Sunday, 10 February 2008

Ajo Mountain Loop and .......Lukeville?

This morning I set off across the desert instead of on a trail. The desert here doesn't have as many rocks as in Mesa and Tucson. It also doesn't have many cactus till you get closer to the mountain and barrell or cholla cactus are rare finds. The vegetation is mostly mesquite bushes and as you get closer to the mountain there are some saguaro and even some organ pipe near the foothills. As I walked I saw a lot of horse footprints as well as donkey footprints and droppings. There are some wild donkeys around and they apparently sometimes come into the campground although we haven't seen them yet.

After breakfast I vacuumed (without stepping on the vacuum hose again) and washed the floors. That's my housework done for today!

Gordon went out to the Ajo Scenic loop for sunrise and his photo for today can be seen by clicking here.

I saw this morning that the website for Hickiwan Trails is now up and accessible. One thing the site definitely needs is directions. It's fairly easy to find as it's at mile post 54 1/2 if you're coming from Gila Bend on Hwy 86. Take the Goldon Ha San casino entrance. It's behind and to the right of the casino.

It looks like our week here until Thursday will be sunny and warm with some possible rain forecast for Thursday. If that's the case we will be staying here longer as Gordon wants to get some photos with some cloud in the sky. Lucky I hadn't called Doc at Justin's Diamond J RV Park in Tucson yet to tell him we were coming on Thursday! As I've said before, our plans are written in jello!

We had an early lunch and set out for the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. We stopped at the Visitor Center and then drove around the campground. It's a really nice campground with concrete pads but no hookups! Go figure. Why put in concrete pads and no hookups.

This sick saguaro was at the Visitor Center. According to the ranger, the downturned arms on a saguaro is caused by stress possibly from weather. They can recover however and the arms will then turn upwards again.

We started out on the Ajo Mountain Loop at about 1:30 p.m. It's a very scenic drive however the road is less than wonderful and it's one way once you're on the loop so once you've committed yourself, there's no turning back. We spent three hours on the loop taking lots of photos. I thought there would be a lot more people there since it was Sunday and although we did see some other vehicles there weren't that many to interfere with us stopping on the road to take photos.

This is the road through the Ajo mountains.

This little bird posed for me at one of the picnic areas on the Loop road.

There aren't many arches in the area but they do have this one!

The desert floor is really green because of all the rain they've had and the Mexican poppies are out in abundance.

There are lots of saguaro in the monument as well as organ pipe cactus.

If anyone is going to do the loop, be sure to take lots of water! We didn't have much and even with driving you get thirsty in the desert. It was 79F (26C) today, just a beautiful day with a slight breeze.

We stopped at the Visitor Center and filled up our water bottles and then proceeded south to Lukeville which is on the Mexican border. There is an RV park there where we were originally going to stay until we found out it had closed. The park itself is still open in that you can drive in. It's a huge, very nice looking park. Too bad it's not in operation any more. It's called Los Gringos RV Park. There were orange trees and lots of palm trees around. (I didn't take any photos in Lukeville.)

From there we headed back home again. It was a long drive and the first day in ages that we've turned on the air conditioner in the truck and I've actually sweat!

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