Daily Archives: May 18, 2016

Gran Quivira National Monument


Even with all of the rain, we left Cibola NF with no problems on any of the roads.

We saw lots of pronghorn (antelope) on our way out. It was the first time we had seen pronghorn this trip. I always love seeing them.

Passed by signs for Gran Quivira, Salinas Pueblo National Monument and decided to stop.

It is a very nice park with great staff and very well preserved/excavated Pueblo ruins/early Spanish Mission site. 

It was a bustling market town before the Spanish, and continued to be so until the mid-1600’s when there was a prolonged drought and the area was abandoned.

Traditional Ancient Puebloan kiva. 

We walked through the trails leading to the extensive excavation and met up the the park ranger while we were among the Pueblo section. She left us while we were in the Spanish mission section. The ruins are quite picturesque.

The similarity and contrast between the Spanish mission and the Ancient Puebloan was interesting.

The weather was almost perfect. It was a little overcast, so it didn’t get too hot. It made for beautiful skies and good light.

I was feeling particularly inspired taking photos, so here are some more.

The park was very quiet although I’m not sure that is true for the summer season. There is a small museum and gift shop.

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Texas to New Mexico – May 14, 2016

Cibola National Forest

Near Gallinas Peak (8815′)
West of Corona, NM
We didn’t wake up all that early, but did go into Amarillo for breakfast. 

We stopped at a Texas Welcome Center that had an interesting building with iron cow sculptures outside. Texas seemed to have a number newly built rest stops along the highway.

After driving around quite a long time, breakfast wound up being a burrito from a gas station. 

After looking at maps, we decided on camping at Red Cloud Campground in Cibola National Forest. We passed by the campground which seemed adequate but not inspiring to check out the sights. We passed by several dispersed campsites, so we felt like we would be able to find other campsites further along. 

The weather report indicated that there would probably be rain and/or thunderstorms later. The roads seemed like they would be fine even when really wet.
We found a wonderful campsite near the top of a peak. It seemed like a great choice. It had great views and we could continue along the route for a hike. We didn’t mind that it was very exposed to the elements since the Fuso and Big Foot camper deal well with winds. 

It was still plenty early enough for us to go on a hike. We just headed further up the same path from where we camped. 

There were several fenced areas. One of them had an interesting water gathering/storage/water station set up. 

We walked further along.

There was a patch of lovely yellow flowers. 

Great views, but turned around due to oncoming storm clouds. 

A big thunderstorm came through. There was even hail at one point. It is so nice to be able to sit inside where it is nice and dry when the weather is really nasty outside. 

It got really cold due to the altitude (over 8,000 ft) and the storm. The heater didn’t want to turn on at first. It was warm enough inside for Jon to wait until after storm went through. Jon finally got it to go, but it required much poking from the outside. It was still sprinkling. 

We tried to grill outside, but between the wind and problems with the grill, It wouldn’t stay lit.  So I cooked dinner inside tonight.

We still had a really nice sunset.

It rained overnight. The roads were fine in the morning. We didn’t have any problems with mud.

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