Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Organ Pipe Cactus NM, AZ

Before we left Phoenix, we decided to make a day trip down to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  This park is located about 2 hours south of Buckeye, where we are camped, and very near the border (Lukeville).  We took the 21 mile loop road drive (dirt/gravel) which wound up taking us about 5 hours, as we stopped at one of the ramadas about half way and had lunch.
We saw many different varieties of cactus, and can recognize some of them.  I guess we need to get us a guide book on cactus.
 Organ Pipe cactus above saguaro below.
The temp in the park during our drive hovered around 90, with a very slight breeze at times, and humidity was around minus 20.  It felt awfully dry as we chugged Aquafina bottles like shots of tequila.  :-)
 Avove, Ocotillo, below, not sure, and below that, Teddy Bear (Cholla).
 The drive was just beautiful, in a strange way.  You just don't see this type of landscape in Virginia, so we were just mezmerized at the wild, strange scenery.
The pic above will give one the perspective as to how large these cacti can be.
Below are a couple of pics of the rustic ramada where stopped for lunch.  We were about the only ones in the park.  We did see a Border Patrol Helo cruise around the southern edge of the park, and then up one of the canyons, on the lookout for illegals.  We understand that this park is a major route for them as well as drug cartel runners.
 Nancy chugging down an orange drink.  One can get real thirsty out here.  Below, she is talking with one of our daughters.  Strange we had cell service here.  Never saw a tower.
 Nancy and another Organ Pipe Cactus.  This one had an unsual growth-like crown in the center of the plant.
 An arch atop one of the mountains.  This was about a mile away, so I had to really use a long lens, 300mm.
 Above, the canyon looking south into Mexico where we saw the helo.
We saw this guy late in the day wondering around looking for a tasty dinner.  I found out later it was a Gila Monster and that he can "spit" venom a considerable distance.  We were about three feet away taking pics and crowding it's space.  Guess we were lucky to not be spit at. 
 The border crossing at Lukeville, AZ.
 On the way back to Buckeye, after a long day in the park, we just had to stop and shoot the sunset.  The sunsets are so beautiful in AZ.
So, until the next blog, RVing Beach Bums.