We spent most of one day exploring the wonderful cliff dwellings in the Gila National Forest. These have got to be the most peaceful and serene valleys in the forest. A feeling of peace fell over us as we saw this wonderful part of our nation's history
You walk up through a forest of cool, whispering trees next to a shallow stream. Then you ascend to a warmer dry climate in the cliffs.
For some reason, we got more than the usual few shots of ourselves.
Hamming it up before the climb, the ruins are over Tam's shoulder.
We made it!
Ranger Tricia London gave us a guided tour of the city. She knew a lot about the Mogollon people who built it and abandoned it within a few generations (circa 1300). Here she explains to Vic about the structures of the rooms.
Those are the original roof beams above us, 700 years old!
Ready to start back down, we stop to reflect upon the people who actually were able to survive in this desert. They moved on for reasons unknown, but left us their legacy to marvel at.
Leaving the park, we stopped to look at some pictographs made by the archaic people who came before the Mogollon.
The rugged and formidable Gila National Forest hides one of the best parksites we have visited in our journeys around the USA!
If you get a chance, you should visit the Gila Cliff Dwellings!
From the Cliff Dwellings, we headed for Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
We met up with this old timer in the Geronimo Museum.
After scratching around in some bad spots,
we wandered on to an awesome old fluorite mine called the Greenleaf
Dad picks at a fluorite deposit.
We were careful to avoid the caved-in mineshafts like this one that probably were home to rattlesnakes.
This ominous late afternoon storm chased us away from the Greenleaf mine before we could explore it fully. We did get some good mineral specimens and should have pictures of them on this site shortly.
Further down the road, the stormfront spawned several Dust Devils like this one. It was cool to watch the swirling mass of sand at the base of it!
Critters we saw...
Finches and hummingbirds in and around the Gila National Forest.
The majestic moose inside K-Bob's restaurant in
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
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