Gila Cliff Dwellings, Clear Skies, and Steep Curves

June 10, 2009
Sally on the trail

Sally on the trail

 

Andy made it all the way to the top of the trail, too!

Andy made it all the way to the top of the trail, too!

Today we journeyed up to the Gila Cliff Dwellings to take a short hike up the mountain and see where the Mogollon people lived between 1270 and 1290 A.D. The dwellings are in the Gila National Forest, a couple hours drive from our cabins at Pinos Altos. Along the way, we passed an old adobe house, which is in disrepair but still intact.

Old Adobe House

Old Adobe House

The visitor’s center has several hummingbird feeders hanging outside, with the largest and most diverse population I’ve ever seen in one place.

Hummingbirds at the Gila Visitor Center

Hummingbirds at the Gila Visitor Center

The Mogollons are believed to have intermarried with the Anasazi to form what are now the Pueblo people. I can’t begin to show everything from the trip, but here are a few pictures from the dwellings themselves. The road up to the dwellings is very steep, with switchbacks and sharp curves. The altitude of the cliffs is about the same as where we are staying, around 5900-6000 feet, but the mountains in between are higher, up to 7400 feet above sea level. The whole thing makes for a bit of huffing and puffing when climbing the hills, but it’s worth it!

View of the cliff dwellings from across the ravine

View of the cliff dwellings from across the ravine

P1080186 P1080193 P1080195

Inside the cave

Inside the cave

P1080238 P1080244
After leaving the main site, I hiked down another trail to a small single dwelling.

This little dwelling is on the other side of the mountain from the rest

This little dwelling is on the other side of the mountain from the rest

We came back to the cabins to eat and prepare the telescope for tonight’s viewing. The sky looks very clear!


Thunderstorms, Rain, Eventual Clearing and Hummingbirds for Breakfast

June 10, 2009

The weather was rough last night, but the clouds are moving out this morning. It is expected to be clear tonight, so the telescope will finally see first light in New Mexico.

Spooky full moon

Spooky full moon

I took a few time exposures from the deck last night to capture the full moon obscured by clouds.

Blue-throated hummingbird at the feeder

Blue-throated hummingbird at the feeder

Today we will be heading up to the Gila Wilderness to view the cliff dwellings in that area. I’ll be posting those pictures later.

There are several distinct species of hummingbird in the area – we’ve seen two. The black-chinned hummingbird is small and mostly green with a black throat. Sally spotted one this morning. No photos yet. The blue-throated hummingbird is more common. I caught a few shots this morning.

This would be a clearer picture if the window was cleaner

This would be a clearer picture if the window was cleaner


%d bloggers like this: