Thursday, March 26, 2015



Where you can camp up close and personal with these wild things.
It took some time for Arizonans to appreciate the wonders of this plant--
But now we do-- and they are loved and respected and legally protected.
Get the story here.
A stone's throw away is this rare one.

Rare and mysterious--and much valued.  Experts cannot yet fully explain this anomaly. 
You would not guess what wild attraction has filled this parking lot.

It is the product of a  wild haired vision--long years ago.
No ordinary thrift store. 

It is a whopper--with a whopper of a reputation--that does a whopping lot of good.

Somehow a thousand people aligned their visions and worked together--without pay--for a half century.  Could you guess the size of last year's financial contributions.
The answer is detailed here: Brace yourself to be astonished: ONE  MILLION, SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS divided among these listed charities.  Hats off to this group from Green Valley, Arizona.

Invited down to a wild little town--myself and a companion--go there.

Settle into our friend's back yard.

walk one of the numerous trails into the massive (110,000 acres) wildlife reserve.
boardwalks across marshy areas.
Local headquarters of a sizable humanitarian group dedicated--

to prevent deaths in the desert of illegals crossing into the US.
Of course I went inside and interviewed the attendant.  He showed me a map pinpointing about 20 spots where bodies were found.  They go out to the danger spots and leave gallons of water. More on this later.
This bar--the La Gitana --oldest bar in the oldest Az town. My companion and I spent an evening there. 

with guys like this--who wheeled in on this lively and ancient vehicle.

A tapestry on the wall captures the mood of the place.  A U shaped bar puts customers eye to eye.
Sure enough drama happened--which I won't detail.

Also on the wall--this classic picture of a nearby commune--no longer extant--but whose influence
is very much felt today--many members stayed and built in the area.  
From almost everywhere you can see this fabled mountain: Baboquivari. (pronounced bob-oh-couve-ray)

 - Photograph © Stewart M. Green
A better picture--from the internet.

I was invited to dinner by three ladies---and served a 12 course meal.  I celebrated the event by writing a poem. (will share it later).

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  My adventures here will require a 2nd post. The enduring impact here was a interview with an informed local on sensible policy for illegals.  Just 2 of his major points: The steel walls--closely monitored--funnel illegals in the dangerous desert areas.  If we had a reasonable, fluid work permit where Mexicans could easily come to work and RETURN-- They would do so. I was not entirely persuaded but appreciated his valid points.

Then I went to an end-of-the-world town--met a pretty lady--who built a pretty bar. (more later)


Christine said...

Waaay back in college took a desert ecology field trip. Ended up in the Tucson area where we found a number of the crested saguaros. One can see quite a few in the area of the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum / west part of Saguaro Natl Park.
Interesting to see all the various mutations.

Al Christensen said...

I've been through Arivaca twice (both times on the way to Buenos Aires NWR, which I love) and I never noticed the humanitarian aid office or knew about its commune past. That's what I get for being in too much of a hurry to get someplace.

For a view of Baboquivari at almost its same elevation, go up to the Kitt observatory. Oh, yeah, and there's all the astronomy stuff there, too. Very cool.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if the golf cart type vehicle had to have license plates?

Randy said...

Hi Bush: I don't know. Guess I could have asked---but didn't.