Gila Cliff Dwellings and more hot springs
I woke up and took a morning soak. I could get used to this.
Pugsly seems to like stomping around in the leaves.
After my morning soak, coffee, and breakfast, I packed up camp and headed for the Gila Cliff Dwellings about 8 miles up the road. I stopped at the Visitor’s Center and arrived just in time for the 15-minute informational movie. The Puebloans of the Mogollon area built these dwellings between 1276 and 1287, but they only lived there for one generation. The pamphlet I received at the Visitor’s Center says, “Archeological evidence suggests that many different groups of people inhabited this area over several thousand years. What motivated this group to build inside the caves? And why did they stay for only a few decades?”
At the Visitor’s Center parking lot, there is a fresh water fill-up station, complete with hose. Initially, I tried to hold the hose at my camper water-fill-up hole, and then turn on the water with my other hand. The first time, I don’t think I got any water in the camper water tank, but instead cleaned a section of the Tacoma and soaked my jeans, jacket, and face. It was highly comedic and would have been very entertaining to anyone watching.
The second time, I managed to balance the hose on my tank fill-up, and turn the water on with my foot. Still amusing, but far more functional.
I drove over to the trailhead for the cliff dwellings with my heater blasting on full and hoped that I’d dry off quickly.
There are about 40 dwellings built inside five natural caves!
It’s pretty high elevation here, and there were still icicles hanging from the cliffs, and ice crystals along the walkway.
Inside the Ranger Station at the trailhead was more information about the Peoples, food they ate, tools used, and indigenous creatures. This Gray Wolf captivated me.
Unfortunately, he is no longer alive.
But hopefully his pups are still roaming the area.
I went back to the Hot Springs for more soaking and another night of campering.
After making lunch, I set about to do some re-organizing inside my camper.
There is very limited space in my camper, so of course, I brought along too many books, and my rather large cozy slippers.
I also found that my fridge is magnet-friendly, so I decorated a bit with a drawing from a young friend of mine, Iggy,in Prescott. He made me a going away card and included me in the picture of his family. On the back is an “I love you” and “I miss you”. When Iggy gave me the card, I teared up. That’s a good kid and I miss our daily chats.
The orange magnet is my “sad monster” drawing that I created when I was about Iggy’s age. And of course, no fridge is complete without an “I heart Power Tools” patch.
These are some of the important things.