November 4 - 11, 2015:
It rained overnight, but is nice in the early morning, which prompts me to get one more walk in at The City of Rocks. It then clouds up, gets windy and begins to rain again. So, we wait it out awhile, it’s only 30 some miles to Silver City. Conditions approve about 10 and we are off a few minutes latter on route 180 to Silver City RV Park.
|Rain clouds on the ride|
We are spending a week at Silver City RV Park, they have a good weekly rate and it is within walking distance to downtown. We check out the library’s WiFi which is very good and then take a quick downtown tour. Happy to say, things look better than last year, except for the sad old Buffalo Bar that is remains closed. They held a Day of the Dead festival here a week ago and the town folks congregated outside the Buffalo Bar to set up a shrine and swap stories about good times at the bar. This town really needs to get someone to save the place, maybe have a “save the Buffalo” benefit as it’s the soul of the downtown. This town is as cool as I remembered, except for the lack of a “real down and dirty downtown bar”, uppity brew pubs, cocktail lounges and restaurant bars don’t cut the mustard.
|The County Courthouse is a beauty|
|The newly restored Gila Theater will open soon|
|A Silver City mural|
|A city mural project window|
|The Buffalo Bar|
|This building remains closed|
|Yankee Creek coffee and arts area|
|Another beautiful theater under restoration|
|Signs in arts district|
Friday night we go to the Buckhorn Opera House in Pino Altos to see a singer songwriter, Heather Maloney, perform. She is a young songwriter who has a great voice and charming stage presence who is on her first tour as a headliner. It seems that she caught a lucky break doing a rendition of Joni Mitchells song “Woodstock” that was caught on a video that went viral, propelling her from mediocrity. She sang the song and it was Ok, but nothing that great. It's funny how some poeple make it and others with more talent do not. I’ve heard Mary McCrink back in Asbury Park, NJ do it far better. We did enjoy the show and the house was mostly full. This is an indie / folk concert series sponsored by the Mimbres Arts Council who seem to have a dedicated, but older, member base.
The Buckhorn Opera House was a major disappointment to me. This is a very historic building, an actual Opera House attached to the Buckhorn Saloon. The Buckhorn Salon was built in 1895, but the Opera House is a more recent addition to it. I’m quite sure the building was mostly ruined over the years, but the restoration effort, if you want to call it that, is terrible. It looks like a low budget, do it yourself, project by someone with a poor taste. Regardless, it is still an excellent venue for a music concert and most people are probably impressed.
|Inside the Opera House|
We did a walk through the Pinos Altos cemetery which has a multitude of old pioneer and modern graves. Many of the graves are not marked and we wondered if anyone has a record of the burials, would be very interesting.
|The Geronimo quote was interesting|
I did a solo 4 mile loop hike on the dragonfly trail at the Ft. Bayard Historic Area. It was mostly flat terrain covered with Juniper trees and Pinon Pines. The trail eventually runs into the Twin Sisters Creek which has cut a interesting rocky canyon. I found the canyon very interesting with many Collarded Lizards in the rocks. They are like scale model dinosaurs, fascinating. A spur trail runs along the top of the canyon where the actual Dragonfly petroglyphs are found. These petroglyphs are from the Mogollon Indian period about 800 years ago, amazing that they are still visible.
|A trail view|
|Twin Sisters Creek|
|Poster on tree on the trail|
One of my favorite places in Silver City is the Yankee Creek Coffee Shop, not that I care much for the coffee, just the ambiance of the place. They have live music usually on Sunday afternoons and this week it was “Devon”. He really knew his 1960-1980’s music which I expect was his prime period and he did them all well. The crowd there is aways a little weird, but friendly and it’s kind of like hanging out in someones living room. They had handmade flags on the walls done by a local 4th grade class that were big fun to read.
|Inside the Coffee shop|
|We liked this flag the best|
Monday Twinkles and I take a beautiful scenic drive on route 15, the “Trail of the Mountain Spirits”, which is a crazy narrow, tightly curved, up and downhill roller coaster of a road to visit that Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. The Monument was created by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907. It is a one mile loop hike up through a forested area to the Cliff Dwelling area. This dwelling site was built into natural caves in the mountain about 800 years ago and is well preserved. The Mogollon people inhabited this area from about 1275 to the early 1300’s and then mysteriously left as happened over much of the southwest. It would be nice for the environment if a some people, developers mainly, would leave today !
|View of the Cliff Dwellings|
|The cliff dwellings up close in the sun|
|The view from inside the dwellings looking out|
|A room in the compound|
|800 year old corn|
|A Collared Lizard|
Another shorter road trip was taken to the town of Bayard and along route 356 that travels through an old mining area. We ended up taking a walk along an abandoned railroad track next to a mining site with lots of mining debris, it was more like a trash dump. You can access some interesting areas by walking along abandoned rail lines.
|One of Twinkles great i-photo shots|
|Old mining area|
|Twinkles walking the tracks|
Sunday evening we treat ourselves to a good Mexican meal at one of the most popular restaurants in Silver City called the “Jalisco Cafe”. It is beautifully painted and decorated inside, immaculately clean and with great service. Oh, and most importantly the food was equally good too, highly recommended !
We also ate at the closest thing to a real bar in town, the “Little Toad Creek Brewery”. It’s a very nice place and the food was good, but the service is goofy at best. Our food was delivered, but then we had no forks to eat with. We got the waitresses attention, who then told us that they didn’t have any clean ones just then, she would go check. OK so a couple more minutes go by, still nothing, then finally they locate some for us. The staff there just seems to wander around with no concept of how to serve customers.
That’s it for New Mexico, our next stop is Roper Lake State Park in Safford, Arizona;
Twinkles and Slick