Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Why, Hickawan Trails RV Park, Jan 15-31, 2016

Its been several years since I have been back to Ajo-Why area and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  Joel and I spent several months doing volunteer work at the NM back in  January-March of 2013.  We hiked the back country and volunteered locating and eradicating buffelgrass.  I was anxious to visit this part of the country again and headed towards Why in anticipation of some good hiking and desert exploration.

Why, why do you ask?  Well, one of my first ventures in my Born Free in 2008 was meeting up with my friends Casey at Kim at the Hickawan Trails RV Park.  The RV Park is located on Tohono o' Odoham land and has full hookups, restrooms, laundry, and even a casino, all at a very reasonable price.  Casey and Kim usually spend at least a month at the park, but most of the time  they spend several months.  One can walk from the park directly onto the pristine Sonoran desert which displays a plethora  of Saguaro, Cholla, Organ Pipe cacti, just to name of few.  Also wild burro and sometimes mountain sheep make themselves visible in the early mornings.  (keeping in mind that this is sacred land) . Plus, Hickawan is located within 30 minutes of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

Joel, still being in throws of working on co-op projects back at Rover-Roost Escapee Park encouraged me to spend at least a week in the area.  Frankly, there is so much to do and see a week is not long enough, but not wanting to leave him without the truck I settled for a week.

My friend  Sandi had never been to the area so she tagged along in her road trek with her 5 year old Great Pyrenees in tow.

On Tuesday we walked out to the desert and around the mountains hiking a beautiful 8.5  mile loop. The weather was absolutely perfect...60s.

Looks closely towards the right of the photo and you can see a loan burro
 This is a cristate or crested Saguaro cactus.
 We also saw a crested Organ Pipe Cactus. Although this one looks like it has seen better days.

There is a very large Cholla "forest" not far from the camp ground.  These are chained fruit cholla.

Cholla as far as you can see.

Wednesday we visited the Cabeza Prieta visitor center in Ajo and obtained our permits for the Barry Goldwater Range and Cabeza Prieta NWR.  Part of the NWR is on the Barry Goldwater Range and you must have a permit to do any hiking or exploring.

On Thursday, we drove about 10 miles north of Ajo..maybe a little more, and called in our permit numbers, names, and license plate info on the tlelphone number provided and received permission to enter the range at gate 14.  Again we completed another gorgeous hike on the desert without seeing any other souls.

The rock formations were really interesting.

Ghostly Saguaro

Wow the week was going by fast, so Friday we visited the Organ Pipe visitor center and obtained the new guide booklet  to the Ajo Mountain Drive Loop which described 18 points of interest.  The Ajo Mountain Drive Loop is about a 22 miles drive through some of the most scenic landscapes in the Sonoran desert.  We took almost 4 hours to complete the loop. Back in 2013 there was no written guide that described the various stops.

This is one of the largest Organ Pipe Cactus along the Ajo Mountain Loop.

It is also crested.

On Saturday we did one last hike out in the desert starting from our campsite and making a short loop the opposite direction we had hiked a few days before.  We saw the same burro as before keeping a careful watch on us so as not to get too close.  This time we did see another soul...what think was an "illegal".  He was very young and looked very fresh so perhaps he had just crossed the boarder.  He didn't speak any English and didn't ask us for anything and just keep walking.  Very odd.

Sunday, I hooked up the Airstream to the Silverado with no problem what so ever.  I sure get a lot of strange looks while performing this task.  We have a Blue Ox weight distributing hitch which is a little different than the type of hitches you tow a car with, but with practice it only takes a few minutes to hook up.   Of course the awesome back up camera on the Silverado makes a huge difference.

I'm back at the Escapee Park and Joel is almost finished with co-op projects and hopes to start on a few project on the Beaver and Airstream.

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