Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ajo, AZ

This morning we headed south on AZ 85 to Ajo. Stopped at an overlook for the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range. Very interesting. It's used as a training area for pilots of all services. In Ajo we stopped at the St. Jude Shrine. We were thinking perhaps a church or something. Actually it is a small adobe structure with a variety of statues, pictures, etc. From there we went to the downtown square. The old RR station is still there. Drove to the "New" Cornelia Open Pit Mine overlook. This is a copper mine that thrived until about 1916. Unfortunately the mine visitor center, the city historical museum and the city welcome center are all closed on the weekend. Seems like a strange time to close to me. I would think the weekend would be when the area would get the most visitors.
We camped at a Pima County Park, the Ajo Regional Park/Campground. Free. Ramadas, trash collection & pit toilets. The GPS unit shows us camped on a river. Actually it's the Sikort Chuapo Wash. It likely only contains water after a big storm. I don't think I would like to be here during such a storm; the "road" through the campground is pretty crude.
Took another picture a minute ago. It's the one in the upper right hand corner with a mountain on each side and a huge flat spot in between. The flat spot, was at one time, a large mountain full of copper. A smelting plant was built into the side of the mountain and fed as the mountain was cut down from top to bottom. Amazing.

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