Day 6 – The Catwalk at Whitewater Canyon and Mogollon

Good morning everyone!  Sorry about the delay in getting this written and posted.  I discovered yesterday that in spite of absolutely gorgeous weather, in the upper 70s, one CAN indeed run afoul of the heat and sun!  For those of you who know me, I have had 2 heatstrokes.  Because of this, my body’s thermostat is pretty well toasted, so I have a hard time dealing with heat.  I had to take a nap and take it easy last night.

So.  Enough of the whining already!

We finally got on the road yesterday about 10, and headed back west on Rt 180 (the one we came in to town on Tuesday) to go to a place called “Catwalk at Whitewater Canyon”.  The Catwalk is about 70 miles west of Silver City, near the town of Glenwood, NM.  What is there to do at the Catwalk?  Why, I’m glad you asked!  One walks!

In about 1889, gold and silver were found in the mountains above Whitewater Canyon.  The Canyon is just over a mile long, 250 feet deep, and in places less than 20 feet wide.  A mill was built at the base of the canyon, and a small town that no longe exists sprang up around the mill.  William Antrim worked here during the 10 years the mill and town existed…. he’s the step-father of Billy the Kid!

Gold was hauled along the rim of the canyon to just above the chute and then dumped down a chute.  Water was brought via a 4″ pipe through the canyon to power the mill.  Along the route of this pipeline, a catwalk was built along the same route as this pipeline.  It has been rebuilt several times, as flooding is common through this canyon. 

There’s a 1.1 mile hike up through the Whitewater Canyon that alternates between this catwalk and trails along the side of the canyon.  We hiked up this beautiful canyon to the 1.1 mile mark.  One can hike much, much further, as this is one of the access points to the Gila National Wilderness Area, a wilderness of 755,000 acres.  That’s a lot of acres!

Along the way, we met two men hiking with their dog, a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog!  This dog looks more like a wolf than anything.  It’s a hybrid cross between Carpathian Wolf and a German Shepherd.  The breeders work to keep the wolf gene at 25% of the makeup.  Wonderful dog, I couldn’t help but be envious!

At the top of the trail, we stopped for a picnic, then came back down.  A total of 2.2 miles (probably a tiny bit longer). 

From the Canyon, we drove up to Mogollon.  Mogollon is a “Ghost Town” that didn’t look to ghost townish to me.  A lot of people (ok, I counted several occupied houses… maybe 50 folks?)  It was a bit anticlimactic, as there were signs on all the businesses saying “Open May to September”.

The thing is, the road up to Mogollon is incredible.  9 miles from the highway, 5 miles of this road are only one lane, hairpin curves.  Made Wednesday’s drives look like cherry pie!  Scott drove.  I clung to the door handle and prayed.

Unfortunately, the day got a bit hot, so we came back home, and I napped.  And we went to bed early.

NOTE:  There are two more pics I want to post.  Watch for those later, as I’m having problems getting them posted.  Probably in a special post tonight.

View of the Catwalk
View of the Catwalk
On the trail
On the trail
On the trail
On the trailOn the Trail

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