Overwhelmed again by the beauty...

Trip Start Jan 09, 2012
Trip End Jun 04, 2012

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What I did
The Ajo Mountain Drive

Flag of United States  , Arizona
Wednesday, March 7, 2012

This morning we got out of the park before ten AM.  Our goal was to drive and do a bit of hiking on this highlight of the monument.  Or traveling companions, Pete and Duffy, joined us.  The road leads back into the Ajo Mountains, which border Mexico.  The drive is a one-way road and covers some twenty-one miles.  We spent over four hours on or near it today.  Lynn was our guide.  There are some eighteen markers enroute.  We stopped at each one and she narrated the highlights mentioned.  The area is truly amazing and more beautiful desert landscape I have never seen.  The various cacti seem to inhabit certain areas more than others.  The lofty Saguaro, which can grow up to fifty feet in height, are still my favorites.  The Organ Pipe, which we've seen up to twenty feet in height are also grand and have several arms extending skyward.  The Englemans Cacti with their newly-formed light purple buds are cool too.  There were fields of teddy bear cholla among others.  The flowering plants are everywhere!  The cacti themselves won't bloom until late April or May and furnish food for several species.  In the early days, the indigenous people counted on them for nourishment too.

The Arch Canyon trail, although what we traversed, was short, continues all the way up and into the large arch, the namesake of the canyon.  We hiked less than a hundred feet above the warning sign, just to say we did it.  It's about a thirty-five to forty degree slope.  The footing is good, but the steepness would make it a real challenge.  Lynn tried out her Montana-made walking stick today.  The sticks are fashioned by two fellows from Kalispell, MT and given to the museum in Ajo.  There's no charge for them.  A great effort by two avid hikers!

We saw a few birds on the hike, but heard numerous singing in the lower reaches of the trail. The greenery this year is prolific.  Good rains last summer during the monsoon and again this spring have made it so.  We are reaping the harvest and are truly enjoying it.

Pete and Duffy are great companions and friends for us.  We have shared our evening meals together, guaranteed tasty by Lynn's culinary skills.  So far we've had marinated chicken, hot wings by Pete, and this evening mosticiolli prepared by Lynn's able hands.  Our evening was filled with read and Lynn playing solitaire.  I spent a few hours editing the photos for this and will add them in the morning and forward an email note to each of you who have contacted me.  It's not to late to add yourselves to the list.  Thanks for stopping by...
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ferd on

REALLY NICE PICS it is very colorful in the Spring..had no idea the variety of cactii....is that correct? Beautiful area...love the moon shot! Glad you have some companions for awhile! Maybe 60 here today.....hugs

Dennis on

Some really great shots of the desert and I loved the one of the arch. Enjoy

Mike Noble on

Great photo shoot of this area ...thanks for sharing them with us. Looks like good hiking too. I was at Saguaro National Park last year so will have to put this one on my to do list. Keep on treking, my friend.

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