Silver City (aka Stuck City)

Trip Start Jul 04, 2012
Trip End Jun 04, 2013

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Where I stayed
Silver City KOA

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Friday, February 8, 2013

How cold  would you think it get's in February in New Mexico?  Well a lot colder than we thought when we decided to check out Silver City. How cold do you ask?  Lows in the -8 C range and day time highs in the 5 C range. That's what we were running away from!  In all fairness Silver City sits at just below 6000 ft altitude but still -8C.!!!  None the less we still had a great time exploring this old mining town.

The area has been the home to one group or another for over the last 10000 years.  But the main reason we came here was to see the Gila Cliff dwellings. From the late 1270's to around 1300, Mogollon people built  numerous dwellings in the cliff caves above the Gila river. Approximately 40 rooms built of rock mortar and timber were built to house 60 people.  Not a great deal is known about their brief time here or why around 1300 they just left the area.  However the ruins are in quite good shape and one of the few that you can enter the structures. From the river valley it is a scenic 20 minute 1 mile hike to the ruins.  You can still hear the ghosts of people past as you walk the steep paths along the cliff face. It was the perfect time to visit as there were few people at the ruins. We all enjoyed the quiet and peace of this scenic place.

Silver City proper is an interesting mix of old Victorian buildings adobe structures and home to a thriving artistic community. We had a good morning wandering around town looking at the shops, the local museum and enjoying the falling snow?? !!  Yes, about 5 cm of the white stuff fell that day. Luckily when the sun came out the next day most of it was gone. The town is a little rough round the edges but none the less a funky place to hang out, and boasts the best playground EVER - awesome play structures and climbing walls for all kids up to 12years old.  The town spent a lot of money making this great park.  The boys spent a fun afternoon there!

February 12 was Carolyn's birthday so after the usual birthday fair of opening presents we were off to go rock hounding. Something she has been looking forward to for while. With a map in hand and directions from the camp ground owner off we went.40 miles of highway driving, the 7 miles of dirt roads, and the 3 miles of dirt track, off in nowhere. That's when things started to get interesting. Sometimes having a long large truck can be a problem.  In this case a big problem.  As we attempted to cross a rather deep wash, the truck grounded out on the rocky track - going forward was not a option.  But backing up didn't look that great either.  After much digging,  moving of large rocks, scraping of the truck's underside, a few tears on Carolyn's part (how could this be happening on my birthday?!!), a few choice words by me, we finally got the truck out and turned around.  However once the drama was over we had a great time finding all sorts of wonderful examples of fire agate and chalcedony.  Carolyn said that this will be a birthday that she will never forget. I hope that's a good thing. It certainly was an adventure!  We now understand a bit better what the ol' Ram can do (or not!).  And we pulled together as a team - even the boys helped out.

We enjoyed Silver City and may some day come back but only if the weather is warmer !!!
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