Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Jeep Ride in the Desert

February 7, 2017

Today's blog contains several pictures of the scenery and plant life we could see as we drove through the desert.
If you click on the pictures they will enlarge in a new window.

Darby Well Road

We headed over to Darby Well Road in the morning, to check out the area, and to look for a possible boon-docking spot. (Thank you Al of the Bayfield Bunch for an excellent description of the area.) We found several possible sites. Unfortunately, for us, someone else found them before we did and they all looked pretty well settled in.
Below are pictures I took on our ride on Darby Well Road which ended in Ajo.

Cane Cholla


Organ Pipe


Ajo, AZ

We came out the north end of Darby Well Road into Ajo where we had lunch at a Estrella Restaurant, their sign said the best burgers and craft beers.  All I will say is the food was okay but the experience was "interesting".

Immaculate Conception Church in Ajo, AZ

Just behind the shops on the south side of  the town square we could see the sign below. After lunch
we crossed the street and walked down the alley. Below are a few of the paintings on the building walls.

Bates Well Road

Horse Corral
From the tracks around it looked like it had been used recently.

 I am pretty sure these are two Baby Saguaros.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

On this ride we cut through the northwest corner of the Organ Pipe National Monument. We stopped at the Bates Well and took these pictures from the Jeep. There was a sign warning about concentrations of Africanized bees in the area and we decided we would prefer not to encounter them.
Africanized bees acquired the name killer bees because they will viciously attack people and animals who unwittingly stray into their territory, often resulting in serious injury or death.
It is not necessary to disturb the hive itself to initiate an AHB attack. In fact, Africanized bees have been known to respond viciously to mundane occurrences, including noises or even vibrations from vehicles, equipment and pedestrians.
Though their venom is no more potent than native honey bees, Africanized bees attack in far greater numbers and pursue perceived enemies for greater distances. Once disturbed, colonies may remain agitated for 24 hours, attacking people and animals within a range of a quarter mile from the hive.
Information found on the Internet
What is recommended in the Cactus Chronicle: Leave areas with large concentrations, and do not swat or kill them. 
Bates Well

It looked like the top of this Saguaro had fallen and was caught in
its arms.

It is hard to tell in this picture but we saw whole areas of the desert
floor covered in green.

Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge

The sign below is where we should have turned around. If we would have had our Benchmark of Arizona in the Jeep instead of the Stinger B we probably would have. (Hindsight is 20/20.) We decided to keep going and the scenery was beautiful. When we noticed we were mostly heading west I mentioned to Tom, I think we are headed towards Yuma. Not long after that we came to a really bad stretch of road and then some tires with "STOP" on them. This is where we turned around. We now realized we would be riding back in the dark and this is not a good idea. We did talk to one young man with the Border Patrol, hoping for another way out to 85, besides Darby Well Road, but he informed us there was not. (Interesting fact: they are assigned a week at a time out in this area because of the trip in. He also mentioned we could have kept going, at the "stop", but the road gets a lot worse, and we would have eventually ended up in Yuma.)

The road changed as we road through the Refuge. There were not as many
rocks or washboard areas. What we did find was lots of loose sand,
a very green area, and at one point there was water in the road.
The short section, upper right picture, had metal slatted panels.

We saw a lot of  Teddy Bear Cholla/Jumping Cholla.
On our way back, after dark, when we caught these in the headlights
it reminded us of when pure white snow clings to tree branches and bushes.

Ocotillos lining a series of small hills in the road.

We saw a lot of these signs today in both the
Organ Pipe National Monument
and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. 

We spotted two of these, this one had water bottles next to the
cement base. 

As we headed back the sun hit these mountains on our right as it set.
(Not sure exactly where we were in the refuge
so not sure what mountains these are.)

The sun setting behind us as we drove east.

"You may not always end up where you thought you were going.
But you will always end up where you are meant to be."


  1. I love all the cactuses and the scenery is just awesome

  2. And artwork in the alley was really cool to

    1. It is beautiful out here. We never get tired of seeing all the tall saguaros. We do miss all of you back home though. oxo

  3. Such a wonderful drive in the desert and the scenery amazing as always.

  4. The desert scenery is amazing and ever changing. I would love to be out here one year when all the cacti are blooming.

  5. Wow. You two drove to a lot of great places while in the Ajo area. It is such beautiful country. And, yes, you need to be careful. Those back roads go on forever with no directional signs to help you. Always glad to see pictures of that area and yours are great.