We left our hotel at 8 but we had to gas up first. The gas is definitely more expensive in California than any where else we have been including Alaska. We also found out that it is cheaper if you pay cash, with a card it was $4.29Continue reading “Highway 33 to the Pacific Coast Highway”
We got up the next morning thinking it won’t take long to run up to the cliff dwellings. It was only 38 miles. People were telling us it would take us 2 hours to get there. We are thinking it can’t be any worse than some of our roads. Even my girlfriend, google maps, said it would take us 2 hours. We just thought yea right and took off.
Well people were right. We left Silver City at 8:30am and arrived at the dwelling at 10:15. Yes it was a very windy road but well worth the trip. We saw some deer along the way and crossed the Continental Divide twice today. Once we were 7080 feet and the other one was at 6375 feet both of which were posted so you know when you cross. We also had our ole hippies with us.
It wasn’t too bad of a walk up to the dwellings. I was a little slow because at spots if was a little steep. I wasn’t the only one taking it slow.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is a U.S. National Monument created to protect Mogollon cliff dwellings in the Gila Wilderness on the headwaters of the Gila River in southwest New Mexico. The 533-acre (2.16 km2) national monument was established by President Theodore Roosevelt through executive proclamation on November 16, 1907. It is located in the extreme southern portion of Catron County. Visitors can access the Monument by traveling northbound from Silver City, New Mexico approximately 37 miles on NM 15.
Considered by archaeologists to be on the northernmost portion of the Mogollon People’s sphere of influence, the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is home to two prominent ruins sites among a collection of smaller sites located within the Gila Wilderness inside the Gila National Forest. The Monument landscape ranges in elevation from around 5,700 to 7,300 feet above sea level and follows the branches of the Gila River. The terrain around the ruins is rugged and arid, and contains steep-sided canyons cut by shallow spring rivers and mesas and bluffs forested with Ponderosa pine, Gambel’s oak, Douglas fir, New Mexico juniper, pinon pine, and alligator juniper (among others). The area geologic history stems from the Oligocene epoch and volcanic activity that subsequently covered the area with ash. The Monument’s hot springs are remnants of this volcanic history.
The Monument consists of 553 acres (2.24 km2) and contains the remains of a Mimbres Culture community in various locations, two of which are most prominent. The namesake ruins’ developers made use of natural caves to build interlinked dwellings within five cliff alcoves above Cliff Dweller Canyon. The TJ Ruins are located on a bluff overlooking the Gila River. The Mogollon Peoples are believed to have inhabited the region from between 1275 and into the early 14th century, during the Pueblo III Era.
Archaeologists have identified 46 rooms in the five caves on Cliff Dweller Canyon, and believed they were occupied by 10 to 15 families. The “Heart-Bar Site” or the TJ Ruins (named for the former ranch which the mesa takes its name from) located on TJ Mesa are largely un-excavated. It is not known why the community was abandoned.
Hopi oral tradition refers to migrations occurred based cycles calendars, and in response to changing environmental conditions. Other ruins include Javalina House, about 1/3 mile above the main ruin, West Fork Ruin, currently under Highway 15 across from Woody Corral, Three Mile Ruin along the west fork of the Gila River, and middle fork of the Gila River at the 11 room Cosgrove Ruin. Dendrochronology (tree ring dating) determined that the wood used in the dwellings were cut between 1276 and 1287. The region provided for growing, gathering and hunting food.
To visit the namesake dwellings, requires visitors to hike a well-traveled mile (1.6 km) long trail loop with several foot bridges over a stream. The entire walk takes about an hour. The hike begins at an elevation of 5695 Feet (1736 Meters) and ends at 5875 Feet (1790 Meters).
If you are ever in area this is well worth the side trip.
Hope you enjoyed my visit to Gila Cliff Dwellings.
We are off to Tombstone next.
Thanks for stopping by!
We were going to Seward last weekend but it was flooded. We made it this weekend and I finally got all my photos uploaded.
Friday when we got there it was stormy.
We camped on Resurrection Bay. Continue reading “Camping in Seward, Alaska”
Hoping it isn’t the last camping trip for the year. The weather has been so nice we are still camping. We are not taking the camper off of the truck yet. I will be gone for a couple of weeks but we are hoping that me may be able to get a couple more trips in before the snow when I get back. We are having an Indian Summer and really enjoying it.
We loaded up as soon as David and Dusty got home from work and off we went. Heather, Dan and the babies were meeting us at Knik River.
When we arrived at Knik River we found a place to camp. I was sitting watching David get the campfire ready to start and noticed all the beautiful colors in the mountains.
We enjoyed watching the planes fly over and could see the bridge that the kids had to cross to get to us.
The kids arrived just as the sun was going down. Continue reading “Knik River”
This is our last road trip before we all fly home to Anchorage, Alaska. Can’t wait to see where we go today.
Looks like we are headed down a long gravel road today.
We stopped for a photo at the river as we entered Fjallabak Nature Reserve.
Then we had a nice picnic lunch in Landmannalaugar Highlands.
Next we went to the hot pool which once again we did not get in because we didn’t bring our swimming suits. I think we might have got all squishy anyway.
It was a nice way to end our road trips in Iceland.
