Welcome to the new hiking season
Jim Warren - 2016/17 trailboss
Like many of you, my wife and I moved to this beautiful place to enjoy being outdoors and to put the intensity of urban life behind us. We are here because we want to be. In our case we left behind virtually all friends and family in exchange for living in a beautiful location where it would be possible to strive for a healthier lifestyle. Within a year of relocating we discovered the Sedona Westerners and began to enjoy the challenges of hiking. This club quickly became a significant anchor in the greater community for us and continues in that capacity today even though at this point we participate in many other organizations.
As I take over as Trail Boss I cannot help but notice that quite a number of the new leaders are my juniors in terms of active years in the club. I believe this is very noteworthy as it is a testament to the dynamic nature of the club and the welcoming atmosphere which permeates the organization. New blood, new approaches, new interests are invited and appreciated even if the bodies that house them may be more than a little mature. The point I want to emphasize is that if you think you want to get out and gather the fruits from hiking please come and join us. We offer something for about every ability while on the trail augmented by social activities and learning experiences.
Please spend some time looking at the web site as it has a wealth of information about the club. It will list all the hikes, the hike groups, the non-hiking events, club leadership, bylaws and much more. Every effort is made to have it reflect any last minute changes to schedules due to weather, fires, and other unforeseen events. Virtually all hikes are scouted by hike leaders within a few weeks of leading the hikes to determine trail conditions and the accuracy of the information describing the hike. No guarantees are made here, but we strive to provide accurate information.
A few words about hiking all of which are stated in other literature. Hiking is a strenuous activity so be mentally prepared as well as physically. Heat and altitude can present difficult challenges. Upper level hikes of the Mustangs and Roughriders may test even good hikers and are not recommended for those just starting to hike or new to the area. Don’t be concerned about starting with a group that you consider to be beneath your level. If it is you will only be with it for a hike or two, but you are certain to meet some nice people that you will see on other hikes, at club meetings and at social events.
A few comments on the fall and later winter season; Typically we hike in some hot weather in the fall, sometimes hotter than we would prefer which is why hikes start earlier in September. But then in October and into November we move into what is personally the most enjoyable time of the year. The weather is cooler and the light changes rather dramatically as the sun moves further down the horizon. What it does to illuminate the red rocks is wonderful as areas hidden by shadows in the summer stand out with new color and vibrancy. Yes, it is the time that I like best.
A final thought and expression of gratitude to all those who have led this club in years past and those that have stepped up to lead this year. A special thanks to those that may be less visible in liaison positions with other organizations. And, to all prior and current members who have strived to be good stewards of the trails and sensitive areas in helping to preserve the beauty that surrounds us, thank you!
- Red Rock News - October 21, 2016
In The Footsteps of Soldiers
An eager group of Sedona Westerners meets up at 8AM at the Posse Grounds to set off for the Soldiers Pass Trailhead. The day's hike is one of the more challenging hikes in the Dogies (Tuesday hike group) schedule. Named for the summer camp for soldiers coming north from Camp Verde, Soldiers’ Wash affords an uphill climb that provides a workout at the start of the 7.3-mile hike. Tom Yager, hike leader, sets the group off at a lively pace, and tailgater Don Kling requests a pause for the occasional clothing adjustment as the day heats up.
The hike is designed to provide a unique variety of landscapes. At the outset, the trail passes through Soldiers' Wash, the Devil's Kitchen and then goes on to offer stunning views of Sedona from the top of Brins Mesa. Once on the mesa, the hikers follow the ridge around to look west toward Long Canyon and Boynton Canyon. The trail provides one of the best views of ...