Onto the next journey.
I’m prepping for the next one, if all goes as planned which it never does I’ll be on my way back to El Barranca Del Cobre, Mexicos great Grand Canyon, the Copper Canyon. The first hurdle will be making it from SF to San Diego. No plane, bus or train. My goal is to hitchhike there, walk across the border, take a taxi to the bus terminal and catch the first bus out of Tijuana. In Los Mochis I’ll catch El Chepe, the last passenger choo choo in Mexico, East this time back to Creel thereby backtracking where I just came from in December. There I will camp out and wait for Rodrigo to make his monthly journey into Creel to sell handicrafts, chilis, laurel and even his hand made violins to the townsfolk. Time it right and I hang out in Creel no more than a couple days. Get it wrong and I may have to stay in Creel an entire month before any chance of catching Rodrigo. My goal is to make it to Munerachi before Samana Santa, one of the greatest Tarahumara religious holidays. Being that this group of Tarahumara were never conquered by the Spanish nor the jesuits they practice animism -the oldest known type of belief system in the world, Peyotism -the most widespread indigenous religion among Native Americans in Canada, the United States and Mexico. About half the Tarahumara were partially converted by the Jesuits thereby practicing a mixture of these including Catholicism. I say a mixture because, for example, the catholic cross is not the cross of Christ, it is the cross of a severed man in space. The invisible man with his arms wide open whose nails look at the four cardinal points (Tarahumara museum, Creel Mexico). Rodrigo invited me to return by May to spend three to four months with his family learning how he plants his crops, picks his medicine from the sides of the canyon, prepare food and how they live in general. An opportunity too fine to pass I’m heading back to take him up on his offer. I’ve been trying to figure out how to bring them power originally believing that I could figure out some type of solar/wind solution to power a lightbulb for four hours. They currently use candles. The system has to be rugged and dependable so as not to conk out after continuous use. Goal Zeros Yeti systems seemed perfect plus they have the ability to charge my cell phone which happens to be my camera, map, compass, altimeter and all around supreme survival tool with the added benefit that it makes phone calls as well, not that there’s phone reception within a twelve hour hike out of the canyon and that’s only if the power isn’t out in Batopilas like in December.The only problem being weight as I can carry no more than 15 pounds including my backpack, tent, sleeping bag and hammock due to my back injury and painful plantar fasciitis in both feet. I recently purchased a hand held solar power phone charger from an ad that appeared on my Facebook feed. It seemed perfect for charging my phone in remote areas. Fumbling with it recently I realized I had everything I’ve been looking for right in the palm of my hand. Boom, the light went off! This is perfect. It does everything I’ve been searching for plus it’s waterproof and has a built in light but would it hold up for four hours? Last night I fully charged it then charged my phone 90 percent and turned on the light, leaving it on while I timed it. Eight hours later the light was still on and I charged my phone 60 percent. Happy with it I’ve found my solution to bring power to my friends. Cost is a bit prohibitive considering they don’t really use money. Dependability is something I’ll just have to test while I’m there. I may take a few as gifts and for trading, after all not only will it bring them light for four hours a night, because it’s portable they can use it as a flashlight on the canyon trails. Due to the battery they will also have the ability to charge anything using a USB. I struggle with one thing though. Just because I can bring them power, should I? The Gods Must Be Crazy comes to mind. I feel like I’m on that plane tossing out the Coke bottle.
I have about a month and a half to figure it out as I’d like to head out by March to hopefully catch Rodrigo before Semana Santa in April.