We’ve been in the desert of southern Arizona for a week now, driving here via Las Vegas where we took advantage of rock-bottom room rates while steering clear of the casino floor. We did find a few minutes to walk past the Strip's New York New York casino for a reminder of home.
We had left San Francisco on New Year’s Day, looking forward to being re-united with our rig aka “home.” We wanted to get to southern Arizona where we thought we had the best chance of finding warmer temperature. We arrived in Ajo, Arizona on Monday night in a cold driving rain.
The locals say the amount of rain this winter is extraordinary, but we have still found sunny days to explore the traditional-style town square or to roam the desert outside of town.
In Ajo, we joined Mark’s sister, Janis and her husband Jerome, who came down from Anchorage to stay at the Sonoran Desert Conference Center, part of an old school that has been transformed into artists’ apartments with an adjourning conference center that promotes sustainable agriculture, cooking and hosts other events, When not in use by a group, the center rents rooms with a kitchenette to the general public. We parked the rig outside and spent a week exploring the deserts nearby.
The hiking around here is through the desert that expands across into Mexico and is a favored route for migrants and smugglers headed north. (Read more about the border situation here.) The desert floor is rocky and unforeseen gullies have to be scrambled through when they appear in your path. The Ajo Mountains provided the most spectacular views of the desert as well as meandering trails through the canyon that revealed the small flowers, bushes and cacti up close.
Here are some pics:
Listen as Johnny Cash & Lynn Anderson tear it up.
Where we are today.