Sunday, April 7, 2013

Trail of the Mountain Spirits.

In SW New Mexico, resides Gila National Forest, the largest in the lower 48. Also the Gila River, the longest "non-dammed" river in the lower 48. Betcha didn't know that! We didn't until visiting.

Departing Silver City, we drove north on the "Tail of the Mountain Spirits" National Scenic Byway.

We first stopped at Pinos Altos, small town from Wild West days. I posed in front of a store owned by the famous gunman Judge Rou Bean.

We saw A church built by Phoebe Hearst, mother of William Randolph Hearst, the famous newspaper magnate.

The winding road made Hwy 49 near our home look like a freeway but was well worth the ride with the vistas.

We arrived at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument wherein lived ancient natives back in late 13th Century.

Looters and removed most if the artifacts along time ago so not much is known about them. The dating of the dwellings were done on the trees used for roof support.

What's is really interesting is the ability to climb around in them.

Up and down the ladders. As we explored the ruins, it wasn't hard to imagine how these people lived and various scenarios of how they came to be here for only 30 years, then disappear.

An interesting not eat the trailhead wastage electric vehicle used to transport the docents to and from their living quarters. Due to budget cuts, only 2 paid rangers run this park along with a dozen docents. Really neat.

We retired around the loop if the byway through Mimbres canyon and past the large open pit copper mine just east of Silver city.

Quite a fun day.
- blessings from the road
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