Laguna Sanchez

I awoke this morning surrounded by dormant apple trees and crisp air. Opening the door I looked up to the mountains surrounding the fertile valley. Climbing up the ladder I stood up on the roof and sent a prayer to each direction of the wind for a soul recently separated from its body. Only the braying of a donkey disturbed this quiet morning.

View from the valley heading into Laguna Sanchez

I was honestly surprised that nobody wanted to know who we were, where we came from, or what we were doing sleeping in that orchard. A family stopped at the end of the road so I walked out to greet them. They were eyeing a dead tree to cut for firewood. They were friendly enough and made a bit of small talk. They reassured me that it was completely fine to camp out in the spot we had chosen.

From the orchard we drove back into the town, pulling over and/or backing up to let other trucks pass on the one lane road. A man riding a horse nimbly avoided us by stepping up the bank of the road. In front of the Abbarote (mini-market) an old lady with a brown wrinkled face invited us into her home when we asked where to find the vino de manzana. Oleana poured us samples of apricot and apple wine, and we bought a bottle of the apple for 70 pesos. A large basket filled with bags of freshly made empanadas stood on her kitchen table. Oleana asked me to bring used clothing when I return, especially sweaters. I had a couple of t-shirts I didn’t need in the truck, and traded her roasted pumpkin seeds for them. As we stood in the courtyard I noticed she had orange-red hair and green eyes. Oleana’s grandparents were born in town, as was she. She told us the fruit grown here is sold in the city. Her empanadas were still warm as we ate them in the truck. The whole wheat crust filled with apricot jam was entirely satisfying.



  1. Lois Christie said,

    February 2, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Hi John:

    Beautifully said! You must be in the Chihuahua mountains. I just signed on a group of apple growers who have formed a co-op and I am so looking forward to working with them. I hope you have a wonderful trip and I will look forward to your blog.

    Lois Christie
    The Organic Consulting Firm

  2. Yve said,

    February 2, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    So happy that you are exploring. I miss you too! I feel amazing just looking at the pictures, I can’t image being there. Glad you are though.

  3. Jaeheon said,

    February 2, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    That is a gorgeous valley!

  4. Gary vHobbs said,

    February 17, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Enjoyed your pictures and descriptions of your odyssey. I still am thinking of growing worms, just haven’t havent gotten arount to it. Being retired takes all of my time. My dream trip was to travel Alaska. We spent 3 months after retiring in a motor home. We took the inside passage on the ferry boat and stayed a day or two at each stop. Then toured and drove back to Florida. Enjoy your trip.

    Gary Hobbs

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