January 29, 2020 Organ Pipe Cactus NM

Today I reached the target for the trip.  When I was looking for places to go both Ton and Dylan my son said that I should visit Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  So I am here now, and I am really glad they recommended this place.

I was pretty low on fuel so the plan was to find a gas station before I left Yuma.  I plugged the Monument into Greta and she gave me a different route than I took yesterday but I figured there would be a gas station on the way.  The route took me through an extensive agricultural area in the desert.  I learned why the Proving Grounds tested bridges in the desert as the Colorado River runs thru Yuma.  The agricultural area is a result of tapping the river water.

The green of the fields against the desert mountains was jarring.

I ended up on the Interstate without gas and I really needed gas so I got off at the first available fuel.  When I pulled up to the pump they were really gouging so I put in enough to get me to the exit from the freeway.  A little further up the freeway I saw fuel at a reasonable price so I filled up.  With the fuel problem solved I headed on down to the Monument.

The drive thru the back country was pretty quiet, with no towns for about 70 miles until I came into the old mining town of Ajo.  My family has a connection with Ajo as my sister lived there for a few years.  On the way out I plan on stopping to check it out.

The drive into the monument is lined with all types of cactuses not just the Organ Pipes that the monument is named after.  On arrival I was a little worried about campground availability so I headed up there but there was plenty of room and the Ranger told me I could pick any spot that had a green card on it.  As I was driving in I saw another Tiger like ours which is pretty rare.  The spot next to it was empty so there are two Tigers parked side by side.  The couple is from Massachusetts  and they are full timing in their Tiger.

Scout parked up next to a large Saguaro cactus.

Once I settled in and finished lunch I decided to head for the visitors center along a walking trail where I got an introduction to all of the different types of cactus in the Sonora desert.

There are four types of cactus in this photo if you look carefully.

They were giving a Ranger talk when I got to the visitors center so I caught the end of it.  After I consulted with one of the volunteers and made a plan for the next couple of days I headed back to Scout to prepare dinner.  After dinner I spoke to my other neighbors who are also from the west side of Portland and finished the day with another Ranger talk on coyotes.

A flowering barrel cactus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *