Hiking Club picnic features hiking tips from leaders

Judith Kuse

On November 10, SLHC members and potential members gathered at Oasis Park in Sun Lakes I for the opening picnic. All were treated to a bountiful smorgasbord of fried chicken, salads, casseroles and desserts. After lunch, leaders of the club shared their advice for successful hiking. The list of safety tips-in-a-nutshell follows:

Choose a hike that matches your skill and endurance level. Start with Mellow hikes; they are the shortest and have the least accumulated elevation gain.

Take along at least 2 liters (8 cups) of water. Pack a bandana, instant cold pack, something salty to eat, and an electrolyte mix that can be added to water, if necessary.

Pay close attention to the instructions given in the Cottonwood parking lot prior to driving to the hiking destination.

Apply sunscreen before you start the hike, and re-apply it every two hours.

Don’t pass the hike leader, and don’t fall behind the sweep.

Stretch after hiking for improved range of motion and relief from soreness.

Learn about upcoming hikes and social events, and meet up with friends and new hikers at the SLHC monthly meeting on December 1 at 3:30 p.m. in the Phoenix Room at Cottonwood Country Club. Club dues are $5 for past members and $15 for new members and are payable to Treasurer Mike Foerster at this December meeting.

The December hiking schedule follows. Remember to check the website for more detailed descriptions of each hike and updated schedules. If you are a new hiker, choose a hike from the Mellow category and contact the hike leader prior to the day of the hike.

Monday Hikes

Dec. 4 Motivated: Alta Peak, In and Out, at South Mountain. Leader Tim Allen 480-254-0958.

Moderate: Go John and Overton Loop, Cave Creek Regional Park. Leader Greg Jewell 480-282-0061.

Mellow: Cone Mountain Loop, Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Leaders Kandi Skrabala 480-612-3372 and Sherrie Conner 480-236-6818.

Dec. 11 Moderate +: Prevention Gap Loop/Gonzales Needle & Helmet Rock, Goldfields Mountains. Leaders Steve and Mary Martz 317-750-0663.

Mellow: San Tan and Hedgehog Trails, San Tan Regional Park. Leader Ron Konopka 313-402-8462.

Dec. 18 Moderate +: Tom’s Thumb and the Lookout from Tom’s Thumb Trailhead, McDowell Sonoran Preserve South. Leader Dennis Harkins 480-883-7173.

Mellow: Dynamite Trail, San Tan Regional Park. Leader Ron Konopka 313-402-8462.

Wednesday Hikes

Dec. 6 Moderate: Indian Mesa/Table Top. Leader Mike Josephson 248-496-5369.

Dec. 13 Moderate: Tortilla Flats, Superstition Wilderness. Leader Gene Smestead 480-339-0216.

Dec. 27 Moderate: Geronimo Trail Loop and side trip to Petroglyphs, South Mountain. Leader Tracy Nilsen 918-944-9261. v