Through Mexico’s Copper Canyon With the Chihuahua Al Pacifico Railroad

November 21st, 2022 by admin Leave a reply »

The streets of Chihuahua appeared black, movement-devoid slabs as the van unimpededly slipped over then at 0530 to the train station, not a single automobile encountered during the brief journey from the Hotel San Francisco. Founded in 1709 by the Spaniards and taking the Indian word for “dry and sandy place” as its name, Chihuahua City, located on a 4,667-foot desert plain, is the capital of Chihuahua, Mexico’s largest state, with a 150,000-square-mile area. A cowboy city, it is characterized by the Franciscan Cathedral in its main square, Pancho Villa house, cowboy hat-clad citizens, and stores displaying endless rows of cowboy boots. The state itself, topographically distinguishable by brown, vegetation-less formations, is the leading producer of apples, walnuts, cotton, and jalapeno peppers, and is prevalent in lumber production and cattle ranching. An agrarian Mennonite community produces its own indigenous type of cheese.

Ahead, and beyond the fence, appeared the two locomotives and the four lighted passenger cars comprising the daily westbound Chihuahua Al Pacifico Railroad, operating as Train 74, cradled by one of three tracks as it was prepared for its still-nocturnal departure to the Copper Canyon and, ultimately, to its Pacific coast terminus, Los Mochis. I would only travel halfway today, to Posada Barrancas.

The tiny, twin wooden-bench terminal, sporting little more than two ticket windows-’tequillas” in Spanish-was almost equally devoid of life, save for the attendant behind the barred window and three other luggage-toting, still-sleeping travelers.

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