Sun Lakes Hiking Club: A Cautious Approach to the New Season

A flashback photo from our club at the top of Wasson Peak near Tucson

A flashback photo from our club at the top of Wasson Peak near Tucson

Warren Wasescha

With new safety measures in place, Ginny Metz from the hiking club sent out a survey to all members asking them how they felt about hiking in a COVID-19 world. Many responded, and a wide range of responses were given.

Some were not going to be hiking this season, but for reasons other than COVID-19: a pending birth of a grandchild, a knee replacement surgery, rotator cuff surgery, other health status changes. All understandable.

A few would not hike specifically due to COVID-19. They simply are not wanting to take any risks, period. And that is totally understandable.

Others are taking a wait and see approach, especially Canadians who may not be able to enter the USA depending on the number of COVID-19 cases in the USA. As Jim Reid from Canada commented, “It is our intention to be in Sun Lakes for the upcoming season. But your president and our prime minister might have different intentions though!”

Some definitely will hike, but expressed caution about carpooling long distances in a car to get to some of the hikes. There was a consistent theme expressed in choosing hikes closer to Sun Lakes so that time within a car with others is shorter. Others said they would drive to trailheads on their own, foregoing carpooling completely. Many are comfortable with carpooling if the numbers in a car are limited and everyone in the car is wearing a mask. Still others are comfortable driving with others only if they are within their social bubble.

And, there are those who are very optimistic, letting us know they definitely plan on hiking and leading hikes. As one hiker said to me, “I am glad that there will be hikes this season. I was not sure what would happen.” And as one Canadian responded, “We’re not 100% certain whether we’ll be able to come this winter, but we are responding to hiking this season with a very optimistic yes!”

As of this writing, November hikes are now on the Meetup site and, hopefully, you’ve participated in some of those hikes. We also have hike leaders lined up for December and beyond, so we are on our way to a good hiking season calendar.

While the numbers of club members actively hiking will likely be smaller this season, we are excited for the opportunity to once again get out there and hike—safely, of course. And perhaps because our numbers will be a bit smaller this year, that will add to the overall safety.

Interested in hiking and joining our club? Search “Sun Lakes Hiking Club” in your web browser and visit our “Meetup” site to see descriptions of upcoming hikes, as well as pictures and information of the hikes the club has done in the past. Hikes are offered at all skill levels.

Interested in more information about our club? Please contact our president, DeEtte Faith, at [email protected]

As always, we are a friendly, inclusive group that welcomes all able-bodied hiking enthusiasts!