Friendships Within the Hiking Club

Ooh Aah Point at the Grand Canyon. Pictured (left to right) are club members DeEtte Faith, Tracy Nilsen, Melanie Hudson, and Rocio Smith. (Photo by Warren Wasescha)

Ooh Aah Point at the Grand Canyon. Pictured (left to right) are club members DeEtte Faith, Tracy Nilsen, Melanie Hudson, and Rocio Smith. (Photo by Warren Wasescha)

Warren Wasescha

I’ve been hiking with our club for five seasons now. I have hiked at all levels. I have hiked with many club members, both old and new. The one thing I’ve noted along the way is how friendly the club has been to me and to others. And it’s rewarding to see the bonds that continue to grow over time.

There are friendships that steer you to good decisions, like hiking with poles now to avoid hiking with knee braces later; or taking a pass on a possible trail, because the drive to it is treacherous and long and may not be good for your vehicle; or a reminder to bring electrolytes with you on hot, long hikes, because your body will function better; and a reminder on what healthy snacks to bring.

Then there are friendships that teach you about extra-special hikes, hikes you may not ever learn about were it not for their wisdom and experience in finding these special places, like Robber’s Roost in the Superstitions, or how to get to the Quartz Peak trailhead in the Estrella Mountains without ruining the paint finish on your car.

And then there are those friendships that bond even tighter, because you both like hiking so much you find other days in the week to hike with each other, exploring new trails to experience or, in some cases, to avoid. It’s during these hikes that rules relax a little. Non-club members are able to attend. You begin to forge relationships with folks beyond Sun Lakes. Some of those relationships even lead to a shared hike down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back, or an introduction to another hiking club in the area to learn of yet more trails that can be hiked, both near and farther away.

And during these hikes, you share life’s experiences with each other: What fellow hikers did for careers during their early years; where they lived, what they did; who’s important in their lives today and why. No different than probably any other hobby, really. Just sharing your humanity with others while enjoying something you love.

With summer here, some of us will go our separate ways. Some will meet up on trails elsewhere. Some will stay right here in Sun Lakes and practice good hiking techniques to avoid the dangers of summer heat. And all of us will enjoy that moment when we are all back together again in November, hiking again as a larger group.

Like hiking? You can review all of our club information on our Meetup website. Simply type in “Sun Lakes Hiking Club” into your web browser to be directed to the sight. All of our information is there. You can also contact our club president DeEtte Faith at [email protected] to learn more.

Our club hikes at three different intensity levels from November through April. As always, we are a friendly, inclusive group that welcomes all able-bodied hiking enthusiasts!