09 November 2015

Hiking the Sandia Foothills

Hiking the Sandia Foothills - Embudo* Trailhead

This morning, I took the plunge - I went on a group hike through the foothills of the Sandia mountains!

While the air was crisp, the sun was bright, and the hike was brisk, I think the best part was all the many memories it sparked of past hikes.  I realized that the last serious hike I went on was almost 2 years ago, and I first (officially) hiked over 40 years ago! I kept thinking of Sundays spent at Pinnacles, Muir Woods, and Big Basin, and days backpacking Lassen, Big Sur, and Whitney. And getting off the trail. Or meeting hometown neighbors on a craggy peak. Oh, those were the days!

Well, today I tried out a GPS tracking app (on my Android phone) called MyTrails. So far, I like it - it does what I want, and is not overly complicated. It tracks the route even when it's in sleep mode and in my pocket, and I can still take pictures without interference. My phone doesn't have altitude or temperature sensors, so it's limited in those areas - I take the elevation stats with a grain of salt.

One of the many ways this terrain is different than what I'm used to! Cactus, cactus, cactus...

And scrub

With some juniper trees (to which, it turns out, I am allergic)

Our hiking path** looped around this cone

And flowers bloom, even in mid-November!

Some interesting rock formations

* Embudo means funnel in Spanish. I don't know why it has this name...
The trailhead (parking lot only) is at the Eastern end of Indian School Road.

** I have *got* to find a map of trails by number! This trip followed 365A-365-400-401. I heard of an interesting sounding trail (through pines!), #140, the Pino Trail, from the Elena Gallegos space.

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