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Wagonmaster's wife driving a 43 ft RV on the train
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$2800 - 2 BR - 1150sf - 429 Euclid - Oak - Onsite Pkg Soon
Door To Enclosed/Secured Porch
Enter secured 2 BR Apt from porch Stairs go to landing
Landing to top floor
Kitchen 8 x 13
Kitchen 8 x 13
Enter 18 x 27 Dining/Living Room From Stair
Years ago a tenant made an area the size of the bright part of the carpet in the photo into a great fenced play area for their child to explore
Bath 11 x 9.5
3 x 3 Shower at Left
Tub Not Used - Save Water
Bedroom 1 - 11 x 18
BR 1 Closet 6.5 x 6.5
Bedroom 1 - 11 x 18 - 3 Windows
Bedroom 2 - 10 x 14 - 1 Large Window
Bedroom 2 Closet 4 x 6
Bedroom 2 - With Rug
Kathleen and Paul are owners and live on site. So you'll get quick response to your needs and access to your washer/dryer in the basement.
2/26/04 - Creel to Divisidero, Mexico
Today’s guest editor is not only an excellent journaler, but a near-professional photographer. The photos of the dancers in Chihuahua and today's photos were all taken by Pat. Before presenting Pat and Ann, and as an introduction to today's visit to the Tarahumara Indians, I submit the following. I don't recall where I read it, but I want to share it:
The Tarahumara Indians language is sweet and with abundance of words referring to customs and their environment, with polite words like: "I greet you, as the dove that warbles, I wish you health and happiness with your loved ones." And I wish the same thing back to them! Such beautiful people.
And now, to introduce Pat and Ann - they are from the Seattle area and have been full-time RVing for almost a year. Between them they have four children and six grandchildren: Evan in Covington WA; Beau and Pierce in Allen, TX; Emily in Littleton, CO; and Cale and Ben in Corpus Christi, TX.
Pat retired last year from Boeing and Ann retired from teaching. Future plans are traveling North America and spending time with the grandchildren.
It is a real pleasure to have Pat co-editor with me for today’s story:
We awoke to a cold winter morning. It is 23 degrees and a blanket of frost covers everything. The sun is just over the horizon. Looking to the east we see the main street of Creel, which is concrete, and the traffic is just starting to move. The sun is shining off the ice crystals making everything look like a fairyland. Steam is rising from the ground as the streams of light begin to warm everything they touch. Looking to the west the morning light is casting long shadows from our rigs across the little mud road between us and a row of dwellings.
Concrete is for main streets. People live on streets of mud or dust depending on the weather. Long fingers of light illuminate walls of bright white, turquoise blue, warm yellows and golds, shocking pick and lavender. Wisps of smoke rise from the chimneys and the smell of burning wood fills the air. Two spotted dogs lie in the morning sun warming themselves after a cold night and a pair of shaggy white horses make their way slowly down the street eating what little dry grass grows along the fences. A few blocks away to the east, a hill rises a couple hundred feet with large outcroppings of rock peering from the cover of pine trees.
Our RVs with their generators powering coffee pots and furnaces blowing warmth are in stark contrast to this way of life. As foreign as the picture before us is to our reality, we can’t help but see the beauty of this simple life.
Soon our locomotive arrives and shortly after 9:00AM we are moving again. As we pull out of the siding and into the countryside the temperature is 40 degrees but the sun coming through the window causes winter to slip from our minds. People appear from their houses or come running down paths to watch and wave as we pass. Mothers dressed in their bright colored skirts and shawls holding small children by the hand or on their backs stop their morning chores to greet us. Freshly plowed cornfields are nestled in the flat bottomland or on hillsides. Unlike Cuauhtemoc (quota-moc) and the Mennonite farms where the fields were 30 or 40 acres, these are small; an acre or two and may follow a streambed or the curve of a hill.
