Friday, February 3, 2012

Evening Program

This past Saturday I gave my second evening program on the ranching history in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. It is a 45 minute talk with some slides, given from the perspective of a member of the Gray family who dominated cattle ranching in the monument. I talk with a western twang for the entire program and reviews have been good :)
With three different program preps complete, we are able to do some different activities on our days off. A week ago we went up to the annual RV show in Quartzsite. We left on Tuesday and spent the night. It is a crazy place. In short summary, it is a flea market for miles, not our cup of tea. I didn't even take a picture.
This past Wednesday we were able to get out for a hike. We left early from Alamo Canyon with the goal of hiking through Grass Canyon and up over a ridge. The hike from Alamo to the canyon was up and down through washes and around boulders.

I took us longer than expected to arrive at the entrance to Grass Canyon, so Brian, Hilda, Sherri and I decided to change course as we did not want to be coming down a mountainside in the dark. As we arrived at the entrance to Grass Canyon, Brian was being one with nature. The wildflowers are a beautiful carpet this winter.
We changed course and hiked over to Copper Mountain. This mountain saw extensive mining and is littered with many holes.

Sherri is thrilled to be holding this copper filled rock. We enjoyed some lunch at the base of the hill.
Brian and I hiked over the mountain, while Sherri and Hilda walked around. The Park Service dynamited some of the holes for safety. Inadvertently, this has created an excellent habitat for the endangered Lesser Long Nosed Bat. In the summer Organ Pipe hosts the largest maternal colony of this bat, who feasts on the fruit of the saguaro and Organ Pipe. An entrance to the mine.

From here we hiked back to the car passing through some large and interesting chain fruit (jumping) chollas. Sherri says they look like Dr. Seuss trees.
It was a good eight mile bushwhack through the desert. It is more tiring than hiking on a trail, but we also saw things few others will ever see.


  1. Love your outfit for the talk. I assume it was provided for you? Would love to have heard your accent and all the information. Thanks for the great hike too.


  2. Well, Howdy Partner;o)) It looks like you are really enjoying yourself.

    Your hike sure looked interesting!!