Hike #79 – Georgetown Cemetery and Vicinity

Thursday, July 19, 2012 – Cemetery, Mines and Mud……

I have been meaning to explore the Georgetown Cemetery area for a while now and since I was a solo hiker today, I decided to check it out. Helen and I had explored the Georgetown Road area in the past; there are lots of trails and Forest Roads in the area. The terrain is hilly, with creeks and good tree cover with scrub oaks, juniper and a few ponderosa.

First I entered the cemetery and looked at the headstones. I was struck by several things. Some of the graves were over 100 years old and a few were only 5 years old. Also, some of the markers were impressive while many were simple. When I saw a few that held babies, it reminded how tough it was 100 years ago and how far we’ve come with medicine and easy living.

The little research I had done told me that this was a mining area and I was in front of a full cemetery, so where were the buildings and mines? Since the hills held the answers, I headed for them. I quickly and consistently came upon remnants of old buildings and mining holes although most of what I found was merely rubble. I could see by the wood pieces that they held age. Twice I found what looked like grave markers. I found evidence of old roads but they stopped and started and were hard to follow due to the creeks and tree growth. When I went to rest on a boulder, I found a newer helmet light sitting there and remembered seeing a mine cave back a ways. Some courageous soul crawled into that; they’re braver than me (but I am curios if they found anything….)! I once again learned that getting off the trail is a great way of seeing more!

As I headed back to the car, I came upon the main road and followed it back. Shortly I heard a vehicle approaching and grabbed Cody’s collar. A nice man drove up on his 4–wheeler with a fabulous border collie riding on the back. We chatted for a few minutes and I asked him if I could take a photo – our dogs look enough alike to spark my interest. But his is only 4 years old while mine is 11.

There were a spots where I was hiking that were a little rough: rocky, muddy, steep. Ever since I’ve been using 2 light weight poles, these obstacles have been easier to overcome (okay I did land on my butt at one point, and my pants are FULL of mud, but that’s besides the point. Cody’s been on 4 paws for 11 years, I’ve only been doing it for a month or 2!). Now I know why dogs can climb these mountains better and faster than me – they’ve got 4 on the floor!

On the way back into town I was compelled to stop the car, fish the camera out from the pile of gear, and take a few shots of the Santa Rita Mine. Between the sunny day, the variety of exposed rocks and the green fields, I just had to click off a few!

If you’d like to read a little more about the cemetery, check out this article from Desert Exposure: http://desertexposure.com/200711/200711_tw_cemetary.php

 

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3.5 miles /2.5 hours

79 down /21 to go

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About Gila Hiker

First I hiked 100 different trails in a year, now I write a monthly article in Desert Exposure about a local hike. Come on out to Silver City..... and bring your hiking gear!

Posted on July 19, 2012, in Challenge, Gila National Forest, Hike, Hiking, Nature, New Mexico, Outdoor Activities, Outdoors, Silver City, Southwest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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