Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Friday, March 14, 2014

Another beautiful National Park- Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Hi all,
 Things are starting to heat up in Arizona. We have had temps in the 70's most days and nights only going down in the 50's.
 We already added a day to our stay here in Gila Bend. As I write this Wendy is looking at where to go next. We  have plans to be at The Grand Canyon on March 31st through April 4th. Last night we booked four nights at Deadhorse Ranch State Park this is near Sedona. The four nights ( 3/24-3/28) are mid week as weekends are pretty booked. Before that we have about a week and a half to fill with ?
 Wednesday we headed off to get Wendy another National Park stamp in her book. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument was the place. As we are camped at Gila Bend on I-8 this was a 75 mile drive down just this side of the Mexican border. (click on pictures to make them larger)

  Some of the drive down was pretty flat with mountains in the far distance, you are actually driving through the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range.
 Organ Pipe N.M. was established in 1937. It offers a couple of strenuous hiking trails and a nice campground but no hookups.
 As you get to the park you see many saguaro cactus and are almost there before spotting some organ pipe cactus.

 We arrived in the park and went right to the visitor center. It is an exceptional center with many nice interactive displays. We were discussing the junior ranger program with a volunteer and they said they had a desert ranger program for the not so junior. They give you a book to complete getting info from the center and other pamphlets. Well Wendy couldn't resist so off we went with book in hand focused on earning her desert ranger badge.)
 We finally got out on the 21 mile Ajo Mountain drive through the park. Mostly on dirt road it made a nice loop around the mountain. They also give you a booklet to follow numbered landmarks along the way.

 As you get in you see so many saguaros you wonder where is the organ pipes then they start to show and they're everywhere. You also see lots of ocotillos and chollas also.
The drive just kept getting more breathtaking the more we went along. The only downside was it was peak afternoon and the blazing sun would be washing out the pictures. This is definitely a place that we are thankful for digital cameras.


  1. We currently live in Roswell, NM, however, I was born and raised in Ajo, my mom, still lives there at 83 years old. Love to see the picture, thanks

  2. Some really nice shots of the cacti, even for mid afternoon light.