I recently read your book. Imperial Dreams. I am amazed at the physical struggles and threats from narcotics traffickers that you endured. That mule falling down with dynamite couldn't have been less dangerous than riding in an old truck with leaking gasoline cans! I went to Copper Canyon in 2005 and had no idea that the drug lords were laundering money in the resorts. We heard about the 1999 train robbery and saw the armed guards on our train, but were not told about the killing of the bandits and drug growing--no wonder! I did see a Solitary Eagle on the rim of the canyon which was a highlight for me.There is an interesting reference to Imperial Woodpeckers in a book titled Apache Gold and Yaqui Silver by J. Frank Dobie, Little, Brown and Company, 1939. On pages 291-292 Dobie describes as follows: Traveling by mule-the only way there is to travel unless an airship is chartered- from Durango to Mazatlan, one tops the very crest of a mountain called Huchuente, the "Go-Between", ten thousand feet above sea level. There the rare and gorgeous Imperial Woodpecker still cries his wild startling cry, which can be heard easily a mile away, and flashes his gorgeous colors.
Thanks for letting me know about that Imperial Woodpecker reference, Jim. I hadn't read that before.