Spent the long weekend on a trip to the Gila NF. There are cliff dwellings up there I wanted to see.
It was raining so I walked up the modern steps rather than use the recreated ladder.
Here is the view looking out for the dwellings:
It was raining that morning which deterred the unmotivated and those encumbered by feral children. It also meant I got an excellent sense of how the shelter functioned for them. It was silent other than wind and water falling past the opening to the ground outside.
I camped in a “turnout” (short spur off a forest road):
I have never seen vultures soaring from above before this. But they were soaring in the valley and zooming up to about eye level.
I think there were also ravens. They were completely black, Crow shaped, but massive and had a crackly vocalization like machinegun for in the far distance. They were about 75% the size of the turkey buzzards.
There may have also been a golden eagle. Roughly the size of the vultures but slightly deep Brown in the sunlight, and with no dihedral in the wing position.