Silver City, NM, to Truth or Consequences, NM

The day was rather full, so I am going to give the Gila cliff dwellings their own post.

I left the motel around 10:00 this morning and my truck was really not happy about having been left out in the cold all night! She was making a whining sound that was very easy to anthropomorphize as her reprimanding me for taking her away from the heat! It only took about a half a mile for the engine to warm up and the noise to go away. I wasn’t worried. 🙂

I headed a ways out of town to meet up with reader Ed! Ed has been a long-time commenter and route planning helper. How wonderful to end up in the same place like this! He was staying at a nice little RV park tucked away at the end of a gravel road and I got lots of attention and cuddles from his beautiful and sweet dog. Ed and I had a nice chat and then it was time for me to go since I had about five hours of driving to do today, on top of visiting the cliff dwellings.

By the time I’d filled up and hit highway 15, it was just past 11:30. My ETA for the cliff dwellings was 1:30 and I planned to be back on the road by 3:00 to get to T or C by about 6:00.

It’s only about 75KM/45Mi to the cliff dwellings, but the road is very sinuous. Larger RVs are told to avoid the section between Silver City and the junction with highway 35 and instead take 35, then continue on 15. This is good advice. All of highway 15 would be a nightmare in an RV, but the first section was exceptionally challenging!

I was sure the two hours travel time the signs indicated was exaggerated, but it really wasn’t! It was a fun drive with a standard, but I would have hated it if I was driving something large as the drive is one hair pin turn after another. The road takes you through ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forest before taking you high up into the mountains to see sweeping vistas.







You then descend into the valley where the cliff dwellings are located. My new brakes got a workout even though I engine braked as much as I could!

I allotted exactly the right amount of time to visit the cliff dwellings and the visitors’ centre. The next post will have all the details!

I do have to share a bonehead move that almost spoiled my visit. I was coming out of the caves when I had a weird niggle about my truck keys. I emptied out my purse and had to admit that I didn’t have them. Never mind getting a locksmith all the way out there, just think of how much stuff I had in the truck!

I suspected that I had left them at the counter where you have to pay or fill out your pass information. That was more likely than the keys having fallen out along my walk. So I swiftly made my way back down to the entrance and there they were, stuck on an information post and being minded by a ranger! Oy!

I went to grab them and he said, “Woah, how do I know those are yours?” I actually thought he was serious and went to pull out my truck registration and he burst out laughing. A lady he was talking to said, “I don’t think anyone but the owners of those keys would be so glad to see them!”

There was a similar incident on the way down in the fall and after it happened, I thought that I really should get a chain or lanyard and wear them around my neck when I’m traveling like this. Lesson learned and I will buy a lanyard!

But all was well that ended well and I was able to get back on the road by 3:00, with my ETA being just shy of 6:00. No, I wasn’t rushed, I just demonstrated commendable time management skills and was lucky that nothing happened to delay me! 🙂

It was slooow going to T or C. I only had about 175KM/109Mi to go, but it took three hours! It was just more of the same twistiness and up and down all the way to I-25. There was a really long downhill stretch with steep curves where I just stuck the truck in first gear and slow poked my way down, pulling over for the speedy Gonzalezes less worried about burning out their brakes.


Can you see how one side of the payment is pink and the other is grey?






The entire hillside was ravaged by forest fire.



Approaching I-25. That’s the kind of camper I want, one with off-road capability!


I was surprise that the highway doesn’t go through T or C.

It was a short drive off I-25 to my apartment in T or C, which I found without any problems. I’d been told that a key would be left for me in a certain spot and it was there.

The apartment is advertised as ‘quirky’ and it certainly is. I’ll post pictures tomorrow. It has a large bedroom, a combination kitchen/living/dining room, and a wet room with a toilet and shower. The kitchen has a really cute gas stove and is pretty well equipped, but there’s no toaster, microwave, or sharp knives! The neighbourhood feels a little desolate and there’s a surprising amount of traffic, but I think that will go down as it gets later. So far, I like it. We’ll see how I feel after a few days! It’s going to be cool tonight and I’m going to see how useful the heater is.

