Ajo AZ to Parker Dam AZ -- 3/20 thru 3/22

We made a day trip to Ajo, "Gateway to Organ Pipe Cactus Nat'l Monument," for a look-around and to see if we could find the Mexican restaurant we ate at five years ago - a really great dinner - but this time it would be for lunch if we could find it.  Yes, we did and had no problem recognizing it at all!  Clicking on all our cylinders!

Creosote bushes are packed with yellow blossoms and buzzing with bees.  These large bushes are everywhere.  Yes, the desert is in bloom, with all sorts of big, medium and teeny-tiny flowers, adding so much color to an otherwise kind of uniform landscape - a joy for the eyes.

 Jimmy at Ajo Plaza, built in 1917 - a burgeoning area of town with lots of store activity.  Train station beyond.

And here 'tis - Marcela's, and the food was just as delicious.  We both got the special of the day and YUM.

A picture of a photo of the immense Ajo Copper Open Pit Mine -- measuring 1-1/2 miles across!  High-grade native copper made Ajo the first copper mine in Arizona; it closed in 1985.  The waste heaps are as staggeringly high as the pit is low.

Lovely artwork on a single family dwelling in Ajo, isn't it? 

Fairy Duster.  A pretty bloomer in the (dry) washes.

Desert Mallow, mixed with the Brittlebush in bloom below, was a highlight from Tucson to the Colorado River.

Brittlebush, a bright, common desert shrub is very abundant and made a spectacular drive for us!

* * * * * * * * * *

 Jimmy at the River.

After leaving Organ Pipe, we drove mostly secondary roads to get to our next destination -- Parker (Dam) on the Arizona side of the Colorado River.  (Good ol' California's on the other side of the River.)  We'd called several campgrounds (resorts is what they call themselves) early in the day and they were full.  When I called La Paz County Park they had a few spots available.  We snagged a W/E pull-thru WITH A TREE for shade, and really enjoyed our quiet night here.  The resorts were quite expensive.  Our cost?  $20.  The River was clear, wide, and flowing nicely southward... and also cool. (Cool, clear water?)  Toward dusk, we walked along the River's edge path from one end of the park to the other.  Very relaxing.  Very nice.  And across the River, wild burros ambled down from the hills to the water to drink, traipsing across yards, but it was too dark to get a pic.  I wouldn't mind if they crossed my yard. 

Tomorrow we'll be on the home turf again:  Cal-i-for-nia!  Heading for home....


  1. Ah yes, Ajo. I used to own a house there that my folks lived in. Lots of houses went on the market about five years after the mine closed down. They were mine company houses that had sat empty for those five years.

  2. Anonymous7:03 AM

    The desert in bloom is so spectacular, I wish everyone could go see it... we count ourselves blessed to have seen it at Big Bend. Thanks for sharing the lovely blooms! love from Nannie


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