Final bits of the Gila trip

Ken is super allergic to poison ivy, and we noticed on the second day of backpacking that there was baby poison ivy coming up next to all the rocks in our camp, and we’d been sitting and stepping in it. I hadn’t thought to bring the poison ivy scrub (when will I learn? Or maybe when will Ken learn, he’s the one who’s so allergic…), so we had to go in search of some when we were done hiking. That hadn’t been part of the plan, so good thing we’re flexible. We headed back to Silver City and found some Arby’s, poison ivy scrub, gas, and these.

Nothing like lobster tail, steak, peas, and french bread after eating dehydrated food for a couple of days. We were very full.
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We camped at a group camp that night. It was a sorta weird place, just a bunch of fire pits in a very flat Ponderosa forest. But it was free, and there were only two other groups camping there, so it worked for us. The next morning we drove out the impressive road to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.

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The cliff dwelling hike is very cool, totally worth the $3 entry fee.

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I think we should explore this part of the Gila some more in the future. There’s a bunch of rivers which come together in this area, and you can hike up various ones. We did a bit of a hike up one to see a hot springs. These are the sorts of hikes where you cross the river a whole bunch of times. And it’s not a shallow little stream, this was high enough to come over the tops of my boots.

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We left that area in the mid afternoon and drove back to the south-east, spending the next two nights at the Black Range Lodge, a bed and breakfast in a very cool old building. The owners were very friendly, and the building and grounds are full of character. We had a nice stay, doing some hiking and finally seeing some lupine close enough to take a picture. We had driven by some, but not hiked by any previously. I think they might be one of my favorite flowers.

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We headed home on Saturday so we could go to church and get ourselves sorted out before we went back to work. It was a very enjoyable and relaxing trip. If only we could take more 9 day trips to the middle of nowhere!

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