Monday, September 14, 2015

1-5 September, 2015 Cliff Dwellings, Lake Mead Wildlife, the Rio Grande, Rocket Tents

This portion covers some of our travels in New Mexico and back home to Montana.  We'd been wanting to spend some time in New Mexico since we usually just breeze through heading west on the interstate so we spent awhile in the southwest corner of the state.

Our first night was spent in a motel in Silver City.  We'd planned on camping north of there in the National Forest but it looked like they were enduring some pretty severe thunderstorms there.  In the morning we headed north to see the cliff dwellings in the Gila National Forest.  The Ranger in charge told us that they'd had a flash flood the night before and the half of the trail was closed.  The boulder in the center of the stream was washed down during the flood.  Witnesses said the water was over ten feet deep and moving fast.

Later in the trip I saw two trees blown down across a wash with a large (about 3 feet long, 18 inches thick and about two feet wide) boulder laying across their trunks like someone with an excavator had carefully lifted it and then set it in place.  It was at least three feet to the stream bed below.  

The walk up to the cliff dwellings was not as bad as Scott's position would make it seem.  He gets into a "tired" act when he wants to be carried and this is part of it as he lays "exhausted" on the boulder.  We took a couple of photos and walked on.  He caught up quickly.

Susan standing in the trail at the cliff dwellings.

The first half of the circular trail was washed out so everyone had to come up the back way.  That meant you had to walk to the top to talk to the ranger in charge and begin the tour.

It was an interesting experience since you can walk through most of the ruins and get a good look at how they used to live.  The black stains on the cliff to the right are from water dripping down over the top.

I did have mercy on Scott on the way down and gave him a ride on my shoulders.

The Gila river.

There was supposed to be a trail along the river to some hot springs.  We followed it about a mile but never found any springs.  It was horribly overgrown and we had numerous scrapes and cuts from the sunflowers and other weeds along the trail.  I gave Scott a ride on my shoulders on the way back and there were places he had to get off and walk because the weeds were too thick and tall and were brushing him off my shoulders.  Here we've stopped along the river for a rest break.  We played in the river awhile then I laid down to let the stream-side rocks give me a good, in-depth back massage.  Scott took the time to bounce around on me and give the rocks a deeper bite.  Now he's examining an "owey" on my knee.

The river's water was comfortably warm (well, warm compared to the rivers in Montana) and we liked wading in it.

Our river walk is over and we're back on the road again.  It's an absolutely beautiful drive back into the ruins with a lot of up and down and some pretty tortuous turns.  In other words, the view is great but plan on extra driving time if you plan to visit!

Another view of the Gila River.

This was at the top of one of the passes we crossed.  Look at it and the photo below and you can pick out some of the landmarks.

The photos do not do the area justice.

This is my first time seeing the Rio Grande river.

I wasn't too impressed because of it's reddish silt but I'm still glad I got to see it.

We headed home through New Mexico then Arizona then back to Lake Mead and Overton before heading north again.  We bought the Indian Blankets at a couple of different places.  The first guy gave us a big sales pitch of how they were made by local Indians and he was asking $15.00 each and that was the best price anywhere..
We bought one then drove on down the road again.  Right inside Arizona was another "trading post" and the guy there was selling them for $5.00 each.  We bought several there.  We figure they were most likely made in Mexico anyway but we still like using them.

Ah, back to Nevada as we near the bridge over the Colorado River below the dam.

Lake Mead has a serious water shortage.

We were going to pass this guy off as a Lake Mead resident but he was actually living in New Mexico.  I've seen then at Lake Mead though!

This was our first time seeing wild horses at Lake Mead.  We are not too far from Echo Bay.

These guys were past Echo Bay (we are heading west).  We couldn't get any donkeys to come out for a photo.

Susan bought Scott a rocket tent which he didn't know about until we got home to the cabin.

Needless to say he loves it.

We cut our trip short because we needed to get back home to take care of some things.  The smoke had cleared out as well so we are getting ready for our next foray which will be down to Kansas to help my mother with the auction of my stepfather's stuff.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I recently found my way to your blog and have been enjoying it very much. I live in Maryland (originally from Chicago) and have dreamed about moving west since I was a little girl and my family took trips to New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and Montana. I love reading your posts about your travels to some of my favorite places!