Monday, June 24, 2013


Near the NO SHOOTING signs, overlooking a spectacular view in the Table Mesa Recreation Area, were a helluva lot of spent shotgun shells and a broken Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction CD.

Table Mesa is one of Arizona's bilingual names that if the English Only crowd ever gets their way will be Table Table. Or maybe Aztlán separatistas will want to call it Mesa Mesa. Or maybe we should just ask the local tribe what they called the place.

Em and I were once again taking El Troque down unpaved “primitive” roads in search of pretty rocks, and we found them, among the spent shells and shot up electronics, monitors, TVs . . . abandoned technology disintegrating in the dry air and ultraviolet radiation.

The desert just consumes all this stuff,” Em said.

What is left will provide interesting material for future archaeologists:

They must have brought these devices out here to be sacrificed to the gods of progress.”

Near where a debris-peppered gultch was blocked off by a barbed-wire fence, we found a shot-up target with a humanoid outline spray-painted on it.

No wonder places around here have names like Bloody Basin Road.

Later, along Table Mesa Road, we came across a fenced-off area: BLACK CANYON CITY LAUNCHER AND RECEIVER FACILITLY. It looked like something out of an old sci-fi flick, with solar panels, a satellite dish, and security cameras. I wondered, what do they launch and receive?

Where primitive roads crossed was Cordes, a little “town” where rusty, derelict cars, trucks, and barns blended into a junkyard and the desert. Cows and horses looked at us, wondering why we were there.

Who would believe that we were enjoying the rough beauty of it all?

Later, we passed a place called OUTLAWS ONLY.

Then we headed up to Sedona, where postmodern franchises blend with the new age red rock décor and the dazzling natural red rock landscape while a heron and helicopters flew overhead.

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