My mom and I drove the 120+ miles west of Tucson recently and camped at Organ Pipe National Monument. This is the view from the main campground, which has a frightening 220 camping spots, some for RVs w/generators, but despite the size it was quiet and peaceful. Here’s the view south to Mexico from our spot on the edge of the campground. It’s a landscape straight out of a Cormac McCarthy novel.
Much of the monument was closed to visitors for the past 13 years due to violence related to the drug and human trafficking along the US/Mexico border. Last fall it re-opened. We drove to the very unique Quitobaquito springs, which is truly amazing. It doesn’t look like much, if you’re used to lots of water where you live; here’s my mom at the springs:
However, you would probably never ever never find it in the middle of the desert, unless you had exact coordinates because everything looks the same out here. In the photo before, the springs are just a few hundred feet ahead, but you could easily walk right by them. There’s a cottonwood you can see that shows where the spring is, but it’s an introduced species, so in the era of the Conquistadors perhaps it was even more hidden.
There’s something really magical about the desert. It’s quiet in a mysterious way. The silence was welcome, given the anniversary we were recognizing. We’re already planning our return next spring.