Voices of the Wind — life in a Gila Wilderness lookout tower

Black Mountain Lookout Tower Photo by Dru Claridge This is the most beautiful place on earth," I said to my cat our first evening at Black Mountain tower together. I had just ridden horseback up here; Kipper had travelled with me, safe in her pet taxi. Now she stood on her hind legs to look out the window. She trembled, whether at her distance off the ground or at the wilderness all around us, I couldn’t say. From the tower […] Read more »

The Palace Hotel

Technorati Tags: Grant County,Silver City,lodging,Gila,businessdirectory,listing For attractive, comfortable, and convenient lodgings in Silver City, no place surpasses the Palace Hotel. The hotel’s charm combines old world elegance with down home Western comfort. Situated on the corner of Broadway and Bullard Streets, the heart of downtown Silver City’s historic district, the Palace Hotel is within walking distance to shops, galleries, and restaurants. Cal and Nancy Thompson were innkeepers in Pinetop, Arizona, when they took on the Palace Hotel in Silver City. […] Read more »

Mogollon — off the beaten path

Technorati Tags: Mogollon,soutwest,Catron County,travelogue Flatlanders need not apply. The road to Mogollon, known as the Bursum Road, climbs 2,080 feet from the San Francisco River Valley to the old ghost town, nestled in the Mogollon Mountains. “That doesn’t sound so bad,” you might say, but the climb is seven miles in length - over 2,000 feet in seven miles, and not one of the switchbacks has guardrails. This is New Mexico at its wild and woolly best. The Bursum Road, […] Read more »

Victorio

Technorati Tags: Victorio,Apache,chief,southwest,Sierra County,Grant County,history Victorio’s Mimbres Apaches were concentrated family units which had once populated the Mimbres and Gila Rivers, and Mogollon Mountains. Through attrition from contact with encroaching Spanish, Mexican, and American settlers, their numbers dwindled, and in 1870 the Mimbres Apaches were given a small reservation, Ojo Caliente or Warm Springs, northwest of present Truth or Consequences. Victorio, born sometime in the 1820s conflicts, grew up in an era of escalating conflicts between Apaches, Mexicans, and American […] Read more »

The Johnson Massacre

Animas Peak in New Mexico’s bootheel, where the massacre actually took place Photo by Donna Johnson.   Certain stories are so evocative of time and place, they enter a zone of both fiction and common knowledge. The story of the Johnson Massacre is such a story. It has been retold in books and magazines claiming to report real life in early New Mexico. The story has been borrowed by the movies, for its dramatic qualities give themselves to the medium […] Read more »

The Luna Valley Ruins — attempting to preserve ten rooms and a great kiva

The Luna Valley Dig Courtesy Photo   The high valley in which the tiny town of Luna, New Mexico, sits is surpassingly beautiful. The San Francisco River courses by under enormous cottonwood trees, and the green valley stretches between piney mountains. Luna itself, rustic and basic, could hail from an era when cowpokes rode alongside their herds, ropes a-twirl, spurs flashing in the sunlight. Actually, an even more radical time shift is required of the visitor who would take in […] Read more »

The North Star Road

Technorati Tags: Sierra County,Grant County,travelogue,scenic drive,drive,drives,scenic drives,travelogues,Gila,Gila Wilderness The North Star Road (Forest Route 150 on the Gila National Forest map), an unpaved road connecting New Mexico’s Mimbres Valley with Wall Lake, has an undeserved bad reputation. On checking with the Mimbres Ranger Station , I was cautioned to use a high clearance vehicle. I have driven the entire route several times, only once with a high clearance vehicle. I cross-examined the Forest Service person about creek crossings and they […] Read more »

The Bursum Road

The Bursum Road runs throughthe middle of Mogollon. Photo by Carla DeMarco   One of my favorite drives is along the Bursum Road, which turns east from Hwy 180 about 4 miles north of Glenwood and climbs to Mogollon, Willow Creek, and Snow Lake. The Bursum Road takes the traveler from desert heat at the San Francisco River to alpine woods of aspen and fir in the Mogollon Mountains. It came as a surprise to find out that not everyone […] Read more »

Steins — a Railroad Ghost Town

Steins, New Mexico. Photo by the Author   Sometimes the unseen hand of fate descends to arrange a unique opportunity. When visiting Steins (pronounced Steens) Railroad Ghost Town, just off I-10 in southern New Mexico near the Arizona state line, I had the chance to take a rare photograph. We hadn’t been there ten minutes when a pair of Southern Pacific locomotives pulling a train of empty cargo containers stopped at Steins, held up by track repair ahead. I persuaded […] Read more »