Jan 6, 2018
We left Benson AZ on Saturday morning and headed towards Tuscon where we would exit and pick up AZ 86. It was nice to be off the interstates after driving them all the way from Ontario. Hardly any vehicles on the highway and we probably could have stopped in the road and had lunch before someone came along. There were a ton of what looked like memorials along the highway and when we got to AZ 85 we pulled over to go back and look at one. I’ll have to translate the Spanish when I get a chance as “Yo no hablo español”.
We booked into a site for two nights here. Still have our annual National Park pass from last year so just the 16$/night for dry camping.
Once we were setup we went across the road for the Ajo Mountain Scenic drive which was a 21mi loop along a mostly gravel road. We stopped and walked out to get some pictures of the Organ Pipe cactus (cacti?) and the mountains at various pull offs along the route. There are a couple of arches in the surrounding mountains too.
This Organ Pipe cactus has a deformity growing in it.
After the trip it was back to the trailer for blackened salmon with chinoa and beans (I’m not so much a chinoa type 🙂 )
Jan 7, 2018
Figured it was another good day to test the off road capabilities of the new truck and we headed off on the North Puerto Blanco Drive which then connected with the South Peurto Blanco Drive. Was a lot better than the dually I had which would have gotten fender scratches in lots of places. The route was 51mi by the time we got back to the campsite. The first part of the road was reasonably smooth and then it changed to an “unimproved” dirt road which means they graded it at one time, just not in recent memory.
We stopped at one point to hike out to Dripping Springs which was about 1mi round trip. Jane waited at the bottom while I hiked up the hillside to the actual spring. Only way I found it was listening for the occasional drip sound and it was hidden behind some bushes.
And this is the actual spring. Little bit of lunch bag let down. 🙂
We passed a few Border Patrol guys staring out at the cacti. I’m sure they were looking for something but it wasn’t us. We passed a couple of towers that had a big red button you could push if you were in need of water. It’s to the right of the truck in the picture. I didn’t test it.
We also came across blocked off mine shafts at this location.
We had taken a lunch with us and stopped at Bonita Well. It looked like at one time the windmill pumped water into the concrete trough and the pens were used for roundups. I got the drone out for a couple of pics too.
We continued on the road. At some points it was pretty nice and you could run 30mph, at other points it was more like 2mph. Near the end of the road we were winding our way down a sandy wash. We stopped at Quiobaquito Spring for a walk. A few waterfowl taking advantage of the pond and a Border Patrol buy eating his lunch. He waved. We waved. We must have looked okay to him.
When we got back to the truck at the spring parking area the BP truck was gone so Jane took advantage of the fact that nobody was round. One foot in Mexico, one foot in Arizona.
Doesn’t look like much of a wall. Maybe they haven’t started construction yet. This one looks it wouldn’t stop anyone. That’s Mexico Hwy 2 in the background.
Was another 15mi of winding desert road and we were back on AZ 85 and headed north to the park. We did take a short detour south to check out the Lukeville border crossing first but decided we’d just stay in the USA.