Monday, April 18

Black Canyon City to Gila Bend

Today is my birthday! And I get to share it with goats! These guys were the KOA campground goats, and were pretty sweet. But now it's time to pack up and move on! We wanted to see the Deer Canyon Petroglyphs, but it turned out to be closed Mondays, so we went south towards Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
We stopped in Gila Bend to check out the KOA; it's an hour north of OPCNM (Gila Bend is the black and white dot on the map above), and we thought that might be a good place to stay. There's not much shade, but it's a good KOA. The new owners are in the middle of doing renovations; a camping kitchen is next on the list. Evidently the sign (which was right outside the office) was not kidding; the young man behind the desk said he goes out every morning into the desert just outside the KOA and finds all kinds of critters. I should have asked to go along the next morning...ah well. The third pic is our actual campsite; it was better than it looks. The wall is perfectly placed to keep the wind off, and the camping pads were new and perfect for tents.
There were lots of things blooming there! The green and yellow tree is a Palo Verde, and they were everywhre, and a lot of them were blooming. They were beautiful!

I think the blue flower is some kind of morning glory; there are lots of wild morning glories in AZ, but these were in the garden at the KOA, so I don't know if they're native or not.

The showy orange flowers are Red Mexican Bird of Paradise, wow! I want some of these in my yard someday...

We stopped in Gila Bend for gas, and these metal sculptures were at the station. Of course we had to mug for the camera!
These buildings are also in Gila Bend...a UFO themed Best Western and restaurant...!
Okay, this is literally true and probably not funny...but I loved the sign, Mexico! Turn right! It's right there! when it's actually two hours and a couple of checkpoints away...
These are pics of the 'downtown' of Ajo, AZ; we stopped here for cold drinks and bathrooms, and also to see the place; Jo Nell's mother had taught school here in the 1930s. We asked, and were told that the old school she had taught at had been turned into apartments. We decided not to go looking for it, since we were on our way to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument!

By the way, on the way from Gila Bend to Ajo, and from Ajo to the border, we passed our first two border patrol checkpoints...not our last, by any means!

And we're back, after a lovely day. Here I am making dinner...and recharging the electronics is an important part of the camping experience too! A fun birthday, I have to say.