Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We're Back From the Gila Wilderness!

Well folks, we've made it back alive from the remote Gila National Forest north of Silver City. We realized after our arrival to our remote campground that we had no cell phone or internet service up there in the middle of nowhere. This is par for the course, but we truly enjoyed having a two-day "digital delay", even though Keith had to go through some initial withdrawal symptoms!

Our campground was located just above the Gila River, which is running fast and deep this spring after many inches of snow. Just ten feet from the river are natural hot spring pools that are the hottest and most pristine we've ever seen. They are lovingly tended by a resident artist and manager who redecorates and beautifies the area every year with natural sculptures and fountains.

We also biked and hiked to the amazing and remote Gila Cliff Dwellings, a national monument where the Mogollon (pronounced "Muggy Own") tribe lived in the 13th century for approximately twenty years before vacating the caves, most likely due to a severe drought. Apache then lived in the caves until European settlers burned down the roofs of the Mogollon homes.

This area of New Mexico is a verdant and diverse bioregion with three different climate zones within a small area. We walked through forests of Ponderosa Pine, yucca, cacti, juniper, and cottonwood, plus a plethora of other flora and fauna. The entire experience was like a walk back through time, and we left Gila feeling wonderfully alive and happy.

Unfortunately, after returning to a campground in Silver City, Keith was summarily bitten by a neighborhood dog who was running amok just down the street.

After the dog's owner blamed Keith for the entire incident, we had no choice but to involve the local Animal Control Officer, who seemed to only side with the dog's owner. Taking matters into our own hands, we bought a gun at Wal-Mart....But seriously, folks, we ended up involving the Silver City Sheriff who handled matters quite expediently and assured us of the dog's current vaccination status. He was intent on citing the dog owner, charging him with a hefty fine for his dogs running wild, especially after having his squad car chased by the same pack of hounds. Fortunately, Keith's wound is healing well and thus far he's not foaming at the mouth!

: - ) 

Stay tuned for even more fun on the road!

---Mary and Keith


  1. This post was worth the wait. So sorry about the dog bite, but wishes for speedy healing and more incredible adventures are sent your way.

  2. Really, making such a deal over that minor cut... Leave the dog owners alone- you dont mind taking your dog here and there and i am sure you let IT run around loose. So maybe if you minded ur own business and stopped causing trouble you'd make more friends.

  3. Dear Anonymous,

    First of all, congratulations on being the first person to leave a negative comment on our blog.

    Secondly, as far as a "minor cut", it is certainly worse than it appears in the photograph, and a decent puncture made it fairly deep into my leg, and it still hurts a number of days later.

    Thirdly, on the day after the incident, the sheepish dog owner called to inform me that the dog in question was actually overdue for his rabies vaccination and is now in quarantine for ten days in order for the authorities to watch for signs of rabies. There have been reports of rabid fox and other animals in that vicinity, so the fact that this dog, who has never bitten anyone before and is overdue on his rabies vaccines, is yet another cause for concern.

    Fourth, even the local sheriff confirmed that this owner's dogs are "out of control", harassing neighbors and going far beyond the owner's property line in their role as "guard dogs".

    Yes, we do let our little dog off leash from time to time in safe areas where we can watch her closely and keep her under voice command. These dogs in Silver City run amok all day, leave the property regularly, charge passersby, scare local children and elderly neighbors, and attacked me without provocation.

    We have made dozens of friends on this journey of ours, and make new friends constantly. "Causing trouble" is not our intention, and we feel that we handled the incident in Silver City very well, something that I can't say for the animal control officers there.

    Your comment actually confirms for me that we did the right thing by reporting the owner and exposing the fact that his dogs are out of control and not up-to-date on their vaccines. Perhaps the next person who was bitten would have been a child or other more vulnerable person, and that would have been so regrettable.

    Your opinion is welcome here since this is a public blog that allows anonymous comments, but I must differ with you that we made a mountain out of a molehill. We did the right thing, and I would do it again under the same circumstances.

  4. Of course you would- cause you are naive "do-gooders" trying to save the world, well yourselves anyways. WACKOS>

  5. dear anonymous,

    due to your consistent unkindness, this will be your last anonymous post since we are disabling the ability to post in this way.

    we have no illusions of saving the world, just finding a sane place within it so we can continue to do good work and live life to the fullest, as we are now.

    seems you are on a mission too---of flaming others with name-calling and criticisms. the term that comes to mind is "internet trolling".....

    we are in our integrity and know we did the right thing.

    your voice was welcome here until it became clear that you are really only spewing vitriol. may you find another activity that is more fulfilling and brings no harm to others.

    sending thoughts of loving kindness,