This weekend is one of our pilgramilage trips back to Albuquerque. We try and make it back at least once a year to visit Lori’s parents and to partake in local flavors. I always try and work in some outdoor fun while I’m here too.

On the east side of town are the Sandia Mountains and a favorite hiking trail is the La Luz that follows a very steep route from the foothills to the north crest. I have hiked this trail about a half dozen times now, but this was my first time outside of the summer months.

As it turns out, it was a great time to go. The weather was cool but not too cold (until after dark at the crest itself). The Aspen trees had turned and the parts of the trail through their area was littered with bright fall colors.

It had snowed about the week before and there was still a quarter inch of icy remnants on the upper portions of the trail and near the crest.

All of my marathon training was noticable in the hike, but not quite as much as I had hoped. As usual, once 9,000 feet was reached I was just plain tired. But, afterwards I was not nearly as worn out as on previous hikes.

Once at the top, I stopped by the High Finance restaurant that is next to the ski area and enjoyed a nice pint of Red Hook India Pale Ale and watched the sunset.