We do sometimes miss having a dog with us, but we're still quite happy to enjoy other people's dogs for the time being.
We set off just after 11:00am. Ruth packed lunch, and a couple of bottles of water, and off we went.
Some would say that the people living here are poor!
Ruth and Spot, looking up at a very expensive hotel!
The trail leads fairly close to a couple of the houses of the Tarahumara Indians who live in the canyon. We saw one girl who was making a basket like the ones they sell to the tourists and we asked if we could look. We sat and had a little conversation with her. She was 14 years old, and she began learning how to make these baskets when she 8 years old. Now, with lots of practice, she can make a small basket in two hours.
She said it was okay to take her picture, but she wouldn't look at the camera! She was a bit shy.
How do you turn all of this...
...into something like this?! Amazing! Cost of this basket was 30 pesos ($2.40).
As with the Grand Canyon in the United States, less than 1% of people who view the canyon actually make the effort to go below the rim. We hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon back in 2006, and while it was spectacular I think the Copper Canyon is more interesting because of the Tarahumara Indians who still live in the canyon. Getting below the rim gives you some insight into their lifestyle. Even though they would be considered "poor" by most western standards, they don't seem poor to me. Simply a different culture, and they have been living this way for hundreds of years. Something like when we visited the Himba people in Namibia and learned that they consider themselves to be "the richest people in Africa"!
Ruth and Spot, hiking into the canyon.
Spot the dog!
Ruth, on the trail into the canyon.
An hour and a half into the hike, what do we come across but a little schoolhouse. In the middle of nowhere. There's obviously a story here, because it's fairly new but it's not in use. When we got back, we asked the guy we're staying with about this. He didn't seem to know for sure, but he said they use the schoolhouse on top of the hill. Personally, I think that somebody in the government had a grand plan thinking about how they would educate the Tarahumara, but they never asked the Tarahumara what they thought about this plan, and the school simply didn't have any (or enough) attendance. Like I said before, you can't change a culture with money.
Little white elephant schoolhouse.
The interior, taken through one of the broken windows.
We are headed down towards that little settlement.
Ruth, and Spot the dog.
A typical house in the canyon. Notice the solar panel! I expect this (along with a battery) is used to power lights in the evening. And maybe to recharge any electronics. Yes, there is a pretty good cell signal in this part of the canyon!
Kevin, with Spot the dog.
The pic above is as far as we went. You can hike right to the bottom of the canyon, but we've been told it's a four hour hike down and a six hour hike back up, so unless you're in spectacular shape you need to bring overnight equipment and food. Yes, we will do this next time we're here...and you can count on the fact that we'll be back to explore some more. It is simply gorgeous! Can't believe how few people do this. The only people we met on the entire hike were the Tarahumara Indians who live in the canyon.
Ruth, and Spot the dog, looking back at where we had been.
Today, we're driving back to Creel (55 kms) for one night, and then tomorrow we're heading a little further northwest (126 kms) to Basaseachic Falls National Park.