At the border, entering the "country" of Transnistria. Photo taken December 8, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Enjoying Ajo, Arizona

As we drove into the town of Ajo, Arizona (pop 3,500) on the left hand side, Ruth spotted a Napa Auto Parts store that was also advertising "RV Supplies and Repair".

I had bought a new burner for our fridge, but when I went to replace it the other day I found that they had changed the design a little and I needed a different fitting on the flared gas line that attaches to the burner.

So I stopped in to see if they could adapt the line for me.

I could have done the whole job myself, but I didn't want to spend $40 or so on a flaring tool that I would likely never use again.

I explained the problem to them, and said that I would remove the line myself if they would replace the fitting and flare the tube. They said "sure, no problem"!

So I set to work in the parking lot. Minor detail, but the fitting on the other end was seized to the line and so I had to break the line to get that fitting off. Now, we needed a new line as well as another fitting!

No problem, they had a piece of 1/4" copper tubing in stock. But, they didn't have the fittings I needed. They sent me to the well stocked hardware store a half a block away, and sure enough they had the two fittings I needed in stock.

Back to the Napa store with the fittings, and ten minutes later the guy handed me my new piece of flared gas line, with the fittings attached. I installed it, and turned on the fridge. The flame burned perfectly, and a lot quieter than it had been. I tested the system for leaks, and put everything back together. We've replaced just about everything replaceable on this almost 20 year old Norcold fridge, so hopefully we get a few more years out of it yet!

I went in to pay the bill. It was $10, about what I was hoping for.

Definitely have to recommend Kord's Auto Care Center on the northern outskirts of Ajo. Good guys.

Kord's Auto Repair in Ajo, Arizona.

From there, we headed to the central plaza where we parked up on the unused railway tracks behind the old train station, now the Visitor Center.

Inside the Visitor Center, we spoke with both Linda and Brooke who gave us some great ideas on how to spend an afternoon wandering around Ajo. It's an interesting little town because it only exists due to the huge copper mine that operated here from 1916 to 1984.

We were thinking of staying the night if we could find somewhere to drycamp, and we looked at Sherman and thought he was pretty happy right where he was on the old railway tracks. We asked if we would be okay there, and were told "I don't see why not...", so unless we found somewhere better then that was an option.

We headed out on a self guided walking tour.

Ajo central plaza has undergone a major restoration. Would have been nice if they could have integrated some shade for the benches. I bet they don't get used much in the hot desert sun.

The old train station, now the Visitors Center.

The main parking lot had just been paved and they had painted the lines on it so it was closed to vehicles.

Ruth, in one of the little parks.

Some of the houses are in really nice shape, and some are quite rundown. Property is cheap here. You can buy a building lot for $8,000, and we saw homes listed for sale between $29,000 and $75,000 dollars. 

The Immaculate Conception Catholic church opposite the plaza.

Inside the church

The smaller Federated church. I caught the sun just as it was behind the ornament.

Cool entrance doors! But they were locked.

The old Curley School is now apartments.

The bell tower on the old school.

A typical Ajo house. Lots of cactus, and no grass to cut!

We walked up to the mine overlook. We had thought it might be a good spot to park Sherman for the night, but the mine owners have signs up forbidding overnight parking. Interesting talking to the volunteer at the overlook who actually worked at the mine for 32 years.

Looking down on Ajo.

A very cool building mural!

Back near the plaza.

So we stayed parked up behind the Visitors Center. Nobody bothered us, and it was a quiet night. This morning, we're headed to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, where we'll stay in their campground for a couple of nights. It's supposed to be a nice park, and they charge a reasonable $12 USD ($15 CDN) per night. No hookups, but they have showers, a dump station, and a water refill, and we're pretty much due for all three!

The Amazon deal of the day is kind of interesting today. Looks like something a fulltime RV'er could do inside their rig!



