Saturday, January 29, 2011

January 26, 2011 Silver City and Benson

Tuesday, January 25th, we drove a 93 mile loop from Silver City called the Trail of the Mountain Spirits National Scenic Byway.  Traveling north from Silver City we went through the Gila National Forest on a road that had many curves and hairpin turns as we ascended and descended the mountains.  At the northernmost point we stopped at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.  We first went to the Visitor’s Center and saw a movie in the museum. We had to walk about a mile through a forested area on a path that had icy spots treated with sand.  The 700 or 800 year old dwellings were homes for Native Americans living in this area at that time.   A few miles down the road we stopped at campground that a path led to an area with petroglyphs and another small cliff dwelling.  We ate our picnic lunch at this campground area and while eating we spied some javalinas walking along a hillside nearby and then as we left the area the javalinas crossed the road ahead of  us going to a creek.  Following the Scenic Byway map we continued  through the Mimbres River Valley and just before returning to Silver City we came to an overlook of the Santa Rita open pit copper mine.  This mine is the oldest working mine in the southwest and is enormous in size.  We returned to the campground for dinner in the motorhome.  The weather has been sunny and comfortably warm (lower 60’s) during the day but cold (upper 20’s) at night.  We had to disconnect our water each night to prevent freezing of our water hose.

Today, Wednesday the 26th, we left Silver City, New Mexico and drove 150 plus miles to Benson, Arizona.  We stopped for gas at the TA Travel Plaza in Wilcox, Az. and must say the set-up there for RV’s is one of the best that we have seen, easy to get to the pumps set up for RVs and back out to the roadway.  On our travels on I-10 through New Mexico and Arizona we have noticed frequent signs about dust storms but luckily for us we did not experience any dust storms on this trip.  We are staying at the SKP Saguaro Co-op ( Escapees Campground) for the next couple of weeks.  It is warm her with temps in the 70’s but dropping into the 30’s at night.