New Mexico, from Caves to Cliff Dwellings!
New Mexico! It is interesting how the scenery changes soon after crossing the border from Texas. The first place I landed was Carlsbad. In the morning I was going to see the cavern. On the way to the Carlsbad Cavern I saw evidence of one of the many fires that hit the state a few months back. Carlsbad Caverns had to be closed for a while until the fires were contained and extinguished.
I rode past miles of burnt desert flora.
Then I began my descent into the cave. Those are not bats in the photo. They are swallows. Bats do fly out of the cave in the evening. In fact, it is as a result of this that the cave was discovered. It has been said that a young man in the 1800’s was looking for his horse when he thought he saw smoke. When he went to investigate he discovered it was bats not smoke and he found the cave opening.
After descending 750 feet below the surface, the cave opens up to reveal a spectacular display of formations.
I had to see what Roswell was like. It didn’t disappoint.
At the UFO Museum I met the owners of the BMWs parked next to me. Nice folks from Vegas.
This is supposedly a piece of the saucer that crashed in Roswell.
This was used to protect the original settlers of Lincoln.
This is the old Lincoln Courthouse. It is infamous for being the last place Billy the Kid escaped from.
White Sands National Monument
Another magnificent sight. Miles of white!
Fort Seldon was a US Army post built to protect westward settlers. General Douglas MacArthur lived there with his family at the age of 7. His father was post commander. It is amazing to think that this man began his life witnessing war delivered with bow and arrow and ended up being a general in a war that saw the the first atom bomb drop.
Once the location of the greatest silver discovery in the US, Lake Valley is now an abandoned mining town.
Mountains continue to disappear level by level at Santa Rita mine.
Fierro is another abandoned mining town. There is however a community of people living around it.
Gila Cliff Dwellings
People of the Mogollon culture lived in these cliff dwellings from between 1275 and 1300 AD.
Outside of the Ranger Station was a hummingbird feeder.
It is one way in and out to the Gila Cliffs if you are traveling from Silver City. The road is 42 miles long. It is narrow and twisty with loose gravel scattered on the switchbacks as you wind your way through the mountains of the Gila National Forest. It is called The Trail of the Mountain Spirits.
After rolling along side to side through the forest it was a straight shot to the next set of mountains.
The business road along Route 10 is lined with failed businesses.
When I saw the snake slithering across the road I got excited thinking it was a rattler. It wasn’t, but it was still cool!