28 comments:

  1. We really enjoyed our past visits to Arizona...seeing your incredible photos makes me think it's time to return! http://www.20YrsFromNow.com

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    1. We are surprised at how much we are enjoying ourselves here. There really seems to be lots to do and see. And yes, I highly recommend that you do a return trip to the area.

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  2. Ajo was on our list for a visit but we missed it this go around...

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    1. The nice thing about Ajo is that it will still be here next year! :-)

      We are finding it hard to try and see everything on this trip as well, so we would rather just take our time and see part of it really well. This way we will have more to see another year.

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  3. Nice pics. That one with the sun behind the church was especially fortuitous.
    I kinda like that "no grass to cut" program!

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    1. Yep, I like that picture too!

      Definitely like the idea of no grass cutting, but I am sure there is some other kind of upkeep that they have to do with a cactus garden.

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  4. We had a wheel bearing replaced in our GMC truck at that Napa store back in January of 07. The musical notes on that big mural are the first bars of 'Ghost Riders In The Sky' & behind that train station is where we met the Grand Daddy of RV Bloggers years ago....... Tioga George.

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    1. That's for that tidbit of information on the musical notes, I would not have known that!

      We got to meet Tioga George as well back in March of 2013 at our favourite RV park up in the mountains of Jalisco, Mexico. It was an honour to meet him!

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  5. Nice that you can give us the tour, someday we will get there.

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    1. It's a pretty little town and they have really done a lot to fix it up. Hopefully you can head there next year.

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  6. Ajo is my favorite town in the southwest. Love the murals and the town has everything you need. I stay out on Darby Well road when there and the saguaro cactus are abundant and beautiful around Black Mountain.

    Loved your photos and information about Ajo.

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    1. Yep, it is a pretty little town with friendly people.

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  7. You think Sherman is happy to be back in the U S of A after such a long absence?

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    1. He likes the fact that he is getting some new parts and seeing some different scenery and some smooth, straight roads but I think he loves the adventure of Mexico too!

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  8. We made it to Ajo this after noon and are staying at the $3 dry camp, not bad we have a good spot for the dogs to run around.

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    1. Good think you made the drive yesterday, today is too windy to be out there driving. Enjoy Ajo, it is a pretty little place.

      BTW, we are here at Organ Pipe until Saturday morning, let us know if you are headed this way.

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  9. Ajo was in danger of going back to desert a few years ago when the Border Patrol built their huge complex just outside of town. Many of the old houses were snapped up by the people working there and the town was saved. It is nice to see all the work being done to revitalize it. The area has quite a history.

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    1. They have done a great job on revitalizing the town. It is very pretty and friendly and they really do have everything that you need.

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  10. Replies
    1. I love the church doors and the fact that they look like puzzle pieces at the top, rather then just straight across. It adds character to them!

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  11. Nice job on making the refrigerator repair happen. Things really fell into place. Great pictures of Ajo. Love the Federated church doors and the picture of the plaza through the arch. What is a "federated" church anyway? Terrific mural. I love that they painted it on the front of the building and around the door and windows rather than just on the big side as most of them are.

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    1. We were keeping our eyes open for a nice little RV repair place just like that, so yes, happened that it all came together nicely.


      No idea what a "Federated" church is but I am sure you could check that out on Google.

      I love that mural too, it is great. If you look at the mountain in it you can see all different kinds of shapes of animals, birds and faces, it is pretty cool!

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  12. What is it with refrigerators these days. Glad yours was an easy fix. I have yet to explore Ajo but with temps rising it may not happen this winter.

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    1. We knew this had to be done a while ago because we had been having problems with the fridge since Mazatlan but Kevin had got it working and when we were in Quartzsite we bought the parts needed for the proper repair unfortunately we didn't have a tool that was needed. Now it's working great!

      Temperatures here are still good so you should come on down!

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  13. Replies
    1. It sure does, they did a super job on it!

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  14. Glad your fridge line worked out so nicely, some days, everything falls into place. Wish everyday would work like that! :c)

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    1. We are happy it did too otherwise we would have had a BIG problem!

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