Northeast Mexico - August 2006

This is a photo travelogue of a trip I made to Northeast Mexico during August of 2006.  I went with a Michael Price, Rob Bryson and a couple of Mexican graduate students named Ely and Ricardo.

I have deliberately xxx'ed out the names of some specific localities to discourage any collectors that might be perusing this site.  Don't bother counting the xxx's because the number doesn't signify anything. ;-)

Click on any of the photos to see a full-sized version of that photo.

Michael P. drove down from San Angelo late and we packed up my truck. We headed south towards the lower Rio Grande Valley. We spent the night in the valley in preparation for an early morning border crossing.

Monday, August 14
We got up early and hit the border. We crossed at the Pharr-Hidalgo bridge shortly after 7:00am, but found out that the Banjercito office at the Pharr bridge is closed until 8:00. Rather than wait, we opted to drive over to the Reynosa bridge and get our permisso. We finally got done around 7:30 without any problems, found a drive up Casa de Cambio and headed south towards Ciudad Victoria.
We stopped early on at a Pemex so I could get my obligatory "first beer" that is a tradition in any Mexico trip. Unfortunately, the only beer they had was Indio, but you do what you have to do!
We arrived at Ciudad Victoria around midday, bought some groceries, and stopped to eat at VIPS.  We tried to call Rob to let him know we were running a little behind, but were unable to reach him on his cell phone.
After lunch we headed through the foothills that wind southwest out of Cd. Victoria.  We stopped and photographed the thorn forest along the hillsides as we drove.
We eventually broke out of the hills and headed down to Juamave where we were to meet up with Rob and some Mexican students.
When we arrived in Juamave, we headed into town and tried to find the first Pemex (our agreed meeting place). We drove around the town a while and then finally stopped and asked a local gentleman where the town Pemex was. He said there wasn't one! DOH!
Now where were we supposed to meet up with Rob? We decided a town of this size MUST have a Pemex, so we drove around a bit then spotted one on the Periferico. When we pulled in we saw Rob and the two students waiting. They had arrived at 1100 even though our meeting time was 1300. We finally arrived at 1400 so it must have been an exciting 3 hours sitting at the Pemex waiting!
I fueled up, got a couple of drinks and we headed down towards our target of xxxxxx.  We followed Rob but Rob passed the turnoff and drove another 30 miles south before realizing his mistake.  I was watching my GPS and couldn't figure out what we were doing until Rob finally pulled over.  We turned back and found the turn off towards Miquihuana.
Finally we got off the paved road and headed up the dirt road towards our target, xxxxx.  We drove around a while, trying to find the road, then stopped at a couple of small villages and talked to the locals. One advantage to traveling with people who speak fluent Spanish is the ability to get directions when you get lost, even if they aren't traveling by car. This was not a luxury I was accustomed to!
All the way up the mountains we observed dozens of Sceloporus basking on the roadside. They appeared to be S. jarrovi type lizards, but we couldn't be sure.
Once we got up into the mountains, we drove through a marshy meadow where we saw frogs hopping across the road.  We stopped and picked up a few of the hundreds of Scaphiopus toadlets to photograph.
The two Mexican students took Rob's car and drove over towards a small pueblo to try and find some food and beer. Rob, Michael and I took my truck and drove over to a rocky hillside with a rock wall that had produced several interesting herps recently for some other herpers, including Crotalus pricei miquihuanus and some lizards.
There were lots of Sceloporus cf. jarrovi along the rock walls.
We hiked along the wall and flipped rocks in the pastures,
where Michael and Rob found several Barisia imbricata.
It started to get cool and dark so we headed back to a clearing to set up camp. Once we were set up, the two Mexican students and Rob went out flipping rocks and logs in the dark. We thought they were wasting their time,
but they soon returned with a Storeria hidalgoensis,
a couple of Plestiodon brevirostris,
and two of the very cool endemic salamander Pseudoeurycea galeana.
This species of salamander is found only in these mountains of northeast Mexico.
It got dark, so we made a campfire and sat around drinking the beer and talking bad about the other herpers we knew before retiring for the day.

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