Charleston to San Diego: Day 8
We left this morning rather early. It seems the days and nights of our trip consist of either driving, stopping and seeing things or sleeping. Unfortunately not much time for writing but I'll catch up. The road we followed took us past rows and rows of trees and eventually up into the mountains. I found it interesting how they watered the crops here, flooding the area under the trees and letting it soak into the hard earth. Lots of desert and dry plants here and pines; even a bit of snow still in the shaded areas.
Just before entering the higher mountains we stopped for a stretch as this old bridge over a gorge. I'm not sure what plant they are from but I found some interesting seed pods here.
We stopped for a bathroom break and a stretch near what turned out to be a lovely creek that was partially frozen over. Anson and I both got some neat shots here, even one I deemed worthy of a print. :)
Print Remnants of Winter | New Mexico 2013 A frozen world awaits.
Gil waiting in the warm sunshine, complaining that he can't get out and explore too.
Most of today has been spent driving through a large portion of Gila National Forest. We stopped next at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument which, I was very excited to find out, you are allowed to walk through a portion of. My previous experiences with cliff dwellings has mainly been at Montezuma's Castle, some large dwellings hidden way up in the rocks near Camp Verde Arizona. Nowadays you can only enjoy them from afar.
Love this shot (above) Anson got with the D80. He is becoming quite the photographer with a different eye for it than I have.
We really enjoyed the ruins. Next time we will walk up behind some other tourists to avoid getting trapped with a very talkative volunteer park ranger. And I will wear hiking boots! The trail was quite muddy from all the snow melt.
We had hopes to visit some hot springs while we were in Gila but our "just hop out of the car and see" method didn't exactly pan out here. The trail to take you to them crossed the river about 3 times and we really didn't want to be stuck in the mountains after dark and wet up to our knees.
Pinos Altos is a living ghost town that was on our way to a hotel. I was really fascinated by the opera house there and would love to see the inside. Living ghost towns are rather strange with homes still occupied next to decaying abandoned ones. Last year, driving down route 66 with my dad, we found quite a few ghost towns but not many with houses and people still living in them.
And the perfect way to end the day, with a cat photo! Gil and Zara really enjoyed staying here as they had their own bed all to themselves. Spoiled cats!