Friday, February 17, 2012

Border Wars and Cacti

I went back to Douglas the third week of February last year to look again for Peniocereus greggii RAR11, collected by my cactus acquaintance, Rob Romero. I have a few going from seed, purchased from the Noah's Ark of cacti, Mesa Garden, pictured above at 2 years old.

Incredible dust storm on I-10 on the way down had the road closed. I was in a rush to leave right after teaching on Friday, then I spent 3 hours on the interstate. Good times.

I did manage to get to Tombstone before sunset. The Tombstone cemetery populated by ghosts and European and Japanese tourists.

I thought it was fitting that the notoriously difficult to identify Opuntia was growing on this grave.

A homesteader's claim, hanging in the lobby of the Hotel Gadsden in Douglas.

Art for sale, Douglas.

There are a lot of churches in Douglas, especially on Church Street.

The town plaza was having a Christian Event.

A Christian pop band called Soul Harvest.

The audience.

The lobby of the Hotel Gadsden.

The next morning, after a great dinner of chicken vindaloo at the restaurant attached to the Traveler Motel, I headed out along Geronimo Road and the road up over the Peloncillo Mountains to New Mexico. Great habitat, blustery rainy day. I was stopped 4 times by US Border Patrol. They also asked to search my car. It was surreal all the way around.

Fire resistant Echinocereus rigidissimus.

Echinocereus arizonicus ssp. nigrihorridispinus

Interesting Agave.

New growth in February on Echinocereus rigidissimus.

I never did find the Peniocereus, and it was a hassle dealing with so much Border Patrol interference. At one stop, I asked if there was some particular danger or event going on. The agents just shrugged and said it was probably not the greatest idea for me to be driving such a rocky, rough dirt road in my Honda. I also asked what would happen if I said they couldn't search my car. One of the agents laughed and said "We'd just hold you here while we tried to get a warrant. On a Sunday." All right then. Search away.


Brent C. Kryda said...

Thanks for the warning about Border Patrol. I was planning on spending a bit of time down around that way, but did not know what to expect. In truth, I was shocked to find the inspection stations on I-10 between Deming and Las Cruces, and wondered what they would think of a Canadian with a green card driving so far from home territory.

Thanks a bunch for the post wherein I found your blog, by the way, on your Baja Solstice. I look forward to seeing Catavina myself.

peter breslin said...

It's still a beautiful area to visit, just be sure you have all of your stuff in order.