Thursday, December 17, 2020

Fifty-One Years and a Lovely Drive (Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument)

(Clicking on the pictures will open them up larger.)

Sunday, December 13, 2020

It was a beautiful day with blue skies and just a few clouds floating along to spend driving down the Ajo Mountain Drive. If you can only take one of the rides through the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, in our opinion, this is the one to take. Stop at the visitor center and pick up the guide booklet before starting. There are 18 listed stops along the route including the crested Organ Pipe Cactus which sadly will not be standing much longer. The last time we took the ride in March of 2018 I listed all 18 stops, if you would be interested click here. (Side note: you do not need a four wheel or high clearance vehicle for this drive.) Today we took this ride with Doug and Yuma and if you want to see some beautiful pictures Doug's Blog, Miss Adventure Travels, has several. I did eliminated quite a few pictures but you still should be aware there are several pictures below. Most of them will not have captions because they speak for themselves.

Our first stop was the sign

to take some pictures

in front of it, of course.

We first stopped at the Visitor Center then back 
across AZ-85 and we are at the entrance of the 
Ajo Mountain Drive. 

There is a water barrel under that flag. 
Illegals do come through here.

Tom checking things out with his binoculars
and Doug taking a picture 

Organ Pipe Cactus.

Mexico in the distance.

This is a Crested Organ Pipe Cactus

I took these pictures, March 18, 2018

This is sadly what it looked like today, December 13. 2020.

I understand there is a season for everything 
but it was still sad to see.

This Saguaro looked like a bird condo.
If you enlarge the picture you will see what I mean.

Do you see what I see?

I told Doug I did not remember seeing this before but when
I looked at the blog from the last time we took this ride 
there was the same

Ocotillo still the favorite even without the little green leaves.

Our last stop on the Ajo Mountain Drive 

the Teddy Bear Cholla.

Of all the different Cholla I
 think they are the prettiest. 

We had hoped to also take a short ride down Puerto Blanco Drive to Quitobaquito Pond. Even though we have been down this road we had somehow missed seeing it and so Doug was going to show us where it was. Unfortunately, the Road is presently closed. Instead we continued south to Lukeville and the border. You can see they are working on the wall here.

Last stop today was to show
Doug the Crested Saguaro.

If you are traveling to the Organ Pipe Cactus National 
Monument it is right near the highway on your right
just before mile marker 74.

Leaving the Monument behind Doug

going through the Border Patrol Checkpoint which was not
manned. Just cameras though there was an agent in a truck.

So today we celebrated our 51st Wedding Anniversary with a lovely ride looking at beautiful scenery. We enjoyed the day with Doug and Yuma and when we arrived back home we all agreed we were tired and to call it a day. 

Looking back over the last 51 years it hardly seems possible it has been that long.  So far we would have to say it has been a good life and we look forward to many more years together. We feel lucky to be able to say we have our health and so do our children and grandchildren. Who would have thought 51 one years ago when we got married on a day it was snowing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan we would be living our retirement dream sitting in the desert toasting to a wonderful day and sunset.

We would like to thank everyone for the wonderful Anniversary wishes we received on the 13th.  We appreciated every one of them. 

We are so glad you stopped by!
If you have time to leave a comment we would enjoy hearing from you.


  1. A belated Anniversary Wish to a very deserving couple.
    Looks like you enjoyed your day exploring some new sights.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Thank you for the Anniversary Wishes. It was a very enjoyable day.
      Stay safe.

  2. Happy Anniversary again!!! Interesting there is a flag for the water. I wonder who puts the water there? Most of those coyotes only care about the money, not the people. Love those crested saguaros.

    1. Thank you, again!
      A volunteer group with special permission have been doing it for 15 years. Human Borders have dispensed over 100,000 gallons of water. We have seen several of these out in the desert when we have been on rides near the border. We have also seen beacons put up by the Border Patrol that someone in distress can activate for help. I would agree about the coyotes that bring people across.

  3. Happy Happy anniversary. 51 years together is a major milestone. And I agree - celebrating in the desert 🏜 is an amazing place to be.

    1. Thank you for the Anniversary wishes. In agreement about the desert for sure.

  4. Happy Anniversary one more time! Can't be said enough! Love, love that drive! I don't think I would ever tire of it ! Love the champagne glasses at the end. :)

    1. Thank you, one more time...:)
      It is a great ride. It was one of those "light bulb" moments and I was happy with the way it turned out...:)

  5. Beautiful day to celebrate 51 years. We may have to be reminded but the Organ Pipe Monument is a place we hope to see one day. love the crested saguaro. Heres to many many more very similar!
    Love the ending poster.

    1. Thank you and it was a beautiful day to celebrate. You would definitely not be sorry you made the stop. The park and Ajo are definitely worth it. I had seen that little poster about a month ago and thought it was perfect for an anniversary post. Glad you loved it, also.

  6. A great anniversary ride through lovely mountains! The pictures are beautiful and really represent what is there. Enjoyed sharing this adventure with the two of you on your special day.

    1. We would agree. Of all the rides through the park, as I am sure I mentioned, it is my favorite. Tom and I enjoyed sharing the day with you and Yuma.

  7. What a great place to spend your 51st anniversary, congratulations!