It was only a matter of time before I raced back out the mountains. This time, Jeremy North joined me for a week in the Gila Wilderness in Southwest New Mexico. We met in College Station immediately after Nathan & Laura’s wedding, departing early Sunday and returning Friday afternoon.
The 900-mile drive
Leaving from College Station, the first few hours went quickly and it wasn’t too long before we had reached Sonora. Still less than half way to the Gilas, we kept trucking along I-10, passing windmills, dust storms, and a strange SPQR car.
Obviously, Senatus Populusque Romanus, but why 15?
Eventually we reached El Paso, and we ate at Rudy’s BBQ. FYI, this Rudy’s had a gas station with very reasonable prices! An oasis, to say the least. Still we knew that knew New Mexico would be slow going. At the border, a signed warned of our entrance into a “safety corridor” with double fines for speeding. Completely baffled at it’s meaning, we excused it – after all, this is New Mexico – the 3rd most dangerous state. The signage continued warning of drinking & driving, dust storms, driving without a seatbelt, and I’m sure there was a sign demonstrating how to hold the steering wheel properly at “10 & 2” that we missed.
Nevertheless, we trudged on further in New Mexico, very pessimistic that a hill, much less a mountain range, existed. Actually, we passed several ghost towns and wondering how anything/anyone could live out hear. Land of Shatment seemed more accurate. Suddenly, mountains towered out from ground, and similarly our attitude grew taller. As the sun set, Jeremy’s Volkswagen approached the road leading to the trailhead, and it wasn’t long before we setup camp in anticipation of the journey.
Rain Creek Trailhead