Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hike with Darren to the "Eye of the Sandias"

I've been telling my therapist (in the employee assistance program at work) for several weeks that I would start taking short hikes on Sunday afternoons, after church, just to be able to do something "healing" for myself every week.  (We'd discussed at length what I could do as a "restorative" measure, and hiking was about the only thing I could do regularly that wouldn't cost a lot of money.)  Unfortunately, I've found that it's much easier to stay on the couch than to get off it, particularly on Sundays -- and especially with the fatigue that my chronic dizziness causes -- so the psychologist, the internist, and the sleep tech had to gang up on me last week to shame me into going hiking, finally.  I'd picked out the first hike I wanted to do, which was to hike up to the "Eye of the Sandias," a "quirky landmark" mentioned in Mike Coltrin's Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide.  My brother-in-law Mike and I tried to find the "Eye" sometime back, but we got lost and finally turned around.  (We also weren't prepared for the difficulty of the hike -- the route is only two miles one-way, but it's very steep and loose in places.)  Anyway, Darren and I went and did the hike today (it's a good thing Darren went, as I would have become lost again otherwise); I had to stop a lot to catch my breath, but, really, I did surprisingly well, all things considered.  So well, in fact, that I think I can manage the next "killer" hike I'd like to do, which is to hike up the South Crest Trail to South Sandia Peak and then back down the "CCC" Route. The attached photos show me and Darren with the "Eye," which supposedly is a comment, first painted in the 1960s (and touched-up in 2002), on the encroachment of society on the Sandia Mountains.  (The Zia symbol in the "pupil" suggests a Native American origin or influence.)

[Update 10/24/11: I hiked up to the "Eye" again yesterday afternoon, this time by myself.  It was much easier to find the second time, although I'd already forgotten how long the hike was.]
Me and the "Eye"
View of I-40 from the "Eye"