Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Ajo, Why, and Gringo Pass
After leaving the beautiful Saguaro Co-op Campsite the next day, we drove for miles through the most boring desert scenery. We decided to take a short (HA!) detour from the Interstate over to Organ Pipe Cactus Monument and stay for 3 nights. This is the way we travel. We have a plan but do we stick to it? Not if something else is close by that we might want to see.
As we were driving down Hwy 85 we were passed by about 7 Border Patrol cars. When we got to the campsite, 80+ miles later, all traffic was directed to their parking lot. There had been a shooting in Mexico, one person killed and the other had crossed the border..........Great.We were about as close as you can get to Mexico and still be in the USA.This is one of the places that has no fence,no river,no barricade, just walk across. We passed through the town of Why,AZ and Ajo,AZ plus the Barry Goldwater Air Force Base where the boys in blue practice bombing raids.
By that afternoon the "perp" had been arrested so all was well.
Beautiful country...lonesome country....dusty country.....quiet, so very quiet.But the stars were not as bright nor the sky as dark as in Fort Davis,TX. I was surprised considering we were miles from any towns.
We really enjoyed boondocking,as it is called, and found lots to do. No phones, no electricity, no computer, no TV, no problem.
We took one very long hot hike up to an old mine site, about 4mi round trip from our site.
For 60+ yr. olds we did right well, at least we made it back. Another day we went to the ranger talk on desert survival. I thought it would be about me surviving in the desert, but it was about the desert surviving. The rest of the time was spent reading, knitting, and just listening to the quiet.
Those tall cacti you see with arms are over 75 year sold when they grow their first arms, so imagine how old some of them are. The Organ Pipe Cactus is just stalks of cactus. A few of the trails in the park have been closed due to drug smuggling and illegal crossings.