While the Sun Lakes Hiking Club is winding down the 2014-2015 season, four of its adventurous members are gearing up for a grand adventure in the Grand Canyon. Mei-Mei Ahlskog, Brian Hill, Cheryl Verlander and Doug Chirhart have been training under the auspices of Certified Personal Trainer Mei-Mei in preparation for the April hike which will take them down the South Kaibab Trail and up the Bright Angel Trail in the canyon. In one day, they will hike 17 miles and ascend an accumulated elevation gain of 4400’ (compare that gain to the height of the Empire State Building at 1250’).
This foursome has been in training for months by completing two or three strenuous hikes each week and working out in the gym to increase cardiovascular capabilities and core strength. Although they are preparing well, these intrepid hikers do admit to a few concerns; they could be hiking in the dark either at the beginning or the end of the day and the temperature could be unbearably hot, especially in the late afternoon when they are enduring the most challenging part of their hike climbing out of the canyon at an average grade of 12.5 percent. There is also some apprehension about sharing the trail with numerous mules.
At the end of the day, Mei-Mei, Brian, Cheryl and Doug will celebrate with a drink or two and greasy food. That is, of course, if they can drag themselves to a nice restaurant.
Now for information about the Sun Lakes Hiking Club. The eleven hikes scheduled by the SLHC are listed below. For a more complete and up-to-date description, visit the club’s website at http://meetup.com/Sun-Lakes-Hiking-Club. Unless otherwise noted, carpools meet at the Cottonwood parking lot east of the tennis courts at 6:45 a.m. for a 7:00 a.m. departure. If you are new to the club, remember to contact the hike leader before the day of the hike.
April 6. (Retread) The Peavine Hike in Prescott. Leaders Helen and Jack Schultz; 802-0431. Note: start time is 7:30 a.m.
April 6. Hangover Trail in Sedona. Leader Bud Tasch; 802-2836 (home), 303-868-0216 (cell).
April 13. (Retread) Trails in South Mountain Park. Leaders Ginny and Al Metz; 895-1868. Note: start time is 7:45 a.m.
April 13. Bell and Windgate Pass Loop from Gateway Trailhead in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Leader Cheryl Verlander; 883-2766.
April 20. Wild Burro and Alamo Springs Trails in the Tortolita Mountain, Marana. Leader Marilyn Harkins; 883-7173.
April 27. Echo Canyon Trail on Camelback Mountain. Leader Marilyn Harkins; 883-7173.
April 1. Coffee Flats No. 108 from Peralta Trailhead in the Superstition Mountains. Leader Greg Jewell; 282-0061.
April 8. Peralta Trail to Fremont Saddle from Peralta Trailhead in the Superstition Mountains. Leader Ron Weary; 802-9643.
April 15. Sunrise Trail in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Leader Bill McCoach; 740-260-5671.
April 22. Holbert Trail in South Mountain Park. Leader Marilyn Harkins; 883-7173.
April 29. Echo Canyon Trail on Camelback Mountain. Leader Marilyn Harkins; 883-7173.
Tip of the month: As the outside temperatures become warmer, consider freezing part of your lunch. Having some frozen tidbits will keep the rest of your food cooler and it will be more refreshing when you are ready to eat. Baked goods, most sandwiches, grapes and blueberries are only a few of the items that freeze well.
Be sure to mark April 10 on your calendar for the SLHC Spring Picnic and monthly meeting beginning at noon at Oasis Park in Sun Lakes Country Club. The club provides hot dogs, soft drinks, plates and cutlery. Members and guests are asked to bring a side dish to share.
For more information about the Sun Lakes Hiking Club contact Brian Hill at 802-1050; email@example.com; or visit the club’s website at the address given above.