Gila cliff dwellings

Trip Start Mar 14, 2011
Trip End Apr 13, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Sunday, March 20, 2011

The drive up (literally I think it peaks above 7500 feet) was amazing and not as bad as last night into Silver City. The most amusing this is to see all the Cattleguard signs. It seems like nothing would be out here but Tracy actually saw a free-range cow! We would hate to be in charge of
keeping up with that herd.

The day was spent at the dwellings, which seemed to be staffed solely by volunteers. One couple lives in Michigan and only volunteers in winter and they get free lodging, something to think about for the future. They were helpful and happy to answer questions. Not much is known about the
functionality of the building rooms. Lots of speculation and guesswork. The current thinking is that although the caves have been used for 10,000 years the people who build the structures only lived there for one generation. The buildings used to have sturdy wooden roofs, but they were
burned down. It is still debated who burned it up - the Apaches or the Buffalo Soldiers.

We camped near the Gila River at an awesome site and built a good fire. It was really dark out but as soon as the moon crested the mountains it was as if there were street lamps all over. Really neat. Tracy enjoyed the way the moonlight shone on the moving river water.
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Rob on

When you look back at the eastern horizon do you see a faint green glow? Yeah, that's us - green with envy.

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