Friday, February 10 - We headed about 20 miles south this morning from our campground in Why, AZ to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Our first stop was the Visitor's Center where we watched a 15 minute video about the park and talked about different hikes with the park ranger.
This is the cactus the park in named after.
We decided on Victoria Mine trail. It is a 4.5 mile trail that is
rated as easy. We must be feeling our age because we both felt moderate would be
a better rating.
It crosses several washes and is a series of short uphill and downhill switches.
One of many washes.
Beautiful scenery all around.
We had to ask this guy directions, but had no idea which
direction he was telling us to go.
The hike ends at Victoria Mine, home of one of the oldest historic
sites on the monument grounds. The old mine shafts are covered with steel
grating to prevent entrance and to protect the bat population living within the
mine. The ruins of the miner's house remain at the sight.
We paused at the mine for a small snack before beginning our
return hike back to the trailhead. According to our I-phone apps we covered a
total of about 5.5 miles, 15,984 steps and were on the trail about 3 hours. It was
in the high 80's by the time we reached the parking lot, so we were happy to be
off the trail.
We were within five miles of the Mexican border, so Paul wanted
to drive down to see the current wall. We had to drive two miles down a
washboard dirt road to reach the border.
Surprisingly, we did not see any Border Patrol, but they
probably knew we were there. The wall was a steel mesh and about 12 feet high.
Can you see it going all the way up the
We then returned to the desert along AZ Highway 85 in search of
Crested Saguaro cactus. The brochure we obtained at the Visitor's Center calls
them Cristate Saguaro cactus. (What do you think, Pam?) They are called
Cristates because they often resemble the crests found in medieval times. This
anomaly is rare but can be found on cactus scattered across the Southwestern
United States. We found three today. Yea for us!
This one was right along HWY 85.
Bella even enjoys looking for crested saguaro and found one!
We returned home to the Hickiwan Trails RV park to find a
welcoming crowd of donkeys “honking” are arrival. They were right by the front
gate having visited the pond behind the casino. Funny!
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a