December 30, 2009

Gila Burro Mountains Cabin - Part 1 The Property

Situated about 12 miles as the crow flies west-southwest of Silver City is a section and a half of private land within the 196,000 acre Burro Mountain portion of the Gila National Forest (the light green patch near the center).  Our new "home" is located on 15 acres at 53 Rafter D Road (you can do a Google map search and zoom right in on it!).  The Gila National Forest is a total of 3.3 million acres, with about 600,000 being designated wilderness (Aldo Leopold and Gila Wilderness). (The large light green patch across the entire upper part of this map)

Driving into the property from Rafter D, you first pass the guest casita off to the right, climb a small hill with the drive curving around this beautiful old alligator juniper. 

The cabin is nestled about halfway up a small draw, protected on both sides.

Walking up the draw behind the cabin, I glance back and get this view of the mountains in the distance (facing northeast).

A little higher up gives us a great view of the cabin complex, which includes a storage shed, a covered dog pen, two portable carports (only one can be seen here) and a large "ramada" carport in front of the cabin, which we plan to use as part of the patio.

Looking to the left, we can barely see the roof of the casita (center laft in the photo), with that stunning view in the distance.

The views from the top of the property (about 150 ft above the dwellings) are awesome!  Facing east here:

More northeastward:

And on top looking due north over the Gila Forest!

Gila Burro Mountains Cabin - Part 2 Cabin Exterior

Climbing back down, we get a closer view of the rear of the cabin and the "outbuildings"....

Around the front again, you notice the "permanent" carport on the left, our thoughts are to use this a a ramada (shaded area) for summer outdoor sitting and entertaining.

As I walk back up to the left of the cabin, I capture a nice shot looking just over the top of the ramada carport, and the outdoor swing. One also gets a litle different perspective walking down around the back side of the cabin and back to the front entry.
Around the right side, is the movable carport, shed and dog pen.

Kim had taken this picture of the patio in front the other day before the snow,  I enjoyed just sitting a bit and taking in that wonderful view!

And that brings us back to the front, where we can now explore what's inside!

Gila Burro Mountains Cabin - Part 3 - Cabin Interior

Before entering, I take a look at the porch on the right, which is set up for both summer and winter use, with screens and removable glass windows.

The stonework envelops the entire lower half of the first story, and forms a decorative table here on what is the rear of the fireplace and chimney. Pueblo Indian artifacts found on the property decorate the center, and are found along with interesting rocks and minerals along the outer walls.

Inside the log core, I look back at the front door and can't help but enjoy the view through the stained glass center.

Turning around (as you walk in through the door) the den and kitchen area immediately convey the rustic character of old Gila mountain construction. That's right, all of the logs and stones are from the area!
As you walk into the center of the room, your eyes are immediately drawn to the unique stairs that lead to the MBR (master bedroom) and upstairs to the two additional bedrooms.

The rough stone fireplace has outside air feeds, internal plenums with circulating fans and is capable of heating the entire house.

The kitchen is small but plenty adequate for rustling up anything from Cajun goodies or cowboy meals!

The downstairs bath boasts a jacuzzi, seperate shower and a single lavatory...

Before walking into the MBR, I stand on the steps and get this nice panoramic view of the entire cozy living area---then continue to pan around the room to give you a real feel for the place!

The master was an addition, nice complete separate area, with it's own outside entry----

and it's own bath-----

The exposed logs continue into the upstairs ceilings with a walkaround balcony opening back down into the living area.

The rear bedroom is quite large with its own closet and bookshelves.

The walkway between rooms has a nice northeast view and leads past more bookshelves into the front bedroom which will double as an office.

It also has a great view, over the front entrance looking almost due east.  All-in-all plenty more room than Kim and I need, but nice for guests and the kids!

Gila Burro Mountains Cabin - Part 4, The Casita

All right, here we are down at the casita which will probably serve as our living quarters for a while, since we intend to do some major cleaning and painting in the cabin.

With only about 500 square feet of area, the casita's bright open look and feel certainly will make a nice guest apartment.

Not much in the kitchen area, a "college dorm" refrigerator and a bar sink - I guess we'll have to add the microwave and perhaps a very small rangetop!

Bath has lots of potential, with a little decorating and color, it'll just be fine---

Oh, and as I drove away from the property today, I was greeted by our first guests!

December 22, 2009

Silver City's Boston Hill

There's some nice hiking right here in the middle of Silver!  The Boston Hill was an old mine site, which eventually was either sold or given to the city some years ago and turned into a natural area of over 400 acres.  Covered with numerous trails suitable for hiking and mountain biking, this is an unusual resouce that most cities would love to have. 

I started my hike at the parking kiosk on the top end of Market St, followed a long sloping trail towards the summit of the Hill.

Evidence of past mining activities abound....

Reaching the summit I was surprised to see blooming cactus up there!

I got this nice view of the valley and city. 

A mule deer spike and yearling jumped out across the trail, moving far too fast for the camera.
The opposite side (southwest) showed even greater evidence of the past.  A nice two-hour hike without ever leaving town!

For more info on trails and history of this nice area see