We pulled out of SD at 8 AM to travel I-8 with the destination of Organ Pipe Cactus NM in Arizona. We were thinking about the 800 Mile Wall as we saw it snaking over the sand dunes west of Yuma. We had attended a presentation by John Carlos Frey of his documentary at the Palm Desert Library (one of the many events we attended – thanks, Robin) and were sobered by the reality. That was about all of the wall that we saw along with glimpses of the All American Canal, but we saw plenty of Border Patrols – our tax dollars at work. ;-(
We pulled into Organ Pipe Cactus NM in time to enjoy the sunset, an hour later than California. This is gorgeous country – a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains. This, we were told by the ranger, is “where summer spends the winter”. Edward Abbey would be happy to know that a little bit of his desert solitude prevails.
We enjoy an incredibly clear night sky compete with Milky Way, satellites, and shooting stars. Next morning, February 1, we motor a 20 mile unpaved road to access a hike to Estes Trail/Bull pasture. We could not have ordered a more perfect day – sunshine and temps in the 60’s…the calm before the storm?
This is a fabulous National Monument – we saw improvements since we were last here like solar heated showers – nice amenity 😉 But 95% of the park is wilderness and hopefully we will let it remain this way. It should be our southern International Peace park to complement Glacier and Waterton.