Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer 2007 Car Trip - 46

At last, safely aboard the train and on our way to Creel. Some ten hours ahead of us through some of the most majestic mountains, gorges and streams to be found anywhere. I had ridden plenty of trains in Europe, but never one in the mountains before. This was going to be some trip!

We were fortunate enough to have a map of the track posted at the front of our car. The route is in red on the map below. We started at the bottom, near the coast, and were going to get off at Creel. You can see it on the map, just a little ways past that loopy curlycue thing.

On the map, by where it looks like is says "NORA", you can see a big S like curve. At that point we actually had to circle around a piece of the mountain. It was just too big, I guess, to rip a tunnel through it. And that curlycue thingy! I puzzled about that until we actually got to it. What the track is doing is actually wrapping around the mountain as it climbs from bottom to top. It was one long curve, let me tell you!

The start of the trip out of Los Mochis was slow. I think I could have gotten out and walked faster. We traveled 16 miles in 2.5 hours! We went past a long area of, what shall I call them, shacks? Deplorable housing conditions next to the tracks. I have seldom seen poverty that severe and that close up. I did not take any pictures. I felt like an interloper, or worse, just for staring at the people going about their early morning business.

The terrain started out flat and we gradually began to see mesas and hills in the distance. I was tingling with excitement at the adventure ahead. I love trains!

There are no safety regulations on the train. At least none that are enforced. We were allowed to stand between the cars, hang out the windows and lean off the side. Whatever we wanted to do. It made things great for photo jounalism!

As we entered the lowlands, we passed by this gorgeous lake. Reflecting the surrounding hills like some kind of aqua mirror.

Did I say passed by? We actually traversed a long bridge that spanned one end of the lake. It was a big lake.

And then the foothills started.

Then the foothills fell away as we climbed our way ever higher. What you are seeing in the below picture is our first glimpse into the Copper Canyon. It is actually a series of seven canyons that come together at various points and intersect all over the place. Very easy to loose your way inside them. And these canyons are deeper than the Grand Canyon. Hard to imagine. The big difference is that there is no Colorado River running through them to help you actually pick out the bottom.

The picture above was taken at our only stop on the journey at Diversado. This is about seven hours after we left Los Mochis. And it was here that we got our first glimpse of the Talahumara Indians that populate this region.

There were makeshift kitchens set up and food was served to those daring enough to purchase it. I was not one of them. I'm not usually a quesy eater but none of it looked good to me. In fact, I doubt that I could have eaten anything at all. My insides were all jittery and felt like slush from all the jostling on the train.

Another view taken leaning out of the train. Shows the river gorge, mostly dry this time of the year and looking back at the cars behind us.

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