Sweater : Lands End Canvas Lambswool Sweater
Jeans: J Crew Matchstick
Hat: Old Navy
(not shown: 2 layers of thermal underwear!)
The reason? We were driving up into the mountains to visit the Gila Cliff dwellings.
We spent 2 nights in Silver City, New Mexico at this super cute, quaint inn that dates all the way back to the late 1800s. Our room itself was somewhat of an adventure, as the owners of the inn have tried to maintain an authentic, vintage look to the rooms. Child absolutely loved it. Even better, there was a snow storm scheduled for New Years Eve day, and we woke up to snow that morning. Child couldn't have been happier, as he had never seen snow before (how sad is that considering that his mother was born and bred in Minnesota?)
The snow was met with mixed emotions from Husband however, because he knew the drive up the mountain to get to the cliff dwellings could possibly be a tough one. Let me summarize the drive up the side of the mountain:
It took us 2.5 hours to drive 40 miles. Now, being from Minnesota, I've experienced my fair share of rough weather and bad driving. This didn't even come close. It was far, far worse. I think the sheer 900 ft. drop off the side of the mountain (on both sides of the road sometimes) might have had something to do with it. It was snowing fairly hard almost the entire drive, the roads had curves, bends, right angles and almost complete U-turns in them, and oh, and did I mention we were in a mini-van without 4-wheel drive? We would have turned around multiple times if we could have only found a safe place to do so. At one point Child told us he wasn't going to look out the window anymore because it was too scary. We didn't see a single other car on the whole drive up the mountain, and that really should have told us something.
The views were spectacular though.
Once we reached the National Park, the park rangers told us that they usually get about 150 visitors per day, but we were the only ones to to brave it through the snow and that we'd have the mountain to ourselves that day. Kind of a scary thought. But once we got up walking on the paths that led to the cliff dwellings, we were rewarded with some of the most beautiful winter scenery I have ever seen.
(we're on the bridge there, somewhere)
There was a small creek that wound it's way down the mountain that the trail followed, and then as we got about 3/4 up the mountain, it stopped snowing, and the skies cleared.
The cliff dwellings themselves date back over 700 years, and they were fascinating to see. The cave ceilings were blackened from countless decades of fires, and it's even believed that the Chiricahua Apache Geronimo was born somewhere near the mountain. Though, the mother in me did fear for Child's life a few times in the caves as they were right next to the cliff edge, with nothing to prevent Child from stumbling over about a 500 ft. drop.
We even got to see a few pictographs on the cave walls!
By far one of my favorite days from our trip!