot or nothing' may happen. He doesn't even consider forecasting.




Significant things have again happened in the past year for Edwin. Funny little stuff, like proposing, getting married, buying a house, moving there and becoming a father. All this is discussed on the 1th of august 2004: a warm day with 26 C and loads of sun. Ron is wearing one of Edwin's trousers, after having some serious arguments with a coffee cup just before leaving Edwin's house. The pictures are taken with a brand new Digital Ixus 500. Of course, the lads try to predict again what will happen in the coming year. No new cameras, for one thing! Edwin foresees a stable period for himself with wife and kid. Oh yes, and getting back to his divine weight level of last year. Ron is utterly vague about 'something notable and big' that is destined to happen. Guess we'll all know next year..




It's a bit later in the cold Summer of 2005, the 29th of august, to be exact. The temperature is again around 26 C on one of these rare, sunny days. Several people interfere when we are taking our pictures and they all seem to find our Annual Digital Photo blog concept funny. Well people, be our background any place any time. Both guys are tired. Ron 'because he has been on holidays' and Edwin because he has only three days to go until his holidays are there. Good and sad things have happened in the past year, and in general, the brothers feel they may have grown just a tiny, tiny bit wiser.
Predictions? Edwin foresees yet another happy, stable period with wife and eh.. two kids, this time. Ron (the guy with the wrong walking shoes) thinks he will earn more KLM Flying Blue miles than ever before. And he will be selling huge amounts of bread. Don’t ask. It's a volatile life.




This is the tenth anniversary of our little take-a-picture-every-year project. And some things are, well, just a bit different this year. It's Friday, the 18th of August 2006, in a summer which definitely proved the case of dramatic climate change. It has been scorching hot, but now the country is already enjoying weeks of violent showers. With a moderate 22 C and only some occasional rain drops this Friday is better than the originally planned Friday of last week: for the first time ever we had to postpone because of bad weather. The way marking of our original route turns out to be completely changed. The first half hour of the walk we spend discussing where this new road is taking us, but then we end up in familiar territory again. We both feel that the essence of the route is still the same where - again for the first time - a part of the path has changed. Nothing against some change, we decide. It's a good message. Edwin has a second son, enjoys family life and predicts growth and changes for his loved ones. Ron is 'in good shape' and looks forward to yet another exciting time to come. We still follow the path!




We have never been this late in the wet and grey summer of 2007 (no climate crisis this time): it is already the 2nd of September when we finally enter the woods again. There's a bit of sun on this windy day and the temperature is a modest 19 C. We are here on a Sunday and as a result the woods are literally flooded with people that are enjoying their last illusion of summer holidays. Next time will be on a working day again, we decide on the spot. Edwin has had a tiring, really tough year but his youngest son Quinlan is a bit older now and 'things' seem to become slightly easier now. He foresees a good year, continuing the way forward with his loved family. Ron claims to be approaching some very interesting crossroads and wouldn't be surprised if the situation next year will be entirely, dramatically different. 'But then again, all could still be exactly the same'. Yeah, we've heard that one before.




Umbrellas needed! It is Friday, the 22nd of August in the year 2008. The temperature desperately tries to reach 20 C, it is cloudy and when we have reached the - very purple - moor, the rain really has set in. Fits perfectly well in this bad summer, which again does not seem willing to accept the facts of global warming. Although Ron indeed has met the crossroads he predicted, nothing really much has changed (what a surprise), although he has a year behind him filled with exciting travelling around the world and great holidays in the US, just a few weeks ago. To him, it feels like a long time since we have been here. Not to Edwin. His kids are quickly growing up and things become more and more fun. A steady path forward indeed and the year seem to have past very quickly. Maybe time for some predictions? Ron foresees breakthroughs in technology. He firmly expects to have a 'Google phone' next year and people will be able to follow the guys doing their walk in real-time on Google Maps (if anybody would want that...). Edwin doubts that Obama will become president of the US this autumn. We will soon know and for sure will discuss it, next summer, maybe during a record heat wave...




