Tuesday April 26

Picacho to Ajo

After all the stuff I did Monday, I thought having a driving and looking day on Tuesday would be great, and I had also made a reservation at a motel in Ajo so I could spend Wednesday at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and camp there that night. So I looked for things I could do on the way to Ajo. I came up with four:
  • Casa Grande National Monument
  • The Mystery Castle in Phoenix
  • The Sonoran Desert National Monument
  • The Painted Rock Petroglyphs outside Gila Bend, which is where I would turn south for Ajo.

But then I googled them, and it turned out that the Mystery Castle is only open a few days a week, Tuesday not being one of them, and the Sonoran Desert National Monument was BLM land that was not really made to visit; there is no visitor center or roads or trails there. So fine, I went to Casa Grande and the petroglyphs, both of which were good.

Then in Ajo I made it to the BLM office just before they closed to ask about a permit to drive into the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge; there's a pass as you enter from Ajo that's supposed to have beautiful views at sunset. The BLM lady, who was just about to run out the door, gave me a permit and told me about the road, which sounded like ten miles of hell each way. I thought about it and decided to skip it.

But I did have a nice quiet night in my motel. I had reserved one of the cheap rooms, but when I saw them and found out that the wireless only worked in the 'Deluxe' rooms (60 bucks a night instead of 50) I upgraded. The outside of the motel was kind of bare and icky; the pool is full of opaque jade-green water that I wouldn't have gone near on a bet, but the room was clean and had a microwave and a fridge, and the wireless did work, so I had a nice evening.