Monday, January 31, 2011

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

This morning we headed south to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Saw a great movie about the park in the visitor center. The park is designated as an International Biosphere Preserve for its diversity, rare and endangered species, rich cultural history and ecosystem of international importance.
We enjoyed it so much, we decided to stay in the campground for the next three days. $6/night with water and a dump station. Plus, the desert environment here is so much more attractive then around the different areas we've been recently. Not so dusty. In addition, the interior roads are paved so the three of us can go walking together.
As you walk through the campground, you'll see most vehicles with the hood propped open to allow the light to shine in. This is to keep the White-throated Woodrats, aka Pack Rats, from trying to remove insulation, and other soft materials, from the dark engine compartment. They can really be destructive especially when they chew on the wiring harness.
It's getting cold down here. The low tomorrow is forecast to be 25* then 23* on Wednesday. Can't go much further south and still be in the US. We're about 6 miles north of Mexico. Lots of Border Patrol presence around here as you might imagine.
Tonight I went to a presentation on "Stories behind the names". It was all about how the names of the mountains, passes, etc., came to be. Interesting.
Tuesday: Cool, sunny & windy. Walked with Gopher here & there.Once it warmed up, the three of us walked around the park.
Met our neighbor, Bill from Colorado. He and his wife have been coming down here for years. He suggested against camping all by yourself in the BLM areas close to the Mexican border. Better to be around other RV's. We'll take that advice going forward.

Wednesday, Feb. 2nd. Woke up to 31* and windy. The Weather Channel says the winds are around 20mph. When I took Gopher for her early morning walk, the wind chill temperature was about 17*. Broke out the Wave 3 heater for first time in over a year. The high today is forecast to be about 50*. At home, the high today is forecast at 80* with a low of 59*. Hmmm. Why are we here? Not to get warm, that's for sure.
It's Thursday morning and 28*. While walking Gopher, I saw a group of birds getting a drink from a dripping faucet. Water is a precious commodity in the desert. Saw a group of quail foraging in the cactus. The water line at the dump station was frozen. I recalled seeing a water faucet in the group camping area during one of our walks. Fortunately, it too was dripping so had not frozen so I was able to take on water.
We headed east towards Sells, AZ.

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