January 30, 2020 Organ Pipe Cactus NM

The plan for today was to drive the Ajo Mountain Road and hike a couple of the trails along the road.  I woke up about 6 am and thought I would go out and watch the sunrise after I made my morning coffee.  I made my way to the top of a hill and enjoyed the quiet of the desert morning.  The sky was crystal clear which made for a pretty but not spectacular sun rise.  I ended up wandering up into the desert and ended up with a nice walk while enjoying my coffee.

I tried a little artistic shot of an Organ Pipe at sunrise, but I miss the real photographer in the family.

After returning to Scout and puttering around for awhile I bought another day for the campground before taking off for the drive.  The Ajo Mountain loop is a 21 mile gravel road up into the Ajo’s.  Both hikes are near the base of the mountains. One is called Arch trail and is an easy 3 mile out and back, though I never did see the Arch.  The other trail is two trails that connect to lead you to an overview that gives you views into Mexico, and back towards Ajo.  When I got to this trail I was feeling a little lazy so I decided to hike the flat part and skip the 1000 foot climb to the overlook.  I was able to follow two Park Service Rangers out looking at plant life.

Two nice examples of the namesake cactus of the park.

The park is being significantly impacted by the current government immigration policy.  A large portion of the wall is being built across the valley floor at the base of the Monument.  

These signs are abundant in the park.

It was early afternoon when I returned to the campground for lunch.  I was planning one more short hike from the campground for the afternoon, but instead I ended up talking to my neighbor John for a couple of hours about Tiger ownership, military experience, and blogs.  John and Yvette’s blog is www.theturtleandthetiger.com, it is their adventures full timing in a Tiger around the US.  

This bird was singing up a storm when I went by.

Before I realized it it was dinner time and time for me to do my evening catch up with Ton.  I ended the day with another interesting Ranger Talk on how nocturnal animals navigate in low light.  The Ranger talks are one of my favorite things about the parks, and the young men and women who share their passion for the parks and nature always gives me a warm feeling.

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