I love the woods too.


Been thinking about one of my most favorite spots in the world that I have visited. Black Range of the northern Gila. Forest road ## (secret!) drop down into the canyon. Come to the old sawmill remains and a log cabin long rotted into the earth. Huge deposit of sawdust decayed that I used to haul home for the garden. Creek with water most of the year draining three canyons. The ancient remains of a wagon road run through here on a forest service road. Passing an old goat ranch of 3 log cabins, two of which are inhabited. One part time during hunting season an one full time by a guide/hunter/handyman. The log cabins are on a small piece of private land surrounded by forest service public land. It was a goat ranch when mohair was a market item,. . I tried to buy the land for 10 years, no go!! Just past the gate to the cabins a little arroyo comes into the creek creating after a monsoon rain a sometimes almost impassable jumble of rock almost blocking the entry from up the mountain. This dumps into a ponding area that has had beaver in the past 10 years but the water supply dropped off and the beaver moved. .There is the remains of a log cabin next to the beaver dam and sawmill that must have been the coldest spot around. It was buried part way into the north face of the mountain that loomed over the creek at that point. I bet no sun for 6 months. Maybe it was the cook shack for the mill.

We had our favorite a camp site down the canyon around a curve of the creekbed where there were some old foundations. Just far enough so your would not be driven nuts by the screech of the sawmill blade when working.

There was a flock of turkey resident there for the 15 years or so I hunted there. I was not too hard on them obviously as only a friend and I hunted there. We positioned our camp to block entrance to the canyon ! we only hunted the first week of the season and by then the flock disbursed to higher ground to avoid the next group of hunters.

Although we always cooked and ate the bird at home it was the feathers I most wanted. I had a some very good friends at a Pueblo nearby where I lived in NM. the first time I told them I had harvested a turkey, Tata Ray inquired, ' what did you do with the feathers.' I told him they are blowing in the woods. He got this strained look on his face and sort of hopped up and down,That was when learned how important and sacred turkey feather are to the Pueblo Indians.


2 salty dawgs
Sounds nice. we've explored some of the Gila in NM, enjoyed our trips up and past Snow Lake area. We like driving on the quiet dirt roads, with little traffic and development. Some areas here in Az are fun to explore, but getting harder to get to places to avoid others who have little respect for the lands; gets frustrating seeing trash, litter, diapers and thirst buster cups. Reservation lands are the worst it seems, makes no sense.


This is a great area of NM...the Black Range of mountains in the Gila National Forest. My husband's cousin's grandmother had a couple hotels there....in the towns of Kingston and San Lorenzo. Back then prostitution was legal in Grant County, so she did well. Then something bad happened: the beaver dammed Iron Creek and the diverted water flooded numerous old 1800's silver and gold mines, flushing out some nasty stuff that included some decent amounts of silver or gold., at least for 30-40 years. Desperate folks in the dirty 30's camped out and panned for gold in all the numerous creeks. The actual environmental damage was considered slight at the time, and really has not been studied much since then, but this is the only known area in North America to have quite healthy trees known as "Tarnished Pine ". Descendants of the original Mimbres indigenous people have a modern legend: Local beaver, which constantly wear down and grow new teeth, now grow front teeth of gold ! Tourist orient


I had a good relationship with Bob the patrol officer in Hillsborrow. A friend retired and she opened a little book shop in town. Her husband wrote nonfiction outdoor adventure stuff.
I have a friend in Caballo too, and we would take 152 west to some fishing hole or another in the mountains or on west past Silver City. A great drive when you're looking for a fishing hole or not.
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