Not a bad "Plan B". Not bad at all. In fact, I think that this was a fantastic
idea! I'm only sorry that I hadn't had sooner! Organ Pipe National Monument is dramatically under appreciated in my opinion, and the threat of illegal immigrants and drug runners has scared off a lot of the rest of the potential visitors. This time of year, however, the campgrounds are full of retirees pulling their RVs from the midwest and further east, looking for some rays, a few special cactus and the star of the show this spring:
Of course, it wasn't quite the show I've seen in previous years there. As I recall, the last time I visited was like 2004 or so - before I even had a digital camera to record it all with! Ak - slides
That year was actually a little better, or I hit it at a better time. This year the flowers are scattered and small - blooming a little late to reach their full potential. But that certainly doesn't mean there weren't plenty of pretty blooms to admire!
The hike up to Mt. Ajo was all that I needed for this particular weekend: infinitely doable
(to quote Randal's description), technically and physically challenging and as scenically rewarding as they get. Though I have to admit that the combination of my acrophobia and the overwhelming glut of views throughout the hike, I found the actual peak to be something of a anticlimax. Sure - it's pretty, and it's the top, but you can get views nearly just as stunning from many spots along the ridge line leading up to that point (and you don't feel like your teetering inches from death).
Going down the loose section there between the high ridge and Bull Pasture was torture, but fun in it's own sorta scary "what am I doing here" way. I think every one of us slipped/slid/fell at least once. But none complained, none had to be carried and all were thrilled to breathe that sigh of relief when things flattened out again.
Awesome hike! Thanks crew!