It took me 2+ hours to drive from my little cabin in the wood to the Gila Cliffs~a beautiful drive it was. It really wasn't that far in miles, it was long because it is a winding, curving, up and down road where speed kills~plus who wants to miss the beautiful valleys, vistas and overlooks? I certainly didn't. I noted many dispersed camping areas as I drove NM 15, north out of Silver City.
Let's talk a little about what a gem the Gila National Forest is~because I'm pretty sure that there are a lot of people that have underestimated it, perhaps due to its location in the far SW part of NM, maybe because they don't see a lot of larger towns, so they wonder what they are going to 'do' when they get there. I'll give you a hint, you hike, you explore, you grab your binoculars and search the VAST area looking for whatever pops us. There is a lot of native american history here, early explorers from Mexico and further south have been documented traveling north through this area. Click or paste the link below to learn about how long, thousands of years, there have been people in this wilderness. It was the FIRST designated National Wilderness area in the USA. President Teddy Roosevelt hunted in these mountains, forest and wilderness area.
As you flip through the slideshow~ try to see how difficult it could have been to find these people living in the walls of the cliff. The opening is high, it is small, it is very remote. There were no roads to this location, only a path known by a few. I was thunderstruck by how ingenious these people were. The hole is relatively small compared to the size of the cavern inside it. There were all sorts of rooms, windows, paths throughout the cliff. It made me wonder where they stored their food, their provisions, the wood for heating. There was a good breeze through it, so it did have a natural air conditioning system for the warm summers, but what about the winters? How did they cut that off and stay warm? Who was in charge of the movements, the production? As we move forward as a 'modern' society with such division I wonder if it wouldn't be better to return to a simpler lifestyle, where we focus on meeting our daily needs and work collectively to attain them. We can't argue with each other if we need the corn ground and the bread made, the meat killed and harvested. Clothes needed to be washed, the animals need to be tended, the kids need bathing.
It really struck me that we've advanced 'so far' that we've lost sight of what is essential, what is productive and what our basic needs are.
Next blog post will be about finding the hot mineral springs that the NPS ranger encouraged me to locate. What an absolute treat!!
You won't want to miss it!
Keep curious and go ADVENTURE!