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Gila Cliff Dwellings of the Mogollon Mountains

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
My 40th Birthday Foray into Arizona and New Mexico
Thursday, February 13, 2020

After our nice overnight trip into Aravaipa Canyon, Thursday was going to be a shorter and easier day for us. Today we planned to drive up into the Mogollon Mountains from Silver City to visit Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, which is a small Monument that was established in 1907 by Theodore Roosevelt at the edge of the Gila Wilderness. In case you didn’t know, the Gila Wilderness was the nation’s very first designated wilderness area. Although we didn’t have much time to visit this large wilderness area on this trip, I would certainly like to return in the future for a longer backpacking trip.

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Thanksgiving Weekend on Cedar Mesa

Thanksgiving Weekend | Thursday – Sunday, November 28 – December 1, 2019

This year for Thanksgiving Diane and I planned to spend the long holiday weekend searching for ruins and rock art on Cedar Mesa like we usually do at this time of the year. However, this year we had to deal with a winter storm that impacted the area and required us to change our plans on the fly. Although I wasn’t able to hike in the canyons I had originally planned for this trip, we managed to avoid most of the weather and find things to do throughout the weekend. Here are some photos from the weekend in no particular order…

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Ruins Around the Bears Ears

Friday – Sunday, April 19-21, 2019

I can’t believe that it’s almost the end of April already and this is only my first trip of the year to the canyons surrounding the Bears Ears! At the very least I typically spend Presidents Day weekend exploring this area, but this year we had planned a trip around a concert in Las Vegas over that holiday weekend instead. Then I ended up concentrating on exploring more of The Needles during a few of my other weekends this year and have neglected getting down to the Bears Ears. I finally wanted to change that this weekend, so a few weeks ago I contacted my friend Jerry to see if he was interested in joining me this weekend, and he was, so we met up Friday evening near Blanding to hike a couple of canyons together around the Bears Ears over the weekend. The weather was great and we visited a few nice sites. Enjoy these photos from our weekend!

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Cedar Mesa Ruins

Friday – Sunday, June 9-11, 2017

Typically I avoid visiting Cedar Mesa in June because of the hotter temperatures and especially because of the annoying cedar gnats (no-see-ums) that are usually prevalent at this time of the year. However, I made an exception this year since my friend Alan and his father would be visiting the area this weekend and invited me to join them. Our friend Jerry, who I met last year on a backpacking trip on the Arizona Strip was going to be there and my old friend John Mumaw, who I hadn’t seen in a few years, was also going to be stopping by.

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Black Friday in Chaco Canyon

Black Friday | Friday, November 25, 2016

After a great day exploring the Bisti Badlands, Diane and I would be spending Black Friday checking out the massive ruins at the Chaco Culture National Historical Park. It’s been over 5 years since my last visit to Chaco Canyon and I was looking forward to returning. Diane had never been here before and she had a great time seeing all of the impressive ruins for the very first time. Besides visiting all of the easy-to-access ruins along the loop road, we would also hike the Pueblo Alto Trail which is one of the few trails I had not hiked in the park yet. We spent all day in the park and had a really great time!

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