North of Silver City is Gila, NM. Again a beautiful drive. We stopped at the Cliff Dwellings National Monument headquarters but were unable to drive within walking (at least ours) distance to the cliff dwellings. The road was closed due to flood damage.
We kept seeing these bushes/trees (reddish in color and more obvious in real time than in a photo) as we drove toward Gila and, when we got to the Gila headquarters we asked the ranger who told us they are a willow but she could not remember the actual name. We thought it amazing enough that they were a willow.
We did not know what an arrastra was so we pulled in, parked, and walked in to find out. It is basically a primitive way to grind and pulverize silver or gold ore using a pit and mules or other animals to walk around dragging stones to crush the ore. For more info, click here.
The drive back took is through this “ghost town” and over the continental divide (and Robyn says we can’t get over the Rockies).