And the road goes on forever...

Friday, February 6, 2009


Like writhing green snakes rising from a Medusa, the ocotillo curls up the landscape in front of me. My walk this day is out in the desert—so near, yet so far. It’s quiet and I’m alone, crunching across the gravel to the barrier that says “No Trespassing” without the vaunted permit from the Marine base.

I set foot anyway onto a mere couple hundred feet of the bombing range, to capture a close up of a knarled saguaro that I think I have photographed several years before. First photo: 2004; second photo: 2009.

The deterioration is evident.

This segment of the desert is a litter of rocky shards; nearly like broken shale which some gravel truck deliberately left, curving great swaths of driveways. Everywhere else, washes, swales, lone mesquite and the occasional ocotillo punctuate the sky. They cluster closer on the upslopes, likely taking advantage of the runoff from rains, and sometimes comically appear as though some aberrant landscaper decided to make them into an orchard. A lone boondocker is their only company.