Reflections on a Good Hiking Season

Warren Wasescha, Sun Lakes Hiking Club

It was nice to get back to a sense of normalcy hiking this season. COVID-19, once on top of our minds, became less of a risk. Carpooling felt more comfortable. Mask policies became optional. Wednesday Moderate hikes were back in place.

One of the big questions this year was whether the monsoon rains would result in wildflowers on the trail. Some weren’t sure. Others were hopeful. As it turned out, the blooms were out in full force on most trails—bountiful amounts. If you didn’t see poppies on one hike, the brittle bush more than made up for their absence. In other cases, the poppies were everywhere, along with dense lupines in the Superstitions and mallows sprinkled about. It was a delightful showing and a reminder of what makes the desert blooming time so wonderful as part of our hiking adventures.

While rains caused several hikes to be canceled, they brought rushing water to enjoy on many Superstition hikes. The refreshing sound of babbling creeks was a joy, even if it meant a few extra wet crossings.

A highlight of the hiking season was our trip to Palm Springs. Not just for a change of scenery, but for the ability to form deeper friendships with everyone who attended. It made some of our club members think how we might further engage socially beyond the hikes themselves and is a conversation the hiking board is having right now.

Interested in being part of the planning committee for next season’s Special Hike? What we need are a few individuals willing to help this summer to investigate accommodations and meals, and a few people next fall to investigate Mellow/Moderate/Motivated hiking options and other attractions during our Spring 2024 Special Hike. If you have interest, please let DeEtte Faith know at [email protected].

While our official hiking season is over, many club members still hike informally over the summer, adjusting the start time to get off the trails before the heat of the day. Or they travel to higher elevation hikes like Payson and Prescott. If interested, contact our president Ted Maresh at [email protected] for more information.

Like hiking? We are a friendly, inclusive group of hikers who welcome all able-bodied hikers. Our goal is to make group hiking fun, challenging, social, and safe. We hike formally November through April at three different levels.

Information about our club, along with past hikes, can be viewed on our Meetup site. Just type “Sun Lakes Hiking Club” into your web browser to locate us. Questions not found on our Meetup site? Please reach out to our president Ted Maresh at [email protected].

We look forward to hiking with you!