End of Hiking Season Reflections by the Sedona Westerners Trail Boss

May 10, 2019

By Tom Yager

Some hikers head out on one of the Sedona trails despite the recent snowfall. Winter 2018-2019 was unusually wet and cold, with several significant snowfalls. In February 2019, the Sedona Westerners stayed off the trails for a week to allow them to dry out,

Did the weather slow us down?  Well maybe a little…

The hiking season for the Sedona Westerners goes from the beginning of September through early May.  This season has been the wettest and snowiest in decades.  Did this stop our hike bosses and hike leaders from organizing, re-scouting, and leading hikes?  NO!  This season has required extra flexibility on the part of all volunteers and hikers.  However, after the February 21st snowstorm of 18 inches, the hike bosses and hike leaders cancelled hikes for one week to allow the trails to dry out, thus minimizing trail damage.

I’m particularly sensitive to a bad weather season.  During the 2015-2016 hiking season, I was the Dogie Hike Boss.  The Dogies hike on Tuesdays, and it seemed that it was sunny every day that season, except for rain on Tuesdays.  When I took the job of Trail Boss (AKA, Club President), people said the curse was with me, and the entire season of 2018-2019 would be wet.  Having recently consulted with a retired meteorologist, I was relieved to find out that Trail Bosses cannot influence the weather.

I do want to thank all the volunteers that made this season wonderful, despite the weather.  This includes the Hike Bosses (Colleen, Terri, Liz, Michael, Jean, Annette, and Ernie), the assistants to the Hike Bosses (Celeste, Jim, Kris, Dave, Lucy, Don, and Lynn), and all the hike leaders and tailgaters.  These are the volunteers that make the hikes interesting, unique, and safe.  However, there are many other volunteers that are necessary to make this club functional: the Foreman (treasurer), Prospector (membership), Wrangler (secretary), Chuck Wagon Boss (social activities), Top Hands, Ranger (Forest Service Liaison), Lookout (Emergency Assistance Team Coordinator), Roundup Boss (public relations), Historian, Sunbeam (counselor), Cliff Walker (Cultural Coordinator), and Point Rider (webmaster).  Thanks to Dave, Clint, Helen, Dave, Linda, Walter, Jim, Sully, Peg, Jeff, Joanne, Karen, Jon, and Velma and to all their assistants (Michael, Kevin, and Joyce). 

Of course, then there is the Wagon Boss (Scott) who not only has to organize all the speakers for the monthly membership meetings, but will also assume the responsibilities of the Trail Boss during the following hiking season.  There is the Past Trail Boss (Barbara) who puts together the list of proposed officers for the following hiking season.  Finally, there is the Assistant Trail Boss (not an official position, but does lots of work to make the Trail Boss look good – Gretchen).  Many other members volunteer to cook and serve food at the Club’s Spring and Fall Cookouts and bring food to our monthly membership meetings.  So why is the Sedona Westerners Hiking Club so great?  It is due to all the members that volunteer every year to make it happen.

We had some notable events this hiking season, which included the Fall Cookout.  It rained hard all morning and cleared up by noon for two hours.  The Cookout was a success and we had 90 people attend on a bad weather day.  The Holiday Party was a blast with great decorations (Mary).  The Jerome Ukulele Band outdid themselves and had nearly everyone out on the dance floor.  Also, the Sedona Westerner members contributed $7,875 to the Red Rock Trail Fund.  Finally, I’m pleased to say we finished the 2018-2019 hiking season with no accidents beyond minor scrapes or a cactus poke. 

My year as Trail Boss has been one of my most memorable.  It is not always an easy job, but the Club members have made it my favorite job.  Well, that’s it for this year.  I hope to see you on the trail with the Westerners next hiking season!

If you are interested in joining the Hiking Club, please visit the Sedona Westerners website at www.sedonawesterners.org/membership.  

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