DECEMBER 29, 2010

Where has the time gone?  We set off to Payson Arizona on the 23rd, to bring Christmas cheer to Jenn’s nephew, on our way back to Santa Fe. We had a wonderful ride through The Tonto National Forrest. It is the first place in the west I have seen water. There are several big lakes there with cactus growing right down to the bank. We got to Payson in the evening ,only to realize I did not have my wallet. After much thought and map viewing (and controlled panic) ,I realized I must have left it at a gas station somewhere near Florence (the receipt was of course in the wallet). I narrowed it down to 10 gas stations, and started calling. on the third call the attendant was excited to hear from me. He had the wallet and was trying to track me down. We had to drive back to southern Arizona the next day to get it ,and that determined our Christmas. We headed to Silver City on a whim christmas eve. Arriving late we gave ourselves the luxury of a motel. Early Christmas morning we woke up and headed for the gila wilderness. It took two hours to get into the main part of the park where there are cliff dwellings from 1200. We were the first people to arrive at the ranger station that morning. The Rangers are volunteers who stay in the park for three months. We got a private tour through the cliff face with a wonderful ranger named Sarah. The ruins were amazing, and it was easy while sitting in the warm sun on the cliff in front of the dwellings, to imagine what your life would be like in that wonderful real-estate. When we came down from the cliff, the cooler was pulled out at a picnic table and a Javelina walked right by us ( they are wild pigs). It was an incredible day. We had to leave by 2:30 to be able to get out of the park before dark. The roads are treacherous, hair pin turns ,on mountain sides with no guard rails. We just made it to the plains by sunset christmas day. I loved the thought that loosing the wallet, changed all our plans and led to an adventure that was so memorable. We stayed in a parking lot of a casino that night (no truck stops) And arrived back in Santa Fe the 26th.

About turningaroundamerica

Collaborative Team of Jenn Moller and Beth Ireland
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