Monday, August 16, 2010

Checking in

A lot has happened since we got back from GA. We went for a horse back riding trip to Wyoming's Wind River Valley with Ed Dabney and 18 other people. Ed trailered our horses up there, we flew into Jackson Hole and then drove to Dubois where we met the convoy (yes, it was a convoy of eight horse trailers!). We spent a wonderful week in the wilderness just hanging out with everyone, riding in the some of the most beautiful scenery this country has to offer. Slept in an ultra light two person REI tent with a zero-degree sleeping bag. The temps were in the 40s during the night and high 70s and low 80s during the day. Humidity was low (yes!). WY is an "open carry" state which allowed me to wear my Ruger Vaquero 45 LC single action in a holster in plain view! That feeling alone is awesome!

The camp had primitive facilities, no running water, just a pit toilet that was amazingly clean.

After WY we spent a night in Dubois - this town is beautiful western town. The next day we drove to Jackson Hole, rented a one-way car from Hertz and drove down to Albuquerque. We initially reserved a full-size vehicle but because the Jackson Hole location was privately owned, they did not want to part with their full size new car and instead offered a Corolla with 50K miles on it or a brand new tiny Yarris. We took the Yarris and that puppy held up great! Drove through Rock Springs, WY on to Cheyenne to meet I-25 down through Colorado and into New Mexico. Stopped a bit in Ft Collins, CO which has a beautiful downtown full of restaurants, bars and shops.

The drive through CO was uneventful except a huge rain storm close to Trinidad. After that we rode into NM and rain followed us for a while. Drove through Raton, NM which is very scenic. One observation through NM is the amount of mobile homes, many of them in disarray!

We spend the night in Albuquerque, making sure we had dinner in our favorite restaurant - the "Flying Star". The next morning we went on south on I-25 down to Truth or Consequences and then on to Hillsboro. Hillsboro is the start of the Gila Natl Forest, it is a quaint town with population of about 150. Has two cafes (ate a great lunch at one of them), a gallery and a post office. It is about 40 miles from Silver City (our destination) but the road winds through the Gila Forest and some quite scary switchbacks in the mountains. It took about an hour and a half to cross the 40 miles! Silver City was alright, it is an old mining town with a lot of history and a historic downtown. About 10,000 people live in it and it has all the services of a bigger town, including chain restaurants and a Walmart. It also has a "drag" downtown where we saw a bunch of Latino folks drive around looking all "gangsta" and playing loud music out of their cars.

5 miles north of SC is the community of Pinos Altos - there is a historic Opera House (still functioning!), an old saloon and a museum in town. Worth a visit.

At the end we looked at a property in Mimbres, about 30 minutes away from SC in the Mimbres Valley. This house was on 2.5 acres and its back gate opened into the natl. forest!

All in all, a great trip!!! Can't wait to move out West.

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