The train takes a slow wide 180-degree turn at the end of a valley and begins to climb into the trees. We pass through Madrone, Oak and Pine forest as we travel along the top of the Sierra Madres. The trip today is only 36 and a half miles but we climb to the highest point of the trip, 8071 feet, go through El Late (The Loop) and then drop to Divisadero at 7400 ft elevation. As the train descends, the track does a large loop and goes through a tunnel passing underneath itself. This is one of only three examples of this type of railway engineering in North America.
In Divisadero, Tarahumara Indian women in their colorful dress, selling their baskets, belts and necklaces, meet us. The town center is a marketplace full of vendors selling food, jewelry and other souvenirs. The plaza provides our first glimpse of the canyon. What words do you use to describe such immensity? What camera can capture in a single picture the sheer rock walls as they sit perched on the rolling green hills that billow to the bottom of the Barranca del Cobre? The Copper Canyon is larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon and as our guide explained is made up of a series of connected canyons, the deepest of which is Urique Canyon.
A tour bus takes us to the Escalera or Ladder where the Tarahumara Indians use a wooden ladder to climb the last twenty or so feet out of the canyon.
The Tarahumara still live in caves and adobe huts in the depths of the canyon. Looking down from the rim as your eyes followed trails along the hills hundreds of feet below you could see their homes sparsely scattered over the hills. Our guide explained that each dwelling is located next to a spring providing water to the family. Next we viewed balancing rock and then went on a walk down a rock path to a Tarahumara cave to see how they live. One family of 10 or so lived in a group of small single room adobe buildings measuring not much more than 8 ft x 10 ft built into the over hang of a 200 ft high rock wall. The water supply was seepage from the wall that was captured in a small cistern that then fed a pool used for washing clothes and bathing. We saw a young girl grinding corn into meal in a small room that also held a bed. Chickens and dogs shared the common areas and small children played among the rocks just feet from steep drop offs. The laundry was hung from rope stretched between tree limbs.
Once again we were struck by the start contrast of ways of life. Looking a few hundred feet back up the path we had just walked down was a beautiful hotel where we later had drinks and dined on chicken paprika as we enjoyed the breathtaking view as the sun set over Barranca del Cobre. I had written this before receiving Pat's journal, so here's two views of the day's experiences!
Shots from the train in the mountains from Creel to Divisidero
The rig ahead (with reflections)
We left Creel this morning and our train took us over terrain that was very reminiscent of Tahoe. Kathleen especially connected this with her Zephyr train ride of a couple of years ago. The big difference was the difference in the construction of the homes and settlements we passed.
We thought so much today about Kitty's adventures in South America, and our short experience with her in Chile on the train from Santiago to Porta Monte. Not a lot of difference! It did make us contemplate, however, some of the feelings Kitty must have experienced when she traveled on foot (or bus) solo through lands she had never envisioned nor heard about. What a brave and motivated young woman she was (and is.)
Soooo we awoke about 7:00 - Sharon (today's editor) came over at 8:00 to finish her editor job for yesterday - then we heard the announcement - leaving soon. Sharon hightailed it out of here only to find we had another 30 minutes or so.
That gave Paul and me time to go over some of the many pictures we've taken and to download them.
All too soon, it seemed, for our plans, we were slowly and smoothly rolling down the tracks toward today's destination - Divisadero.
We both felt as though we were back in California, traversing the Tahoe area. The only difference was the type of "homes" we passed. We saw many pitiful hovels, and other lovely farm-like areas with sturdier houses. A few places even had log cabins. One thing we knew, these people lived apart from most others and their homesteads were not the sturdiest (by our standards!)
We passed through tunnels 3 through 12 today - most short, but all high up in the mountains.
As we started out this morning, the first sight we saw was a burro, standing in a little pond, drinking water. It was just a peaceful and delightful promise of what the day would hold!
We passed through little villages, high in the mountains. Although when we passed land only, we imagined we were back in Tahoe. When we encountered the little hamlets along the way, we thought of Kitty and her experiences in S.A. Poor little areas, whose population stood alongside the railroad tracks to watch the train passed. Many waved as we rolled past. Some, simply stood and gazed at us - no smiles, no waving, just standing and watching.
