Ready to depart Canyon Estates and make the long journey north. From L to R: Alex, Jonah, Alexia, Chuck, Brant
The 7th Annual Skywalk, as in year’s past, kicked off with an olive and cheese platter at the Parq Central Hotel rooftop lounge at 5pm on Friday, May 12. The next morning, the group reconvened at the Canyon Estates trailhead (6,600ft) at 6am in Tijeras to begin the initial climb up to South Peak (9,800ft) with the goal of reaching Placitas by evening– approximately 25 miles away.
Brant McGee on South Peak. At 18, Brant served as a combat medic with an infantry company in Vietnam. Upon returning to the States, Brant applied for and was awarded conscientious objector status, one of only a handful of recorded uncontested cases resulting in an honorable separation. In the background is the rocky western face of Sandia Crest, the halfway point to Placitas.
Chuck Hosking on South Peak. Chuck Hosking has been an anti-war activist and social justice activist all of his life. He rejects consumerism and materialism in favor of living his religious values and serving others. He disavows waste and provides for his meals by collecting by hand the foodstuffs discarded by institutions, supermarkets, bakeries, etc. He donates much of his earned income to those less fortunate than himself, and purposely earns below the taxable level of income in order to avoid contributing to war and military spending. A one-speed bicycle is his preferred and only form of transportation.
The weather was sunny and warm. Participants were soon in shorts and T-shirts. However, as the group descended from South Peak to continue their journey north along the Sandia Crest Trail, they came upon a patch of snow, the last reminder of winter on South Peak.
A break on the trail. From L to R: Brant McGee, Chuck Hosking, Jonah Drift Thompson
Jonah Drift Thompson, 17, ski patroller and aspiring wildland firefighter, looks back at South Peak
Alex ‘Tele’ Limkin, former Army captain, with trail running partner and patrol dog, AB
As the party descended into Placitas, they were met with sprawling expansive views to the east.
A brief rest on the last leg down to Tunnel Springs. Chuck Hosking and Brant McGee.
Tunnel Springs, Placitas
The group arrived in Tunnel Springs after approximately 13 hours on the trail. They retired to the Kaktus Brewery in Bernalillo for elk sausage pizza, frito pies and cold beverages; there were no leftovers.
The next Skywalk will be Saturday, May 12, 2018. To be added to the listserv for this event, please send an email with “SKYWALK” as subject to alimkin(at)hotmail.com.
Alex ‘Tele’ Limkin served under Colonel Ted Westhusing in Iraq. Since returning home, he has retrained as a medical first responder and works as a ski patroller in northern New Mexico.