The stream trickled water over the natural limestone through the crevices to its bed. The lush green along the stream’s edge stood out in stark contrast to the brown New Mexico I have come to admire. I couldn’t help but think about life’s seasons. From a cold, harsh, and bleak winter melted a life-giving stream to which I could not help but discover innate beauty in.
I finally went hiking in New Mexico.
The weekend was spent climbing over rocks, gaining thousands of feet in elevation, and taking pictures of the beauty. There is something about leaving behind the city to explore nature. The air is different up there.
The first day gave me blisters and callouses on my hands as the giant rocks became nature’s obstacle course. As Robbie pointed out fossilized trees in the rocks’ sediments (nerd alert), my mouth hung agape seeing the giant boulders and tiny city in the distance. It wasn’t long before we found the wee stream which stopped me in my tracks.
There I sat on a boulder, hugging my knees and staring at the stream. The clouds raced each other overhead and the water cascading to form a miniature waterfall became an orchestra to my ears. Robbie continued to explore while my gaze was transfixed of the changing seasons and the beauty before me.
It was over far too soon and sitting in my SUV I turned to Robbie to ask a simple request. Can we go tomorrow?
True to form, from the first day hiking in years, the next day we jumped into what is classified as “difficult.” Pino Trail.
The trail itself gains elevation at steep increments, contains huge tree roots and rocks around every bend, but lends to the most extraordinary view.
Hikers are a different breed of explorers. Some will stop to smell the proverbial roses, but others breathe the thin air with a smile rarely seen as each limb outstretches in front to discover. Discover what? Themselves. Nature. The sound of silence and the sound of a breeze. Discover inner strength, natural beauty, and an internal dialog with yourself.
Our first water break led my gaze to the distant city. The city seemed so small in comparison to the Sandias we were hiking in. Up we went. Our heads grew higher than the treetops and we stumbled upon an Aspen grove tucked away in the mountains. Hours into our ascent, my calves started burning with aggression. We trekked higher and higher (calves burning more and more) until about 1 mile from the top, I hit a wall.
I filed down the mountain and my quads felt a new burn (calves were thrilled). It wasn’t soon before Robbie and I decided to (safely) jog down the mountain. The breeze that once made me cold whipped my hair behind me and around every bend was a new adventure. We leaped as gazelles over the mini-streams and our breath inhaled the crisp mountain air that only being in nature can provide.
Per usual, within less than an hour after such an adventure, I promptly passed out. The 10k hike made my muscles more than slightly fatigued and I’m pretty sure I hobbled the next few days after. Up next? La Luz. What is 10 miles one way up a mountain, right?