What a Hiking Season It Was!

Mellow hikers enjoying a day on the Metate to Towhead and Spur Cross Trails (photo by Richard Schugel)

Warren Wasescha, Sun Lakes Hiking Club

The club organized over 85 hikes this season with over 1,000 sign-ups for those hikes. Top hikers were Ed Molieri who logged 29 hikes, Tracy Nilsen with 25 hikes, and Jim Bauer with 14 hikes. It goes without saying that hiking is addictive!

In my eight-plus years of hiking with the club, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it so green, especially in the Superstitions and at Picacho Peak. There are days when I felt we were hiking in Ireland, not Arizona. Our Ballantine hike north of Fountain Hills had so much water rushing in a stream from rain that I felt like I was in the Rockies. No need to travel to faraway places when you have the wonders we have in the Valley right here, especially when the weather cooperates.

If you were on the Special Hike in Sierra Vista, you got a taste of hiking near the start of the Arizona Trail at the Mexican border. No matter what side of the political spectrum you are on, it was quite a site to see the southern border wall. Maybe even better was touring Bisbee and eating at Café Roka. Wow, was the food incredible! Thanks to Ginny and Al Metz for discovering this place and to all who helped make this Special Hike the success it was. Paul Feeney, take a bow for leading the effort. And if you’re interested in helping with next year’s Special Hike, let Ron and Joan Deraas know at [email protected]. Ron and Joan will be leading the effort for the 2025 trip.

Bummed out that it’s May and our formal hiking season is over? Stu Frost announced he will be doing some summertime hikes and welcomes anyone interested in participating. Stu can be reached at [email protected]. An additional option is to head out with a few close friends. Start early, of course, due to the summertime heat.

Like the idea of hiking socially? Join our club and enjoy all that we have to offer. We are a friendly, inclusive group of hikers welcoming all able-bodied hikers. Our goal is to make group hiking fun, challenging, social, and safe. From November through April, we hike Mondays at three different intensity levels and often schedule a second “mellow” or “moderate” hike on Wednesdays. Our club is open to anyone living in Sun Lakes and SunBird.

For more information about our club, please type “Sun Lakes Hiking Club” into your web browser and look for our Meetup page. You’ll find information about our club, along with photos and descriptions of past and future hikes. If you have questions about the club not answered on our website, please contact our president Ted Maresh at [email protected] and he can help you.

Hiking is one of the many rewarding activities you can do in our community. We look forward to hiking with you!