Sunday, April 26, 2009
From Henry McCartny, to Gilas, and Lost History
Tara and I left the babies with grandparents and pointed the fish-wagon east. Work was four done, exit interstate right. Immediate left, Billy the Kids boy-hood home, stood out in downtown Silver City like an old reminder of western frontier and all of its trouble.
A beer and a bite, tonight's stop would be Motel-8. My mind wanders forward, to the hike and landscape in store for tomorrow and the next day. Destination Gila Wilderness on foot was our final X-Marks the spot. Gila Trout were our purpose. A purpose full the joy of catching one of America's rarest trout.
Tara and I are consummate travelers. We wonder, never worried about time or schedule. The beauty of the road trip, in our minds is to: Try and get lost.
A non-scheduled interruption is the town of Pino-Altos. A mining town settled by three 49's back in the early 1900s. Quaint, but proud this little strip of Western landscape is steep in history and rich in wild-west lore.
One of many rumored murderous locations, the Buckhorn, has a storied past. Woven into her threads are whispers of Billy The Kid and his gang seeking refuge in the neighboring opera house while laying low from the law centered in the booming town of Silver City seven miles ride away.
According to the Silver City brochures handed out to visiting tourists.
Our quick trip down western history ended twenty minutes after it started and anticipation of Gila's got the best of us. We came to our intersection which was the parking point and ending point for wheeled travel all in one. We were to hoof it, similar to this beautiful animal we saw half way down the trail, too groomed to be wild, but completely unattended and wondering, much like us amongst the trees and creatures that lived there.
An hour plus into our hike and it felt far enough. Getting away from people is a main ingredient of our "Getting Lost". Sad, but true, you only have to walk an hour from where you leave your car to be alone. A story for another time, perhaps.....
For now, we fish: Four casts, and one very loud celebration cry later we had landed what we came for. He wasn't huge, but then Gila's really aren't. But this little guy was for sure a rare fish, and for that both Tara and I cradled him with tender love and care. The type of cherish we reserve for our kids after they've fallen or become injured. A nurturing out of respect for this fighter of a fish. Survived drought, predation, fire, flood, hybridization, and humans. Now that's my kind of fish!
Stay Tuned; We landed many more Gilas in Day one. As well as Day two: naps, Mogollon Cliff Dwellings, and cave paintings. Plus more Gila on new water.