I recently traveled from southwest Arizona to southwest New Mexico to work as a volunteer at the Gila Cliff Dwellings 40 miles up in the Gila National Forest.
This trip I decided to visit some places on my bucket list so I took my time stopping first at Saguaro National Park and then down-state to the copper mining capital of the world, Bisbee. Finally crossing into New Mexico and traveling up to Silver City (6,000′ above sea level).
Manzano’s RV Park here in Silver City has been home for the past week while I have explored the area. If you are ever in town, this is “the park.” Just 20 sites, each nestled in among the cedars and warm welcoming folks happy to make your stay a pleasure!
I visited the world’s largest collection of Native American pottery at Western New Mexico University (they refused to let me take pictures…sob) and explored the rich variety of funk and useful in the historic downtown area of the city.
Now for the fun part and the reason I live in a home on wheels. I decided to drive my car up to visit the Gila Cliff Dwellings where I’d be volunteering for the next 3 months. The 40 miles I drove to get there was on a road like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.
Twisty, steep then twisty, descending on a narrow unforgiving strip of road. Eyebrow-raising road signs: No center line next 18 miles!
No guard rails, sheer drop into canyons on either side. Any ice on the road would have made me stop and stay where I was until it melted. And this from someone in a Subaru.
I got there. After 2 long hours with top speed of 30 mph I got there.
Beautiful place, ancient cliff dwellings built into the sides of the mountains. Wonderful, kind people working there. Other volunteers, more brave and hardy than me, and national park service rangers. No cell service, no internet service; 40 miles and 2 hours back down the mountain any time I needed to get groceries.
I waited until I drove that 40 miles back down and was safe inside my tin can cottage before I allowed myself to face the despair and dread gnawing at the corners of my mind.
(to be continued)
See you on down the road!