Sunday, March 23, 2014


Deb and I were down in ABQ on business and opted for a longish run in the Sandias for Zane Grey training.
Our day began with dropping off some of Deb's artwork for the Masterworks show at the Expo, so We got a late start, but were sure even if we ran and hiked easy, we'd be back in plenty of time before they closed the park.

We started at the bottom of the Pino Trail in the Elena Gallegos Picnic Area and ran along a nice rolling foothills trail in around 60 degree temps. It was awesome! From there we made our way over to the Tram building and found the Tramway trail at the far end of the parking lot, which said would take us to the La Luz trail. Getting on this trail was another delight, rolling around just above the foothill homes, several times we got caught on some connecting trails where there were no signs and ended up down in the housing area, but climbed back up from where we came and found the trails again.
Soon we were on the La Luz trail and if I remember right, this took us close to 2 hours. We ended up about 1.75 miles up the La Luz from it's trailhead.

There were lots of hikers on La Luz....until we reached the 5 mile point, where the snow begins and it gets colder and windier. The snow was well packed down, but we still put on our Katoola Microspikes for added traction as the trail is maybe a foot wide and angled down to the left or right.

Once up near the top after the Albuquerque Road Runners sign, the trail was now on the sunny side and more mud that ice. We reached the Tram house on the summit at around 4:45 into the run and at this point were getting concerned as to if we were going to make it back down to the truck in time before we got locked into the park.

From the Tram house on the summit (10,640'), it was about 4 miles to the Pino Trail in off and on ankle to calf deep snow, which slowed us down quite a bit. I forget exactly what time we reached Pino, but ti was somewhere around 6:30PM, 4.9 miles up from the park, which closed at 7...not good. So we made the decision that I'd go ahead and run down as fast as I could in the hope that I'd get there in time before the Ranger left. I knew my fastest time running down this was 45 minutes, mostly due to being old and some icy spots when I did that. This time add more ice and snow and several blowdowns....but I tried.
About the top third or so I had to run in the microspikes due to the ice and snow, but I had pretty good traction and with that comes confidence in not slipping. Once i got down to where I thought there was no more, I took them off and blasted down as fast as I could. Again my time was around 45 minutes, arriving at the park around 7:15. The ranger was just cleaning up and getting ready to lock the park up, but he was a nice guy and waited for Deb to come down. She was only around 15 minutes behind me, arriving around 7:30.

Once down we both thought the same thing....FOOD! So we drove on over to the Range in Bernallilo. Now I will mention here that we've both been vegetarians for quite a while, maybe 1-1.5 years for me and maybe 3-4 for Deb. After ordering my La Cumbre Elevation IPA to sip on, I ordered a juicy green chili cheeseburger and Deb got some salmon ;-)

So that's out adventure....our day began leaving the house for ABQ at around 8:30am and we got home a little after 11PM...tired, we showered, I grabbed one of my home brews, a nice stout and sat down to watch some "Big Love" ;-)

Now it's Sunday morning and we're heading to Los Alamos for some errands and a gentle hike...

See you on the trails and roads!

PS: No images, etc because my internet here at the house is lame.


  1. Speaking of La Luz, I plan to try and sign up for their August race, may be we can meet there?

    1. Hi Olga....yes, let's keep in touch and maybe we can hook up at that time. I won't be entering any more races after Zane Grey because we don't know when our house is going to sell, so we'll be spending most of our weekends hiking in Colorado. We plan on doing Hardrock in a few days the weekend before the race.
      I assume you'll be staying at Bobby's house when you come up for La Luz? If not, you are welcome to come and stay with us...we're 1.5 hours north of ABQ.

  2. I'll let you know if I or Larry get in (it's a lottery). Probably Bobby's yes. We had ideas about Hardrocking as a fastpacking trip, but since we've been there so many times, we're looking forward Wonderland this year for an adventure trip. Here is to your house selling quickly and profitable, and hugs to Deb!

  3. Thanks, Olga....have fun on the Wonderland trail!