This was a backup trip Wendy scheduled for ABC - all backup plans should be this great!
...while not the hike I thot we were doing this weekend
, and while it involved bagging another peak for this non-peak bagger, and while it was windier than all get out -- up, up, up and up we went with my brother in tow for the longest and highest hike of his life. But now I believe he is primed for the Flatiron
This area really is beautiful. I've driven by it nearly every year since 1988 and it is so nice to go beyond the highway to see what the heck is out there; well in this case, "up" there. I didn't get a chance to research this hike before we came. That's probably a good thing, cuz in a couple spots, it's a tough haul whether you're climbing up and around the terrain or trying to prevent yourself from slip-sliding away on the way down. Wendy and John stayed ahead of us most of the time but waited at various spots along the way for us to catch up.
There were so many highlights for this adventure including:
the awesome organ pipe cactus,
not really knowing
which peak was THE one (Ajo),
the intriguing vegetation (especially the different cacti/succulents) and rock formations with the highlight being the Arch (oh and Wendy kind of fell IN the arch
the gusting wind that nearly blew you off the trail at times on the way up,
the vista from our lunch spot nearly 1/2 way up,
the smattering of vibrant paintbrush
the false summits
(well I didn't say "good" highlights),
the amazing views
from every direction once you hit the ridgeline including toward Baboquivari in the east,
the surprising flora just before you make that last climb,
MAKING the summit
cuz you can't turn back now,
the even longer haul down due to the section where walking gingerly was required or you would end up on your fanny
- 3 of us did, Wayne didn't,
the view back as the sun shone on the Ajo Range,
the sun's rays slowly setting on the cactus as you made that last push down the last bit of elevation,
the opening of lots of evening primrose along the trail.
As for the camping, the highlights:
the perfectly spiced brisket cooked on the charcoal grill,
under the stars (can't remember the last time I did that),
and the company of course.
Oh less we forget, we did shut down Lukeville on Saturday nite & then came back to camp to drink a mango refreshment and finishing off the butterscotch schnapps
Yep, it was a good day and night at the Organ Pipe Cactus NM.
here is the movie of the movies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22zXxCMkunM