Run Free. Caballo Blanco, Part 2

If I were to be remembered for anything at all, I would want that to be that I am/was authentic. Run Free!  --Micah True

Here is a memorial to Caballo written by the author of Born to Run. (Christopher McDougall)

Finally, I am getting to Part 2! If you missed part one, here it is. 

Day Two: about 8 miles. We set out after breakfast at Mama Tita's. Our 'easy' day didn't feel easy because it was straight up a steep trail and oh, how my feet ached.*  Caballo told so many stories but I just can't pull them out of my dusty brain files. I wrote down a list of notes in my journal (things like: El Pelón, and Talise: robbed by a kid with a rock, and another: Presidente offering weed to caballo). My 28 year old mind was positive that I'd remember the references--ha!  Some worked, some didn't.

Afternoon downpours during the summer in the canyons brightened the already lush landscape and left rainbows spanning the skies. It began to rain as we climbed up toward Los Alisos, but it was nothing traumatic. In fact, I think it felt good--after all, it was August and the temperature was in the high 90s...HOT & humid.

Our destination, Los Alisos, is a homestead up the other side of the Urique Canyon. The land is owned by the same couple who owns El Paraiso, but another family caretakes the property. We slept on the floor of a small structure, I used my flat bed sheet because my sleeping bag had been stolen from my truck when I lived in Hermosillo. The weather was so warm, it didn't matter. I'd been camping like that for almost a year.  We were given generous hospitality from the kind family. Their home was humble yet immaculate, the dirt floors swept to perfection. 

Los Alisos. (I wish I had decent camera with me...or took more photos)
In the early morning,  mist  settled in the coffee grove and hovered magically over the cornfield. Vibrant crops and purple flowers were all around. We drank strong cowboy style café tostada (homegrown coffee beans roasted over a fire on a an old tractor disc that's pounded into a wok-like shape), ate something, and then set off for our toughest day:

Day 3: 25+ miles up, up, up and then down down down into the Batopilas Canyon. 
We were spread out on the trail as the sun beat down on the most exposed section of our ascent. Caballo led the way followed by Jay then Odin and me. You forgot O-dog was there, didn't you? . Caballo sang a tune, "Odin is a good dog...." Odin ran back and forth between me and Jay--keeping the pack together. 
A happy O-dog (before The Incident)
Caballo told stories about getting off trail and inadvertantly wandering onto marijuana crops and being faced with machine guns-- I can't remember if this happened to him or other people-- but the take-home message was that you must have a guide when hiking between Urique and Batopilas. 

As we descended into Batopilas canyon, we saw a man with a pack of goats and herding dog far below us. Odin took off.  The next thing we could see was the herd dog and my sweet dog Odin running together after a baby goat and then we heard screams echoing through the canyon. Yes. they killed a baby goat! The herding dog had turned on his own goats! We were too far away to get there quickly and by the time we descended, Odin found us, but there was no sign of the herder. I felt terrible! Embarassed. Horrified. Caballo felt awful too and said that we could find out who he was in Batopilas and pay him for the goat. Yes, we must find him.

To be continued (again)...**
Here is a bit of the endurance trail running advice that Caballo gave McDougall in Born to Run:
"Don’t fight the trail. Take what it gives you,” he began. “Lesson two – think easy, light, smooth and fast. You start with easy, because if that’s all you get, that’s not so bad. Then work on light. Make it effortless, like you don’t [care] how high the hill is or how far you’ve got to go.
“When you’ve practiced that so long that you forget you’re practicing, you work on making it smooooooth. You won’t have to worry about the last one – you get those three, and you’ll be fast.”

Next up:  We spend a few days in Batopilas, catch a ride up the scariest road ever in the back of a bread truck, and I contract the worst food poisoning EVER.

Until then...run free.

*Urique is the deepest canyon in North America, by the way.
**I'm being too wordy, I know...but I just want to get most of it down! And I can't seem to find a large enough block of time to write. All of the males in my house were sick with fevers this week and while I seem to have avoided the illness, I haven't exactly had much 'free' time. (I did manage to actually run this week, so it couldn't have been that bad..)

Top image credit. 

1 comment:

  1. Loving this, Colleen. Not too wordy for my taste at all. Can't wait for part 3 whenever you have a moment... and I completely relate: We had a fever-y house this w/e too. Time stops.


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