Showing posts with label Ajo mountains. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ajo mountains. Show all posts

Saturday, August 29, 2009



I think it is the pleasurable memories of places a person has been that beckons them to return again & again. For me, I wouldn't consider going anywhere else for the winter other than the sprawling & adventurous lands of the American Southwest. I am drawn like a magnate to the magic of the mountains. I am at home in the vast quietness of the deserts & I am fascinated with the star studded skies stretching from mountaintop to mountaintop. AND YOU CAN SEE ALL THIS WITHOUT HAVING TO GET OUT OF YOUR VEHICLE

South of Why, Arizona is ORGAN PIPE CACTUS National Monument Park. IT IS A PLACE we have visited on 3 separate occasions each time taking the scenic Ajo loop drive. Number 85 highway runs straight as an arrow right through the park heading south to the Mexican border which marks the southern edge of the park. The Ajo Mountain range runs north/south on the east side of the highway & the 25 mile loop drive winds along the foothills of the mountains. It's a one way road & much of it is paved except for a few gravel sections. The drive takes about 2 hours with walking & hiking spots along the way so it's an easy place to spend the whole day. Take lots of water & peanut butter sandwiches:)) I have put to-gether a condensed photo album of our 3 trips on the AJO MOUNTAIN LOOP DRIVE. Hit the slide show button when you get there.

Still no idea where we're headed after our ranch sitting job near Douglas Arizona this coming November but I do like the scenic quiet drive from Tucson over to Why Arizona on our way west or we might break with tradition & go north up around Superstition Mountain this year & then head west from there. A lot of our plans depend on the weather. Would like to check out some new areas of southern California this winter too. DISTANT MOUNTAINS ARE IN MEXICO & NOTE THE YELLOW DESERT POPPIES IN FOREGROUND

I am instinctively drawn back to places I've been to simply touch base with old memories but could never stay for any length of time again in those spots because the other side of me is yearning to head for areas I have never been before. Always quite a struggle going on underneath my hat you know. I'm sure this kind of traveling would drive a lot of people buggy but we wouldn't have it any other way. No time limits to be anywhere, no reservations, no commitments, no schedules, no events or rallies to attend & no getting bored in one spot for months on end. We just kind of like to keep moving because we do that long boring stretch from April to October here in Ontario & enough is enough is enough!! IT'S KELLY DOING SOME SERIOUS ROCK SCRAMBLING IN ARCH CANYON

I had really been hoping we could get away in early October & head straight for the southwest corner of Colorado where I hear the scenery is absolutely spectacular but with Kelly's on-going Deerpark Lodge work commitments it may now be the middle of October before we get away. Don't want to risk running into any Colorado snow storms in the mountains at that time of year so we just may end up taking our usual route west through Indiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, & New Mexico. Maybe Colorado next year if we can't do it this year. BEEN HERE THREE TIMES & IT'S NOT ENOUGH

Puttered around in the rig for a bit this afternoon thinking....."Come on let's get this show on the road!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

GROANER'S CORNER:)) Young men think old men fools.......but old men know young men to be so.

The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


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. 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. 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!!!!!!!"