Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Getting my Just Deserts

Odometer 54464
Trip 0 miles

Ocotillo leafing out

The Ocotillo in the desert here are undergoing a transformation.  After a substantial rain, the plants quickly sprout lush green leaves and go into a growth spurt.  As the water dries up the leaves will drop off and the plant will become dormant again.  These green cycles can last weeks or even months.  Spring and Summer the cycles often terminate with beautiful spray of red flowers at the tips of the stalks.

Ocotillo dormant- no leaves

While dormant, those unfamiliar with the Ocotillo, often mistake it for a dead plant.  This is true for many desert plants, which look like dead sticks until the proper conditions for growth come around again, and life flows into the stick-like branches once more.

Mark and I were exploring in the desert again today and I noticed this very interesting looking saguaro.  It must have taken a very long time to grow this very tortured looking shape

Tangled Saguaro Cactus 
Mark and I drove out to look at an F-84 crash site that Mark had located last summer, one that we had searched for unsuccessfully two winters ago.

1988 "Tin Top" Suzuki Samurai
Time to break out the ultimate desert transport, Marks Suzuki Samurai.  There are a lot of these Suzukis in Ajo because they work so well on the narrow rutted roads.  A little over 200,000 of these vehicles were imported to the US between 1986 and 1995.
The Samurai has a 1.3 liter, 4 cylinder engine that churns out 63 horsepower through a 5 speed gearbox.  The best ride comes from dialing in the hubs on the front axle, and selecting low range- 4 wheel drive.  The Sammi will crawl along easily over any terrain all day long,without throwing the occupants all around.

F84 crash debris
Since Mark has already been to this site, the trip was mostly for me, and it was easy to know when we had arrived at the crash site.  This site has a fair amount of debris scattered over a large area.
There are actually two impact areas, this plane hit and skipped before coming to a stop, which may explain the quantity of interesting finds.  (I took about 60 different photos- I'll not bore my readers by posting).

This is a good piece to study the riveting style

Today's hike in the desert was just what I needed, warm weather, fair skies and a slight breeze.  Add in the excitement of a find of this magnitude and I am very happy.  As I've said before the fun is in the finding, and all we take are photos.  Leave this where it is so that others can share the excitement of finding it just as we have.

Your Traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating - the plane AND the plants. I enjoyed seeing Ocotillos at Joshua Tree a few years ago. Can't wait to get back and poke around in the desert. I'm wondering if there have been any rains lately.