Tuesday, January 27
On the way to the Visitor Center at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, I pull into a wayside and let Bridget out of the Perfect Tow Vehicle. After a few minutes of running around, sniffing, and doing her business, she happily consents to being tossed onto the bench seat.
The Visitor Center is bustling with people checking into the campground.
I present my Senior Pass which waives the fee for driving the Ajo Mountain Road 21-mile loop through Organ Pipe. An employee hands me a brochure and explains that the paragraphs correspond to numbered stops along the route. On the way back to Bridget and the Perfect Tow Vehicle, I flip through the brochure. Gee, I know all this stuff. I’ve learned a lot about the Sonoran Desert over the past few winters.
I slide behind the wheel of the PTV.
“Okay, little girl. Let’s do Organ Pipe!”
The road is damp from yesterday’s rain. It doesn’t look like mud will be a problem. I had heard that the road is miserable washboard with lots of loose rocks. So far so good.
“What good timing, eh, Bridge? The road has been scraped in anticipation of our arrival.”
The road narrows, curves, goes up and down and around and climbs as we wind our way through Diablo Canyon and around massive promontories. I need to pay attention to the road and skip photographing some of the most dramatic landscapes.
The clouds conceal craggy mountains in the background.
Bridget is curled up in her bed. I know if I park and get out, she’ll jump up with alarm. Instead of parking at the picnic area, I capture the arch by slowing to a stop in the road and quickly pointing the camera from my window.
Bridget is a good girl the entire drive.
She doesn’t whine or fuss. As I drive the PTV up the lane to the Best Little Trailer waiting among the saguaros, Bridget wakes up from her nap.
“We’re home, honey. Wasn’t that fun?”
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