Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Odometer 25736 Trip 162 Ajo, AZ Wednesday November 21, 2012 Short trip from Yuma down Interstate 8 to Ghila Bend, then south on State Route 85 to a small desert town called Ajo. Most of the area to the south of the freeway, and both sides of 85 is the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range, a huge chunk of Arizona from Yuma 140 miles east toward Tucson and 40 miles wide. 2.7 million acres of the Sonoran Desert. The large size of these training areas is required because modern weapon systems now engage an aggressor from 25 miles or more distant. Other than the signs warning you to stay out- it looks like any other beautiful desert landscape. Speaking of beautiful deserts, as we drew near Ajo we came alongside the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. This is one lush desert compared to what we have been travelling through. We plan to stay here in Ajo for about a week or so and we definitely will be visiting the Cabeza Prieta. On our way across Interstate 8 we passed a huge construction site and a quick check on the web informed us that what we were looking at was one of the largest, if not THE largest solar plants in the WORLD! Right here! 70 miles west of Phoenix in a little tiny town called Gila Bend. When finished it will generate 280 megawatts of electricity- enough for 70,000 homes. I stopped counting at 17 construction cranes- I hope there are a few left for the rest of Arizona’s contractors.