Friday, May 22, 2009

Cliff Dwellings Trip - Madera, Mexico March 2009

Camping at the Poncho Villa State Park, two miles north of the border towns - Columbus/ Palomas (twenty miles south of Deming, NM.

Note sign - What luck, we're camped on a New Mexico "Birding Trail".

Poncho Villa slept here!

Cattle drive and school bus loading!

We found this cool campground five miles north of Madera. Heriberto, the caretaker lives in the cabin and we were the only campers for eight days.

We rode our dirtbikes to several different cave dwellings (usually around 50 miles each way), hiked and Mtn. biked the four mile trail around the lake, and kayaked. Very peaceful!

Our camp dog!

Our camp horses!

We visited several cliff dwelling sites within 50 miles of Madera and Nuevo Casas Grandes. Here's Cueva del Puente. Our guide said that few visitors climb up to it.

Sandie on the puente (bridge).

Our camp cat!

We went out kayaking several times on our lake.

The caretaker of our campground (Heriberto) put out a net in the lake to catch some carp. When he brought in the catch, he offered me one. Of course I said yes.

The carp, ready for cooking. The lake was very clean and the carp was as good as a Colorado trout. No kidding!

One of the dirt roads we rode to the cliff dwellings. We camped around 7K feet and went up over 8K and then dropped to 4.5K feet.

This site location (Huapoca Canyon) included three cool dwelling sites. This path led to Cueva de la serpiente.

We were the only tourists at all the cliff dwellings we visited.

Cueva del Mirador!

Cueva Grande! A small waterfall ran down from the overhanging roof.

Another switch-backed road that we rode.

Riding the motorcycle across this suspension bridge was a little scary.

We stopped at this Hot Springs pool and enjoyed the warm waters. Right! No other customers but us. Will certainly be more crowded as summer approaches.

Another suspension bridge on the way to La Rancherias (more cliff dwellings) and another hot springs.

Our campground in Nuevo Casas Grandes.

On the road to Cueva de la Olla (jar).

Sandie checks out the view.

We rode thru some farms looking for the Sirupa hot springs.

"El Willy"!

Our campground in Nuevo Casas Grandes!

2 for 1 shrimp dinner in Nuevo Casas Grandes. Very good!

Taco stand lunch on the way back to the border.

When we crossed the border, we headed for Silver City, NM. Friends that we knew in Colorado Springs moved there for better weather. They took us to Whitewater Canyon for a hike and we loved it.

Lot's of catwalks. Back in the gold mining days, there were two water pipelines that ran down the canyon.

This is the Gila Cliff Dwelling site. Very impressive!

We had a lot of fun hiking here!

Gila "Hippie" Hot Springs! Nice!

If you're going to Mexico, why not get some dental work done at great prices? We loved it!

Downtown Palomas, Mexico! As you can see, very hectic and dangerous. We walked around town and had a lot of fun.

Camping at Elephant Butte Reservoir on the way home.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baja Whale Watching - February 2009

Sandie and I stopped on Wolfcreek Pass on the way to L.A. to pick up Colin and Thea for a trip to Baja to pet the Grey Whales. The white stuff seemed like a great reason to head for some fun in the sun.

Two mountain bikes, a sea kayak, and dual-sport dirtbike should be enough toys.

Our stop in Joshua Tree National Park for some hiking/ camping was a lot of fun.

We hiked up 5,000 foot Ryan Mtn. for some great views.

A bit windy!

Joshua Trees!

Abandoned 1900 homestead!

Great campground! Free! Casino in Indio!

Border crossing at Tijuana! Smooth - No problems!

We camped at a truck stop on the U.S. side the night before and when Fox News ran a strong government warning against travel to Mexico, I thought, I hope Colin and Thea's Mom isn't watching this.

Famous blowhole - La Bufadora!

The incoming waves fill a cave, trapping air, which blows the water like a geyser.

The kids got a kick out of this sign at our campground in El Rosario.

A typical outdoor market!

Colin says, "This isn't like Taco Bell".

Checking out the skeleton at the whale watching beach near Guerrero Negro.

This Momma whale with baby approaches our 18 foot boat. We were able to pet it as it came up to our boat. That happened twice on our tour.

I wish I'd gotten better Pics but I was video taping at the same time that I was snapping photos.

I took Colin and Thea on some motorcycle rides out in the desert. The people living here were mining a white rock called Caliza.

Sign at the highway south of Guerrero Negro.

Lunch stop on the way back to the border.

When we got back to L.A., Traci flew out for a family weekend. None of us had ever been to Santa Catalina Island and we wanted to check it out and do a hike there.
Traci and Trevor

This is one of the great views on our 11 mile hike.
A great trip!