Believe it or not, but it is already the 1st of November 2009 when the two brothers finally can be seen again at this - by now immensely famous - point in the Veluwezoom woods. Why? Busy, busy. Priorities. Traveling. Bad weather. Cancellations. Lots of other good and pathetic reasons. Anyway, we’re there. It’s a very reasonable 13 C and while the rest of the country suffers under heavy showers, we only get the rain when we have finished the walk. Looking back, Ron was right with his prediction (that’s a first): Google latitude is now commonly used to publish and track real-time locations. And this time, he is sure about the upcoming year: work will change, circumstances will change, physical condition will change, social network will change, everything will change. He should have some good stories to tell next time. Edwin is not planning and is living his live with wife and two sons ‘as it is supposed to be lived’. As the guys are growing up, he does foresee some more private time, a welcome feature. Predictions for 2010? Edwin: “nothing significant will happen anywhere”. Ron: “world of media transforms dramatically because of Apple Tablet, eBooks and iTunes for Video”.




Very little is known about the session that took place on the 8th of august, 2010, except that it did take place and that the trees were still there. We will do better next year!




It’s the 17th of august, 2011. After a virtually non-existing summer, the guys have good weather conditions with quite some sun and a modest 22c. Our Internet project now seems so popular that groups of people wander through our woods, equipped with route descriptions, just to catch a flavour of our experience. Edwin can’t help noticing that his physical condition is not as good as in previous years, making this walk an interesting benchmark. He decides on the spot to start working on improvement. For the rest, his entirely family is in a phase of rapid change, so he figures he should be an island of stability in the upcoming year. Not exactly the same prediction as for Ron, who expects to see more volatility than ever before (and having a good time absorbing that). Anything happening with technology? Well, as a no-brainer: next year Ron will carry an iPhone 5 with him, whatever that may be. We’re also quite sure that Edwin won’t. Some things just happen, no matter what.




On the 21th of august 2012, we use our phones for the first time to make the pictures. This brings us several insights, including the fact that Ron does not carry an iPhone 5 (and neither does he intend to do so in the near future) and - obviously - the camera of Edwin’s Android phone yet does a better job than Ron’s Nokia Lumia 900. Ron is not impressed at all by Apple’s current innovation potential and predicts a gradual decline of its stock value in the forthcoming 3 years. Well, we’ll know soon enough as we can check these chronicles regularly. That is, if there is a 2013 session of course: December 2012 is quickly approaching, and the Mayas might be right after all. It somehow brings the guys to discuss the Doomsday Scenario: what to do if one of the chronicle stars sadly falls away? Sooner or later you will see, but it’s our intention to keep you waiting for at least 35 years. Never mind. For now, it’s a good 25c outside, with yet again all the signs of a lousy summer with a warm, sunny tail. Life is good, we walk on.




We can safely describe our walk of the 9th of august 2013 as ‘the health edition’. Are the guys finally getting sensible or are they simply becoming old? You be the judge. Edwin has finally executed on his plans of two years ago and very clearly has improved his condition: he has already lost quite some weight and the obstacles of the route seem easier to take than in previous years. For various reasons, Ron has taken more interest in healthy food as well and as a consequence the guys find themselves in lively discussions about diets, the sense or nonsense of homeopathic therapy and acupuncture. Times are changing, indeed. Edwin is determined to continue his improved lifestyle and expects more apparent changes next year for everybody to see on the pictures. Ron does not change that much on the pictures (except, notably, clearly, his hair colour) but has plans to pick up an old sports hobby again. It’s finally a real summer this year, and with 24c the walk turns out to be quite enjoyable. Let’s hope for an even better one next year.




Well, 2014 sure turns out to be the ‘Under Construction’ year. The houses in the street where we used to park our car are demolished and gone. What’s going to happen here? The gas station at which we used to buy our supplies (including our one and only, annual cigar) is closed for renovation. Even the train station is rearranged, although it - luckily for all bystanders - still contains a little shop where we can get at least some of the goods we are looking for. It’s Monday the 1st of September 2014. The summer has been very, very good for us although not in the last few weeks. But exactly today the weather is improving again and with a modest 20c, the walk is quite enjoyable. Indeed, lots of things are under construction, also in the lives of our two heroes. Edwin’s wife Karen made quite a career change. So did Mary, who - as we are in construction mode anyway - will be marrying Ron in a month or so. Edwin’s children are getting more and more independent as they quickly grow up. Ron’s children are leaving the house. Sort of. Edwin is in an excellent shape now and the guys decide on the spot - once again - to become actively involved in sports. The forthcoming year may see a lot of old stuff disappear and new stuff pop up. Let’s see next time how all of this turned out... 




