Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sonoran interlude

After both of us coming down with a flu-bug--me first, then Jodi--we ended up back in the outback, feeling somewhat funky but enjoying the desert wild.  We parked the camper near a wilderness area east of Phoenix and did a few day hikes, all that our sick little selves could handle.  We idled over coffee, read great  scads of excellent literature, and enjoyed ourselves immensely.  However, it must be said that this was not the place of our first choosing.  We originally wanted to go to the Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge outside of the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  We have known for some time that the border region of southern Arizona was somewhat overrun by the flood of illegal immigrants and drug runners, but we hadn't thought of it much recently until Jodi read an article by Tim Cahill about the very area we proposed to visit.  Apparently, the place is quite dangerous now with gun-totting narcotrafficantes.  Illegals routinely die in their attempts to cross over, and trains of heavily laden drug runners are so common such that, in some places, signs have been put up warning travelers to avoid getting too far off the main roads.  In short, we've given over large parts of the USA to south-of-the-border gangsters.  What the hell?  Mini rant:  The lack of truly serious action on this by our government is beyond me.  Democrats are hoping the illegals will support their base; republicans want the cheap, easily exploitable labor; both parties are worried about sounding "racist" if they do anything substantial.  Most of this could be stopped with very little effort.  First, legalize marijuana for all uses, recreational Dead-heads and rasta-dudes all the way to cancer patients.  Second, give every employer in the US about six months to check all employees for legal status using the so-called "E-verify" system; then send a small army of ICE agents across the land, fining all businesses substantially  for employing illegals.  It would take virtually no time for most of the tide to reverse.  US labor wages would increase, and workplace exploitation would decrease.  We'd pay a bit more for our veggies and meat, but more citizens would be gainfully employed.  Win-freakin'-win!  But will anything logical be done?  Of course not.  Meanwhile, crime and misery increase, and, especially germane to this blog, wilderness areas become too dangerous to visit, AND they get trashed by the hordes that traverse them.  Our northern California woods are especially suffering under the Mexican drug cartels that are running pot growing organizations.  They tear up the land, use all kinds of nasty insecticides, and patrol the grows with automatic weapons.  Mexican nationals with AK47's in our national forests! Arrrrgghhh....

So, that said, we have to choose our destinations more carefully.  Next, it's off to Kofa National Wildlife refuge.  Yeah, I know I said I wouldn't divulge the areas I went to, but I'll throw out this bone for the adventurous who want to get out there.  Here are some more photos of the most recent exploits.

Until next time, have an adventure of your own, wherever that may be.

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