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The Forbidding Reputation and Hypnotic Scenery of the Devil’s Highway

Discussion in 'US - Western States Timesharing' started by RNCollins, May 4, 2019.

  1. RNCollins

    RNCollins TUG Lifetime Member

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    The Forbidding Reputation and Hypnotic Scenery of the Devil’s Highway
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/29/travel/arizona-road-trip-camino-del-diablo.html

    By Michael Benanav / Travel / The New York Times / nytimes.com / April 29, 2019

    “While filling out a permit application to drive El Camino del Diablo — a dirt road that cuts through 130 miles of saguaro-studded desert between Yuma and Ajo, Ariz. — I marveled at the hazards it warned I might encounter along the way, including “permanent, painful, disabling, and disfiguring injury or death due to high explosive detonations from falling objects such as aircraft, aerial targets, live ammunition, missiles, bombs, and other similar dangerous situations.” I might also stumble across warheads embedded in the ground, not to mention rattlesnakes.

    Still, I knew from a previous trip that while the Camino del Diablo may feel like a death-defying excursion into forbidding territory, it’s actually quite safe. The road — which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and passes through the vast Sonoran expanses of the Barry M. Goldwater bombing range, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument — is surprisingly well maintained and no special skills are needed to navigate it. The scenery is vast and mesmerizing. Ocotillos sprout from arid basins, their spiky tendrils and bright red blossoms swaying in the breeze like some kind of weird desert anemone. There are sand dunes and lava flows and knife-edged mountains slicing skyward from the desert floor. Owls roost in saguaro cactuses, endangered antelopes browse sparse grasses, bighorn sheep leap among rugged crags....”

    369562E5-51A0-4E60-B315-5DEE5E517B4D.jpeg The writer's second campsite along El Camino del Diablo, in Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.
    Photo Credit: Michael Benanav for The New York Times
     
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