Mount Ajo, Kino Peak

Dec-97

By: Ron Hudson


I did a trip to Organ Pipe Nat Mon. in Southern Arizona in Dec 97 to bag Ajo and Kino Peaks. Ajo went fine; even though it rained moderately hard for about 45 minutes. Nice to see water in all the little gullies; not much is seen in this area. Ajo is on the tourist paved loop; parking no problem. I stayed in the park campground then drove over to the Kino trailhead in the morning. Saw a number of Border Patrol on the highway there. Then I drove about 20 miles on a dirt road starting near Ajo, AZ. Parked at the old ranch house - a fairly isolated area; although in the NM, about 20 miles N of the border. Did the peak in an easy day but when I came back to my vehicle I saw that it had been broken into. Checked inside and saw most of my gear still there, but food and shoes gone. Checked thoroughly and saw that I could have been far worse off since the things that were of the most value to me were still there - climbing gear, CD's, tools, down parka, sleeping bag, ham antennas, clothes, stove. The wind wing had been smashed and stolen was about $50 worth of food, two new pairs of shoes, about $50 cash I had in the car, pack and container for the food, and a Swiss army knife. Could have been a disaster if they disabled my car (but I did have my ham radio with me on the hike). It looked like it was a rush job for some basic needs while making a dash from the border. When I reported it to the Sheriff he said a lot of aliens go through there and there have been break-ins before. So the moral to me is be very careful about such an isolated spot when by myself. I don't bring my best equipment when I have to leave it vulnerable. And it is a considerable risk in that area to leave the car and be vulnerable alone, even in a National Monument!


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