What a spectacular place. The landscape is amazing to a Midwestern gal.
We arrived at the Visitors Center in time to hear a Ranger talk about the Arizona sun. Very interesting about the latitude of the earth and the intense sun rays in this Sonoran desert. It was a treat to look through the telescope at the sun.
Interesting fact at Organ Pipe National Monument Campground. Campers leave the hood of their vehicle up. Packrats are attracted to the soy in the wiring of the engines and will eat away the lining destroying the wiring. We left our engine hood up.
On the road again Monday Jan. 18 for the 28 mile Ajo Mountain Drive Ranger led tour. The Park van picked us up at the campground at 8:45. A great benefit of this Park is the van picking us campers at the campground to go on hikes or Ranger led tours.
This organ pipe cactus has a Cristate.
A Cristate is an abnormality in the cactus.
The skeleton of a dead organ pipe cactus.
The packrats have made their nest underneath this cactus. They moved these cholla cactus near the base of this cactus to deter predators.
The cholla cactus look so inviting to touch but no. Each spike is really thousands of needles. People are encouraged to carry a comb to aid in brushing it off if they get attached to skin or clothing.
aguaro cactus can grow 50 feet tall, weigh several tons and live 200 years.
This is a skeleton of a saguaro cactus.
On the road again Tuesday Jan. 19 to the Gachado Wells Line Camp. The Ranger picked a group of us up at the campground at 1 pm.Ranching was done in this area into the 1970's.
On the road again Wednesday Jan. 20 to Quitobaquito Springs. for a Ranger led hike and talk.
An oasis in the desert.
|Huge cottonwood tree.There's a legend about keeping the tree alive So the Park has put rubber diaper on it. Can you see it?|
On the road again Thursday Jan. 21 by van to the Senita Basin.
We didn't see any Senita cactus on our hike but saw some yesterday on our trip to the oasis. This is one as the Visitors Center.
|Cactus wren often build a nest in the cholla.|
The Senita Basin hike is 4.6 but we did the extra .5 mile to the Victoria Mine area. Total hike 5.4 miles. Lots of chollas, saguaros, ocotillos, ceresote bushes and so much more. It was great. Ready for a shower. They are solar showers. Don't get very warm at this time of the year. But refreshing!
A gila woodpecker working on making another hole for another nest.
It is never tiring to hike and seen the amazing landscape.
|The desert is HARSH. The Park knows that hikers or Mexicans can get lost or run out of water or need assistance for some reason. These Assist Stations have been erected around the Park. Help would arrive in 20 minutes.|
Saturday morning Jan. 23 I tried to get up early to take photos in the early light.
Just love these teddy bear cholla.
We visited with several campers and got tours of their rigs. One an A-frame pop up and the other a Casita like trailer. We went to the Visitor Center and handed in our "Not so Young Ranger" books and earned out "Not so Young Ranger" Badges. This has been a fantastic stay.
We and 40 other joined two Rangers of a full moon hike up a hill. What a great experience. The Ranger starting the hike said he'd say"step up" or "down" when he did so. Each of us was to do the same. It got to be hilarious, step up, step up, step up, step over, step down, etc. Actually the full moon gave us plenty of light to see.
Sue and Ron joined us around our campfire for socializing and a nightcap.
On the road again Sunday Jan. 24
I couldn't get my camera fast enough. But if you look real close.
You can see the moon going down on the slope of the hill.
|On the highway out of the park we watched for another Cristate saguaro.|
We stayed overnight at Flying J, Ehrenburg, AZ