Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Organ Pipe’s World-Class Cactus Forest

©Bert Gildart:  Though an estimate 60 percent of Organ Pipe National Cactus National Monument is closed (see previous post) several absolutely gorgeous areas remain open.  One such area is the 21-mile long Ajo Mountain loop Drive, which in turn offers access to several world-class hiking trails.


Arch created by forest of chain cholla


Yesterday, Don and Nancy Dennis and I made the drive and then, at about the halfway point, embarked on a somewhat arduous climb into Bull Pasture.  Before Organ Pipe was declared a national monument in 1937, the area was used by local ranchers as a summer pasture for cattle.  Because the pasture is enclosed on several sides by towering mountains, ranchers could control cattle egress.

The trail climbed steeply and though it is fall, a number of wildflowers were in bloom to include the brittlebush.  But it was the cactus that generated the most comment, and one of the most conspicuous seemed to be the chain cholla.  In places it was so thick that it created an arch over our trail.


Closeup Chain Cholla

Back dropped by the Ajo Mountains the setting was stunning and I’ve enclosed an image here of Don walking through this forest of Oregon Pipe,  Saguaro and chain cholla.

The point is that although much of this park is closed, those areas that are open contain some of the most beautiful examples of the Sonora Desert. More people should experience them!


*Kayaking Tampa Bay



4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Sometimes the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy

Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy

What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy

One Response to “Organ Pipe’s World-Class Cactus Forest”

  1. Ronny Magnusson Says:

    I am glad you aren’t getting old