THE END OF THE TRAIL… FOR NOW
The Sedona Westerners Hiking Club has NOT run out of hikes. The members remain clear-eyed, eager, strong, and sometimes even good-looking. Their hiking boots may still have some tread left, and they may even be able to find a pair of pants that weren’t ravaged by cacti over the past year, or a package of cookies that never got shared; but the days grow hotter, now, and many resident hikers fly like migrating birds to cooler places, so the official Sedona Westerner Hiking Schedule for 2011-2012 comes to an end this week.
Over the past eight months, the Club organized and led approximately 180 hikes covering over 1000 miles. From the depths of the Grand Canyon to the summit of Mt. Humphries, from Clear Creek to Sycamore Canyon, hikers had the extraordinary opportunity to explore Northern Arizona in the company of close friends and experienced guides. As always, however, the most popular hikes were local, with Capitol Butte, Bear Mountain, and Cathedral Rock highlighting an extensive list of local routes and trails that constantly reaffirm the unique beauty of Red Rock Country.
Fun was had. Snowballs were thrown (errantly), helicopters were mooned (No!), turns in the trail were missed (Never!), stories and snacks were shared on every hike, and the occasional stream was jumped or fallen into.
Knowledge was shared. Botanists, geologists, historians, and archaeologists led Wednesday “Tracker” Hikes. Thursday “Ambler” hikes, led by Sandy Unger, provided lots of local insights and were consistently and enthusiastically well attended. Often, Westerners with unique talents or insights were drafted into giving impromptu lectures during hikes, all culminating in the opinion among the members that this is THE SMARTEST HIKING GROUP IN THE WORLD! (Well, at least in Sedona, or maybe the VOC)
Responsibility was shared. Trail trash was picked up, graffiti removed, lost and tired visitors were assisted, and, above all, every attempt was made to leave the wilderness in the same or better condition than it was found.
Like any volunteer organization, the Westerners rely on the hard work of dedicated people, and the Club would like to acknowledge the efforts of the following members:
Walter Krywucki, Trail Boss (President)
Mike Holmes, Wagon Boss (Vice President)
Julie Zabilski, Wrangler (Secretary)
Linda Archer, Foreman (Treasurer)
Sandy Krywucki, Chuckwagon Boss (Refreshments)
Joan Scott, Roundup Boss, (Public Relations)
Hike Group Bosses: Paul Sullivan, Pam Greene, Cy Elliott, Perlina McCombs, Michael Dally, and Trail Boss Emeritus, Sandy Unger.
Each and every Club Hike is led by a Westerner member, and a special thanks is due all of those who pitched in and led a hike this year. Joan Scott wants all those who wrote articles for the Red Rock News to know they are appreciated, as well.
These, and many other members, made the 2011-2012 Hiking Season a safe and memorable one.
We look forward to beginning the 2012-2013 Hiking Season in September. Please join us.
The Westerners always welcome new members. If you are interested in joining the club, log onto our website, www.sedonawesterners.org., for membership information.