Guanajuato and Querétaro

Guanajuato and Querétaro

GUANAJUATO and QUERÉTARO, Mexico -- We were literally just passing through these two states in central Mexico. We had little time and we were in a rush to get to Mexico City to obtain the permits we needed so we could get back out in the field and do biology. I snapped the photograph of the volcano, probably from the window of the university van as we passed by. I made no mention of the volcano below in my field notebook, so have no idea where the photo was taken. I know it was somewhere between the state of San Luis Potosí and Mexico City, but am only guessing that it was in Guanajuato or Querétaro.


From my field notebook

Tuesday, May 20, 1980

Mexico: Guanajuato: We entered the state of Guanajuato at 16,132.9 mi. a[t] 0835 hrs [CDT]. We're above 6,000 ft. now. (Approx. 6,300 ft.) At 16,180.1 mi., we're approx. 6,400 ft. high. At 16,181.5 mi., we're about 6,500 ft. high. We passed a roadblock at 16,183.1 mi. Those dudes had guns. They let us through, and we didn't hang around to find out what was going on. At 16,186.1 mi. we reached 6,600 ft.

Mexico: Guanajuato-Querétaro state line: We crossed the state line at 16,189.3 mi. at 1000 hrs. We reached Querétaro at 1035 hrs. At 16,248.8 mi. we reached 6,600 ft. The skies are partly cloudy and hazy. THere is some wind. At 16,252.l7 mi we hit the toll booth and 6,700 ft. The temp is warm. At 16,254.2 mi., we passed into the state of México.


The roadblock was especially disturbing. It was set up near a junction of Mexican Highway 57 -- the road we were traveling on -- and another road in a very remote area near mountains. It looked like an excellent place for an ambush. None of the cars that I noticed were marked. None of the men seemed to be wearing uniforms, nor were any badges apparent. They had a hell of an arsenal ranging from handguns to shotguns, and rifles -- including some assault rifles, I believe.

As we approached the roadblock we frantically searched for our tourist cards, in case this was some kind of undercover police stop. Hardy was driving. He slowed down as we approached the stop, and stayed just below the speed limit after they waved us through, but as soon as he passed a ridge where we were out of their view, he hauled our arses away from there.

Now I am curious about what (or whom) they were waiting for, but none of use were the least bit curious at the time until we were well down the road and out of danger.

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