Monday, June 22, 2009

NM Country Roads

Well darn! The photos didn't come up in the right order...... so I am going to number them so you know how they should have appeared! The one above is actually #2, as we were leaving the town of Hillsboro on highway 152. Hillsboro has a history dating back to 1877 with the discovery of gold in the Percha Creek. By 1880 there were 4 saloons, 4 grocery stores and a post office. It is now designated as a historic mining town.

#7. Then we pass through more rocks

#9. Then we get beautiful red rock ranches in the Mimbres Valley when we turn on highway 35.

#8. The rock formations are beautiful. These rocks were much redder than they show here. These are in the Mimbres Valley on highway 35.

#5 Then downhill begins and the roads slow down considerably. Speed limits become 10 to 15 mph for several miles at a time.

# 6. Then come the rocks! The road is squeezed in between towering rocks and becomes a bit curvier.

#5. Then you start up! This is Emory Pass with the desert out in the distance.

#4 As you start the drive on Highway 152, west off of I-25, the roads are a bit hilly and curvy but nothing heart stopping!

#1. Actually this should have been one of the first photos. This is on the way into the small town of Hillsboro on the way to the Gila Cliff Dwellings, just a small hacienda on a hill ..... :-)

#11. The Mimbres River, once you get down into the valley.

#10. The MimbresValley as seen from highway 152

Finally we get to see Bobbie acting as Navigator for Chuck! 2 weeks ago, we thought Bobbie was a goner. He is 15 years old and has a very enlarged heart. He passed out on us 3 days in a row and I think suffered a mini-stroke! His eyes couldn't track and he walked all wobbly-legged. We called the vet, thinking Bobbies hours were numbered. When we took him in the next day, he had perked all up and started acting like the Bobbie we love so much! Vet says he has the worst sounding heart he has ever heard in a dog still living, but Bobbie is back to feeling much better! Chuck and I are glad, because we like having him around!
I apologise for the photo mix up.......... I uploaded them in the right order but I have no idea how they got so screwed up! But you get to see how pretty the country roads are around here. Tomorrow I will try to upload the photos of the ghost town Lake Valley!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gila Cliff Dwellings

The trip to the Gila Cliff Dwellings was amazing! Twisty-turny roads with speed limits of 10-15 mph for at least half of the road trip! Then we travelled through an amazing area with red rocks like Sedona and beautiful ranches spread out at the base of the red rocks! Grazing horses just made it even more perfect! Then when we stopped at Gila Hot Springs General Store to walk the dogs and buy spare camera batteries... I decided it would be wise if I made a potty stop too. Well ladies, we know the routine, struggle to pull jeans down and sit down and let it go. YIKES! Not here! YIKES! The water in the toilet bowl was HOT HOT HOT!! After I recovered from the shock and sat back down I was able to finish my business! As soon as I went out, I asked the gent behind the counter about the heat treatment. Seems the only thing they could hook up their plumbing too was hot water unless they wanted to drill much deeper! mmmmm! Interesting stop. We didn't hang around to check out the hot springs since we already work at some of the best mineral hot springs available, but I hear they are really very nice. Couple of nice campgrounds there too.

Finally we got to the trail leading us up to the Gila (pronounced Hee-lah)Cliff Dwellings. It is a one mile loop..... the first part is pretty level and a pretty walk through a canyon.

Chuck walking ahead of me through the canyon. The bridge crosses and recrosses this stream several times on the way, it joins the Gila River at the beginning of the trail.
Hopefully you can read this sign. It explains a lot. If you click onto this picture, it will go to full size!

Still walking the canyon, I feel it's important to let you know that this special canyon and the cliff dwellings are so unique that they have been protected since 1907! It is one of the very few left so well intact showing us how the Mogollon (pronounced muggy-own) culture lived and survived. Because of the Gila River, this was a very prosperous area and well travelled.For perhaps as long as 10,000 years, the Gila River brought people in and out of this valley.

From the parking lot. this mile long trail climbs 180 feet to reach the dwellings. After the first part of the walk, you will start seeing stairs........ UP and UP and UP! Not really too bad, Chuck helped me most of the way. This was one of our first glimpses of 2 of the 6 caves.

Chuck rests against the rock, enjoying his first good view of the caves. I had to rest often and thank goodness, there were lots of comfy benches along the steeper part of the climb! This was well worth the climb! The only other cliff dwellings I have visited where you could actually walk around in the ruins were at Mesa Verde.

The closer we get, the better it looks!The first archeological report of the cliff dwellings came from Adolph Bandelier in 1884. His sketches and writings commented on the damage that had already taken place. Approximately 80% of what is left today is the original architecture of the Mogollon builders.

There are 40 rooms within the 6 caves.

Yep! That's me!

There were wonderful interpretive guides at the cliff dwellings. This man spent quite a few minutes talking to Chuck and I about the culture of the people of Gila River area.

The cliff dwellings were impressive!

So were the stairs we had to climb to get there, but if I could do it, I know all of you can too!
We had a great day today! Chuck and I love exploring around here!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunsets and Rainbows over Riverbend!

Last night the sky was on fire with color! It started out as storm clouds moving through. Then the sun broke through the heavy clouds and the light show began. All of the scenes are taken at River Bend Hot Springs where Chuck and I work.

I love this old wagon wheel and thought it deserved a composition of it's own!

Here is the first rainbow that appeared, I took this across the street from River Bend and you can tell from all the cars how busy we are. All the rooms are rented every weekend, usually several weeks agead. We only have 12 rooms so they fill up fast. Plus the mineral hot springs spas stay busy too! There were actually 2 rainbows but the second one to the right of the main one, didn't show up very well in the photos.

This is the office where Chuck and I work!

Rainbows over the spas!

Rainbows over the Rio Grande River!

Looking towards town with the tipi in the foreground and the river behind me. No matter where I looked, the sky was amazing!

Looking north with the Rio Grand absorbing colors as it flows south.

Beautiful sky over the Turtle back mountains

The black clound arrives over the office, but behind me, the colors are still vivid!

Looking west down Austin Street! Truth or Consequences usually rolls up the sidewalks by 7 pm. Very little auto traffic, lots of bikers and walkers and joggers but very few cars on the roads after 7 pm.

Our Oliver Travel Trailer under the last remnents of the sunset and rainbows! Hope ya'll enjoyed the light show !!! We will be here until Nov 1st, hopefully a few of you can come visit!
It's really beautiful in this corner of T or C!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More colors of Truth or Consequences NM

In the small alley near our camp spot is the Rio Bravo ArtGallery. This gallery has the most beautiful cactus garden! It is totally ignored, unpampered, all but forgotten..... yet these beautiful flowers bloom daily! Larry and Betty, we walked past these when you were here, they just weren't ready to bloom until now. Everyday I have a new showing of flowers at this garden. I just wanted to show all of you....... the desert does have amazing color!