We made a relatively early start as we had a fair distance along MEX16 to go to the border with the USA and wanted to make some stops around Coyame as there had been reports of Ariocarpus fissuratus occurring here.
We passed yesterdays stops and at km 115 decided that it was time for a leg stretch some 30 km south west of Coyame, near Santa Leticia, not found on any map that we have, but signposted along the road (S1380). We found Agave lechuguilia, Dasylirion sp. (texanum or wheeleri?), Echinocactus horizonthalonius, Echinocereus dasyacanthus – including many plants in advanced bud, E. enneacanthus, Fouquieria splendens, Mammilaria pottsii, Opuntia sp. #1, Grusonia sp. (Previously referred to as ‘a small Opuntioid that looks like a Tephrocactus, but obviously is not’) and last but not least: Ariocarpus fissuratus! This was my first Ariocarpus found in habitat, as it was for Eunice and Alain. It was Cliff who had seen them in Texas, in flower, in October 2004, who spotted the first two of a total of six plants found. Not easy when they are not in flower!
At Coyame, we decided to take the loop road to San Pedro and Chuchillo Parado before rejoining MEX16. There was a battle here between some 1500 Mexicans, Rebels led by Pancho Villa against the Federales in 1911.
On this loop we stopped first at (S1381) for cacti and found Agave lechuguilia, Coryphantha sp., Echinocereus dasyacanthus, Escobaria sp. (E. tuberculosa?), Fouquieria splendens, Mammilaria pottsii, Opuntia sp. #1, Grusonia sp., Sclerocactus uncinatus ssp wrightii.
Farther along at S1382 we found Coryphantha sp., Cylindropuntia kleinei, Echinocactus horizonthalonius, E. enneacanthus, Escobaria sp. Fouquieria splendens, Mammilaria lasiacantha, Opuntia sp. #1 Opunita santa-rita, Grusonia sp. Sclerocactus uncinatus ssp wrightii, Yucca sp.
At S1383, a brief stop, mainly for scenery, we found Agave lechuguilia, Dasylirion sp., Echinocereus enneacanthus, Opuntia rufida (?) The smaller number of taxa found probably reflects the fact that we were almost ‘cactussed out’ for the day, so that only the obviously plants were photographed ‘for the record’.
S1384 was an entirely scenic stop, as we had reached the mirador where the Rio Conchos squeezes itself through the Sierra Peguis creating the scenic Canyon del Peguis. Shame that the visitors here had used the place as a rubbish tip and graffiti exercise yard. Despite the distractions we found Agave lechuguilia, Dasylirion sp., Echinocereus enneacanthus, Escobaria sp. (E. tuberculosa?), Fouquieria splendens, Opuntia rufida (?) and a Yucca sp.
Having grown accustomed to the tedium and time-consuming activity called ‘border crossing’ we arrived in Ojinaga where we spent Alain’s last Peso’s on Tequila and fuelled up the car before crossing the border without any incident or cues to arrive in Presidio. The exercise had taken no more than 10 minutes (the Europeans had to be ‘processed’ again by immigration.) and yet the clocks had moved on two hours due to crossing time zones. We stayed in probably the only hotel in town, the over priced for what it was Three Palms Inn.
The change in time zones is the cause for the delay in Diaries submission.