We've crossed the Continental Divide 3 times now. The final crossing happened today and Larry told us that we were back on the west side of the divide, and we'd stay on the west side of the Continental Divide for the rest of our journey.
We came upon the highest elevation of our trip - 8,071 feet - and it was in an area that flattened out after much climbing. Before us was a wide plateau where we saw many homes (log cabins) and a long, long, long line of drying clothes and again, the beautiful people standing along the track, just watching.......
Laundry drying on a fence on a cold, cold day
As we continued on our train ride we could see the well built roadway next to us. When Larry and Diane were here (7 years ago) they could see the road construction, so they were surprised and delighted to see it had been completed.) The road and the railroad crossed and crisscrossed all the way to Divisadero.
At one point, our train made a loop. We crossed over the track that in a few minutes we would be under - thus the loop. We were high in the mountains, and it was pretty awesome.
Along the way today, we saw so many Madrone trees with their red barks and leaves - another reminder of Tahoe!
As I indicated, this ride today made me think so much of the Zephyr train ride I took from Chicago to Emeryville a couple of years ago. However, we had only ONE track today. That means that the railway was VERY narrow! We could have reached out and touched the sides of the canyons as we passed!
Once we reached the summit of 8071 feet, Larry told us to expect some "rock 'n rolling" as we came down the mountain. I did not feel that much rocking and rolling, but the folks near the end of the RVs said they did feel a lot of it!
The rig ahead of ours, the the wagon-master's rig, then a flatcar with a brakeman standing on it as we rolled along
Divisadero is a lovely little town, perched right on the edge of the Copper Canyon. As soon as we arrived, we hurried to the town plaza where a bus took us to the very edge of the canyon. (I hope our pictures turn out! It made us think of Yosemite - Glacier Point. It was alike, yet different, but thrilling and beautiful just the same. Paul, Herm Ter Horst & friends at the edge of one of the 5 canyons.
View of the canyons
Ladder the natives use to climb to the top of the canyon from their homes below
Our bus driver rocking on balancing rock
After three stops along the rim, some folks opted for a visit to a Tarahumara "home" (I suspect it was a bit different from the "cave homes" we saw yesterday.) Anyone else, who wished, could take a hot shower at a local hotel. I opted for the hot shower. It was SOOOOOOO GREAT! Lots of hot water, for as long as I wanted! (I did hurry a bit for the next person in line) - But it was a magical moment! We haven't been able to shower in 2 days, and this felt SOOOO good! The shower was in a guest room at a lovely hotel just outside the city of Divisadero - Barrells Pasada. It is new, but quaint with beautifully appointed rooms and wonderful showers!!! The bus eventually picked up the 6 of us who opted for the showers, and took us to the other hotel at which we all had reservations for dinner. We enjoyed a "happy hour" followed by a delicious dinner. This boy was fascinated by the music at the hotel where we ate dinner
The bus returned us to our RVs by 7:30 or 8:00 - which gave us time to get some messages downloaded and posted. This has been a magnificent day, and we really are having a great time. P.S. One of the "rules" of the caravan is to wear one's name tags at all times. Today I forgot mine, so the last person who also forgot to wear their name tags presented me with a rubber model of an RV - penance for the non-wearers. I happened to suggest that Paul might wear it, and I would wear HIS name tag. I told everyone that the Staff misspelled my name. It was supposed to be "Paulette" --- I don't think anyone bought my story, so tomorrow I'll have to find someone who is missing their name tag. I can then pass the "rubber RV" on to them! Kathleen hanging on to a tree at the edge of a canyon
This is what they really do to you if you forget to wear your name tag.....
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|Paul & Kathleen Smith | 173 Rainbow Dr #7329 | Livingston, TX 77399-1073 | (510) 386-8973|