A Great Team Makes A Great Hiking Season

May 13, 2016

Mary McCaffrey
By Mary McCaffrey

To All Sedona Westerner Article Readers: All good things come to an end and today we celebrate the close of the 2015-2016 Sedona Westerners hiking season. Your Friday morning vicarious hiking adventures will cease. Readers will wonder what those crazy hikers are up to. In summer we go incognito, but will return right after Labor Day for your reading enjoyment.

Like everything in life, a successful hiking club is more about the people wearing the boot than it is which trails the boots travel on. Being Trail Boss is one of the best volunteer positions in town and it’s all because of those folks who wear the boots and work together to run the club. Cathy, Tom, Chris & Jodie, Jeff & Jim, Tom, Helen and Velma: these outstanding hardworking Hike Bosses organized close to 300 hikes. They select the hikes, recruit leaders & co-leaders, pre-scout the hikes, participate in the hikes and then complete post mortems -Standing Ovation. Jim, Debby, Sue, Clint, Al, Len and Kevin provide the structure that keeps the organization running smoothly and in keeping with the bylaws - High Five. Paul, Charlie, Brad, John, Phyllis, Paul, Barbara, Don, Bob, Donna, Clint (again), John, Jim and Al.: this impressive list of folks maintain our relationships with the Forest Service, keeps our snappy website user friendly, ensures all our members are given all the tlc they need, chronicles the year, keeps these news articles running, backs up the Hike Bosses and keeps us well fed. These tireless volunteers have earned a roar of stomping feet. Curt: no one understands the job of Trail Boss as intimately as the Immediate Past Trail Boss: the Advisor, listener, sympathizer, cheerleader - Nod your head in agreement.

Throughout the year we have brought you many beautiful photos of Sedona and the surrounding area. If you would like to see them in person, Please come and join us for a hike. Photo by Mary McCaffrey.

The Sedona Westerners Hiking Club is a successful because of these people and many more who don’t have official titles but step in week after week, working tirelessly on committees, mentoring hike leaders, providing expertise on archaeology, geology, flora and fauna, and ensuring safety. Why do they do it? Because they love the organization, because it all needs doing, and because of the satisfaction of giving - Hoot and holler.

It has been a great year. Five more names: Jim, Dennis, Mickey, Frank and Bernice. Our fallen heroes - we love you, we won’t forget you. It’s all about the people.

The shortest hike (don’t read “easiest’) was 2 miles with 750 feet of cumulative elevation gain on Cibola Mitten. The longest hike (don’t read “most difficult”) was Loy Canyon and 12.8 miles and 2500 feet of gain. A new hiking group was added this year - the Rustlers. They are an important addition to the schedule, especially since the Tuesday Dogie Boss frequently cancelled his hikes. It did pour proverbial cats and dogs on several Tuesdays but, gosh, are hikers made of sugar?

As expected injuries do occur and folks get sick. This season there were a number of broken bones with 3 members now sporting shiny new titanium parts that don’t even get them a free pass through airport security. With open heart surgery, kidney failure, back surgeries, cancer surgeries and treatment, can you guess what happens in this organization. The Westerners take charge: they feed, share books, entertain and chauffeur to appointments. It’s all about the people. Together it’s a celebration of birthdays and anniversaries, weddings of children, new grandbabies. Together it’s the sharing of grief circling the wagons in support. With all that is shared hiking buddies, a new family emerges.

The Sedona Westerners are a family. We hike, we stumble, we fall, we leap, we are challenged, we show fear, we show courage, we are silly, we fall in love and we share it all. The Sedona Westerners are all about the people wearing the boots.

If you are interested in joining the club, please visit the Sedona Westerners website at www.sedonawesterners.org


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