I have so many things I have been wanting to blog about, good things. Funny how when you want to share the good things, you don’t have time, because you are too busy enjoying life. Last Thursday, I decided to hike the La Luz Trail. I had 5 hours, and I thought I might make it up and down. Well, the hike started out nice, and the trail is pretty easy.
It was beautiful, the sky was clear, and although it was hot and sunny, the breeze made it completely bearable. I jogged parts, took a couple of opportunities to snap some pics, and continued on my way.
Some parts were definitely harder than others, and the further along I got, the more rocky sections there were. Right when I was thinking a section wouldn’t ease up, I would come around a corner and see the most beautiful change of scenery.
Somewhere around the 2.5 mile mark, the vegetation changed, and I could hear a waterfall. I ducked into the lush brush, seeking refuge from the sun. It was glorious.
Around mile 5, the terrain got dramatically rougher and steeper. I hiked switchback after switchback of rock where I wasn’t even sure if it was the trail, except that I could see the other side, and there was nowhere else to go. There was no turning around. Going down these rocks, some of them unsteady, would have been much harder than 2 miles of climbing them uphill. I found one patch of snow near the top. I knew I had to take the tram down, so when I finally reached the top, I took the mile long trail to the tram. It was really easy going, and I could jog alot of it, but it seemed longer than a mile!
I finally reached the tram, gladly paid my $12 one-way ticket and hopped on. I felt fairly victorious, but I also knew I had about 2 miles left of hiking from the Tram parking lot to the La Luz trailhead where I parked. I asked a couple people that worked the tram if it was easy to find the trail, and they assured me wholeheartedly I couldn’t miss it. “Is it marked” I asked, which they affirmed. I didn’t see any trailhead when I made it to the bottom, so I headed to the parking station, hoping the guy working it would know. He said he never takes the trail and didn’t know there was one!!! I can’t believe he wouldn’t know of the trail!
I half walked, half jogged down the whole road, back to Tramway, North to the road to La Luz, and then up about another 2 miles to the trailhead. I thought of hitching a ride from Tramway, but decided that wasn’ t safe. Perhaps when I got on the road to La Luz, they would already be going that way…I really considered it. I hoped I looked pathetic enough that someone would offer a drive, but I guess my trudging along wasn’t enough. The sun was beating on my back and neck, and the incline was almost unbearable at that point. I figured though that perseverence got me to the top of the mountain, so I could definitely do this. I truly felt like stopping several times, but I had to make it to the car to go pick up Keely.
I ended up tacking on another 2.5 miles I think because I didn’t plan ahead. Next time, I will start at the base of the tram. It was an epic day, and I was drunk off the mountains, amazed at the beauty of the Sandias that I have taken for granted all these years. I never knew they were so beautiful, so varied, so extreme, and yet so welcoming. I can’t wait to go back.