Sierra de la Laguna, Part 2

Sierra de la Laguna, Part 2: When I got to camp, it was nearly empty, and I realized that my dad and the guide were not there yet. After an hour or so, they arrived. At this point, I was starving, and was super excited to cook my freeze-dried pasta primavera, but sadly realized that the fire would be occupied by the camp guides for the next three hours. This was disheartening, to say the least. That evening, I did finally get to indulge in my pasta, though I realized I had been majorly over-excited about it, since it really wasn’t that great.

Early the next morning, my friends and I left early. Our guide said we could go, but cautioned us not to explore the valley, as it was huge and we could get lost. We made good time. The first part of the hike was extremely steep, but it soon leveled out and we hiked among beautiful high-elevation pine forests full of small Black-Tailed Brush Lizards. Around midday, we arrived at the valley, a sizable meadow with meandering streams criss-crossing it. I could tell immediately that I would love it there. 

The valley was surrounded by tall trees and rock piles, and these rocks continued onto the edge of the valley, which seemed not quite as large as I had expected. I walked around the edge for a while, flipping rocks, and then, under a large rock, I found my first-ever San Lucan Alligator Lizard, which would prove to be the first of many up in the valley. They are fascinating lizards that sometimes move in a snake-like way, wiggling through the grass, with very long tails. They live primarily up in the mountains of Baja. After that first one, my friends and I found probably 10 more.

I then reached the opposite side of the valley, where a narrow strip of meadow connected us to a HUGE meadow. We had merely experienced the pinky toe of the valley, and this Blew My Mind! I headed out into this new meadow, saw a very good flat, large rock, flipped it, then saw another one, flipped it, and so on. After about half an hour of this, I turned around and started heading back. After a minute of walking, it dawned on me that I didn’t recognize anything. Wait, which way was camp? – If you want to talk or walk reptiles, email