On Saturday we had planned to leave Yuma and head southeast to Why, AZ (no wisecracks about the town’s name – don’t ask why). But a check of the weather report revealed a steady rain in central Arizona predicted to last all day. Since we don’t travel in the rain, we re-uped here at Westwind RV for another night. The weather in Yuma was pretty nice so we headed north on Rte. 95 for a visit to Imperial National Wildlife Refuge.
After a stop at the visitor center, we headed out to hike the Painted Desert Trail. This is another great idea we picked up from Gay and Joe’s blog. The Painted Desert Trail is a 1.3-mile self-guided trail for an opportunity to see desert plants and wildlife. The trail takes you through a rainbow of colors left by 30,000 year-old volcanic activity.
The trail starts along a flat wash through a stand of Ironwood Trees.
A gap in the rocks led us through the wash into the colorful canyon. There are many side washes that lead to some exploring on your own if you wish. We followed a burro trail which took us all around and up on top of the hills. The clouds didn’t allow for the best photos of the palette of colors in the rocks.
After completing the hike we drove a bit further into the refuge to check out a viewpoint overlooking the Colorado River.
The rainy weather moved out of Arizona on Sunday and the sky was clear. So we left Yuma that morning and drove about 150 miles southwest to the tiny settlement of Why. Located about ten miles south of the small town of Ajo, Why is at the point where Rte. 86 splits off from Rte. 85, forming a “Y.” Apparently the state of Arizona requires at least three letter in the name of a town so the locals got creative, hence the name of the town.
We are comfortably in place at Hickiwan RV Park for the next few days. We are here to spend some time exploring nearby Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. It is full of many types of cacti so the nimble hiker is in her glory!