The wonderful thing is the clear air and the great distances you can see so effortlessly. The mountains surround you in the distance and frame the nearby.
At this writing, the desert in that region had just begun to bloom. Wildflowers were just showing color, the Ocotillo were starting to bud and the Mesquite will leaf out soon. Which reminds me: the Mesquite is not really native to the region--its seed was imported by cows from other states. Their manure spreads it. I told John that makes a cow a "Johnny Crappleseed."
Well, HE thought it was funny.
Other than cows, we saw no wildlife that didn't fly,
although I'm certain it was looking at us. The desert has snakes of all kinds and stripes, big cats, coyotes and who knows what else. Humans make a lot of noise--particularly humans with machines. So, the animals keep their distance and I have no idea how welcome we were--but we all got along.
Prickly Pear and Mesquite
Of course, there's other traffic in the desert. Being that close to the border, we met the Border Patrol. They work the area on ATV's, horses and helicopters, doing their best to control the human flow out of Mexico.
The picture above is not only aggravating, it is sad. Hoping to fit in or, maybe become invisible, the "Illegals" exchange the old work clothes they wear to get into the US for better clothing brought across in backpacks that now lie abandoned in the path. We saw packs, shoes, hats, shirts..even blankets discarded in the mesquite. We were told there is drug traffic over the same trail, but of course we saw no evidence of that.
(Left) Lost Crutches, Arizona.
When John goes into the desert, he rides with friends. It's more fun that way, there's a tailgate party somewhere along the ride and, since the run will be several miles long through very rugged and steep terrain, it's safer. We did about 32 miles. You could get hurt out there alone, although the ATV's are remarkable little vehicles that have no fear of anything. They can tip over if you do something stupid, but stupid is discouraged and everybody has a real good time. At the end of the run, they literally drive them back onto their trailers and tow them home.