Awhile back, I got the bright idea to go visit my SparkFriend LINDAKAY228 in Silver City, New Mexico. I had visited the town shortly before 'meeting' her online and loved the area so we had already planned to visit there again. Over the next two years, Linda and I have discovered through blogs and message boards that we have a lot in common so when DH decided he didn't really want to go this time, I went without him
No, we're not on the verge of divorce or splitting up - on the contrary, we spend a lot of time together and MOST of our trips are together - but neither of us is opposed to going on separate trips now and then, esp if our interests are going in different directions somewhat - this trip, I knew I would want to spend a lot of time with Linda and DH knew he would enjoy doing something else instead so that's what we did. It actually worked out quite well. Soooo, I finished up my docent class on the morning of 5/23 and drove off with Princess that afternoon. Our first stop was in Needles, mainly for convenience of time and distance. I have driven that route before and knew there was a lower-priced gas station a few miles down the road but took this picture of the gas prices in Needles to amuse you - keep in mind that it's many miles from the last previous gas station coming through California but still....it seemed a little over-priced all the same.
A few miles down the road, we crossed into Arizona
where the gas taxes are a lot lower and gas processing isn't quite as complex as it is in California, where we have regulations to help reduce smog pollution [thanks goodness!!] so here's the next gas station, only 6 miles from the last one, but in a different state - still, the taxes and so forth don't account for ALL of the previous station's markups - they simply took advantage of the isolation of their location and the fact that many people aren't sure how far it is to the next station. Soooo, this is where I got my tank filled up....
Of course, Princess went with me on this trip and as you can see, she did travel the way a Princess deserves to travel - on a nice soft people-pillow.
One place we stopped along the way was the Nelson Reservoir in Arizona, a little to the west of the New Mexico border. This picture was taken on our third day of the trip, after spending the second night in Show Low Arizona.
We also stopped in the Apache National Forest - on the trip back, I saw an elk in this area but the day we were there, we didn't see any animals.
We explored a little bit
And then kicked back for a few minutes before hitting the road again.
When we got back on the road, it wasn't too long before we spotted the gigantic fire raging through the Gila National Forest in New Mexico - this was on 5/25 and it's much, much larger than this now - but you can see it is in 'rough territory' for fire fighting!
Seeing the fire and realizing all the destruction it's causing really breaks my heart. This is what the Gila National Forest looks like just a few miles away from where it's burning so you can have an idea of the beauty being consumed by the fire!
After a few more hours of driving, we arrived in Silver City and spent the evening getting to know LindaKay228 - turns out we have soooooo much in common, we found it easy to just talk the hours away and we also enjoyed a ton of activity, too. The first morning we were in Silver City, we went in the Ft Bayan Wilderness Race. I was thrilled to also get to meet STRING1719, a wonderful woman named Colleen who had driven up from Deming with her husband to enter the race. Her DH Anthony did the 8 mile trail run, Colleen ran the 5k trail course and Linda, Princess and I walked it - here's a picture of LINDAKAY228, STRING1719, LYNDALOVES2HIKE and Princess the adorable one.
The course was mostly dirt trails, some uphill but not a lot, and we walked it pretty fast, I think, finishing it in 50 minutes. Not bad considering we had Princess with us, who needed to make a few potty stops along the way - Linda was used to the elevation but Princess and I were not so adding in the fact we had just driven for 3 days to get there, I thought we did well!
After all the race activity was over, Colleen and her husband headed back to Deming while Linda, Princess and I went over to a nearby trail system called Dragonfly trails. I love the area and enjoyed seeing some more of the area.
We saw TONS of flowers - I took a lot of pictures and will share a few of them here.
I was quite impressed at the beauty of this unique little flower!
This is the official sign for the area - The Fort Bayard Management Area - and I'm so happy that it's a wildlife preserve!
And before we left, I had to snag another picture of this fantastic cholla cactus:
Sooooo, as if we hadn't done 'enough' already between the Fort Bayard Wilderness Race and then hiking around the dragonfly trails area, we decided to go over to the Little Walnut Picnic Area - a delightful little picnic area with a network of interesting trails we hiked a few days later. I really enjoyed spending time in this delightful area!
While Linda and I talked a little more, Princess had a different idea of how to enjoy her time there.
After resting for a little while, Princess decided to turn herself from a white fluffy dog into a beige dog.
When she shook herself off, she had all kinds of dirt and weeds in her fur!
But apparently she didn't think she had done a good enough job, so she went back for seconds, haha!
I have to say, for a girlie little white fluffy Princess who loves to wear flowers, cute clothes and ornaments [anything that will get her attention, haha], she sure knows how to have a 'dirty good time' and she is also a real trooper on the trails - so I think you can tell, we all had a great day and none of us had any trouble getting to sleep that night!
I hope you enjoyed the pictures and blog - if you did, check back in another couple of days for the 'next part' of my trip and check out LINDAKAY228's blog because she's posting pictures from my visit, too.