Sunday, March 2, 2014

Around Ajo....

It was the perfect morning for a drive into town and a breakfast croissant at the Oasis Cafe at the Plaza.  We met two couples, one from BC and another from the Montana prairies, who spend the winter season here; both friendly and full of local knowledge.  For instance, we learned that the bright lights glowing in the sky last night were not an alien invasion, but rather flares illuminating night maneuvers at the marine corps base, or possibly border patrol surveillance.  I prefer the ET fantasy!

Our flaky, buttery croissant was stuffed with sausage, egg, and cheddar, so a walk around town seemed in order.  We headed around the block to Ajo Copper News which is an art gallery and book store, in addition to publishing a weekly newspaper.  But we came for the mural!  The longer you stare and the closer you get the more detail appears.  Faces in the mountainside, cowboys chasing steers in the clouds; it really is a piece of eclectic art.

Back around to the plaza and more pictures which define this little town... the Ajo Immaculate Conception Church, and the old Curley School, which now houses artists' apartments:

Much has been written about Ajo, its history, character, and local color, ours included from back in 2012.  With its rich tradition as a former copper mining hub, Ajo is now a casual town with relaxed charm.  Spanish Colonial Revival architecture graces the downtown historic district, the plaza and railway depot.  We paid a visit to the New Cornelia pit, formerly one of the largest copper mines in the world, over a mile wide with views of a turquoise-hued lake at the bottom. A seasonal winter resident was being interviewed by the local news team when we arrived, so a quick photo was all we managed through a slot in the chain-link fencing. The terrific Historical Society museum, located just up the road overlooking the mine pit, was closed, but definitely worth a visit.

Continuing on to check out Sue's Trading post, then pick up a few things from Olsen's Market:

We drove back on the Scenic Loop to check out the neighborhood and scenery, then home to pack up for our departure, and one more sunset.

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