Saturday, March 14, 2009

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Mar 11-13

We really enjoyed our time at this park. Even though we had no hookups our solar panels kept us charged. We watched no TV as it is real energy glutton. Two evenings I went to the ranger program and also enjoyed reading-finished up the book, The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers. We took a couple of hikes, one was on our own and the other one was a park volunteer led 4+ mile walk to the Victoria Mine site.

My favorite desert plant is the ocotillo, this one is almost in full bloom, very stunning against the brown and slight green desert backdrop.

IMG_8145One of our hikes took us up above the campground, we are right in the center.


The other hike was with a park volunteer to the Victoria Mine site. There were quite a few on this hike, but the day was getting warmer and we had to hike back over 2 miles. We left before the group did and was back to the coach by 1:00 pm-we were tired, not real sure why, walking 4+ miles shouldn’t have done it, but I do think all the standing around was a factor.

IMG_8164 This is the only structure still standing at the mine. You can not see it in this photo, but there was a bathtub inside to the left of the door. I understand they had their water hauled in, so a bathtub was a luxury for sure.

IMG_8163 We were told these majestic saguaro cactus can get up to 40’ tall. If you were to take a foot cross section out and weight it, it would weigh between 90 & 100 pounds. The first arms can appear around the age of 75 years.IMG_8157 Thought I would show you a contrast, below is a tiny fishhook barrel cactus, I believe the red is the fruit, just did not look like a bloom coming.


Below is me looking like I am touching a chain of a chain-fruit Cholla . Everything in the desert has thorns!

On one of our hikes Bob almost stumbled face first into a saguaro, he was lucky and caught himself before contact was made. I told him I hoped he wouldn’t have minded as I was going to have to take a photo first before I helped his gain his freedom from the thorns. Not so sure he was laughing even at the thought of what could have happened. I was just picturing it in my mind.


Thought you would like to see what a saguaro looks like close up. This one is a little browned, they say the infrequent frosts and cold weather can cause this condition.

We headed out of the park on Saturday morning to head up the road about 85 miles to Gila Bend to spend a few days before heading to the Phoenix area. I drove as Bob was not feeling the best, let’s hope for a fast recovery.

In this special moment in life…trust life

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