http://www.blogger.com/html?blogID=4316350785635987648 Cave Dwellings: THE AJO LOOP....

March 2, 2012

March 2, 2012
Georgetown, TX

Monday, January 4, 2010

THE AJO LOOP....

 The temp only got down to 44 degrees last night...Den said he heard the wild burros again, but I slept like a dead person and heard nada...Just being outside so much in this sunshine makes you sleepy by evening..and the evenings are so much cooler..On our walks through the RV park we had noticed previously that something was being built, some kind of building because they had water and electric run to it...Also, they had some Palm Trees planted that a guy watered religiously every morning about 8AM...Here are the baby trees....

If you look where the hose goes you will see the building site layed out...no basements here!! It is going to be a rec hall, so Hickiwan Ray told us.
  About 11AM we decided to go into Ajo. We needed to mail a letter, go to the bank, search for cheap beer...all very important. We also needed to go to the Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge office and get our permit to drive on it..and also the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range. We were required to watch a 25 minute "safety video" before being issued a permit.  I'm just saying, the video really made you think..."Watch for live ordinance, watch for reptiles, watch for artifacts, don't drive off the dirt roads and make sure you take water, extra tires and food for at least 3 days"....Holy Cow!! I feel like I did when we drove the Haul Road up to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, with the exception of the live ordinance and reptiles.
 We got our free permits...one to put on our person, and one to leave displayed in our truck...for each of us...We decided we would do some exploring of the Refuge and Air Force Range after we had intensely researched our routing...They are deadly serious about "YOU ARE ON  YOUR OWN" when out there...and we wanted to make sure we crossed all the T's and dotted all the I's.
Today we did take what is known as the Ajo Loop. This is a 10.9 mile mosty gravel road that goes up and behind the mountain in a circle and ends up back in Aho...This looks fairly easy, and they give you a map with points of interest...
 We turned off on Darby Well Road and headed toward Black Rock, a mountain peak just up ahead of us. There actually used to be a town called Darby Well on this road...and here is what's left of it...

At this point you have the option of going to the left on Mica Mine Road, and down another road about 2 miles to an old mine and a place called Chico Shunie. We opted to leave that trip for another day and kept following the Ajo Loop. We saw a couple neat rock formations ahead....this one is called The Pillar....


..and this next rock ahead is called Windswept Rock...really cool!!

  We drove on down the very rough and dusty road...I need to mention that as you begin on this road there is a "Warning" sign that reminds you to be cautious because there could be some illegal immigration activity present along the way....just great..That was impressed upon us even more as the Border Patrol went passed us...
  I did mention the General Manager of the New Cornelia Mine, John Greenway, and his wife Isabella in a previous blog. Well, if you recall, I said that after he died she had the fresh floral cross that his employees made for his funeral encased in concrete and carried to the top of the mountain...Here it is....since 1926.......

...We were at an elevation of about 2700 ft and Den just leaned out his truck window and shot this next photo looking across the valley.....

...What a view!!
We continued on down the mountain and ended back in Ajo...Now we needed to go to the local grocery store and get more of the still "on sale" beer we had picked up last Thursday..The good news is ....the beer was still "on sale"....the bad news is ...they were OUT!!!! Ok, we may have to try tomorrow...I have to tell you that they do have some good sales at this grocery store...It is really crazy..the meat here is dirt cheap and very nice quality. Things like dairy products and canned veggies are very pricey...One dozen large eggs are $2.19, a quart of milk is $2.99, canned veggies like corn and beans are $1.79..My theory is that we just eat meat and drink beer and wine...whatever it takes!!
 We drove to the bank so we could get some quarters for laundry. Den went in and I took this shot looking toward the Plaza...note all the Palm Trees...

...looks like Florida doesn't it??Well, drive just one block South and you will know it isn't..cactus everywhere.
I also took this picture of the flowers growing behind the church....I think they are bouganvilla (spelling?)..but I could be wrong....

Whatever they are they're beautiful. I also noticed a lot of homes have orange trees with oranges on them in their yards...
 We headed out of town and I had Den drive up the hill so I could get a photo of the Greenway Estate....I sits on the side of the mountain, with a view of the cross at the top from their home.....

After Isabella Greenway died it was eventually sold and remains a private residence today.
Well,that was our day .....We got back to our camper at 1:30PM and sat outside enjoying the weather...I have a crockpot full of beef brisket for tonight with cole slaw and cowboy beans...YAHOOO!!!!!!!!
more later........

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