Springtime is busy for Sun Lakes Hiking Club

Hikers exploring archeological site in Bandelier National Monument, NM

Hikers exploring archeological site in Bandelier National Monument, NM

Roberta Arpan

In addition to the 13 regularly scheduled hikes for the month of April, two special events wrapped up the 2015-2016 season.

On April 1 the annual Hiking Club spring picnic and awards ceremony was well attended by approximately 100 participants. After feasting on grilled hot dogs, attendees were led in a sing-along of trail songs by Bruce McCorkle and Tom Marschel (a/k/a “Two Lucky Dogs”). The annual presentation of awards followed. Mike Foerster earned the highest honor, the Boot Award, for his outstanding service to the club in the capacity of Treasurer and keeping the membership rolls updated. Brian Hill was awarded the President’s Award for his dedication to excellence during his two-year tenure. The recipient of the Sunshine Award was Judy Mical who earned this honor because of her upbeat and cheerful nature on the trail and readiness to volunteer at social events. The Rattlesnake Award was passed on to Doug Chirhart for spotting the first rattlesnake of the season on a sanctioned club hike. Marilyn Harkins received the Purple Heart Award because she slipped on rain soaked rocks while on an exploratory hike (validating the reason hikes are often cancelled when it rains). Two special Hike Leader Awards were presented. Mike Josephson was recognized for leading 57 hikers on a single hike (a club record) and Joan Porterie was given a New Hike Leader Award for spotting two desert tortoises on the trail.

The second special event scheduled in April was the 11th annual out-of-town trip. On April 4 55 club members, significant others and friends traveled to Santa Fe. In addition to being photographed standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, highlights of this much anticipated journey included viewing the unique art work at the La Posada Inn, exploring several archeological sites and hiking through a box canyon rife with unusual rock formations. A special thanks goes out to Sherrie Conner and her assistants, Ginny and Al Metz, for their meticulous attention to detail in organizing this event. To view a sample of the photos taken on this special hike visit the club website at http://www.meetup.com/Sun-Lakes-Hiking-Club, click on “photo” and “2016 Special Hike.” Next year’s “out-of-towner” is scheduled for February 26 through March 2. The destination will be announced at the first club meeting and picnic November 4. Due to the popularity of this event, reservations are now being taken at [email protected]

Tip of the month: Remember to retrieve your hiking boots from the trunk of your car or garage and place them in a cool place during the heat of the summer. While doing so, examine the tread. The rocky Arizona terrain is especially hard on the bottom of your boots, which is exactly why you need to have good tread to grip the slippery surfaces.

The Sun Lakes Hiking Clubs takes a hiatus from May 1 through October 31. For more information please visit the club website at the address above.