When we left Puerto Penasco, we stopped at Three Guys Fish Market and bought 2.5 lbs of large shrimp, 2.5 lbs of scallops, 2.5 lbs of lumped crab meat and 2.5 lbs of grouper.
We drove to El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar north of Puerto Penasco, it is known for its unique physical and biological characteristics, by the presence of a volcano shield, and by the extensive areas of active dunes that surround it and the greatest concentration of Maar craters. The Pinacate mountain range has orogenic features of high interest for its abruptly conformation, product of volcanic eruptions, that accumulated lava in compact rocks, sand and volcanic ashes that formed colors of special beauty and craters. The volcanoes have erupted sporadically for about 4 million years. The most recent activity was about 11 000 years. From 1965 to 1970, NASA sent astronauts there to train for future lunar excursions given the similarities of the land with the lunar surface.
We stopped at Organ Pipe Cactus Nation Mounument, a great preserve for cactus in southern Arizona. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is also a U.S. National Monument and UNESCO biosphere reserve located in extreme southern Arizona which shares a border with the Mexican state of Sonora. The park is the only place in the United States where the Organ Pipe Cactus grows wild. Along with Organ Pipe, many other types of cacti, as well as other desert flora native to the Yuma Desert section of the Sonoran Desert region grow here. The Park is a beautiful preservation of the American Southwest. In 1937 the land was officially opened as a national monument. At the north entrance of the park is the city of Why, Arizona; the town of Lukeville, Arizona, sits at the park's southern border. Lukeville is a border crossing point to Sonoyta, Sonora, Mexico. On August 9, 2002, Ranger Kris Eggle was shot and killed by a suspected Mexican drug smuggler during a US Border Patrol operation. The visitor center has been named in his honor.
our next stop was Ajo after passing through Why, a very small town, only a few hundred people and 500 Border Patrol agents and 1000 civilians. just south of town. Ajo is the Spanish word for garlic (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈaxo]). The Spanish may have named the place using the familiar word in place of the similar-sounding O'odham word for paint (oʼoho). Not a soul was in camp when Tom Childs Sr., and his son arrived. With them was Washington Michael Jacobs of Tucson, Arizona...Childs and Jacobs located the mining claim which constituted most of the old Ajo group of mines. The mine closed when a ship sank off the coast of Patagonia. Long supply lines and the lack of water discouraged large mining companies
With the advent of new recovery methods for low-grade ore, Ajo boomed. In 1911, Col. John Campbell Greenway, a Rough Rider and star Yale athlete, bought the New Cornelia mine from John Boddie. He became general manager of the Calumet and the Arizona mining company and expanded it on a grand scale. The Tucson, Cornelia & Gila Bend Railroad was built from Gila Bend to serve the mining industry and was in service from 1916 to 1985. In 1921, Phelps Dodge, the nation's largest copper company, bought New Cornelia and the mine became the New Cornelia Branch of Phelps Dodge, managed by Michael Curley. For several decades more than 1,000 men worked for Phelps Dodge in the open pit mine. The mine weathered a bitter strike and succeeded in breaking the unions hold on the company. Ajo is now home to many retired people, to Border Patrol agents, and young families. Plants of the Sonoran Desert thrive at Ajo, including saguaros and ocotillos. The Ajo lily or Desert lily, an onion-like plant, also grows in the area.
Ajo and the surrounding area is the only place in the United States where the mineral papagoite can be found.
When we got home, the cactus we have been carrying with us since 2009 and added a second type of cactus bloomed for the first time. What a delight to see it..