Saturday, February 11, 2017

South Puerto Blanco to Senita Basin

February 8, 2017

After a late breakfast we headed over to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. We visited this Monument about two years ago. (I know this because we have a stamp dated February 22, 2015 in our National Park Passport.) We drove down from Gila Bend and drove the Ajo Mountain Loop. I have pictures from the loop but I could not find a blog. I also remember I was sick during this time so I am guessing for some reason I never wrote the blog.

Protecting 516 square miles of Sonoran Desert, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is a sanctuary for diverse species, some endangered. The park was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937 and has since been recognized as a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations. Over 95 percent of Organ Pipe Cactus is designated Wilderness.                        
(information taken from the monuments Cactus Chronicle) 

Turning into South Puerto Blanco Drive

We chose the South Puerto Blanco to Senita Basin Trailhead drive today.  It mentions in the brochure this is where the greatest concentration of the senita cactus is. After our very long ride yesterday we decided a short ride was in order and in the brochure it stated this one was only about 2 hours round trip

We have seen many signs like this over the last few days.

Looking to the left we could see the border fence.
Along the fence the little dot in the middle is a Border Patrol truck.

A little further in, as you can see, we were very close to the fence.
The truck is in Mexico.

Two favorites, a Saguaro and a Ocotillo

Organ Pipe Cactus

Senita Cactus

Senita Basin

Posted at the Trailhead

Baby Senita

Teddybear Cholla

Heading Back Out

Senita Cactus

We had seen a flag yesterday but it was to far away to see that
it was attached to what looks like a water barrel.

On Highway 85 Heading North

This was our last day visiting the monument. There is so much more we want to see, including re-driving the Ajo Mountain Loop, we know we will be back again.  

Kris Eggle Visitor Center

One of our stops whenever we visit a National Park is the visitor center. The one at Organ Pipe Cactus Monument is named in honor of Kris Eggle and a memorial is located in front of the center.

Kris Eggle was a Law Enforcement Park Ranger from Cadillac, Michigan. He was an Eagle Scout, a National Honor Society Student, and valedictorian of his graduating class at Cadillac High School in 1991. After high school, he attended University of Michigan and earned a degree in wildlife biology. Kris approached his entire life with a kind of contagious enthusiasm that could only inspire everyone who knew him. He constantly gave of himself without ever asking for anything in return.
In 1995 Kris accepted a position with the National Park Service at Great Smoky Mountains National Park tracking wild boar and bears. He later served as an Law Enforcement Ranger at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Canyonlands National Park before arriving at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in 2000.
He was elected president of his class at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center where he graduated at the top of his class and received the Director's Award for outstanding achievement.
Kris took great pride in his daily work providing for visitors' safety and protecting our nation's heritage. As a National Park Ranger, Kris enforced Federal and State Laws while at the same time performing as an emergency medical technician, wildland and structural firefighter, and search and rescue team member.
In the wake of 9/11, Kris protected his country by intercepting thousands of pounds of illegal drugs, and guarding a 30-mile stretch of the nation’s southern boundary.
Kris Eggle was shot and killed in the line of duty at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, on August 9, 2002. He was 28 years old. This happened while he was pursuing members of a drug cartel who fled into the United States after committing a string of murders in Mexico.
On July 29, 2003 The United Sates Congress passed Public Law 108-64, officially designating the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument's visitor center as the Kris Eggle Visitor Center. A public dedication ceremony was held on November 2, 2003.
(information found online)

I am including this information as a reminder to all of us that the Park Rangers and the Border Patrol Officers, we see so often, are protecting our country and us everyday.


  1. Looks like a very nice drive, thanks for the great pictures.

    1. It was a nice drive and we enjoyed it. You are welcome.

  2. Great pictures and a touching Memorial.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Thank you. As I read the article I thought he must have been a nice young man.
      Your two be safe, also.