After leaving Mt Kitt we headed to Ajo, Arizona. I had never been there but our friend, Kat and her son Silas, live there and I always wanted to visit. We had already decided to stop to visit them on our way home.
Once a copper mining community, Ajo became something of a retirement community in the 1980s after Phelps Dodge stopped mining operations. A recent influx of Border Patrol agents and a contingent of young people who don’t want to live anywhere else have kept the town a mix of all ages.
Ajo is in the Sonoran Desert, tucked away in Western Pima County in Arizona, about 120 miles southwest of Phoenix and 130 miles west of Tucson. Ajo is landlocked with the Tohono O’odham Nation to the east, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument to the south, and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and Goldwater Gunnery Range to the north and west.
You can find out more about Ajo here:
Kat said the population is around 3300 in the winter when all the snow birds are there. In the summer the population is about 1400. It is such an artsy little town. It is a perfect place for our Kat and Silas.
The town was pretty much a ghost town until they got a grant to redo the old school which was built for the miner’s kids. They turned them into apartments that have to been rented out cheaper for artists, so they can spend their time on their art not worrying about how to pay their rent.
Kat has been working on the murals. I believe it is every year they start a new mural. Everyone is welcome to work on it. Sometimes it is artist and some times it is just someone walking by that paints on the mural. Kat is the organizer of the project now.
Ajo was just a really cute town. Everyone seems to be really friendly. I believe it is the perfect town for Kat and Silas.
Kat also makes jewelry. It is really beautiful. I bought ear rings for my girls and for myself. You can buy her jewelry in her Etsy store.
Kat told us about a loop that we could take, so we could see where the mine was and what happened to the 3 mountains that are now crater. It was a beautiful drive.
We had a great visit with our friends. If we are ever close to Ajo we will be back to visit and stay a little longer.
Thanks for stopping by!