Heading out of Los Alamos on Saturday morning. Snow on the ground, 40F -- looking forward to the subtropics!
First night in Cuauhtemoc. Yep, 14 people and 14 bags do indeed fit in the van.
First view of the canyons from El Divisadaro - pretty impressive.
If you squint it does look just like the Grand Canyon. Complete with mules. Without the Texan Tourists.
The road gets a bit more exciting south of El Divisadero.
Paraiso del Oso, Cerocahui -- Diego's place. We spent Monday and Tuesday night here. 6000 ft elevation.
Cerocahui has everything a traveler might need - including gasolina.
We followed the stations of the cross procession in Cerocahui before visiting the boarding school.
Curious girls peek around the Sister during the procession.
Kai mixing it up with his "buds" in Cerocahui.
Diego and the kids at the school in Cerocahui.
The girls were pretty good jump-ropers. Even in sandals.
Bubbles were a hit. Thanks to Diego for the tips on what to bring.
Jumping rope and blowing bubbles at the Tarahumara girls boarding school.
Kai jumps in - puedo jugar? - learns a new game.
Kai gets recruited for entertainment.
On Wednesday morning a group hiked from Paraiso del Oso down to Urique - 18 miles, 5000 feet of descent.
One room schoolhouse halfway down the canyon road - kick the soccer ball too hard here and its a goner!
The van caught up with us just before Urique. This was the last time I was ahead of Nick.
Urique at last! A nice quiet colorful town (before race day).
Even the dirt is swept in preparation for the big day. (Actually, people sweep the streets, the sidewalks, the parks, the dirt, every morning.)
Colorful is a good way to describe the buildings of Urique.
Lunch tourist - style.
We stayed at the Hotel Estrella del Rio -- where else?
Basking in the sun.
Reading, of course!
The small scorpions are the most poisonous. We found this one in our bed the first night. Amaya wasn't very happy.
The Tarahumara arrive out of the hills .... note the whitewashed wall in background where the mural will be painted.
Runners arrive - traveling light.
Friday morning the mural begins under close supervision of the "Race Staff" - Herman (on bike) kept telling us "voy a correr tambien" - "I'm running, too". Didn't see him race day.
Good progress by Friday afternoon.
All done by Saturday.
I'm pumped to "conquer the new course". The Guachochi Tarahumara noted the smack-talking gringo and took 7 of the top 10 places.
The full mural. Pretty cool.
Why settle for just 5 Costales of corn?
Paving the "airstrip" by hand - a plane landed here later in the day. I think they moved the mixers out of the way. The chickens ran in both directions.
Kai finds some locals to play ball with.
Amaya was glad she brought her jumprope.
Coffee beans abound, but getting a good cup of coffee in Urique remained elusive.
The pre-race face-off.
That's us: the Extranjeros "Foreigners"
A bit of music in the pre-dawn before the race.
Pre-race psyching with Todd Holmes - 11 time Leadville finisher.
Runners and their gear and racewear at the start.
Raramuri in front, gringos in back.
Waiting for runners to come in from the first loop.
First runners arrive. Note shoes.
Tim knows how to make the locals work for it.
Heading out for the second loop.
Heading out for the second loop - Even the local dogs waited for the third pass to get excited.
Super-tough Batapilas Tarahumara woman - I finally caught her at mile 30. I kept a close eye on the stick.
Last year's female winner heading out for the third loop - note she's wearing, gasp, shoes.
Lunch on the plaza - corn, mayo, cheese, chile, ?
Nick Coury defended the gringo honor by finishing in 6th place, 7:29. Fantastic effort.
A bit of race debriefing with with Nick and Jamil.
Post-race pinole -- fuel of the locals. I didn't trust it until after the race. Kai thinks it tastes fine. Basically finely ground roasted corn meal and water. Yum.
Kai and Amaya sampling the perfect recovery food - Mangoeade: frozen mango with lime juice and chile. Much better than the pinole.
Henry is definitely a future Hardrocker.
Post-race everyone, especially Caballo Blanco, is all smiles.
Some discussion about the benefits of elevating the feet and the best use of shoes and waterbottles.
7pm, mile 40 and Kez readys himself for the final ten miles. Tough.
We needed Diego's help to track down the certificates and medals in the morning.
What to do with 5 bags (500 pounds) of corn ??
The Plaza Restaurant is THE place to gather and eat.
Saying goodbye to Mama Tita in Urique.
We wanted to give our corn to Theresa and happily crossed paths with her at the top of the canyon.
Deborah joins us in the traveling sardine can -- room for 16!
A final view of Urique on the road out of the canyon.
The local runners were packed even tighter for their ride back home.
An early morning start out of Cuauhtemoc - Ah, a last DoubleShot found in the pack!
The miles pass quickly and quietly in the sardine can.
Kai and Amaya "hit the Hut" in Cuauhtemoc.
This capela was along the highway between Chihuahua City and Juarez - a place for travelers to leave prayers.
People leave icons and offerings to make prayers of petition or gratitude.
And more specific requests ...
Amaya is psyched about getting her exit visa stamped.
We always wondered what happened to old tires other than becoming huaraches (Tarahumara sandals).
The final border crossing.
Unloading the gear. Where is that damn bag?
Sunset heading north out of El Paso
The Firewater Lodge in T or C made a nice transition back to the States. Good soaking.