in rural Paris, Iowa, and Wordpress

Geography from a Pickup Truck Driver’s Point of View

I have given short shrift here to the expedition into the Sierra Gorda in the neighboring state of Querétaro that Michel and I undertook during three days in late July. I took this photograph just as we were getting into those mountains. It was a white knuckle ride in the passenger seat of the unhinged quebecois’s souped up Passat with the special suspension and wide, low profile tires of which he is so proud. The mountains became considerably more rugged as we proceeded deeper into them. I would characterize this as a photo of the foothills.

The Rocky Mountains in Colorado have a special character all their own. The mountains through which one passes as one approaches Asheville, North Carolina, from the west have their own character. However, it is difficult for an amateur to capture this in photographs. In my photographs once one has seen one mountain, one has seen them all. Actually being among ’em is altogether different, however.

The geography of Mexico is interesting for me, primarily because before I came here I envisioned the place as one big, flat desert. How wrong I was! I can characterize the geography generally this way. There is a large range of mountains extending from the north to the south parallel with the Gulf coast in the east, the Sierra Madre Oriental. The Sierra Gorda is a branch of this that extends a way into the interior. There is also a large range of mountains in the west extending from the north to the south parallel with the Pacific coast, the Sierra Madre Occidental. These two large ranges meet in the south and tie up in one big knot down in Guatemala.

In between those two large ranges, where I live, is a vast, high plateau on which Mexico City is also situated.  Semi-arid. Not technically desert because there is a rainy season. This high plateau is dotted with other little mountain ranges such as the Sierra Guanajuato through which I drive when taking the northern route to the state capital. When I drive to the beach on the Pacific Coast, just before I get to the coast, I drop down out of the Sierra Madre Occidental to sea level so fast that my ears pop as if I were descending in an airplane.

It has been said that in the heart of Mexico if you are not going up, then you are going down.

If you would like to see some additional photos taken in the Sierra Gorda, including those by Michel that are of a professional quality, you can click here and here and here and here. There is also my previous entry in the other blog.

2 Responses to “Geography from a Pickup Truck Driver’s Point of View”

  1. Eugene Knapik

    There are a couple questions that must be asked. I presume there are mountain streams in the mountains and I wonder if they hold trout? I have a life-long affection for trout streams. The other question is about the amount of rain in the mountains and I ask that really because I’m interested in the fungal growth in the forest. What I’m getting at is, are the woods good for tasty edible mushrooms?


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