Friday, September 1, 2000

Sierra Club Trips

Dick Worm, editor

One thing I have been impressed with while being a member of two Sierra Club Service Trips this past year is the variety of folks who participate. The Top of Texas trip last October included a number of unmarried young people who took vacation time to serve as trail work volunteers. One young lady was a medical student. I suppose, without family obligations, these folks could more easily justify such an outing.

One married couple on the Kanab Creek Wilderness Service Trip had grown up in the Dubuque area, one attending Senior High School, the other attending the Western Dubuque High School in Epworth. They had operated a dairy farm in Minnesota but decided that lifestyle was too stifling, sold their farm holdings, and now found time to enjoy their first wilderness adventure by doing trail work as Sierra Club volunteers.

This summer, I served as the assistant leader for a Club backpack trip in the South San Juan Wilderness in Colorado (right after the trip with the group from here). One member of that trip was a heart attack survivor. He and I walked together a lot at the back of the group during the first couple of days as we climbed over 3000 ft. from about 9000 ft. to over 12,000 ft. He took many short breaks to catch his breath and just pump up for the next section of the trail.

He wrote to me after the trip: "...the backpacking trip was a big deal. Getting back into shape; then going on the trip itself did prove to myself that yes I can still do it." He added, "Guess at times adults can act as adults and still have a good time like kids."

When leading youth on such trips during 25 previous years, I knew they were taking the time to go along. Now, with adults, I see them making the effort to participate. The driving force is just a little different.

For more information about such trips, I hope you were able to see my articles in the past two Iowa Sierrans. You gain much more respect for what we are trying to protect by actually getting out there and exploring and enjoying the natural wonders first hand. See you at our Programs?

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