Having spent our last 15 years in heavily forested Oregon, albeit, high desert, it is surprising how easy it is to see beauty here. Yes, it’s waaaay different, but I love it!
For our first full day in Organ Pipes Cactus National Monument we did a gravel ride. My park visitor guide promised, “A True Desert Experience Awaits”. Boy, they were not wrong. 46 miles, 1800′ of climbing, gravel, some pavement, rocks, washes, mountains, cacti, a spring, a border fence, Mexico….
North and South Puerto Blanco Loop was deserted. A couple cars passed us during the first 4 hours of riding. We were deep into nowhere, just North of the Mexico border and West of the National Monument. The roads were a mixed bag but we were up for the promised adventure. It’s hard to keep riding when you’re glancing around and ooohing and aahhhing at all the sights.
Go ahead, say it a few times, it’s fun. This is one of the few reliable water sources in the National Monument. The water comes from a fault in the surrounding hills. The fault pushes up deep water that runs through small ditches and ultimately, into Quitobaquito Springs. Some of the artifacts in the area date back 16,000 years and the name has been lost to history. The springs are home to the Sonoyta mud turtle, the only place in the US that it’s found. Also, its home to the Quitobaquito pupfish! We learned about pupfish when we were in Death Valley recently, in THIS post.
We ended off the day with homemade chicken green chili and cast iron cornbread. Just cause we live in an rv doesn’t mean crappy food!