Bull Pasture and Victoria Mine

On our first two days at Organ Pipe National Monument in Arizona, Tracy went hiking in the mornings while I goofed off around the campground, trying to rest. This post is illustrated with his photos and info I found online about the places he went—I wish I’d gone so I could describe it personally. I threw in some personal stuff at the end of the post, though, just so you wouldn’t think you’d gone to the wrong blog by accident. 😉

Bull Pasture

This hike is described as strenuous, along a cliff face, with views of Mt. Ajo nearby and a low area called Bull Pasture. Tracy said it was pretty steep climbing up because he chose the route with the less-steep descent. Down is always toughter than up, we’ve learned, so pick the easier way down.

Tracy was mighty disappointed there were no bulls. According to Iowa standards, it ain’t much of a pasture, either. He did enjoy the sweeping views otherwise and managed not to get blown into a cactus despite the high winds.

Cactus Wrens build nests in the otherwise painful Cholla: there’s one in the middle of the first shot. The second looks like a baby aloe, in which case it’s an invasive species here.

Victoria Mine

According to Organ Pipe History, since “the 1890s, the Victoria Mine was the center of this sporadic mining of gold and silver in the […] region […] through 1976, operating under a special use permit. In 1978, Victoria Mine was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the oldest prospecting sites in southwest Arizona.  Although it originally started out as a Mexican venture, it became a symbol of one of the first American enterprises to penetrate this part of the inhospitable Sonoran Desert.”

Tracy hiked a trail directly from the campground to the mine site, and because he left at the crack of dawn, he had it all to himself.

He loves to explore abandoned buildings and old mine sites. Me, not so much. But his pictures are interesting!

Back at the Campground

Meanwhile, Banjo and I walked around the campground perimeter trail, and then I left her in the trailer to walk to the visitor center so I could buy a pack of playing cards and use the WiFi.

How pedestrian, I know. Still, nearly everything you do even at the campground involves something lovely.

One afternoon I tried to film myself playing a new (to me) Bob Dylan song so I could hear how rusty I’ve gotten. (Watching and listening helps me see my mistakes.) I walked over to the campground amphitheater, and then I got caught up in finding a spot to set my iPad so I could get a good view of cacti behind me.

The song ain’t so great, but I did like some stills from the video, and, with a filter and a bit of finagling, this one turned out much like an album cover. Well, in my mind, one harebrained idea (a fake album cover) leads to another (a fake album), and now I’m slowly working on compiling some of my ukulele songs, interspersed with nature sounds from various campgrounds over the past two years. We shall see.

So here you have a bit of Tracy’s perspective and a bit of mine. Banjo’s keeping her nose to herself with all these sharp objects around.

2 thoughts to “Bull Pasture and Victoria Mine”

    1. You’ve seen so much of this country; I hope you can get back out again soon. And Finn’s mixing that album for me next month – I’m surprised how excited I am for the least-perfect thing I’ve ever done.