Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.


Born to Run Visuals and Extenders

If you've been intrigued by the book, then you need to start with McDougall's site. That links to the photos of some of the people mentioned in the excerpts I've shared (like Jenn doing a handstand at the top of an 8,000 foot climb).

Really the book is about McDougall's experience and is full of interesting characters, but if you had to pick one main protagonist it would be Caballo Blanco ("The White Horse"). With some help from McDougall, he's gone from a hermit to a race organizer and lifestyle advocate. His website is full of links and information about the Tarahumara/Raramuri, Copper Canyon, running, and other stuff. Including this nine-minute video about the ongoing race that's created in McDougall's book:

If you watch the video you'll see a bit of footage of the Copper Canyon area, but mostly in the villages and on the valley floor. Most of the running they actually do is climbing and descending. On foot trails you won't see pictured very often, but you could scroll through these pages I found with a quick search for pictures taken from the roads: here and here and here.

From Wikipedia: The Copper Canyon (Spanish: Barranca del Cobre) is a group of canyons consisting of 6 distinct canyons in the Sierra Tarahumara in the southwestern part of the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. The overall canyon system is larger and portions are deeper than the Grand Canyon in the neighboring United States.

From the book: Getting down there took a cast-iron stomach and supreme faith in your fellow man, the man in question being the one driving the bus. The only way into Batopilas is a dirt road that corkscrews along the sheer face of a cliff, dropping seven thousand feet in less than ten miles. As the bus strained around hairpin turns, we hung on tight and looked far below at the wrecks of cars whose drivers had miscalculated by a few inches. Two years later, Caballo would make his own contribution to the steel cemetery when the pickup truck he was driving caught the lip of the cliff and tumbled over. Caballo managed to dive out just in time and watched as the truck exploded far below. Later, chunks of the scorched carcass were scavenged as good-luck charms.

A picture of that road taken from a helicopter:

In half an hour, we were supposed to start out for our rendezvous with the Tarahumara. Months earlier, Caballo had told them to meet us in a little glen of shade trees on the trail up Batopilas mountain. The plan was to push up and over the peak, then down the back side and across the river to the village of Urique. . . . Travelers on horseback give themselves three days for the thirty-five-mile journey from Batopilas to Urique; Caballo planned to do it in one.

The image links above include a motorcycle journey from Batopilas to Urique going around the mountains. The picture below includes the caption: On the other side of this mountain is Batopilas. My GPS says there's a road that goes to Batopilas from here, but it's really just a trail, and not traverseable on motorcycle. Don't bother. The good news is that a road is under contruction from here to Batopilas.

The images on McDougall's site include one of Barefoot Ted running up a rocky trail in the Barrancas. Ted is a well-known advocate of barefoot running and has his own site if you're curious. (The "Luna Sandals" he's making and selling are named after his experience with Manuel Luna from the book.) Although both McDougall and Ted both say Barefoot Ken Bob is really the master if you want to learn. Here's his How to Run essay for beginners. He actually says "transitional" footwear--like Vibram FiveFingers--handicap the barefoot learning process and you're much better off with nothing, but I'm going to be hiking in Colorado in a few weeks and got myself a pair anyway so I can begin breaking them in to use in the mountains a bit.


At 6/20/2010 9:41 PM, Blogger Hadrian said...

Whoa, weird shoes.


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