This Memorial Day weekend boatloads of city folk are out and about.
On a usual hike up the Embudo Canyon trail in the Sandia Mountains Alex the architect and I encounter only a few bipeds.
Today, two parking lots are full of cars and dogs scamper across the canyon with noses to the ground. From the second parking lot it is a mile hike up Heartbreak Hill past a city water reservoir to a rock dam built in the thirties by a rancher with thirsty livestock. At the dam there are cottonwoods and rock formations that peer down at you as if you were on trial at a Survivor Series tribal council. There is no council this morning but there are rock climbers testing themselves.
Two rope lines stretch from the trail, up the rock face, over the top of the spires. A man in yellow reveals in conversation that the lines are tied to pitons on top and are for safety. The climbers, young and old, climb the rock face freestyle, but remain tethered to the lines in case of slips or miscalculations. There are two adults and three kids on this outing. It is the first time I have seen climbers here and the cliffs, though appearing formidable, are nothing more than child’s play.
On the hike back down to the parking lot, it is cool, an untypical spring day.
I don’t take up their offer to climb.
When you get a few years under your belt you start to decline stuff you have no business declining.