We’ve taken a deep breath and … SIGHHHHH … let it out. Time to relax after our two-week construction stint in Las Cruces!
We are in Faywood, New Mexico at City of Rocks State Park. Rather than come up with a clever description, we’ll just quote from their website: “City of Rocks gets its name from the incredible volcanic rock formations found here. The park encompasses a one square mile area in the scenic Chihuahuan desert region of southwestern New Mexico at an elevation of 5,200 feet. The “city” is a geologic formation made up of large, sculptured rock columns, or pinnacles, rising as high as 40 feet and separated by paths or lanes resembling city streets. These rocks were formed about 34.9 million years ago when a very large volcano erupted. Then, erosion over millions of years slowly formed the sculptured columns seen today, creating a stunning, otherworldly landscape.”
The pictures speak for themselves.
Our first day here was pretty windy, and locals tell us these are the March winds that we’ve heard about all our lives. We get these winds up in New England, too, of course, but down here there’s not much to stop them as they race across the plains. It’s become apparent to us that every part of the country is going to have an unpleasant weather issue, we just need to decide which issue will be easiest to deal with. Snow, ice and freezing temps up north? Torrential rains in the delta areas? Wind and sand in the desert? Time will tell.
Yesterday we had a lovely day, breezy and in the low 70’s. We’ve been hiking daily. Tuesday we took a drive to the Gila (pronounced HEEla) Cliff Dwellings. The 44 mile drive up a winding mountain road through national forest was stunning! The native people who lived there were the Mogollon (pronounced MoGOYon), the same people who left behind the petroglyphs we visited a few weeks ago. It’s believed they inhabited the dwellings in spurts from the late 13th to early 14th centuries. When there were droughts in their normal territory they moved south where the Gila River flowed past these large elevated caves, and several family groups built the stone pueblos that still exist. The hike up to the dwellings is not an easy one even with the stone stairs, foot bridges and modern hand rails. It’s hard to imagine the native people navigating the cliffs with heavy bundles. But it’s worth the climb to see the dwellings.
There are strong winds moving in today and tomorrow, so we decided to just hunker down here at City of Rocks for a few days and relax. We had one pot pie left in the freezer that Bob made last winter, so we brought it with us. Last night we baked it in our cast iron Dutch oven on the open fire. Yum!