Saturday, July 17, 2010

Austin to Jamestown 2010

This blog is a great reminder to me of my trips between Austin and Jamestown.  Even though it’s been a few weeks, I still want to post a few highlights of my last trip.

Silver City…….

I stayed a couple days at the KOA in Silver City to visit with friend, K and meet up with my Robin and John to explore the Cliff dwellings.

One evening K showed me the old downtown section of the city.  I could spend a couple days exploring there on another trip.  There’s a camp ground downtown that will be the perfect home base for walking the Big Ditch Park.  It was formed by a flash flood down the original main street.  Really interesting.  Made me think the town must have been established during a very long drought!

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Many of the stores have gorgeous bright murals.

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Gila Cliff Dwellings……

It is 35 miles of bad road from SC out to the Gila Cliff Dwellings.  John (Robin’s husband) graciously drove so I got to leave my van safely in SC! .

Walking out to the dwellings was fun as we caught glimpses of the dwellings in the distance.  The trail is only about a mile around trip, but seems longer climbing the mountain at 7000 feet.

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These dwelling were occupied for only about 30 years along about 1270.  It’s a mystery why the residents left the area.  When first discovered in mid 1800s many artifacts were found in perfect condition.  These were almost all lost to looters.  The really interesting thing is that the rock walls were (and are) in such good condition.  Only 20% required restoration.

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John checking out an completely enclosed room. That might have been a tiny door under the window.

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The bottom lands along the Gila River were used to grow crops.

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This is us after the hike to the dwellings.

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We played along the Gila River for a couple hours.  Tristan liked swimming in the river way better than hiking!

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Tumacacori…..

Robin has her horse, Chance, in pasture near Tumacacori (just north of Nogales) this summer.  Delivering a load of hay required Cliff to ford the Santa Cruz River.  It’s weird, the river flows north to Tucson, and is completely dry by the time it gets that far north.

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Chance’s pasture is on the Rancho San Cayetano that was established in 1807.  The ranch house sits snuggly at the end of an alley of sycamore tress while craggy mountains stand watch over the pastures.

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The pastures are flood irrigated with the help of a huge windmill that lifts ground water from the desert.  Totally amazing!

The ground water is probably also the reason the trees have grown so big!

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From my visit to Mexico last year I remember the Vermillion Fly Catcher.  This guy who was so happy with the flood irrigation might be one….

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Located with in a mile or so of the ranch is the Tumacacori Mission National Historical Park. 

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The builders were anxious to mover farther north so the bell tower was never finished. 

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After Tucson I stayed one night at the Blue Waters Casino in Parker. Love it right on the Colorado River.  My last night on the road was in the Orange Grove RV Park outside of Bakersfield.  And finally, after a quick visit and lunch with R in Fresno, I was HOME!!!!

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