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PostPosted: June 11th, 2017, 7:15 am 

Joined: December 31st, 2016, 5:57 am
Posts: 143
Last April we headed east into New Mexico to sample a few select offerings in the Gila National Forest. We approached the Gila Cliff Dwellings through the funky old town section of Silver City then north on 15, despite warnings about negotiating steep, winding grades in a vehicle over 20’. Of course the Chinook did just fine.

Our Schnauzer guarded the Blue Chook against predators in the parking lot while we toured the Cliff Dwellings where dogs are forbidden. We tried to avoid a large guided party ahead of us whose raucous babbling disturbed any attempt to meditate on ancient cliff spirits.

Next up was 180 N to the hamlet of Glenwood where we branched off on 174 to the Catwalk Recreation Area. Our Blue Chook forded a couple of turbulent river crossings without hesitation. I had learned from past rallying days not to speed and create large bow waves that could provoke water related issues down the road.

The exciting Catwalk bridge system through the narrow Whitewater Canyon was originally built to service mining activities then later fortified in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The lower section has just reopened after major flood damage in 2013. Dogs are allowed on the Catwalk but our normally adventurous puppy had to be carried part way after he became nervous scampering over open metal grating above raging waters.

Homeward bound we diverted on 79 W through Mule Creek then crossed back into Arizona on the wonderfully scenic mountain drive through the Needles Eye. Finally we joined up with 191 at Three Way then on to Safford and I-10 back home. Such trips always remind us how the versatile Chinook excels over terrain where a fifth wheel or class A motor home would prove a distinct liability.

File comment: The Blue Chook may be faded but never fatigued
A6300034.jpg [ 302.8 KiB | Viewed 274 times ]
File comment: Ladder up to the Cliff Dwellings
A6300045.jpg [ 388.53 KiB | Viewed 274 times ]
File comment: On the Catwalk or, in our case, Dogwalk
SPC_0894.jpg [ 500.07 KiB | Viewed 274 times ]

Ted C. / SW Arizona
"The Blue Chook" 2002 Concourse Dinette on 2001 E-350 chassis w V10
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