The first time I hiked the La Luz Trail was before cancer. After cancer, it became a yearly hike for me, a celebration of sorts, as a Survivor. One year I met a woman who was in her 70s, we sat and ate our lunch and she told me she hikes La Luz every Sunday from Spring until Fall.
“This is my church, this is where I feel closest to God,” she said. “Do you climb to the top every week??!” She patted my hand and said, “No, that’s not necessary, you just need to climb every week.” Amen to that.
September has always been my favorite month to hike La Luz - right after the summer heat and just before it gets too cold. There is nothing like a great hike to clear your mind, open your heart, and feed your soul. Every twist and turn gives me a glorious new view, and just when I think I can’t take another step, I reach the switchbacks and sit and eat the remainder of my fruit to prepare for the elevation climb.
A few years ago I twisted my ankle and fell hard on my left hip, it shifted my vertebrae a bit. When I went to hike La Luz that year I didn’t get past the 1-mile marker. I sat and cried and felt sorry for myself, feeling old, and then I remembered -- I was alive, a Survivor, what the heck was wrong with me?
Enchanted Sugar was barely a year old, so I took out my phone and started making notes of what I saw -- the tall blue spruce and pine trees, wild sage and rosemary, geraniums, and tall thorny roses. I went home and after several versions, created my La Luz candle, it is still one of my personal favorites.
I’ve always thought hiking was a lot like life. Twists and turns, pain and joy, and when everything seems overwhelming and impossible, you put one foot in front of the other, keep going, and remember . . . hey, I’m alive!
Feed your soul -- go hike the La Luz Trail.