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Survival at Sierra Madre 2

“You’re back awfully early?” I questioned. Dr. Hock was my roommate at the Lima Hotel, Guachochi, Mexico. A group of us from Colorado had come down with Jack and Peg Emery on a medical mission sponsored by the Arvada Rotary Club. The doctor forewarned me he gets up early and takes his routine walk. I was surprised to see him back so early.

Jack had raised funds to bring a trash truck to Guachochi.

“It is too cold out there,” he explained. Dr. Hock is in excellent shape and an avid outdoor person from Evergreen, Colorado. He and some of the group we came with were planning to hike to the bottom of the Copper Canyon and back in one day…an ambitious goal for even the best of hikers. Being from the high country, if Dr. Hock terminated his walk due to the temperture, that means it was really cold. Later, I got up and went downstairs for breakfast.

The group met in our hotel restaurant for breakfast. Not being able to read or write Spanish, I found myself continually frustrated over my breakfast choices. Each day would be a different place and a different menu. With each restaurant I’d have to start over with guessing what I’d be eating for breakfast. The two previous mornings I ordered without knowing what I was getting. Then after being served, I spied what I wanted in my Mexican breakfast and it was on Diana’s plate. It was all there, fried eggs, refried beans, cheese and salsa over two steaming tortillas. I waited till we were leaving the table and asked her what she had. She didn’t quite remember what it was, but thought she could would figure it out the next morning.

Then we headed over to the community center. “Look at all the frost on the windows,” astounded as the words jumped out of my mouth. “I thought it would be warmer in Mexico,” wondered Diana. Diana had come to help provide eyeglasses to those coming to the Rotary Club’s clinic. “Remember, we’re at 8,000 feet and its January,” Jack reminded us. My inability to recognize how cold it gets in the mountains of Mexico would later result in a near fatal mistake.


  • Copyright 2014 by Kent Gunnufson