When I mention I'm going to stay in Ajo, I get puzzled looks and queries: Where is Ajo? It's a small little village about 60 miles from the Mexican boarder, which has been in existence prior to the 1800's. Today it is a mecca for a few snowbirds and retirees. The winter temperatures generally are in the high 60's-high 70's. There area is not crowded, but the town's folks are quite civil minded and active. The town hosts the annual Old Time Fiddler's contest, quilt shows, art tours just to name a few. I have attended to the fiddlers contest for the past two years but this year I chose to explore the town of Ajo a little bit more.
The main economy of Ajo until the 1980's was the Phelps Dodge cooper mine. The mine pulled millions of tons of copper ore out for processing. In fact, a whole mountain was displaced. Where there were three mountain peaks there are now two.
There is a great vista point to see the old mine.
One of the old rock crushers
There was plenty of water to mine copper but strict environmental controls made it too expensive to continue mining so the mine shut down in 1982. Somehow, the little town of Ajo continues to grow and thrive mostly due to the winter snowbirds and it's proximity to the boarder. There is a new border patrol complex being built outside of town and it looks like it will serve many more boarder patrolman. (our tax dollars at work!) The Organ Pipe National Monument is just a few miles south and the Cabeza Prieta NWR draws hikers and back packers. Ajo, also borders the Tohono O'dham Indian nation, one of the largest Indian nations in the south west. Ajo is a great place to visit for a few days and decompress.
From Ajo, we traveled to Casa Grande for the week long WIN annual Dance Rally. We'll be here until the 14th and from here ....?