Ba Bam

The peace of morning and a first coffee is shattered with the distinct double crack and earth-shaking clatter of a sonic boom. It is soon followed by another. High overhead jet fighters hone their deadly skills. They are too high to be seen but the eternal thunder of their presence is oppressive. I am on the Southern edge of the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range. The military actually posts schedules and provides passes for folks who want to sit in bleachers and watch as ground assault aircraft practice “Ordinance delivery.” Bizarrely the range is adjacent to the Cabeza Prieta National wildlife sanctuary. Run rabbit, run.

The desert weather has been wet and windy and cold. This is another bleak Sonoran morning. I finally get to know an acquaintance of over thirty-five years and it is grand to find a kindred spirit. The day speeds by. I have been introduced to the amazing area around this small Southern Arizonan community of Ajo. My old van has been repaired and I am very glad I did not attempt the job myself on the side of the road. I will begin meandering northward in the morning. I am grateful for the camaraderie and the rest my stop here has provided. This place is fantastic and I want to return soon. Hostile as the desert may be, it has seduced me.

It is nearing midnight as I start this blog after editing another day’s batch of photos. Outside, nearby, coyotes yip and howl. I will sleep well.

Fred’s Mexican roadside repairs. I was very grateful for the comforting light of the sign for a night’s stop. Check out Barb’s website, this place does great things.

I drove in to say thank you.

This place shelters hundreds of dogs. It is a very small dent in dealing with Mexico’s stray dog problem, but it offers hope and humanity. The dark female on the right made it very clear she’d like me to take her with me. Heart rending!

Even in the bleak damp dawn of that morning, desert flowers bloomed beautifully.

A grey, cold morning in the Sonora Desert while it was snowing at home on Vancouver Island. It was hard to photograph anything without plastic trash showing everywhere, a very sad problem throughout all of Mexico and I can suggest no solutions other than the obvious.

A Sagauro cactus corpse, bizzarely mummified. Yep, that’s my little old van in the distance, dwarfed by the enormity of the desert.

And then the sun began to emerge.

Early springtime. I am told that April and May are stunning.

I find the desert impossible to photograph and convey the sense of grandeur, wonder and amazing detail all at once. One needs to stay in a single place for at least several days, observing the scene with the ever-changing light. I really want to stay for months.

Everywhere one looks there is beauty both stark and subtle.

President’s Wig? No. It is firmly rooted.

Well, it’s a start. Mexico is definitely becoming more environmentally aware. Now do something about all the plastic trash!

One of the wonders to me is the thousands of half-vast projects never completed throughout Mexico. This building is typical of someone’s abandoned ambition. It is clearly unfinished and unused.

Crossing the border from Sonoyta Mexico to Lukeville Arizona. No photos please! Shut off cell phones! I drove northward toward Ajo with a grinding, shuddering driveline, my third serious mechanical issue of the trip. … Ba Bam part 2

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”

… Stephan Covey

3 responses to “Ba Bam

  1. Ah deserts. Now it’s time to try Namibia etc if you love deserts. I’m worried that you have lost your love of the sea!

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  2. No worries there mate. The desert does give me the same feeling as the open sea.

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  3. Lots to explore there – you and Jack needed a friend. Is the language a barrier?

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