The Outdoor Group is a recreational and social group that meets the second and fourth Saturday during the cool months, plus New Year’s Day, to share an outdoor experience, primarily hiking. We welcome and encourage everyone interested in having some active fun outdoors to join us. No commitment is necessary. Come when you can, no excuses necessary when you can’t. For more information, please contact outdoorgroup@phoenixuu.org.

The Lost Dutchman State Park campout was a huge success on all fronts! The weather could not have been more favorable with cool temperatures in the mornings and evenings and never getting truly hot in the afternoons. What a spring we are having!

As you can see from the photos, the brittle bush was in full bloom and covered the hillsides in brilliant yellow. Thank you to Nancy Spence for organizing a wonderful event that just may be repeated next year. The park is so close yet put us all in another world.

The potluck on Friday night was well attended and no one went away hungry. As we enjoyed our evening meal, the sun was setting on Flatiron, turning the mountain to a rich, golden edifice appearing to be lit from within. The lights of Apache Junction were winking on in the far distance. As night fell, the half moon lit our campsite while the fire crackled in the firepit. We all kept track of a light, probably a headlamp, ascending Flatiron in the dark. That had to be a challenge for someone!

We had several options for our hike on Saturday morning. Everyone seemed pleased with the cooler weather that allowed a later start time. Several in the group made it up to Preying Hands, while others did an easier hike back to the campground.

Even though we didn’t have a formal plan for Saturday night, we still had several staying over to enjoy another evening of sharing food, storytelling, music, and watching the magic of the flames in the campfire. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, better food, or better people to share this great experience with. Thank you, everyone!

Camping and hiking
Bonnie and Dave Cunningham
Jim Sorgatz and Josh Tures
Todd and Stephanie Haughton
Mary Lynne and Mike Shroyer
Bonnie White and Ed Cernek
Gary Ezzell
Nancy Spence
Dan Hunn
Judy Flannigan

The Outdoor Group is now going into summer hibernation. Some of us will be around over the summer; so if anyone wishes to lead a hike in the high country, email Bonnie at bwhite95065@yahoo.com. I will be happy to put the word out to see if we can stir up any interest.