Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Gila Bend, AZ and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

From Tucson, we traveled to Gila Bend, Arizona, to the Air Force Auxiliary Field there.  Different from other bases where we have stayed, there are actually no military personnel stationed there permanently…all civilian. The base is used for training pilots. Small base, not much in facilities, but full service campsites were cheap!  And, free laundry – not bad.  One of the folks there was friends with someone in town who had a very prolific lemon tree – there were so many lemons that were left in the laundry room, that I was urged to take a grocery bag full.  Makes the old saying “When life gives you lemons…” come to life!  So, putting on my thinking cap (and researching on the web), I decided I should make lemon curd and limoncello!  More on that later!

The reason we stopped at this base is its closeness to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  It was about 30 miles further south and right on the border. There are not many places where this particular cactus thrives, and this is the main place.  They are very interesting-looking and unique cactus plants.  Plus, one of the suggested activities was to go with a guide to a park that is another 15 miles or so south, plus another 15 miles on a dirt road which is literally yards from the border.  We saw the construction that was happening on the wall.  OK, now we’ve been there, and have no need to return.
Here are some pictures from the day at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  We find these landscapes and the plants to be beautiful, but very different from back east.  

a different type of cholla (doesn't jump at Tug!)

Organ Pipe cactus

pretty vista, with a saguaro

Organ Pipe Cactus

sky is beautiful

lovely pond in the park

so unusual to see water in Arizona!

the Wall

the famous wall


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