Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I discovered what happened to The Village People.

At least, I think I have.  In Creel.  But it appears four of them are now dressing as cowboys.

This sculpture group (constructed of discarded mechanical parts) is a grace note in an otherwise-dull railroad town.

As you know from yesterday’s post, we arrived in Creel in the afternoon.  And we were quick to discover that the town does not have much to offer the weary tourist.

The plaza has a rather plain new church and a slightly more ornate old church.  But both were locked tight.

The plaza does have a saving grace.  It hosts the quintet of car part musicians at the top of this post.  Other than that, Creel would look at home in almost any John Ford western.  With the exception of the well-paved and heavily-carred streets.

We stayed at the Best Western in town.  Do not be fooled by the brand name.  The complex is made up of a series of comfortable cabins -- all of them equipped with gas stoves.  "Charming" is a cliche.  These cabins are functional and homey.

And, as some readers of this blog warned me, the stoves were a blessing.  This part of Mexico can get chilly in the winter.

The low this morning was 18 degrees.  (In Fahrenheit, the preferred temperature measurement on these pages).  My sweater was put to good use.  I have to confess, though, the chill felt refreshing.  Even though I felt sorry for the Tarahumara women and children who stopped by to sell their wares.

After breakfast, we climbed aboard the bus to visit a Mennonite community.  The first stop was an outlet to buy the local cheese.  Even though the cheese is excellent for cooking, it is not to my taste as an eating cheese.

The second stop was more interesting: the Mennonite Community Museum.  The community has done a good job of recreating the agricultural and home life of the original Mennonite immigrants (who left Canada as conscientious objectors) during the First World War.

I have seen some of the implements in operation when I was young in southern Oregon.  But, by the time I showed up, most of them were antiques treasured by my great aunts.  And I am a sucker for machinery that bears a striking resemblance to living creatures.

The road between the Mennonite communities and Chihuahua is a combination of flat plain fringed by rolling hills.  Cattle.  Apples.  Baseball.  They are all there.

And the view was plain enough to allow the odd traveler to contemplate his place in this world.  One of the luxuries of travel when the scenery is not constantly clamoring for attention.

Being forced out of a routine not only opens our eyes to new places, but gives us an opportunity to think about who we are.  And I have been through several of those moments on this trip.

What I have concluded matters little. 

But I can tell you I will not be dunning cowboy gear to join the metal quintet of Creel. 


Don Cuevas said...

When in Creel, we always stayed at Casa Margarita's, (the down market, backpacker's lodging) in a small cabin.
The big attraction for me was meeting international travelers, practicing Spanish and helping out in the kitchen. We did take a couple of tours, but overall, I found the nearby attractions to be mostly underwhelming.Saludos,Don Cuevas 

Steve Cotton said...

Good to know there was not something I missed.

Tafreeburn said...

that last pic looks like western wa. and yes, that piece of machinery reminds me of, a grasshopper on steroids. it's just missing its wings.

glad you've been able to post while on your travels.

have a great weekend!

teresa in nagoya

have a great weekend.

John Calypso said...

Difficult to imagine 18 F as anything but too cold. But, alas for the intrepid traveler - OK. Stay warm amigo.

Steve Cotton said...

I have returned to a tropical 72 this evening.  And even it seems a bit chilly.  Go figure

Steve Cotton said...

I just hope I can keep up the pace in China.  Photographs may prove to be the problem.