Today we ventured on a Jeep camping weekend to Ajo, AZ. Which means garlic in English but the real origins might better be explained by this excerpt: “Before the community of Ajo was settled, the Tohono O’odham used water from a series of potholes in the area they called Mu’i Wawhia or Moivavi (many wells). Mexican miners later called the site Ajo, perhaps influenced by another O’odham name for the area –-au-auho—for the pigment they obtained from the ore-rich rocks.”
I read that it started as a mining town and as soon as we arrived we saw the charming historic plaza and it’s train station, also stopped at a cute coffee shop for some coffee to wake up from a 2-hour drive through the cactus-filled desert-like landscapes which put us in a kind of trance. It was sombering to see so many crosses on the sides of the roads and so many border patrols pass us by.
Ajo really surprised us and we are happy to be able to experience it. We’ve learned in our travels that usually our favorite places we’re mining towns. They have character, history of good and bad and hard work and it still does is a different way. The people that live in these towns have a sense of pride for what they have and it’s very humble but with a lot of character.. we love that. Ajo has all that.. and you can also call it it’s own style.
The plaza was historic but clean and as if it’s been repainted a few times.. the two white stucco Spanish style churches across from each other look untouched… I feel and see the community’s sense of pride.
After a short ride around town, we decided to head over to wells Darby road towards the BLM land location so we could pick a camp spot for the night. As we drove in we saw other RVers and campers and kept driving past them, and past the sign warning us of illegal smuggling activity in the area. Then we saw a cool rock formation and decided to drive towards it. The dirt road got a little more fun for the Jeep as we got closer and then we found the perfect spot with a fire pit and all, and being a little closer to the hill would block us from the wind as well which was beginning to pick up. We sat by the fire, ate our Jet Boil ready camping dinner, waited for sunset and took some photos. Also met another RVer family which happened to be parked a mile or so down from us but they had planned to go on a hike since it was their last night in this location. They were really nice and also seasoned travelers since they have been on the road for over 3 years. I think it’s so cool that you could be in the most remote of places and meet like-minded people like these…
After the sun went down it started to get chilly fast so we enjoyed a little bit more of the fire then just got ready for bed. Now the issue was there isn’t any cell service so the entertainment wasn’t on our side, and we didn’t plan on not having any.. maybe next time… but it’s funny how dependent we are on these devices and being connected at all times. I forget the days when we had to be creative. The ease of having everything be so accessible and in our fingertips makes us super lazy and unimaginative but Denny says it’s being more efficient. I’m not convinced yet. Next time we’re downloading a movie or bringing a book.. this is about disconnecting and enjoying the outdoors right? Can we?
We set up and camp and then went on a short hike to the rock formations that we parked next to…
Ok enough of a workout.. time for dinner! 😀
Then we sat, talked and just enjoyed the show…
And what a show it was!
It seems that every new spot we venture to goes to the top of the list.. but no… this one is it really! 🙂
With views like these.. I’m ready to call it a night…. but wait there’s more!
The stars!! Overall a great weekend and experience.. until next time!