Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Mexico

Don blathers: Did you know that it took Congress 37 years to accept New Mexico as a state? There were 7 attempts: 1875, 1876, 1889, 1895, 1903, 1905 and 1906. Finally in 1912, it was approved as the 47th state. The only reasons I can find on the web for the continued failures to adopt New Mexico were fear of Hispanics and Indians.

Only 33 years later, New Mexico was the first place where nuclear weapons were tested. You with me here?

Monday, March 19 - It has turned cold - 43 degrees today and they are predicting 29 degrees tonight. It started sleeting. We have now seem sleet blowing sideways.

Tuesday, March 20 - Today is warmer but still cold. Our day began at Wal*Mart where I got a haircut and we bought groceries and a few other things, preparing to leave tomorrow, Then we stopped at St. Claire Winery. They said we could each have two samples and more than that would be $6. Don said he didn’t really want any, so the lady said I could have his also. She asked him what he liked and he said sweet. We were the only customers and they just kept giving us wine. Don’t know how many “samples” I had. We bought two bottles. Don saw a “Green Chile” wine and commented on it. So, of course, they let us sample that also. There are a whole lot of things that we like with green chilies, but wine isn’t one of them!

We arrived back at the campground and pulled into our site. There was a car there and there were people in our rig. I told Don that I definitely had locked the door. We couldn’t figure out what they were doing walking around in Koko. Then I looked at the front and there was no “KoKo, Hoover, AL” emblem. It wasn’t Koko, it was another tan LD. Thank goodness we did not go running in their door!

Wednesday, March 21 - Happy Birthday, Alecia!

We left Deming but did not go to City of Rocks SP instead driving on to Mogollon (pronounced muggy-own). After lunch we got our campsite and then went to the Catwalk. There were gold & silver mines here and this was where the miners walked. Of course, it is improved today. We did not get on the trail until around 2:15. It is a beautiful walk in the canyon, but we only made it 3/4’s of the way. I don’t have the energy to do things in the afternoon and the walk was getting more difficult for me, so we turned around.

We then drove to the ghost town of Mogollon, which is an occupied ghost town! Some of the homes are occupied and some homes and buildings are abandoned. Strange place. Actually a few of the homes are well kept and there are mail boxes, so the postman drives 10 miles on a one lane road to get there. Past Mogollon are several campgrounds, which are closed now due to snow, so I am sure that the town gets much busier. There are a couple of gift shops, museum and a theatre that are in good condition.

The Cat Walk

I had heard about the Cat Walk from several people and frankly it was not high on my list. We have walked through narrow canyons on cat walks before. However, it was only a few miles out of the way, so we did it. Glad we did. It’s more than a metal walkway anchored to rock walls.

The first 1/2 mile of the hike is easy and scenic. We went to the 3/4 mile mark and found it less scenic and hazardous to Dorothy. We do not need her to break a bone. That would end the trip and probably a lot more.

First, you have read about the origin of the stone gods on Easter Island. Well here is where they come from. This is a pair, yet to cleaved.

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The first part of the Cat Walk. See the blue New Mexico sky!

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Part of the Cat Walk

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Once you finish the Cat Walk you drive another 10 miles to the “Ghost Town” of Mogollon. If you come in March you find everything is closed. But it’s a decent drive on a one-lane road.

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Colorado in Arizona

Thursday - March 22 – It is difficult for me to pass on a road drawn with squiggly lines on a map. US191 has been calling to me for years. We did the section from Clifton to Springville today. It is part of the Coronado Trail Scenic Byway which follows the route of the explorer. Let me tell you Coronado had big ones to take this route. The winding narrow road forces leisurely driving through an area of dramatic varied elevations. Right!

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A small section of the huge Freeport-McMoRan copper mine in Clifton. It is the worlds largest leaching facility.

After you escape the huge mines of Clifton, you climb to 6,000 for awhile, then 7,000 for a longer while, then 8,000 for a long run and finally several miles above 9,000. Our top was 9,366.

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Cactus about to bloom above 7,000. No blooms seen lower. Looks like Colorado doesn’t it?

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After the storm

It was scenic on the southern end. Less so on the northern end. The terrain looks much like Colorado, including blue haze and snow covered peaks.

We thought we would stay at one of the many CG’s or dispersed areas along the way, but we did not want to park above 8,000 as the temp the next morning would be 20 or less. So we continued until we ran out of CG’s and pulled into a Day Use Recreation Area on a reservoir Still above 7,000 after 90 miles! I think this must the longest road that stays above 8,000 in the states.

We left at 8:30 and did a lot of stopping and looking, so by mid-afternoon when we realized we were not going to descend we were tired puppies with 6 hours behind the wheel.

I cooked my sausage and cabbage dish for dinner.

Since I did not get a single decent picture on road, here is one taken by the Coachman’s from an overlook near the mine.

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Friday - March 23 – Still on the move - two hours westward today. On a whim, we decided to see the Mogollon Rim. Everything is this area is named either Bison or Mogollon. (Muggy own). We stopped by the ranger station and found all the campgrounds along the rim were closed as the snow last week made them mushy. So we took a hint and went low, off the rim, to Payson. A delightful town. It has all the necessary stores, no traffic, great views and friendly folks. Arizona is conservative!

Note the rim seems more attractive to look up to. At the top, the view is of the forested valley. I expected a rim somewhat like you find at Canyonlands.

We settled into Houston Mesa CG, a FS facility just barely outside of town. It is a well maintained and paved CG. We found a space with good sun for the solar panels. Only TV is NBC, but we have an OK cell signal.

Don can not shut up: Arizona does not do Daylight Savings Time. Good for them! [Indian reservations in AZ do play DST] So far we have transitioned from CST, to CDST, to MDST, to MST in short order. So what time is it? Pulling my hair. If it’s 7 in Montgomery, it’s 5 here. The same as PDST. Got that?

Saturday - March 24 – A glorious day in Payson, AZ. I think we will take it easy and do some laundry. The bushes around the campsite provide a lot of privacy and scenery. Need to get some dust off both vehicles.

Rain is forecast for the Grand Canyon Monday, so we will hang here for two more days. Then we will try the 19 degree lows at the GC.


1 comment:

  1. We visited St. Claire Winery also. We did our two free tastes. When she said it was $6 for 5 tastes. I told her I wanted the Pomegranate wine. We then drank about 6 each, and Paul mixed his own and we bought it. She didn't charge us then.
    Photos are very nice. You two sound like your having a great time.
    We too cannnot figure out what time it is. Should be a law..every state does it or no state does it. CRAZY!