Saturday, March 13, 2021

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument - Day Two

On our second full day at the park, we did the Puerto Blanco Drive that headed north from the campground and then circled around to the west and south, ending at the wall that stretches along the border through this area. Then it was a 13-mile drive along that ugly edifice down to Lukesville, a limited entry into Mexico and back to the campsite on the highway. Altogether it took us 4 hours of driving. Volunteers have proved that it only takes simple tools to cut through this wall, and it has been done frequently. We were told that many of the locks on the doors in the wall have also been broken and cars driven right through. 

A vista along the first part of the Puerto Blanco Drive

There were a number of stops along the rough drive in the park and again, at the advice of the Ranger, we hiked into the Dripping Springs. Again the trail was rather easy until the last section, which involved some scrambling up through the rocks. The spring itself has always been a lifesaver for wildlife and humans. It is small but evidently always there. Several people had warned us about African bees near the water so we were very careful and only saw a few. Golden Bell Mine and Bonita Well were the next two stops and at the second one, we had a picnic. 

On both days Dave and Ellen joined us in our truck. We really never needed the four-wheel drive but it's comforting to have it available. This day was our last at the campground. We couldn't get a third night there so we drove up to Why and stayed at the Coyote Howls RV Park. Unfortunately, Marsha and Rick had to head back so we didn't see them. It was a pleasant night there even though very windy and at night we had both wind and rain - gusts up to 50 miles per hour. We are happy to say that our trailer shakes but stays put! The next day we drove back towards Tucson and our visit to Donna and Dick Swartz, our friends and neighbors in Shrewsbury, Vermont. 

Organ Pipe Cactus interspersed with Saguaro

You can get a feel for the height
with Dave next to one

The Saguaro are endlessly amusing!

We climbed up aways to get to the Dripping

Dave and Ellen

The spring itself was small but
very important to both animals
and humans 

A view of the road heading southwest. It was rough but usable for most vehicles - slow going 

Bonita Well, where we had a picnic. The only
well we saw anywhere in the park

An old corral indicated that a ranch or livestock
used to be kept here.

A view down along the Wall

Scott and I pose - typical tourists!

And in the other direction.

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