Ode to the Sierra Madre Occidentals

54… Past, Present and Future come together effortlessly ….

Looking southwest towards Mt. Alamos and Cerra Cacharamba at sunset, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Surrounding wilderness serenades a moment of timeless quality. It is.

Somewhere in the mountain Indian’s timeless spell, framed by stately 18th century Spanish architecture, and peppered with modern electronic gadgetry is a small quiet town whose women are beautiful and men handsome. This Shangri-La, at the very end of paved road from the west, is Alamos Sonora, Mexico.

Looking east at the Sierra Madre, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photos by Anders Tomlinson.

The sun has risen from behind these forbiding ridges, the silence is deafening.

From here, looking east, one’s imagination is stirred by the forbidding, virtually impenetrable
Sierra Madre Occidentals. This is the legendary “Mother Range” protecting Mexico’s great central plateau. Behold ridge after volcanic ridge, separated by deep narrow canyons, marching on for a hundred miles, and climbing to ten thousand feet where giant hawks and eagles soar. The monumental silence is all powerful. Time is reduced to mere sand, worn off of towering rock faces and airborne on the wind. These endless ridges conjure up stark silhouettes of reclining warriors, upon whose barren stomachs humble life persists. Over the horizon, to the southwest, is the famous Copper Canyon region.

Plaza and Cathedral lit by sunrise, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Another brilliant sunrise in an endless parade of days turning to centuries.

The eye continues to sweep the horizon and returns, as it always does, to the cathedral’s classically proportioned three-tiered belfry announcing civilization on the half hour.
Past, present and future comes together, in a special way, as one walks down hand swept cobblestone streets listening to laughing children behind bougainvillea-crowned walls.
Here, is the eternal blue sky that is Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.

Anders note: I went back to one of the first posts to this website to see what a re-edit would produce. The result is seen above. I changed one word. And now, here are these words as read by Bruce Miles with motion control movement through selected 35 mm slides. Enjoy.

The conclusion to a Short History of Alamos, Sonora, Mexico embraces the Sierra Madre.
Here, Bishop Reyes’ Cathedral in the Plaza, a three-tiered belfry, shines gold in morning light. Here, looking east, one’s imagination is stirred by the forbidding beauty of the Sierra Madre Occidentals. Together, they shape the Alamos experience.

View from Above

Mt. Alamos is some 6,500 feet above sea level. It towers 5,000 feet above the town of Alamos. It is another world, wild parrots, dry tropical forest, granite and… Up and down is a day’s effort, it is well worth it. To reach the top it is recommended to start hiking early while it is still dark and cool.

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