NOTE: This blog post talks about achieving goals, technical and day packs, and riparian ecology in the Transition Zone (among other things). Follow MyFitLife2Day and ManOfMerit for more interesting articles on everything that has to do with "setting up life goals and knocking 'em down".
A cool chick friend of mine had set up this hike and invited a few friends. I was glad to have someone to do this hike with me - honestly, I've been intimidated by the thought of doing this hike alone ever since I challenged myself with the thought of it two years ago. Besides, because I'm still struggling with obesity, being nearly 100 pounds overweight, I figured going it alone was probably not a good idea. Still, having never hiked in a group and not wanting the pressure of keeping up with the pack, I had a bit of trepidation. My friend assured me, though, that someone would stick with me throughout the hike, and fortunately, that was the case.
|The cool chick and her cool friend enjoy the Upper Sonoran Zone view|
AND THEY'RE OFF!
We parked at the lower Sandia Peak Tram terminal and set out on the Tramway foothills connector trail around 8 a.m. It took us about an hour to reach the actual bottom of the La Luz Trail. When we arrived close to the lower switchbacks, one of the guys in our group who's an avid hiker and knows many of the mountain's secrets, told us of the more scenic route along the Old La Luz Trail. Apparently, the forest service re-routed the old trail when it became so popular that it was endangering the delicate plant life of the canyon. The new trail has dozens of tedious switchbacks while the old trail is much more challenging and should only be taken by experienced hikers who are mindful to be minimally invasive to the riparian ecology.
|Hiking through the riparian Transition Zone along Old La Luz Trail|
|Locals call this boulder field we avoided the scree slope switchbacks|
|Duck Rock and the scree slopes, home of 20-something switchbacks|
HIGH CELEBRATION AND THE CHILLING PLOT SPASMS
|I'd rather eat this Ponderosa Pine tree bark than food at High Finance again|
|Almost there - top of the tram in view!|
|Not the right pack for the job - Brian with the Gregory Z40 on the La Luz Trail|
I'll take the CamelBak for a test run on Tuesday, with a hike of the Crest and La Luz connectors to the tram and Crest House, including the brief jaunt to the CCC Cabin, a place for celebrating with a shout as if you're on top of the world. Two buddies will join me on the hike, one of whom I'll be introducing to the joy of hiking with that very outting. Fun will be had by all! And pics will follow.