My US centric perspective left me surprised by the fact that, although Whitney may be the tallest mountain in the lower 48, Mexico owns a number of peaks that supersede 15,000 ft. One of those peaks is Toluca Volcano in the state of Mexico, which happened to be along our route to Mexico City. The mountain has good signage from highway 134, which for Mexico is rare. Heading south down highway 10 a dirt road will split off to the left leading to a toll. It was 40 pesos for our camioneta (van), 20 for autos. After the gate the road begins its long ascent up a winding road. The road to the trail head is 17 km long from highway 10 and can be a bit rough at times. That being said, we saw a number of vehicles with little clearance making their way up. When we reached the parking lot, the air was crisp and cool, snow was scattered on the ground and a heavy fog was moving briskly by, a far cry from the sandy beaches of the Pacific.
Deciding which places to visit and which to skip is one of the hardest things about traveling for an extended period of time. You will undoubtedly have less time than you plan for and you simply cannot see everything. While much of our trip is spontaneous, deciding one night where we hope to end up the next, we also have a mental list of “must-sees” along the way. For me, witnessing the Monarch butterfly migration in Mexico, one of the most impressive migrations in the animal kingdom, was on the top of this list.
Disclaimer: This post is to assist fellow travelers who wish to hike to the summit of Santa Cruz on the outskirts of Guanajuato. If you are not of this category this post will provide little entertainment.
Every morning spent in Guanajuato began as we watched the sun crest over Santa Cruz. Being the highest peak within the town’s vicinity we could only imagine the view one must have looking down on the valley floor.
Glimpsing the cables for the first time, my eyes filled with tears, an involuntary and unwelcome response to the daunting task ahead. We’re going to climb that? No way. No freaking way. I wasted no time verbalizing this opinion, stating that not only was I not going to climb the cables, but no one was.
We met Bob and Julie while camping in Yellowstone – they gave our car a jump early one morning. We chatted a bit and after telling them about our trip, they extended an invitation to stay at their place in Coeur d’Alene if we passed through on our way West.