Saturday, March 29, 2008
This week, we drove our new (to us) RV up to the Gila Cliff Dwellings in south central New Mexico. Technically, it can be a day trip, but we have friends who left Las Cruces at 6 a.m. and returned at 10 p.m. Much of the trip is on narrow, winding roads with occasional steep drops. We had to avoid a stretch of Highway 15, because it is closed to vehicles over 20 feet long, and our vehicle is 25.
Both elevation and latitude increase on the trip, and the vegetation changes gradually from sere desert with dried-up arroyos, creosote bushes, and prickly pear cactus to ponderosa pines and streams with honest-to-goodness water in them. The cacti never completely disappear, but they become much less prevalent in the upper elevations.
I will hold back on many of the details, because I have an assignment to write an article about it for Southwest Senior. But the dwellings were briefly the home of the Mogollon Indians about 700 years ago, and were abandoned for reasons unknown. The area was the home of the Chiricahua Apache, whose most famous member was Geronimo.
Posted by Bob Sanchez at 9:11 PM