Construction still goes on in ‘our’ neighbourhood on Wednesday the 5th of August 2015. Yet more old, obsolete houses are torn down and make way for new, modernized structures. Maybe the guys would benefit from such a treatment as well, as some discussions during this year’s walk remarkably seem to centre around the little pains and inconveniences of being just a little bit beyond the Young Demigod status. On top of this, the entrance to the Veluwezoom woods that we already use for decades turns out to be closed. Obviously, we try to break though the obstruction, but in the end a barbed wire fence - we assume it’s electrically charged - makes us think otherwise. We find an alternative entrance route which actually is even better than the previous one - and a bit longer too for that matter. We enjoy an excellent summer day of 24c, while evaluating the past year and smoking our one and only cigar of 2015. The past months have been dominated by our father who had to be moved to a nursing home at 81 years old. Not an easy thing. Edwin has unfortunately gained some weight again, in a battle which is destined to be lifelong. Ron’s daughter will be a doctor after summer while Edwin’s oldest son will be ready for secondary school next year. Some timing differences indeed. After years of making plans to pick up some sports regime together - and consistently not delivering on it - the guys this time decide to decide nothing. Let’s watch what that might lead to in the forthcoming year.




It’s Sunday, the 25th of September 2016. Autumn, indeed. Another great, warm day after a not so sunny summer - we have a pattern here. With the temperature 24c, this may be the final countdown towards much less enjoyable weather. Actually, heavy rains set in when we drive back to the West. Only two weeks after our previous walk in 2015, our father peacefully passed away. Just as he would have liked it: not too much hassle, let’s get it over with. He has lived a full, complete life and we remember it fondly as we proceed through the woods. The station of Dieren, the city from which we always start, is still under a huge, major overhaul. The chaos is complete, and we can only hope how good things will look next year. Edwin’s oldest son is now at secondary school. Ron’s daughter is a doctor at Nijmegen, currently moving to her new position at an ER. Both of our wives have their own businesses nicely picking up. Things are moving on. Ron foresees a lot of turmoil in the months to come. The unthinkable could happen: Donald Trump could actually be chosen as a president and the world may look nasty next summer. Lots of anti-politics going on, and the elections next year in NL will prove it as well. Edwin has been in a better shape, and he WILL improve. Anyway, this is just our 20th anniversary of the walk and at least 25 are yet to come. Whatever it takes. Just watch us!




So yeah, this year turns out to be quite different from many others. Records are broken. Never have we been later in the year: it’s the 3rd of November 2017. Also, we’re not afraid to openly admit that both of us are in the worst shape ever when making this walk (we will spare you the details, not to worry).The good news: the next walk can only be better, as with a worse shape we wouldn’t even be able to drag ourselves through the hilly woods any more. True story. The reconstruction around the Dieren station seems to be approaching its apotheosis (or apocalypse, if you like). It’s a horrible mess of concrete and asphalt. Our path can’t even be reached anymore - unless one fancies walking on a highway. Google Maps comes to the rescue. We find an entry way that always has been there, will always be there, and is much more beautiful. Also, parking is very easy, as the path starts at a nursing home. How convenient; and indeed, also quite appropriate. Ron turned out to be spot-on last year with his hilarious, totally unrealistic prediction of Trump becoming president. So what’s the point of forecasting anymore, when real life gets crazier anyway? Ron will have an iPhone X with him next year, that much seems certain. Edwin might have a company iPhone as well (“not an X though”). Shocking. For the rest, the guys just walk, admire the autumn colours and enjoy their once-a-year mini cigar. What else?




