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Hiking, The Focus – It’s Friday, and one of my favorite things to do is eat breakfast at Flying Star, a very popular Albuquerque restaurant. The chatter of happy people is reassuring……folks can still enjoy themselves despite the recession.

It’s partly a hope thing, I’m sure, with the weekend only hours away. A weekend that promises rest, recreation, church, and perhaps some growing and learning. As I walked past the newspaper repositories, I saw a large picture of a mountain on a local mag. That stopped me in my tracks, because I love to hike.

  • “Where’s that?” the guy in the ordering line next to me asked.
  • “It’s the La Luz trail” I responded with a smile
  • “You been up there?” he queried.
  • “Yep”, I stated flatly, but his eyes said he wanted to know more.
  • “I hiked down the trail once”, I continued, “but it’s almost 8 miles from the start at the top of Sandia Peak”.
  • “And?” he probed, as we moved a step forward in the line.
  • “We nearly didn’t make it, as one of our party lost her knees….it’s very steep hiking down the mountain”.
  • “Wow! What did you do?” he enquired.
  • “We rigged up a couple of yuccas she could hold onto, so she could walk stiff-legged which eased the pain……she was a gutsy lady and made it down under duress. It was pretty scary”.
  • “Wow!” he exclaimed again.
  • “You can read about it in a book I wrote”, and told him about Hiking Toward Heaven.
  • “Thanks. I’d like to. I want to go hiking in this area”, he concluded.

Munching my breakfast, I read the article and looked at the picture again. A breathtaking photo of a mountain that can be a monster. Memories flooded back of Meme’s terrifying knees, Michelle who came up with the idea of using the yuccas, and Kara the granddaughter princess who watched and learned about the realities of life, but also about hope.

The book is about six different hikes in and around New Mexico, and in every one of them we were immersed in drama. But we also came to embrace hope, and to recognize that this is another spiritual key to life.

–  The Gray Nomad

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