An adventure drive
Since I have been coming down to Glenwood, I thought it would be a great adventure to drive the road from Mogollon, NM over the Gila Wilderness
to Truth or Consequences, NM. Uh, huh. Like all 'good' ideas, it seemed like a ideal concept at the time. As always, a more accurate analysis always
comes right after you jump into the deep end of the pool. What this exercise eventually showed itself to be, was an endurance test to see who would break
first... you or the vehicle. One individual after the fact attributed the horrid condition of the road to the 2013 flood. I'm willing to bet that it was not ever an expressway!

The misty mountains in the distance tower over the San Francisco river valley just to the east. As you can see this area has burned. The Gila, in fact, has been ravaged by fire any number of times, as evident on the sign/map below. These two pictures were taken from the Sandy Pont TH, the first place you stop climbing after leaving Mogollon... two days before. Well, it seemed like that.

It has always interested me the capriciousness of fire. How it leaves some areas unscathed, while creamating others. Suppose this is God's plan to insure the reseeding of the forest after one of these fires? I'm thinking so.

An interesting highly-erodable escarpment just a ways before arriving at Snow Lake.

Snow Lake, which turns out to be a rather turbid reservoir. It was somewhat low with muddy banks when we were there, the 11th of November. It is one of the very few lakes in this part of the country. It does, however, have a fishery.

The different colors on the map indicate the different times that the Gila has turned into a firepot.

The next series of pictures is from our time at the Gila Cliff Dwellers caves. Interesting and elaborate construction and interesting as well that they lived like this for a time, then chose to disappear by marching off into history.

On the way back, the interesting topography began right after the town of Hillsboro, NM, and never let up

The town of Kingston. Where the real honest to goodness road challenge began. I don't know if I have ever been on a road with more curves and climbing, & with so little forward progress. It should have said, "Trailers? Forget it!"

This little gem was the hallmark to the beginning of the short trail up the the Cliff Dwellers abodes

The first cave that came into view. The operative question? How did they get up to it??

This cave would make a great home as well. We just gotta figure out how to move those rocks!

A glimpse from below of the main complex of caves

Three pictures from a small cave we came to first.

Where the main complex began. Interesting that when you climbed up into it, it just got bigger and bigger...

Contact: The Hiker... or the Goats!