SATURDAY FEBRUARY 2/08
Another beautiful Arizona morning. Walked to a rocky ridge just east of the park, climbed up to the top & built an Inukshuk there. Kelly & the doggies waited at the bottom. A lot of loose rocks so it was a little tricky coming down. It's generally always harder coming down from a climb than going up. We were to find that out later in the day.
We headed off to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Park around 11 & turned left off the highway opposite the visitor center. This is the 21 mile loop drive through the Ajo mountain range & what a beautiful drive it is. We made this drive back in December & I was glad to be back here amongst the endless Saguaro cactus in the Ajo mountains. I think this is one of my favorite places. There are 2 hiking trails on the loop so we decided to stop at the first one which is, the Arch. Sign says the trail goes for three quarters of a mile & then gets steep. This is a beautiful valley with awesome mountains. http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy The walking is reasonably easy along a narrow rocky path with lots of plant life along the way. Thousands of organ pipe cactus dot the mountain slopes bottom to top. At the three quarters of a mile spot a sign warns of the steep rocky climb ahead. We went another quarter of a mile & decided to take a break before heading back. The path ahead looked pretty rocky & steep in parts & we didn't know how much farther up the mountain it went. I would have liked to keep going but sometimes you just have to understand your aging limitations & make wise decisions. Nuts!! Oh, to be 40 again:)) In this kind of land it's frequently hard to comprehend the awesome beauty surrounding us, & this was one of those places. Words just fail me & it's impossible for photos to do justice to the canyon. Couldn't help but think of the long circumstances of difficulties over the years that finally made this whole journey possible for us.
Coming down a rough stretch of rocks is always far more difficult than going up so I went ahead of Kelly & took some pictures of her making her way carefully down the quarter mile stretch we had climbed up earlier. http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy Nice to get back to the car & sit in the soft cushy seats. We hadn't done a hike like that since our Ghost Mountain hike in California about a month ago. These kinds of medium difficulty hikes are my favorite thing to do. So great to feel the exercise in the legs. So great to see scenery that you have never seen before. So great to experience the "WOW" factor over & over. Just soooooo great to be in the American southwest......"WOW!!!!!!!"