There is barely any cell service here and I can’t get data to work. 🙁 BUT there’s wifi! Happy surprise!!!

I was beat when I got in, so the first priority was food. There’s a grocery store across the street (!), so I went in to get something with which to make dinner and breakfast. I’ll do a better shop tomorrow when I’m not so exhausted and can think up a menu. I came in and made up hash browns, Polish sausage, and a red pepper, a pretty decent meal, although I should have bought some oil to keep the food from sticking to the pan. I used water to steam the meal instead, more healthy, but not as tasty. I have tons of leftovers, so I’m try the meal again with a little cheese . 🙂

I treated myself to not only English muffins but a jar of peanut butter for my breakfasts this week. And when I say a jar of peanut butter, I mean the kind with sugar and oil in it, not the all natural kind I normal eat, like Jiffy or Squirrel brand. I haven’t had that in ages and ages. But I did have all natural peanut butter a few times this winter, courtesy of the peanut vendor by the police station on Isla. (For those of you who are paying attention, I’ll toast the English muffins in the pan!)

The last few nights of little sleep are catching up with me. I’m going to do the dwellings post, then call it a night. I have heaps of work to do by Friday night, so I doubt I’ll get out to see much of T or C until the weekend.

Things Fall Into Place

The Motel 6 in Silver City also has a VERY comfy bed and decent coffee. I slept well and didn’t have to schlep out into the COLD for coffee. So the morning started off well and then got better.

I went to bed way to late last night as I was still searching for a place to stay in or near Truth or Consequences. I couldn’t find anything at less than 40USD a night, even for a seven-night stay, so I was looking at more than 400CAD for a week. Way too expensive!

When I was originally going to do this week in Las Cruces, I spent a lot of time on Air BNB and found nothing suitable for that city or the environs, so I put the idea of the site out of my mind. But it was the first thing I thought of this morning. And I found a whole apartment for just under 300CAD for a week…

I fired off an email to the hosts with information about myself, apologized for being so last minute, and shamelessly begged. They very quickly replied that the place will be ready for me after 5PM. Thank you!

The reviews for the place make it seem fine. I don’t think the work station will be comfortable (all I could see in pictures was a small table with folding chairs), but I’ll make it work, especially since I’ll have a kitchen!

Then, I decided to see if I could call AT&T and pay online to put money on my phone rather schlep all the way to Walmart. I couldn’t do that yesterday because I wasn’t getting good service (AT&T coverage is spotty) and calls kept dropping, then it was too late to speak to a live person when I got here. At any rate, I went through all the prompts to pay with my card, was told there was a problem, and was redirected to a live person who was very helpful. She said that I needed to register a proper US address on file and then use that as my ZIP code when paying online. I use my best friend’s address in Virginia for stuff like this (thank you!), so I was able to go through all the steps.

AT&T’s GoPhone plans have really improved in the last six months! For $45, I have unlimited talk, text, AND data. Data gets throttle back after 1.5GB, but I don’t care. I won’t have wifi in T or C, so knowing I can use my phone and not worry about my usage is fantastic.

I’ll be heading out to Gila Cave Dwellings shortly. It’s presently 47F/8C outside and I’m not too eager to get going… I may take a few minutes to pop in to say hi to a blog reader before I head out if he’s around. I’ll need about six hours door to door so I want to be on the road by no later than 11AM.

It’s such a relief to have accommodation lined up for the next week as I’m having some cash flow issues stemming from a late payment from a client combined with PayPal taking an unprecedented amount of time to transfer some funds. Nothing dire and I had budgeted for this eventuality, but I didn’t know if said budget would, in fact, cover a week-long stay. Now that accommodation is paid for a week, I’ll be able enjoy any brief snatches of free time I have in T or C while the May money starts rolling in… and while making serious in roads into June earnings. Things do have a way of falling into place for me, don’t they?!

