Hiking Club Diary – January 2024

January Hiking Club Program Features Oracle State Park

Oracle Park Manager Sinda Sutton

Diana Smith

Please join the SaddleBrooke Hiking Club on Jan. 17 at 4 p.m. in the Activity Center for a presentation by Sinda Sutton on the diverse hiking trails and history of Oracle State Park where she currently serves as park manager. Sinda has been a member of the Arizona State Parks and Trails family since 2013. Her favorite part of the job is meeting new people and introducing them to Arizona’s natural beauty and cultural resources. You do not need to be a member of the SaddleBrooke Hiking Club to attend.

February Hiking Club Program

Missy Rodey at Mount Kilimanjaro (photo by Kevin Kahn)

Bruce Hale

The SaddleBrooke Hiking Club welcomes Missy Rodey as the program presenter at 4 p.m. on Feb. 21 at the SaddleBrooke One Activity Center. Her presentation titled “Uhuru Peak Raison D’etre, an Adventure to the Roof of Africa” will discuss the various routes for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the ecozones encountered en route, and the unique experiences of Missy’s climb there.

Though growing up in the Pacific Northwest with a family who enjoyed camping, she never experienced backpacking or hiking until her brother introduced her to it when she was in her early 30s. Hiking has been her favorite recreational pursuit ever since, providing many adventures in great places over the years. As she puts it, “Nature is a gift for my soul.”

Missy’s background is in public health. She attended college in Southern California, working her way through college as a tour guide at Disneyland. She then went on to gain a master’s degree in public health with an emphasis on nutrition. Her career included teaching student nurses and medical residents at Northwestern University, hospital-based clinical practice with kidney failure patients, and nonprofit management. She capped her career with her own company, offering independent patient advocate services.

The SaddleBrooke Hiking Club offers programs that touch on various hiking topics six months a year. They are held at the Activity Center on the third Wednesday of the month at 4 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

Hikers Hit Dripping Springs Before the Fall Picnic

Resting among the rocks of Dripping Springs (photo by Elisabeth Wheeler)

Elisabeth Wheeler

The Fall Picnic, which this year happened on Nov. 3, was a welcome time to reconnect with hiking friends and enjoy a banquet of delicious food. This year Terry McCarthy led nine hikers to Dripping Springs before the official gathering. Terry shared historical information about Catalina State Park and pointed out interesting rock formations along the way.

The Dripping Springs trail they followed spends significant time in sandy washes and passes by large rocks and, in the rainy season, requires several water crossings.

After the 4.4-mile trek, the group was ready for all the picnic fixings.