ORGAN PIPE CACTUS NATIONAL MONUMENT
With this week's mega-rains and numerous reports of flooding, road closures, power outages, and other general chaos, I thought a trip to Organ Pipe might be a safe bet. To be sure, I sent a pre-dawn email to the Ranger's Office answered by Vivian Sartori;
All roads and trails are open. Ajo Mountain Drive and Puerto Blanco Drive have been graded. Alamo may have some big puddles in the road, and the stream is running! You should be able to access everything you are planing to hike. Come see us - this place is always beautiful after a big rain.
Division of Interpretation
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
#10 Organ Pipe Drive
Ajo, AZ 85321
(520) 387-6849 x 7304
With that positive report, Lynn and I packed up the F-150 and headed for Alamo Canyon and Arch Canyon. This gave me a chance to try out a couple of last week's birthday presents - renewal of my Annual National Parks Pass http://www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm
and a new Mountainsmith Spectrum Camera Backpack http://www.travelgearblog.com/archive/m ... kpack.html
After Alamo Canyon we headed over to Ajo Mountain Drive and Arch Canyon. Only one major mud hole we had to blast through with a spectacular waterjet of water shot into the air and onto the windshield!
Nobody at the Arch Canyon TH as we headed up and behind the arch in the waning sunlight. Red-winged blackbirds and red-tailed hawks were spotted. In contrast to Alamo Canyon, Arch Canyon was a birder's delight.
Our exit along Ajo Mountain Drive was punctuated by a dud of a sunset. I had hopes for something special given all the clouds at the horizon. But as the sun declined, the clouds evaporated leaving only a monochrome sunset. Oh well, still an ok hiking day marking my 500th triplog...