Tohono O'odham Lands
Here's a 328 mile round trip into what was for me "the great unknown". With recent trips to Hopi Lands and Navajo Lands, I've been intrigued by this large expanse of land between Tucson and Organ Pipe NM. Yes I've been to the Mission at San Xavier http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=6670
and the Buenos Aires Plains http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=1789
, but what about Anegam, Baboquivari, Chuichu, Gu Vo, Hickiwan, Itak, Komelik, Momolikat, Narcho Santos, Pisinimo, Quijotoa, Sells, Tat Momoli, Vaya Chin, Wahuk Hotrontk, Xavier, and other "cool" sounding villages dotting a route I plotted through the heart of Tohono O'odham Lands?
With the women of the house having plotted their "mission" for Black Friday, I decided a good highway run for Black Porsche was in order. My maps indicated I could make a complete loop on paved roads, but the quality and the effects of recent rains (i.e. flooding) left my wondering if the F-150 would have been a better choice.
Having grabbed a morning coffee I set off towards Tucson on the I-10 looking for exit 200 and Sunland Gin Road. A right turn onto Battaglia Drive at Arizona City heading 5 miles west before joining BIA-15 at the boundary of the Tohono O'odham Reservation. The name means "People of the Desert". Called "Papagos" by the Spanish, this name has mostly been rejected by the tribe as being slightly derogatory...
I made frequent stops along BIA-15 combining some side treks into the villages. No evidence of commerce within the villages; only residences, schools, and churches. Border Patrol vehicles frequently slowed or stopped to check me out - no problem...
Joined onto Hwy 86 and headed west towards Organ Pipe NM. Decided to make a side trek south along BIA-21 towards Pisinimo, Cowlik (think this name on the sign made me turn), and the Mexican Border. Again Border Patrol vehicles frequently slowed to check me out - a friendly wave and they were on there way.
Also stopped at Schuchuli to check out the ghost town of Gunsight before heading to Organ Pipe NM. Started heading home at sundown, stopping in Ajo at the Cabeza Prieta NWR Headquaters to gather some info for an upcoming group 4WD/hike adventure along El Camino del Diablo http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=642
Final thought - are broken beer bottles the pottery sherds of the 21st century???