The 2017 “Onward Upward Outside” program through the Senior Center has become a big success. The idea to get people outdoors has been popular in recent years.
“Get the Girl Outdoors” is a program initiated by GSUSA in 2014. The Sheridan Recreation District has a “Fresh Air Fridays” program for local youth.
The Senior Center Fun Department realized the outdoors are not just for youth, young adults and young families. Jane Perkins and I started a day-hike program in the spring of 2016 with the Sheridan Community Land Trust. The hikes were scheduled throughout the spring and summer seasons and took place on the Red Grade and Soldier Ridge trails. Transportation to the trails was by carpooling.
During the winter months of 2017, Jane and I decided to expand the hiking program by recruiting hiker/geologist Steve Stresky, some Big Horn Audubon Society members, Wyoming Wilderness Association staff member Heidi Davidson and Senior Center client Linda Spear. We met several times during the winter and early spring to plan day hikes for April through October. We came up with 12 hikes. Coincidently, the planning committee members are all Sheridan natives and grew up in outdoor-loving families.
That said, we definitely did not frequent the same areas of our lowlands and Bighorn Mountains. Steve is the leader of the hikes, with the exception of two Audubon society hikes. Peter Lecholat led the avian adventure at The Brinton in April. Chuck Bailey led the birding hike through the Amsden Wildlife Habitat in early June. I serve as the senior center support person on the hikes.
Because the committee’s familiar and favorite areas vary greatly, we have been able to plan a very diverse schedule of day hikes. Three of the hikes have been new places to me and two new areas for Steve.
Three hikes are still available in July and August. On July 24 the group will head to South Piney trail in Story. It’s an intergenerational hike, so feel free to bring grandchildren. Aug. 12 and 13 we’ll head out on a Rock Creek geology hike and campout with Steve Stresky, or make the return hike on Aug. 12 with Julie Greer. On Aug. 30, a trip is planned to Shred Lake for hiking and fishing.
These hikes require you to bring your own lunch, water, hiking equipment, fishing gear and license; and to pre-register at the Senior Center or Wyoming Wilderness Association. The carpool method of transportation has been working well and the drivers are greatly appreciated.
The Senior Center has bicycles to check out for up to 72 hours. Get out and pedal the Sheridan Pathways. Pathway maps are available at the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce, 171 N. Main St., and Sheridan Travel & Tourism, 1517 E. Fifth St.
The Senior Center day trip program has a long history. I have been organizing the day trips for the past seven years. I try to compile an interesting, appealing and diverse schedule of day trips. The day trips are in cooperation with the Sheridan Recreation District and Tongue River Valley Community Center. SRD makes the transportation possible by providing their vans for a minimal fee. TRVCC provides a bus if three or more Tongue River Valley residents register for a trip.
Folks who are registered with the Senior Center are asked to make a suggested contribution to cover the cost of the trips. Unregistered folks must pay a fee. All of the trips require pre-payment and registration at the Senior Center.
We have four remaining trips in July and August. The first is a boat tour in Big Horn Canyon on July 18. (Sorry it is too late to register.) Then, July 30 is the Underground Miners Picnic at Pine Island. The miners will provide lunch and entertainment. On Aug. 20, an afternoon at the polo game with water and snack provided is planned. Aug. 30-31 is the final trip of the summer. It is an overnight trip to Thermopolis. The itinerary includes the dinosaur museum and dig site tour, swimming or soaking in the hot springs, Legend Rock petroglyphs and Meeteetse Cowboy Chocolate factory.
Come join us for fun in the outdoors. New friendships have been formed. Old acquaintances have been rekindled. Beautiful scenery and new places have been discovered. Knowledge on geology, birds and flowers have been acquired. All of this because people have gone Onward Upward and Outside!
For more information and the fine details call me at the Senior Center at 672-2240.
Guest columnist Jean Harm is a staff member and the coordinator of day trips with the Sheridan Senior Center’s Fun Department. Center Stage is written by friends of the Senior Center for the Sheridan Community. It is a collection of insights and stories related to living well at every age.