November 29, 2006

Yecora and Cascada de Basaseachi

Two weekends ago, Brady and Natalie had a three-day weekend and headed due east to the Sierra Madre mountains. Our goal was to visit the town of Yecora. We had heard it was enchanting. We drove for about 4 hours up and up and up winding, narrow, pothole-filled roads surrounded by rugged mountains and beautiful cactus forests interrupted periodically by dry grasslands. After awhile, we wondered whether we would ever see pine trees.

Brady: I wonder when we're going to hit pine trees.
Natalie: I don't know. You'd think we'd be high enough.
Pause. Ocho the Love Van turns a corner.
Brady and Natalie: Pine trees!

Pine trees indeed. And lots of them. Ditto on burros, horses, bulls, cows, cowboys, cowgirls, Indians, loggers, ranchers, small towns, and rugged scenery. Yecora was very quaint -- a Mexican version of many of the high-mountain, logging/ranching small towns in the Rocky Mountain West.

We stayed in Yecora the first night at a cheap (and loud) motel, and ate an awesome dinner of "birria" soup (beef marinated in something yummy) and carne asada. We decided the next day that there was not a lot to do in Yecora, so we would continue east into Chihuahua. Aye, Chihuahua! Our destination: Cascada de Basaseachi. A waterfall of around 1,000 feet.
This is the second highest waterfall in Mexico and 28th in the world. After taking a short hike to the top of the waterfall, we decided to hike a bit further for another viewpoint, which was also nice. Brady also hiked down to the bottom of the waterfall, but Natalie did not, which is a long story so we won't go into it here. Let's just say we wish we had had the walkie-talkies with us, but we had left them in the van.



Next we drove to another viewpoint of the waterfall, from far away, which was amazing. You can barely see it in the distance in the picture here. Check out our flickr account for larger pictures.
Turns out this is at the edge of Copper Canyon, a huge 4-canyon system in Chihuahua, each canyon as big as the Grand Canyon. Specifically, the falls is in Candamena Canyon. We plan to visit the main part of Copper Canyon in December.
We camped overnight at Rancho Ecoturistico San Lorenzo, near a river. We had the campsite all to ourselves (picture below). It was quite cold, so no one else was silly enough to camp. But Ocho kept us warm. The dogs chased bulls. And we ate dinner at the restaurant at the ranch, and talked a lot with the owner, Fernando. Turns out Fernando has another ranch near Chuhuichupa, which is about three hours north and is where Brady's Mormon ancestors once settled, until they were run out of Mexico around the time of the Mexican revolution.


But there are still a lot of Mormons in the area of Chuhuichupa, and perhaps some of them are related. ? We wanted to venture north to Chuhuichupa, but had to be back at school the day after next and had a 10-hour drive to get back to Guaymas. Aye, Chihuahua! So we will save Chuhuichupa for another time. Chuhuichupa means something raunchy in Spanish, but in the local Indian dialect (Pima or Tarahumara Indians, we're not sure) it means 'running turkey' or 'turkey running away,' according to our host, Fernando. He said the scenery in Chuhuichupa is very similar to where we were. Yay, Chihuahua!

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