SaddleBrooke Hiking Club explores Mexico

We’re hiking up the mountain overlooking the Copper Canyons.

Lou Powers

On November 2, Phil McNamee arranged for 42 members and guests of the SaddleBrooke Hiking Club to travel 1300 miles round trip by tour bus to visit the majestic 25,000 sq. mile Copper Canyons Park area of Mexico. Stops along the way included Hermosillo with a stroll around the Plaza Zaragoza with its intricate gazebo and beautiful Cathedal de La Asunción. Then on to charming San Carlos which offered lovely water views, dynamic sunsets and a scenic cruise to view the animal life on the Sea of Cortez. A tour to the first cultured pearl farm in the Americas provided the ladies an opportunity to do some fine jewelry shopping.

Our next stop, in the foothills of the Sierra Madre, was the town of Alamos. Noted as being the best-preserved colonial town in northern Mexico, it was full of colorful arches, courtyards and old cobblestone streets. While enjoying margaritas in the courtyard of our hotel, we were serenaded by local musical entertainers that were lively and authentic.

Saying farewell to Sonora we continued on to the town of El Fuerte in the State of Sinaloa. We toured the historic fort built in 1610 which offered striking views of the river from its rooftop. We also toured the dramatic mural and arch filled city hall. Then in the twilight of our hotel courtyard we were treated to an authentic “deer dance” performance.

Next was the crown jewel of the trip, the Copper Canyons. The train ride passed through many tunnels and over many bridges in its ascent to our destination of Posada Barrancas Station and the Urique Canyon (one of five main canyons). Along the way we were greeted by the local indigenous Tarahumara women selling their beautiful handwoven baskets while colorfully dressed in bright jewel toned clothes. They are the second largest indigenous group in North America. Their homes are sprinkled throughout the canyon and finally more visible during our tram ride. The Tarahumara lead a primitive semi-nomadic life living as their ancestors did. They even have their own language that contains no words of profanity and they are famous for their long-distance running.

The canyon was only 15’ off our hotel room patio which created spectacular views to enjoy and photograph. A special adventure was hiking the canyon along trails overlooking the deep cliffs. There were some steep rocks to climb, and no guardrails, but the SaddleBrooke Hiking Club made it safe and sound!

Upon saying farewell to the canyon, we continued on to the State of Chihuahua where cattle and agricultural abound. We visited a Mennonite museum and then continued on to Casas Grandes…a city close to Mata Ortiz. We had the opportunity to purchase the beautiful pieces of pottery at the Paquime Archaeological Culture Center where we viewed ruins of the former adobe city. I’ll just add here that the museum had to stay open past closing time in order to wrap all the purchases from our group! Our farewell dinner included a demonstration of the firing of the pots which then were auctioned off to the members of our group. And, a generous group we were!

I’m sure I can speak for everyone in thanking Phil McNamee for finding this interesting all-inclusive adventure. Also, a big thanks to our favorite Mexico tour guide, Edel, who kept the margaritas flowing! The accommodations and food were great everywhere we went. Our second group of SaddleBrooke Hiking Club members left on Monday, November 19.

For news of possible future trips please contact Phil McNamee at mcnameephil@gmail.com.