|Chaos in the Guadalajara Airport|
|Downtown Los Mochis|
|Sinaloa Farmland Outside Los Mochis|
|Driving to El Fuerte|
|La Posada del Hidalgo in El Fuerte|
|Our Room in El Fuerte|
|Zoro Statue at Posada del Hidalgo|
|Church in El Fuerte|
name of Diego de la Vega was born in one of the homes which comprise Posada del Hidalgo and they capitalized on this fact to claim that the hotel was the birthplace of Zorro. Every night, they put on a short musical show featuring Zorro and his pretty female companion. “Zorro” sang and they both danced while musicians played Norteno music. It was cute and would have been enjoyable had a group of rude smokers not colonized the table where I was sitting with another non-smoking member of our tour. I was forced to get up and leave.
|Plaza in El Fuerte|
|Fake Fort in El Fuerte|
Once again, we had an early start the next day, so I retired early, but stayed up writing until 10:30 because there was much to chronicle.
|Chepe Train Station at El Fuerte|
|The Inside of the Train|
|Map of the Chepe Railway|
When the government privatized the railroads in Mexico, they did so with the stipulation that the purchaser would continue to operate the Chepe train to provide public transport to the Sierra Madre. If you have ever dreamt of taking the train trip through Copper Canyon, you should do it soon because there is a highway being built to link Chihuahua with Los Mochis and, when it is completed, the railroad wants to cancel regular service and run only high end tourist trains at many times the current price.
|Reservoir on the El Fuerte River|
|The El Fuerte River|
|The Country Above El Fuerte Canyon|
|The Vineyard at La Mision Hotel|
|Our Room at La Mision|
|Classrooms at the Tarahumara Girls' School|
|Tarahumara Girls' School Playground|
We walked over to the girls’ school where one hundred primary school Tarahumara girls from
all over the Sierra Madre stayed from Sunday evening through Friday, except for the ones who lived too far away and stayed there continuously. Many of these small girls walked four or five hours by themselves to get to the school. The Tarahumara people grant their children a great deal of autonomy. All of those girls were there by choice. The nuns might try to convince them to stay if they wanted to leave, but would not try to stop them.
|Girls Getting Ready for Mass|
Pancho showed us around the school and we saw the laundry, dining room, kitchen, and dormitories. One of the employees was preparing dinner, making thick flour tortillas on a huge cast iron stove. One large tortilla was the entire dinner for each girl, which didn’t seem very nutritious. They were all very tiny and none of them were overweight. The dormitories were so full of beds that there was no room to walk except down the center aisle. Each room held twenty girls, but they had colorful bedspreads and curtains and didn’t look institutional.
|Tarahumara Girls Walking to Church|
|Flowers on the Dining Room Ceiling|
|View from the Spring|
|Van Stopped at the Spring|
|Shelter for Vendors at the Viewpoint|
|Cerro del Gallego Viewpoint|
|Tarahumara Basket Sellers|
|Burro on the Way to Barrancas|
|The Barrancas Mirador Hotel|
|Rear View of the Mirador Hotel|
|Spring Near Tarahumara Homes|
|The High Point of Our Hike|
Still, I stayed in the bar after dinner with Pancho, Dan, and a few others and nursed that beer until they closed the bar at 9:00 and we all went up to our rooms. I was tired and didn’t last long before falling asleep.
|Sunrise Over Copper Canyon|
|The Gondola at Barrancas|
|The Zip Rider|
We met at 9:30 to go to the local adventure park, which offered zip lining and a gondola ride. I planned to go zip lining, but a large group had arrived before us and they were out of equipment. I would have had to have waited until 12:30 and missed lunch in order to go zip lining. I didn’t want to spend 600 pesos to wait around in the hot sun for hours and spend all day at the adventure park, so I changed my mind and went with the others on the gondola ride.
|View From the Far Side of the Gondola|
|Looking the Other Direction|
|My Tarahumara Basket|
|Tarahumara Woman & Child|
|Sunset Reflected on the Clouds Over Copper Canyon|
|View From Divisidero|
We left by bus about 8:30 and drove to Divisidero where three of the canyons come together. I had been trying for days to locate a map of the area, but never succeeded. After searching the internet for maps, I came to the conclusion that the area was so complicated that maps were more confusing than clarifying. As near as I could tell, Divisidero was at the confluence of the Urique, Cobre (Copper), and Batopilas Canyons, but the “Copper Canyon” area consisted of six major canyons and they all looked somewhat alike.
|The Overlook at Divisidero|
There was another developed overlook at Divisidero and a bit of a town. Tarahumara vendors were selling baskets and handicrafts and some of the tour members took advantage of the opportunity to make some last purchases. I took photographs.
|Homes in Creel|
|Apple Orchard in Chihuahua|
|Mennonite Home Where We Ate Lunch|
|The Pancho Villa Museum|
|Car in Which Pancho Villa Was Killed|
|Central Plaza in Chihuahua|
|Cathedral in Chihuahua|
|The Federal Palace|
|Mural of Miguel Hidalgo in the Federal Palace|
|Lincoln, Juarez, & Bolivar - the Peacemakers|
|Me in Chihuahua|
|Pedestrian Street in Chihuahua|
|Chihuahua After Dark|
March 22, 2017
|Our Guide, Pancho Renteria|