Leaving Truth or Consequences we drive west back into the middle of nowhere, flat with lots of sage brush. After about an hour, we trade flat middle of nowhere for mountainous, narrow road switch back curves of the Trail of Mountain Spirits National Scenic Byway, middle of nowhere. We are going to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.
The scenery along the highway is beautiful but I needed to pull off at pull outs to enjoy it. There are no guard rails for 10 mph switchbacks that have drops of a couple of thousand feet on either side depending which way you are going on the road. This marvelous “road race sensation” highway is NM15.
It took us three hours to reach the Cliff Dwellings visitor center where we watched a 15 minute film which explained how the cliff dwellings came to be. Located near the Gila river, the dwellings were constructed in five natural caves somewhere between 1276 and 1287 by adding rocks, mortar, and wood . The inhabitants were Indians migrating from the north to the southwest. They were hunters and gatherers who also farmed. The film said that they only lived there for one generation before moving on around 1300.
After returning from our hike, we drove to a nearby camp area to eat another picnic lunch.
After lunch we began our 2 hour trip to our nights lodging at a Hampton Inn in Lordsburg, NM. That gave me the opportunity to drive down the same curvy road course!
The good thing is that we are stopping early enough to do some laundry. Dinner was at a place named El Charro. My dinner was okay and Babs didn’t like hers……go figure.
Tomorrow is another “drive” day toward Phoenix, AZ with no planned stops……..but you never know! We have driven over 4,300 miles so far this trip and we are not half way through. What is amazing is that the only interstate highways that we have been on was the first day from MD to Memphis, TN.
Babs Says: Once again I have nothing to say.