Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. March 13

March of the more pleasant surprises of this entire trip was our tour of the Organ Pipe. It was pretty far off of our course, and I probably would have skipped this trip, except that we have the time, and the weather east of us makes me in not such a big hurry to leave Arizona. What better way to spend time going to a place that is way out of the way that we would probably never come to in the future.
What a beautiful area it is, and Pam and I Jeeped a few miles south, to the visitors center, and tried to figure out what was what. They have a great campground, that handles big rigs, but we were enjoying the Bureau of Land Management ( BLM ) boondocking experience at the BLM Gunsite campground near Why, AZ. We decided to do a 21 mile self guided tour through the park, and even had time to hike about a mile out Arch Canyon Trail. Some rock arch formations (like in Arches National Park) out in the mountains of the park were an added bonus. We took tons of pictures, so we will let them do the talking. After we we done with the ride, we headed south five more miles to the Mexican border in Lukeville, which was very small, and a disappointment. ( no place to get a margarita )

Going thru Border Patrol check point

Stopped to read a marker and liked the scenery

Ocotillo (oh-koh-Tee-yo) blooming in the foreground and a "young" saguaro - maybe only 40-50 yrs old
Kinda like being in a Western movie with all of the cactus

On the right side of the picture is an organ pipe cactus

Crazy cactus!!!

This is the inside of a cactus

Organ pipe cactus with a cristate in the middle

Close up of the cristate - it is considered an anomaly that is found on some organ pipe and saguaro cacti

The jeep loves when we go on these dirt roads!  

Cactus skeleton!

Many of the saguaro cacti have many of these holes - birds live in them!

Mike spotted a blue flag a 30 or so yards off the road, so of course he had to check it out!  It is a barrel of water (agua) for people who might be wandering thru the desert???  It's for the aliens crossing the border!

Hardy little flowers on the desert floor

This saguaro had died, lost its skin and the "skeleton" is peeling back

Dying saguaro

And the desert starts to bloom!

Just wanted to show you how large these organ pipe cacti can get!

A saguaro with cristate

Just cruising down the road and into the mountains

This is the biggest organ pipe cactus in the park

And it has pretty cristate

Another view of the big one!

Two largest arches in the park - the one is quite small

Another view of the arch

Off to hike on arch canyon trail

Even the sign couldn't stand up!

Coming down the trail

Interesting formation on this saguaro!

Mike posing with his friends the Teddy Bear cactus!

At the Border Patrol by the Mexican border

It is beautiful country out here in Arizona

Driving down to Organ Pipe

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