I don't think we would have ever heard about the Silver City area if it wasn't for my former Plano Parks and Recreation co-worker, Lynn Welsch, who told us about this area of New Mexico. Lynn and her husband, Phillip, retired to this area several years ago. They both keep busy in retirement - Lynn is a very gifted art quilter (Mountain Spirits Studio) and Phillips flies his experimental airplane. Phillip offered me a ride in his plane to see some of the area from a better perspective.
After recovering from volunteering at the Tour of the Gila, we visited the Gila Cliff Dwellings - a 44 mile drive north of Silver City. The drive takes about two hours as the roads twist and winds through the Gila National Forest - following the Trail of the Mountain Spirits National Scenic Byway. The view above was taken from NM Highway 15 as you get ready to drop into the Gila River Valley.
Our first time to visit Silver City, New Mexico and we started our first week out by attending the opening stage of the Tour of the Gila. The first stage was a 151.3 km (94 mile) road race from Silver City to the ghost town area of Mogollon. The highlight of this stage is an uphill finish in the Mogollon Mountains, with 2,100 feet of climbing in the last 6 miles.
We arrived early to the race finish area just as set-up was beginning for the day. I ended up helping setup the awards stage, finish stage, and P.A. system. All those years of working special events for Plano Parks and Recreation has paid off in retirement :) Heather is posing above just after we finished assembling the awards stage. I have volunteered to work the remainder of the event (four more days of racing) setting up and taking down the awards and finish areas - should be fun!
We are retired, live/travel full-time in a travel trailer, and enjoy the outdoors.