Less than 200 miles from our last stop in Bisbee, Silver City is another quaint and quirky locale. Originally an Apache camp, Silver (as the locals call it) mushroomed into a mining town with the discovery of silver ore in the 1870s. It’s still a mining town (copper, now) and retains its rough-around-the-edges Western frontier atmosphere. An influx of artists, musicians, and restaurateurs over the past several decades has brought an interesting mix of art galleries, music events, and creative restaurants to town.
A Fun Day Of Blues
Every Memorial Day weekend, the Mimbres Region Arts Council presents the Silver City Blues Festival, considered to be the premier blues festival in the Southwest. For three days, downtown Gough Park is transformed into an outdoor blues club, featuring well-known blues artists and rising stars. The music is fantastic, the crowd is enthusiastic, and it’s a great party.
We toted in our chairs and a picnic and spent all day enjoying the music.
Just as much fun was watching the audience dancing and partying to the music. Check out the guy in the orange Harley t-shirt when he REALLY gets grooving:
Enjoying The Ambiance Of Silver City
Silver City is small (population 10,500) with a very walkable historic downtown area. The architecture is an eclectic mix of frontier western, Victorian, and art deco decked out in a candy-colored paint palette. The buildings almost glow in the late afternoon southwestern light.
Although the street art doesn’t achieve the fervor of Bisbeeans, there are plenty of mosaics and murals decorating the town. And if you enjoy art—or just want to stroll down a colorful street—Yankie Street is home to an array of independent galleries.
We’re always on the lookout for unique dining experiences, and this was one of the best. It’s tiny and eclectic, with a colorful Buddhist/East Indian/Mexican décor. Open only on weekends, the owner/chef offers three entrees that change weekly (we had shrimp in green curry and pork kebabs with tamarind glaze). Jake is a colorful character, heavily tattooed, and wildly creative (and meticulous) in his kitchen. We hung out with him in his backyard herb garden after our delicious meal and talked about food, travel, and life in Silver City.
The Dragonfly Trail
Silver City backs up to the Gila National Forest, with 2.7 million acres containing native cultural sites, trails, and hot springs. On this visit, we hiked the Dragonfly Trail, just three miles outside of town. It’s a beautiful four-mile hike. Even though it was a holiday weekend, we mostly had it to ourselves.
The petroglyphs were the work of the Mimbres, native peoples who inhabited southwestern New Mexico from A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1250. No one knows for certain the meaning of the dragonfly petroglyphs—perhaps they were symbolic of nearby water. We certainly saw an abundance of the little flying jewels near the creek while we were hiking and searching for rock art.
About The RV Park
We stayed at Rose Valley RV Ranch, a former dairy farm with spacious sites, private cedar fenced patios, and rustic western décor (windmill, antique farm implements, etc.). It’s quiet and dark and just a couple of miles from downtown. They accept a combination of Passport America and Good Sam, which brought the rates to about $20 a night for our three-night stay.