We've arrived to the charming town of Silver City, New Mexico (population ~ 10,000 souls), where a thriving arts scene and mild climate seem to create an atmosphere where people are exceedingly friendly and forthcoming.
During our first few hours wandering up and down Bullard Street, the heart of Silver City, we came across any number of citizens who were more than willing to sing the praises of their community and enumerate the reasons why people are moving here in increasing numbers. When I remarked to one shop owner regarding how friendly and talkative people are in Silver City, she said, "Yes, we're friendly---almost to the point of being confessional!"
Listed as one of the healthiest places to live in America, the city has a lot to offer, including proximity to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and the Gila National Forest. Tomorrow we'll attend the town's annual Spring Festival and continue to explore the town and talk to people about life and work in this area.
Over the next few days, we have social engagements with members of the Silver City EcoCommunity and the Southwest Sufi Community. We also have a lunch date with a couple who are related to another couple who we met briefly at an Alabama campground back in January. Interestingly, Erica Wheeler, a folk musician from Western Massachusetts with whom we are tangentially acquainted, is playing a concert here tonight, and perhaps an email sent to her by Mary may net us a place on the guest list. Wonders and synchronicity never cease.
At any rate, we have made the transition from camping in pristine nature to camping in a town, adjusting to the low hum of traffic and less spacious facilities. Still, our site has it's own little porch overlooking a small stream (not your typical dry New Mexico creek bed) and a tree-lined neighborhood, with many birds singing around our rig.
Not having a car, being within biking distance of downtown is essential for us to thoroughly explore the city with Tina in tow in Mary's bicycle basket, so we tune our inner barometers to accept a more urban atmosphere for a few days, take in the sights and sounds, and then plan our post-weekend escape to the Gila National Forest.
The Silver City area and Gila will be our final stops here in New Mexico before we dive into Arizona, so we want to make the best of our time and enjoy what this corner of the Land of Enchantment has to offer.