Making footprints among thorny cacti! Sounds incredible? Prickly or painful, perhaps.

“Try it out. It isn’t prickly or painful,” I was told by a friend who lives in the land of beautiful cacti, Arizona. The not so funny tease of a dream turned into reality — a road trip to the spectacular world of the rather unattractive spiky, thorny, unassuming cacti. Of course, cactus blooms are pretty. But a land of cacti? It’s speechlessly captivating.

Sonoran Desert, Cacti
Elephant Arch in Sonoran Desert, Arizona at sunrise (Getty Images)

 

Well, it’s the beautiful wild, wild west!

And it’s about making footprints in the thorny wilderness, remember? Surely, if you want to make footprints among thorny cacti, you must come away to the wilderness, far away to Sonoran Desert in dreary, dusty Arizona. It’s not impossible. You only have to take the long and lonely road and wrestle with the dust in the wind. What awaits you is a priceless view of another world.

The drive through the long back-country trail leads to the amazing reserve of cacti – the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Southwest Arizona, on the Mexican border.

A jaw-dropping huge expanse of wilderness – like an alien world greets you. It’s a field of wild cacti with pretty blooms never seen before.  Somehow, it reminds me of the 1995 fantasy thriller Jumanji. One moment, you are standing nowhere and suddenly, surrounded by strange plants and creations, with hardly any soul in sight.

cacti, Arizona
Saguaro cactus flowers at Sonoran Desert, Arizona, US (Getty Images)

 

With marvelous mountain views and different varieties of cactus in bloom among the rocks, it’s a pretty realm.  Here, you can enjoy a wild time with some of the most bizarre out-of -the-world collection of cactus plants and creatures amid dreamlike landscapes and sunsets. It’s vast. It’s crazily wild, yet pretty.

Silence and distance travel together here.

However, it’s quiet out here in Sonoran Desert — a perfect place for solitude and escape from the madding crowd. One can enjoy a scenic drive across the dusty desert and go golfing in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument campus.

cacti
Apache Lake in Arizona, US (Getty Images)

 

Then spend an enthralling night amid the unique beauty of the desert under the clear Arizona sky and listen to the wild wild west wind.

The weather here is mild with a good amount of sunshine and little rainfall. The best time to visit the place is from November to April when it’s pleasantly sunny. There are couple of motels and inns where tourists can have a comfortable stay.

Try, I did. And truly, making footprints in the Sonoran sand among the exotic cacti isn’t painful at all. In fact, it’s most thrilling. It’s fun. It’s awe-inspiring. It’s dusty deep.