I guess I was wrong and it turns out cellular phone cameras are not completely lame, and actually are capable of taking decent, albeit low-res, pics. My next phone, to be selected within a couple of months, will have a higher resolution camera on it.
Anyhow, I recently made a trip home to Albuquerque, and was able to make a hike with one of my friends, which we used to do at least once a year when I was younger. The name of the trail is La Luz, and it's not one of the easier hikes to be found in those mountains...we started at the Tramway parking lot which is at around 6400 feet of elevation.
As you can see from the image below, that area is still high desert.
The trail tops out at the crest of the mountain, where I took this shot:
That one came out so well, I think I'd have a print made of it had I taken it with a higher resolution camera.
Let me just give you a piece of advice...should you decide to attempt hiking at a high elevation when you live at sea level, be prepared to be embarrassed, especially if you're hiking with a friend who lives at a mile elevation and goes jogging regularly. I did make the hike up with no major issues, my new walking shoes performing admirably. The hike took about as long as I had figured, I just was more winded during it than I had figured. So, perhaps it is time for a gym membership here. Still, the hike went pretty decently, considering. But the climb from 8000 to 10000 feet was definitely rough.
One advantage of choosing to hike to the top of the Tramway was that there is a brewpub at the top of it, and we didn't have to hike down, instead purchasing one-way tickets and riding down. We used to hike up and back down, but this is a more fun way to end it. All in all, total hike length was about 9.2 miles and 4000 vertical feet.
In other news, I've been attempting to get my car (which used to be my Dad's car) in decent shape. I had an oil change and other minor maintenance work done recently...there are just a couple other minor items to take care of. I also had it detailed inside and out, which was kind of a splurge, but it does look nice. This pic was also taken with my phone camera:
I realize this car isn't new, but you have to admit that for 11 years old, it looks pretty darn good. Of course, being garaged in an arid climate for the first 10 years of its life and only having 60,000 total miles on it helps things. Would be nice to have a CD player, but I can make do with a portable one plugged into the cassette player for now. Other than not having CD capability, the sound system is of very good quality.
It's getting hot and humid here. Yesterday, I went to pick up a take-out order and the gal behind the counter handed me a drink cup also. I told her I didn't order a drink, and she said, "I know, but you need it. You're SWEATIN." Let's hear it for Southern hospitality! Fortunately, my car's AC and my apartment's AC are both in good shape.
I'm planning on moving to a new place late next month...not a new house or anything, just a different apartment. I definitely picked a great time of year to move! Oh well. My current apartment is scheduled to be torn down within a few years and I was kind of sick of it, although I do like the location. I found a place I like better a few miles away that's cheaper. Well, moving is a good workout, I suppose.
Right after I move, I'm going on a quick mini-vacation to California. The vacation was already planned when I decided to move. This isn't the greatest timing, but I had been waiting a long time for a suitable apartment to open up in the complex I'm moving to...I think things will work out okay, but I'm sure the new place will still be a mess when I leave. I am looking forward to the vacation. I enjoy visiting my Mom in Albuquerque, but it will be good to use my flight benefits to go somewhere else and just relax!