We decided to head to southwest New Mexico. First stop during our travels to the southwest was Brantley Lake State Park outside of Carlsbad. We decided to stop in Artesia, just north of Carlsbad, to check out our old family home there. We haven’t been back in 34 years! The house was unrecognizable, almost, it looked horrible! Best to leave the past in the past.
Next stop, Las Cruses. We stayed at the KOA there and the KOA was located on a mesa overlooking the city. The view was pretty cool.
We were planning on staying at the City of Rocks State Park near Silver City but all the sites were taken. We did stop at the visitor center and parked so we could check out The City of Rocks. We wandered through the rock formations. The formations are made up of geological volcanic stones. Some of them are 40 feet high. The rocks were formed 34.9 million years ago. You can walk through the rocks with plenty of paths to choose from, the paths are just like walking on streets through a rock town. Gizzy liked it too. It really was impressive.
Continuing on journey, we headed to Silver City, NM. We parked our RV at the KOA in Silver City. Gila National Forest is in this area. Inside of this forest are the Gila Cliff Dwellings. It is about a one mile loop to hike to the dwellings. There are 40 rooms built inside 5 caves. Puebloans lived in these dwellings which were built with rock, mortar and timber felled in 1276 and 1287. It is amazing to be standing in these dwellings which are mostly intact, the roofs of the dwellings have since decayed but the walls are still intact. Also, right before you get to the cliff dwellings parking lot, you can stop and walk up to a rock wall which has pictographs on it. The puebloans mixed water with hematite for the paint, it is a red color. There art work looked like bullseyes, designs and people figures. There was a big boulder there which on the sign said that possibly, the kids used it for a slide
In Silver City is a log cabin given to the city by Ron Howard from his movie, The Missing. It is a rendition of the cabin that Billy the Kid lived in with his mother, brother and stepfather. It is next to the visitors center. Behind the cabin and visitors center is the Big Ditch. It was the original main street but flash floods destroyed it creating a big ditch. The main street now runs alongside of the Big Ditch 55 feet above the original main street. We enjoyed all the history of this area, especially the dwellings.