On our way out to see the Rose Parade we took some side trips to break things up. One area that looked inviting was the Silver City, NM area. It is just south of the Gila Mountains and offers some great day trips. This is mining country. Silver City was the town where everyone brought the silver to be processed. And it is Indian country. When you see movies of the Cavalry chasing the Apaches, it was around here. Geronimo was born at its headwaters.
Our first day trip was to see the Catwalk trail. It is an area where miners (not minors ) needed to run a pipeline system to provide water for their process in the late 1800's. Some crazy people actually worked through this canyon to hang the pipeline from the walls. They must have really wanted that water bad. After the mines were abandoned it was decided to make the area in to a park with catwalks to view the canyon. It was an easy hike and Nellie got to go along. Apparently flooding is a real problem and parts of the catwalk are routinely washed away.
While at the Catwalk we noticed there was a mining Ghost Town, Mogollon, nearby. Hey we are retired! Might as well take the time to see it. It turned out the real adventure was the roads getting there. It was one lane, winding with no shoulder. Many times we met oncoming cars and it was kind of.... interesting. Someone forgot to tell people it was a ghost town as there were quite a few people living there. Including some people that decided a school bus would make a nice shelter. This place is remote. We talked about how long it must have taken to go to Silver City to get anything by horse drawn carriage.
The next day was reserved for a trip to the Gila Indian Cliff Dwellings. These are quite unique as they allow you to walk through them to tour at your leisure. We had the place to ourselves most of the time. It was interesting to think that these are some of the oldest buildings in America as they were constructed in the 1100's best they can tell. Compare that to Europe and what they had built long before that. They were abandoned somewhere in the 1200's. No one knows why really.