Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Summer 2007 Car Trip - 38

Time to leave the interior and head for the Pacific coast! Today's drive was going to be a rough one. We were going to be heading for Mazatlan, taking Hwy 40 through the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains. It was only 188 miles (300 kilometers) from Durango to Mazatlan but it was to be a test of my stamina as a driver. And one without power steering to boot. I can tell you, by the time we reached the flat lands outside of Mazatlan, I thought I was going to have to put my wrists in splints. Twist with all my might to the left, then twist back again to the right. Shift up, shift down. It was a beautiful, panoramic drive but a grueling one also.

We pulled over here at one of the few places available for this and took a quick potty break. This was located on a cliff edge in one of the straighter sections of road.

What looks like smog in this picture is actually smoke.

The hills were afire all around us. Spontaneous combustion possibly? Sometimes we couldn't even see into these vallies. Once we had to creep cautiously forward through some really thick smoke. I had visions of running the fire in Tabasco. We did encounter flames occasionally along the side of the road, but nothing of that magnitude.

About half way through, almost everybody who drives this road stops at this point.

Why? Because this is the best advantage point to see the range of mountains that is known as the Devil's Spine.

Very impressive. I never did figure out if those brown lines are trails used by people, animals or what.

Remember I showed some of the road hazards of driving in Mexico. Well, here's another.

That horse was just plodding along, in the middle of the mountains. No settlements or farms anywhere around. Who knows why.

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