Friday, October 10, 2014
The Mountains of Guanajuanto
I've always envied my friends who have horses here in San Miguel because they ride them out across the countryside and get the most wonderful views of the State of Guanajuanto. I'm not getting a horse but I thought that maybe the next best thing might be joining up with the group of hikers who hike on Sunday and sometimes mid-week. I've been a little hesitant because most of the time the description of the hike talks about a steep climb to the ridge of a mountain and then a walk along the ridge before circling back down to the starting point. This week, they announced a walk which didn't sound too steep and it described a beautiful view across a valley. So I did it.
I met up with the group at 8:00 AM and off we went. This particular walk was about two hours away in the eastern part of the State of Guanajuanto in a preserve called Joya Fria. The drive was beautiful because the rainy season has turned the countryside green. The further along we went the higher we were and the road became more curves and switchbacks until at last we turned off on secondary roads and finally a deeply rutted dirt road.
We parked the car, took our backpacks and started up the dirt road passing a few ranchitos along the way. Finally the dirt road ran out and we were walking across fields and up trails. There were some places where we crossed what I would call a narrow creek if I were in Texas. A time or two we could step across on stones but there was one where a small log had been thrown across the creek. Since I'm not very good at tight-rope walking, I hate crossing on small logs but I managed to get across it without falling about three feet into the rushing water. There were other interesting crossing too. Some places where you picked your way through the water covered dirt road and a slide under a barbed-wire fence.
It was all worth it because suddenly we were in a forest of stately tall pines and old oaks covered in lichen and ferns. We even saw some bromeliads as well. The path flowed around great rocks. As we walked along we could hear the rushing river to our right and sometimes we even caught a glimpse of it downhill between the trees. We kept stopping to identify the delicate wildflowers that were scattered along the path and to look at the mushrooms.
Finally we came to a rock ledge and sat down to look out over this beautiful view. The clouds were low but still the mountains seemed to go on and on and on. What a wonderful day. Definitely one that I will not forget.