From Phoenix we headed south – almost to the Mexican border – following the advice of friends to visit Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. We loved it… it’s a really special place, and I’ll wax poetic about the park for more than one post – it was THAT beautiful. So here are some photos from just our first day’s exploration.
We listened to a Ranger lecture about the park, hearing about the incredibly rare snow that they had the week before (above 4000′). The park is already way ahead on precipitation for the year. After the lecture we headed back out to hike the Arch Canyon trail. The views were sublime…
…made all the more beautiful by the Mexican poppies in bloom.
Jim spotted a horned lizard – if he hadn’t been moving he would have been invisible to us.
Some of the cactus were just starting to bloom…
…and this prickly pear cactus was a little reminder that love can sometimes hurt!
We were reminded about the park’s proximity to the Mexican border by the Border Patrol checkpoint on the park road, as well as signs like this.
Luckily, we didn’t spot any “bad hombres”. Instead we saw forests of saguaro and organ pipe cactus, sweeping vistas, and a beautiful sunset.