It’s deep in the autumn again, the 18th of October 2018. Ron claims to be in a much better shape than last year. Edwin doesn’t too bad either, as the trip seems better doable than the disastrous last year’s edition. Construction works around the railway station of Dieren are almost done - next year all should be good, no really - and the result is an over-engineered, soulless place. The guys quickly make it into the colourful woods, where at least all is still the same. It’s a great, not too warm autumn day (15c) after a ridiculously warm, record-breaking summer. The political climate - both globally and locally - is more polarized and binary than ever, and Ron expects major turbulence around the upcoming US midterm elections. Also, the governing parties in the Netherlands will be punished for taking responsibility, as is by now a default consequence. Edwin is fantasizing already a bit about all the great travels he will undertake once he is retired - although there is quite some time to go. Once more, Ron finds himself at a fascinating crossroad of different opportunities. As usual, this probably means nothing will change. Predicted last year and yes: Edwin carries a company iPhone, nothing is sacred anymore. Ron however, does not have the iPhone X - simply because he feels it’s too expensive. Money can be better spent on useful things, like the three elite cigars the guys smoke during the walk - the only three ones of the year. Still quite energetic, the duo emerges from the woods again. It has been a great walk, the 22nd one of the chronicles. The walk of walks is now more than officially mature. And rest assured: the guys are not even midterm yet.


Afbeelding met buiten, grond, persoon, boom

Automatisch gegenereerde beschrijving

Afbeelding met grond, buiten, boom, persoon

Automatisch gegenereerde beschrijving

Messed up hair? Funny clothes? Where’s that forest anyway? Well, how about it’s a stormy, grey day on December 20, 2019, with Winter coming in less than 12 hours. After an unprecedented long break of a year and two months, the guys are finally back. Although initially planned for August, the weather turned out to be so ridiculously hot (37c, anyone?), that the walk had to be postponed. Then work agendas kicked in, autumn rain, various other circumstances – you get the picture. Anyway, here we are, at a unique time of the year. The station now features a huge parking garage, and we reluctantly use it. The concrete structures around this place are as depressing as ever. Luckily, the Veluwezoom woods are just a few minutes of walking away. Once we are in the woods, it feels great as always: we’ve gone underground, disconnected, incommunicado. Cigars have been purchased, lots to discuss. A strange year it has been, with – again - record temperatures, crossroads of business opportunities (and sure enough, nothing changed) and an even further, seemingly world-wide polarization between the right, the left, the offended, the rich, the poor, the privileged, the average, the outliers. Even the guys cannot escape this time from some disagreements, although a healthy walk through monumental nature keeps everything in its right proportions. Predictions for 2020? Just that Trump for sure will be re-elected (doesn’t take a genius to see that coming, admitted), unless some radical economic misery suddenly has kicked in. On the technology side, nothing special foreseen, not even a new phone. With the temperature rising to a mild 11c and only a few showers at the beginning, this very-late-year walk turns out to be quite doable. Let’s see if it’s a summer thing again next year.

Afbeelding met buiten, grond, persoon, boom

Automatisch gegenereerde beschrijving

Afbeelding met buiten, grond, boom, persoon

Automatisch gegenereerde beschrijving

Well, look at that. It’s December 18, 2020. Same place, more or less the same time. Temperature again a mild 11c. Totally Groundhog Day, right? Oh, wait. It’s 2020. In terms of badness the ugliest, bigliest year of all time. No year ever was worse, everybody says so. The pandemic turned out to be a black swan from hell, in hindsight already lurking around the corner when we were here last year. The world is a very different place now, and we have no clue of what is in store for us. Our best guess, nevertheless: when we’ll be back next summer (yes, summer, we promise, really!) COVID-19 will be well on its way out, and the world will gradually turn to ‘normal’ – whatever that means these days. In the meantime, political turmoil within both the United (sic) States of America and the Netherlands is to be expected. Our prediction last time of Trump being re-elected ‘unless some radical economic misery’ would kick in: we rest our case, your honour. The pandemic has changed people, viewpoints became even more radical and polarized. Anti/pro anything: mask, lockdown, vaccine, elections, cancel culture. Conspiracy theories became the new religion, social circles were adjusted. What has remained the same, are the glorious Veluwezoom woods. It’s quite a journey, with occasional rough terrain and some steep climbs. Halfway, in the deepest part of the woods, we pass an old man. He is soldiering on, battling his way uphill, painfully slow, step by step. He seems to be in good spirits, although in our calculations it will take him hours to get out. Then again, maybe that’s exactly what he is looking for. We can’t help envisioning ourselves, 25 years from now, hopefully still stubborn and combative in mastering the journey of journeys. We’re not done for decades with the Chronicles. Keep watching this space.