Sunday, March 5, 2017

Organ Pipe Music

The drive to Organ Pipe National Monument is a mere 180 or so miles south.  This is another park (like Big Bend) that is situated right on the border with Mexico.  There are a few hikes and drives cris-crossing the acreage.  Q will allow us to experience the longest.  We feel fortunate in securing one of the four primitive sites at Alamo Creek Canyon.

Big rain clouds just highlight the dramatic formations.  We settle into campsite #1, but Alex prefers #4.  It is a bit more secluded and backs right up to the spot where the mountains begin to rise above the valley.  The odd method for self-registration means that payment in the envelope goes into the "iron ranger" and the stub is clipped to the campsite post.  #4 is not occupied, but there is a stub with today's date.  The stub will expire tomorrow.

It remains unoccupied when Alex awakens at 530 am; so Q migrates to campsite #4 long before anyone else might think of driving in to claim it.  Alex puts up our tarp so that we can be outside - and it may also have the usual effect of stopping the rain.

And it is a great start for our hike to the historic ranch site where north, middle, and south forks meet.  The rainfall has filled the creek - but it isn't difficult to cross.

Saguaros are huge!
That's 5'8" me in the red shirt, so the Saguaro must be about 25 feet tall.

A huge cracked boulder dwarfs Alex.  We hear occasional rock falls that remind us that this is a changing landscape.

It isn't until our second day here as we are returning from the backroads drive that we notice the cartoon bunny shaped saguaro at the turn-off to the campground.
Alex stands by the Saguaro-bunny for perspective.  He's tall too.

Alamo Creek campground is also one of the best places in the park to see organ pipe cacti for which the park is named.

Q reflects the sunset colors nicely.

PS: We are ever aware of border issues.  Reminders come from signs warning of illegal aliens who may be carrying black water bottles.  This odd warning remains a puzzle even as we consider that it is likely contraband rather than humans creating risk.  Still reading and agreeing with:

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