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706 Summer Stories
Doing the Duty on
the La Luz

Sandia Mountains

Our first stop of the summer ('12) was to visit Amy's (my wife) brother (and family) in Albuquerque, NM. Standing tall to the northeast of the city were the Sandia Mountains beckoning us to hike. We couldn't resist.

Eight or so years ago on another visit, we hiked the La Luz trail for the first time. It was a great hike, but was very hot on the lower slopes. Learning from our previous experience we started from the trailhead at 0630. We hoped to climb the 7 miles to the summit in the coolness of the early morning. Then, on the descent, the lower part of the trail would be exposed to the sun, but t we would be traveling downhill.

After summiting and descending to the open desert-like terrain of the lower trail, we suddenly felt the heat. We were definitely doing better than our first trip, but it was still hot.

La Luz trail's lower slopes

A couple of miles from the trailhead we caught up to a couple of hikers with their dogs. The dogs were off their leashes, but were mostly behaving. The trail through the lower section makes switchbacks through the scrub brush as it descends. We passed the couple while they were resting in the shade and then a bit further down the trail they passed us.

As we caught them for the second time the woman had stopped with one of the dogs near a blind curve on the trail. Almost embarrassed the woman announced, "he's up ahead going on the trail, but, don't worry, I'll clean it up."

I paused, her mate she was hiking with, was not with her. My brains wheels were a spinning .... Immediately, I thought, she was talking about him! Why in the world would he be doing the duty on the trail!?! We definitely didn't want to go around the corner, if he was squatting on the trail ... but, maybe that was how they did it in New Mexico.

So I asked, "can we go on?" as I pointed down the trail.

She looked puzzled.

Then, I realized the other dog was not with her. She was talking about the other dog, not her hiking mate.

I confessed to what I was thinking and we all had a big laugh as we passed. When we caught up with the woman hiker's mate, a short distance further, we passed him with big smirks hanging on our faces.

We were happy that the hiking standards were the same in New Mexico as they are in Tennessee. If your dog does the duty, you pick up after him, but you leave your mate to pick up after themselves!

Happy La Luz trails


Trip report form earlier La Luz Trail


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