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mini location map2013-03-23
19 by photographer avatarwritelots
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Mount Ajo PeakSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 23 2013
writelots
Hiking8.16 Miles 2,825 AEG
Hiking8.16 Miles   9 Hrs   32 Mns   1.65 mph
2,825 ft AEG   4 Hrs   36 Mns Break
 no routes
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ABC - Group
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This is the second Mt.Ajo trip I've planned for the ABC, and the second time that nearly everyone backed out of the trip last minute. I guess I don't really mind...the area is much more magical when you can enjoy the immense and pressing isolation that only the desert can give. It was a beautiful weekend for a hike, and the weather favored us by dipping a few degrees on just the right day. Although a clear sky would have been preferred, something tells me that it's a seasonal catch that I'm going to need to get better at.

We really went hoping for wildflowers, and while we were disappointed for the most part (no poppies, lupines or the like) the desert was still cloaked in beauty - with more of the perennials blooming (like fairy duster, brittle bush and penstemon).

Angela did a great blow-by-blow description of the hike itself, including the amazing fallen arch/window and the perfect beer at the top (though I must agree, how does one drink 'part' of a beer?). I thought that the route was easier to find on this trip, though if that's because I've been doing a lot more bushwhacking myself or if there's been more traffic to the peak I couldn't really say. In any case, it's a haul up to the top of that mountain, and parts of the steep, loose trail are precarious without being outright dangerous. It's a great bit of adventure, and I'd imagine even the most jaded adventurer would find something to love.

I will say, the entirety of the Organpipe experience was a touch nerve wracking. I'm not at all the sort who gets jittery about guns and such, but the Border Patrol presence in that area is downright oppressive. I started counting about 1/2 way on my drive from Tucson and I encountered 12 BP vehicles just on the highway, not counting the 2 checkpoints (manned with dogs and armed men) and other vehicles parked on the side of the road monitoring. It feels a bit like you're traveling in a war zone. I wonder if people in other parts of the country realize just how impacted this border area is. Just the carbon emissions alone boggle the mind, let alone the moneys being spent on men, equipment, fuel and facilities.

I don't feel safer - I feel unwelcome, even as a citizen. What's more, a park which (according to the recent article in the AZ Highways) saw visitor numbers in the hundreds of thousands in the 90's now sees less than 30k. That's paying visitors, anyway...who knows how many agents and "illegals" are in the park at any given time. Sigh.
Flora
Flora
Organ Pipe Cactus
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Estes Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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writelots'
236 Photosets

  2013-09-11
  2013-07-20
  2013-07-14
  2013-05-11
  2013-04-12
  2013-04-10
  2013-03-31
  2013-03-23
  2013-03-16
  2013-03-15
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  2013-03-01
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  2013-02-24
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  2013-01-08
  2012-12-05
  2012-10-30
  2012-10-28
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