Okay, going to brave the cold and start getting a move on my day!

Nogales, AZ, to Silver City, NM

I got my work done this morning, then went to Walmart to get a SIM card for my phone. That did not work out and that’s all I’m going to say beyond the fact that I haven’t missed shopping at Walmart. 😀

Fuel was $2.39/gallon and I took on 12.5 gallons ($30), which was almost three quarters of a tank and plenty to get me to today’s destination. It was weird to pump my own! I had to go in an pre-pay and did that in Spanish, too, adding yet another new linguistic accomplishment. 😉

I pulled out of Nogales around noon local time and headed for Silver City, New Mexico. I knew that there is a huge Walmart in Benson not too far from I-10 right on my route, so that was my first destination.

Coming up to Benson, there was a customs check point…

The two cars ahead of me slowed down and were waved through without stopping.

I was not waved through, so I stopped and quickly removed my sunglasses. I was asked how I was doing, given a once over, and told to go on. Much more pleasant than my inland customs encounter in Texas that I never blogged about.

Walmart in Benson had the Go Phone SIM cards, but no refills. I figured I could just buy the refill online with a credit card…

While there, I had a look at shoes because I wanted to replace the pretty walking sandals I wore right through this winter. The pair I bought in Mexico are good for short trips, but not long walks, and so a good pair of walking sandals I can wear with dresses and skirts was on the budget for this trip. Walmart has the exclusive North American distributorship for the very high quality, yet inexpensive, ‘Earth Spirit’ brand and I had a look at what they had in Benson. I found the exact model I just wore through in a different colour (neutral beige) and they had one pair left in my size for just $19! That was a no brainer of a purchase!

From Benson, I continued on to Willcox to use the internet at McDonald’s to set up the phone.

That didn’t work out too well seeing as you can’t buy time online with a Canadian credit card. So my phone is a brick until I can get a refill card. Thankfully, there’s a Walmart here in Silver City, so I’ll check there in the morning.

The landscape driving east along I-10 was much like my beloved rolling hills of southern SK, but the hills were a tad higher. Lots of olive green and bright blue sky.

Texas Canyon was amazing!

These rock formations are amazing!

These rock formations are amazing!


Not even the most impressive!

Not even the most impressive!

Before I knew it, I only had five states left to visit…

Five states left!

Five states left!



I stopped at the New Mexico welcome centre, but it was, of course, too late in the day and it was closed.

It was spitting rain by the time I got to Silver Springs and cold. I had to pull out closed shoes, socks, and my heavy coat!!!!!!

Needless to say, I was not going to sleep in my truck. So I took a room at the cheapest place in town, which was NOT cheap, more than 50USD, the Motel 6. But it’s a rather nice room, with hardwood floors rather than carpet and there’s a fridge and microwave. I have a budget for this trip and if I run out before the four weeks is up, I run out and I rush home, that’s all there is to it.

So I got, in logged into my email, and found a HUGE out of the blue rush project waiting for me. Huge as in I have to type all day Weds, Thurs, and Fri if I want to get it done by the deadline. Needless to say, I’m getting a motel in Truth or Consequences tomorrow for up to a week, depending on the rate!

Pizza sounded good for dinner since I could have cold leftovers with coffee for breakfast. I was happy that there’s a Little Caesar’s here as that meant supper and breakfast for under 6USD and, as I’ve said in the past, I think their pizza is very decent.

Tomorrow, I am going to the Gila Cliff Dwelling National Monument. It is the only thing in New Mexico that I have to see. Not quite a bucket list item, but it’s something I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. I’ll then move on to Truth or Consequences. Lovely readers are expecting me after that in Albuquerque, then Santa Fe (thank you!), so my route is taking on a life of its own.

Even with hills and wind today, my gas mileage was at normal levels. I can’t believe the improvement!