Saturday, March 5, 2011

Traveling on our Stomachs & Organ Pipe NM

Saturday 2/26

Dog sitting with Sloopy again today. After Nancy gave her a morning walk we headed out to pick up some eggs from the local Egg Lady. There are a lot of people selling things like fruit, produce, and eggs from their cars along the roads. Then we made a run to the grocery store. Starting to get stocked up for hitting the raod, we will be leaving here next Friday and heading to Yuma for the Gypsy Gathering and then to Tennessee for the Bristol race.

Back home we picked up Sloopy and took her to the dog run and played for a while, then back home and relaxed. Windy and overcast today, really the first mostly cloudy day this year. Supposed to be a cold front coming in tonight with high winds and rain, along with snow in the higher elevations. We’ll see.

Sunday 2/27

Cool and windy today. Lazy day watching the NASCAR race. Planned to watch the Blackhawks on Versus this evening, but it was blacked out in AZ because they were playing Phoenix. Bummer.

Monday 2/28

Another nice hike today. We left right after the Monday AM campground meeting and hiked up the Hugh Norris Trail towards Wasson Peak. It would have been nine miles round trip to go all the way to the peak so we only went to the junction with the Esperanza trail and back. Pretty substantial climb right at the start, a long (looong) series of steps cut into the rock to climb immediately up onto the ridge line. Fairly strenuous but great views out into the valley.

Tuesday 3/1/11

Getting ready to hit the road on Friday, stocking up on groceries for the next two weeks so we don’t have to do too much searching around for grocery stores before we get to Bristol around the 17th.

Drove up to Tucson Mall so Nancy could pick up a couple of things at Macy’s. Stopped at IRE Outdoor store and bought a new compass, then the Verizon store to get some info on setting Nancy’s new phone up as a WiFi hotspot. Should come in handy once we get away from here.

Stopped at Beyond Bread for lunch, this has become our favorite sandwich shop, wish they had them in other places besides Tucson!

Wednesday 3/2

Morning walk in the desert and then we went to Coyote Pause for brunch. Nancy went to a craft class that lasted from 11 AM ‘till 3 PM on making little baskets from pine needles. She came home with a very nice little basket. I worked on getting ready to go - loaded bikes on rack and covered them, checked tire pressures, and few other things.

Nancy hit the bingo game one last time tonight, still did not win anything.

Thursday 3/3

Off to Tucson yoga this AM for our last class until we get home in April. A little last minute grocery shopping and lunch at Todd’s. Then we spent the afternoon putting things away and getting the trailer back in shape for the road, Has not been moved since the first of December, so quite a few things needed to be put back where they belong, not to mention things we have acquired. Loaded the smart onto the Volvo late in the afternoon.

Friday 3/4

Got on the road about 10:30 AM after saying goodbye to our winter friends. Headed west on Ajo Hwy (Rt 86) towards Ajo. Stopped in Sells on the Tohono O’odham indian reservation and had lunch at Desert Rain Cafe. Turned out to be a small restaurant with about a dozen tables and counter service, but the food was unique and outstanding. A great place to stop if you are driving through the area, or even if you are going to Kitt Peak, which is not far away.

Leaving Sells we continued west on 86 to Why, AZ. where we picked up 85 north to Ajo. South of Ajo the approach to the city is totally blocked by huge tailings from a defunct open pit copper mine.

In Ajo we stopped at Shadow Ridge RV Park, a Passport America park - $37 for two nights with our member discount. A very nice park with a friendly and helpful owner. WiFi is Tengo Net, but works fairly well, plus cable TV.

In town we found another great culinary discovery - 100 Estrella. Sign says Best Beer and Best Burgers in Ajo. Well, it was probably the best beer selection, a lot of which were on draft, in the southern half of Arizona and I don’t believe I would be contradicted in saying they are the best burgers in the state! They have a selection of four different kinds of beef, from Kobe Beef to local, open range organic beef - which I chose and it was excellent.

Saturday 3/5

Up early to head to Organ Pipe National Monument. Stopped at 100 Estrellas for breakfast since we were enticed by there menu the evening before. A pretty good breakfast too.

Arrived at Organ Pipe at 10 AM. We had called the day before to see if the guided van tour was available but it was booked soe we planned on a hike and drive through the park on our own. When we s[oke with the ranger at the vistors center though we found that there had been three cancellations for the van tour! (Thank you to those anonymous folks for being polite enough to call and cancel). So we signed up for the 1 PM van tour.

We took a 2.5 mile hike from the visitors venter to the campground and back, The campground is very nice and very roomy, but dry camping only.

The van tour took three hours and covered the 21 miles loop through the mountains east of the visitor center, with a half dozen stops along the way. The ranger guiding the tour was a geologist and provided some fascinating information about the geology of the mountains and desert, as well as the desert plants. Well worth the time.

Back in Ajo we went to Marcela’s Cafe and Bakery for dinner. A very good, small Mexican restaurant.

Tomorrow morning we head to Yuma and the Gypsy Gathering. The only internet access we will have there will be through our Verizon hot spot, so I will not post to the blog until Friday or Saturday when we will be on the road headed back east.

1 comment:

  1. Have a blast at the GJR...we hate not being there this year. Will be in OH this fall though as well as Yuma next year!!