It started as a gradual walk with a slight incline, as we approached the cliffs (yes-cliffs) I noted a series of steps angling their way up the side of the-Cliff.
The first and second series were not horrible, and they did provide benches for resting. My Wicked friend was careful to make sure I had the opportunity stop whenever I needed (isn't she sweet). The view was wonderful, the rock outcroppings were amazing, and we had a great show with a small family of squirrels -I know, again with the squirrels, seems to be a theme. But oddly enough, wherever we go-there they are! Seems to be more and more evidence that this could have been the demise of the Mogollon.
We traversed several narrow little alleys between the cave dwellings. And when I say narrow, I mean, very narrow. Perilously narrow. At one point I thought that I might have to be pulled through-not a pleasant thought. Finally, the stairs began to wind down, instead of up. Thank you Jesus.
As we reached the level ground. The trail took us to yet another set of cliff dwellings, and yes, more steps. I got as far as the base and had to confess my dear friend that I could not climb another set of stairs, so I found a bench in the shade, while she explored the Long House.
I had a bit of a rest and then we continued hiking to the Visitor Center via the river path, which was beautiful and shady. After a quick bathroom /beverage break we have an opportunity to visit with the squirrels.
I retired to the car, and WT bounced off for a *real* hike.
I drank water, reviewed my pictures, dozed and listened to music. In the shade of the trees at the river.
A couple of hours later, Wicked returned with tales of Danger and Peril which she regaled me with over an ice cold soda and a snack.
Sated, we returned safely to camp, to discover that our nice neighbor had put our gear back in the tent and closed it up against the threatening rain. We had a short while to rest and share a Wee Dram before our evening Precipitation.