This was going to be our last road trip of our vacation. I decided we needed to go to another geothermal bath. I knew I had read about one so I located it and marked our route on the map. This time I didn’t have to find back roads because that is what you had to take to get there. I packed us a lunch and had in may mind this nice private place to enjoy our last soak.
we took about a two hour drive down gravel roads some of which are called F roads, which weren’t as bad as some we have driven down in Alaska, not sure what the F stands for. You can imagine though we did have fun with it. We were saying things like I will drive down any F-ing road I want. We finally reached Fjallabak Nature Reserve where the hot bath is supposed to be that we are going to. Off we go to drive down another F-ing road.
Fjallabak Nature Reserve was established in 1979. The Nature reserve is 47.000 hectares and is over 500 meters above sea level. The land is mountainous, sculptured by volcanoes and geothermal activity, covered by lavas, sands, rivers and lakes.
I have to say that on our road trip so far we had only a couple of cars that passed us. Then we hit the top of a hill and around the corner there were several other cars stopped to take photos. We did the same and while we were there even more cars came and stopped. I am starting to thing these people had the same idea I had about getting away from the people and having a nice soak.
We made it too Landmannalaugar in the Highland. I was in for a big surprise when we got there. The place was packed. There were cars and buses all over the place. I was thinking it was a whole river that you could use but it was just a small spot where the hot water mixes with the cold.
Landmannalaugar (the people’s pools) is a geothermal paradise, replete with rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains and bubbling hot springs, where wispy plumes of steam rise off the volcanically heated waters. It has been a resting place for travelers for many centuries and Icelandic people have traditionally used it as a stop off point when they cross the highlands, which is where its name originates from.
This makes it sound so romantic. I wouldn’t call it that because to get the warm water you have to be in the area where the river runs into the small pond. This is the point that everyone gathers. It was a beautiful setting though.
When we got there the first thing I had to do was hit the toilet. It was becoming urgent. We got to the bathroom and we saw a sign that you have to get a day pass to use it. After paying our 500 Krona or $4.68 and getting our wrist bands I could have some relief. We enjoyed our picnic lunch outside at a picnic table, a first for us because we had been eating on the road. You could eat inside a clear plastic, covered area. We then noticed that if you wanted to shower after your soak you had to get a ticket to scan which was another 500 Krona. We decided we were going to go for that too, so our free soak cost us a total of 1000 Krona or $9.36. We changed and headed for the bath down the wooden walkway.
At the end of the walkway was a platform where you can leave your things while in the pool. Some of the people were changing out there, so if you want to save the 1000Krona you can do without the toilet and shower. We climbed down the few stairs to the water which was very clear, cold and had a gravel bottom. If you have tender feet like David you may want to wear water shoes. The water was about thigh deep. it is just a short walk to the where the warm water flows into the cold pool. We sat amongst the people who were from many different countries. We enjoyed listening to the many languages. As people leave you move closer to where the hot water pours into the cold. You can feel when the heat comes up from the ground because the stream will get hotter. I have to admit that the scenery is beautiful. This is not one of our favorite hot baths but it was unique and well worth going to.
Landmannalaugar (the people’s pools) is a geothermal paradise, replete with rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains and bubbling hot springs, where wispy plumes of steam rise off the volcanically heated waters. It has been a resting place for travelers for many centuries and Icelandic people have traditionally used it as a stop off point when they cross the highlands, which is where its name originates from.nt countries. It was fun listening to all the different languages. As people leave you move closer to the hot stream. We enjoyed it but we would not call it the best one we had ever been too. It was the cheapest though.
There were some beautiful flowers and some cute little birds in the creeks.
After our shower we headed home a different way. The way we came home was quicker but I could see why they recommend a 4X4. There were a couple of water crossings but nothing bad. I do imagine that in the spring it can get really bad. I now see why there are so many trucks with the big tires on them now. They must spend time in the highlands.
It started raining on us again on the way home. We got up in the clouds as we climbed over the mountains back to civilization. We stopped in Selfoss to get to get some supper and headed back to the apartment to call it a night.
We started off this morning heading to the Golden Circle when we hit Route 1 we turned left. After a while we noticed the water was on the left side not the right side where it should be. We then found an information board and with our map in hand we figured out that we had turned the wrong way on Route 1. We had gone too far to turn around so we decided to carry on. Oh by the way, we were not lost just sightseeing. We had a wonderful day looking at waterfalls, rivers, fishermen, mountains, sheep, and tons of lupines. We had never seen so many lupines in Alaska. We even stopped to watch the sheep get herded across the road. We went to the end of one road and in Arkanes found two light houses. At one point we kept seeing this weird looking building which we decided must have something to do with some type of pipeline. We took a tunnel under a fjord. It rained off and on all day but we didn’t care. We were just enjoying the scenery and each other. We love road trips. We read somewhere that Iceland is the third windiest country in the world and that the first two no one lives on. We do believe this now!
After we got back to our apartment we took it easy for a while and figured out where we went wrong today. We did some research for breweries online. Then decided to walk downtown to Skuli’s which were told was where the locals go for a nice craft beer. The bartender, Liljar, said that the place was named after a local hero named Skuli Magnusson. He was the first and only sheriff of Reykjavik. The other bartender, Alyson, was a brewer from Colorado. We ordered some dinner from their food truck. We ordered pulled pork and a fried cod buns with French fries cooked by Scott, yet another American from Memphis, Tennessee. After we were done we walked back home.
It was a wonderful day. Tomorrow we will see if we make it to the Golden Circle or if we go on another impromptu sightseeing trip.