I was on to New Mexico but somehow forgot a day in the life during my Arizona travels.
There was another ruin I wanted to see called the Kinishba Ruins on the Apache Reservation. To get there I had to ride on another twisty road through the Salt River Canyon.
I had never heard of this canyon before so it was a pleasant surprise on my way to the Apache Reservation.
By the time I arrived at the reservation ominous clouds lay ahead again. I have to admit the weather has been taking a toll on me physically and mentally. But I keep calm and carry on.
Then I got to the road leading to the ruins. It was a rough road that lead to dirt. At the entrance to the road was an old wooden sign stating that if you were not Apache you must have a permit to enter. It also warned of flash flood wash outs.
The road conditions and warnings should have been enough to turn me around but I continued. Then the road got worse and I saw strange movement to the right. It was a bunch of vultures taking flight from a dead horse. It’s not the first dead horse I have seen on these cross country trips, but this was the extra push I need to about face.
I was bummed that I would not be seeing these ruins but fortunately there was another historical site in the area. Fort Apache.
Camp Orde was the first post here in 1870. It would grow under various names over the next 9 years until For Apache was established in 1879 and remained active until 1922.
General George Cooke became commander here in 1871. He recruited Apache scouts to help his army in the eventual capture of Geronimo in 1886.
It was difficult to tell which direction this storm was moving. Unfortunately phone service was difficult to get on the reservation so I couldn’t check the radar. It has been difficult to get a phone signal on a number of the reservations I have visited.
As has been the continuous saga of this trip, I got wet again. It has been the coldest wettest summer I have ever experienced and it wasn’t over yet.
I got a room at the border which I shared in the last post, then entered New Mexico in the morning.
In one small town I passed this sign that reminded me of the sign from MASH. It said NYC was 2483 miles away. Not on the path I would be taking.
This is a monument to Elfego Baca in Reserve, NM. He was a Mexican that stood up to the abuses by some American Cowboys and sought revenge for those that could not defend themselves. As a result of his actions the atrocities here stopped.
Outside of town, I stopped to put the rain gear back on. It seems there are still some gun toting bad boys having their fun in these parts.
Next I was headed east to see the Three Rivers Petroglyph site. On the way the road opened up and I could see more storms ahead.
To the side of the road was the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. You can also see that the rains were just beyond the observatory obscuring the mountains and the winds were kicking up.
I rode through a couple small towns. The sun popped out just for a minute to give me a nice shot of this old bank turned cafe in Magdelena.
Had I taken this photo below on July 16, 1945, I would not be here to tell about it.
This is the Trinity Site where the first atomic bomb was detonated.
I arrived at a small town called Carrizozo just before dark and got a cheap room for the night.
In the morning I would visit the last of my wild west curiosities, The Three Rivers Petroglyph site.
At this location are more than 21,000 petroglyphs.
They were created by ancient native people between 1000 and 1400 AD.
From here I had the depressing task of putting the mountains behind me and heading east. I made one last stop for gas in the mountains at a questionable unmanned gas pump. There were signs around from neighboring businesses (like the one in front of that white pick up truck) letting you know they have nothing to do with these pumps. Apparently they are not reliable. Fortunately they worked for me because it would have been some serious backtracking to get fuel in the previous town.
Then the always heartbreaking, inevitable sight of nothing. The mountains were now to the west as I headed east. I was riding the high plains on a straight shot toward Texas. It’s always emotionally draining to leave the rockies. But it was time to change my focus and begin my long trek home.