Monday, November 14, 2016

Ahh Ajo!

Odometer 54464
Trip meter  0

Wow- what a moon!

The clear skies over the Sonoran Desert gave us the opportunity of a lifetime to see the Super Moon clearly as it rose above the horizon tonight.
Super Moon photo by Jeff Smith
Of course I was scrambling to figure out how to operate the SLR after a long absence.  I searched in vain for he tripod that I am sure I packed away somewhere.  The shot ended up being handheld braced against a picnic table.  Oh-Well.
Our Ajo site photographed by light from the Super Moon
I was on a roll so I decided to do a shot of our motorhome illuminated only by the moon.

Ajo Plaza

Desert selfie-  Getting the GPS tracker set-up before our trek
One of the reasons this is my favorite place is because I get the opportunity to hunt for lost aircraft crash sites with my buddy Mark.  Mark is a bloodhound when it comes to finding old, long forgotten crash sites.  Mark operates off the crash reports that were filed by the AAF at the time,  however the data is not always transcribed accurately, and Mark has a second sense about what is trustworthy and what is likely not to be.
The major debris from and early AT-6 crash near Ajo, AZ
Mark took me on an easy hike to an AT-6 crash site near town.  These sites are the proverbial needle in the haystack.  Even with good GPS coordinates, if you aren't careful you can walk by without seeing the evidence.  We have been told by some of the long time residents of the area that the larger structures like, engines, landing gear, wings and fuselage were either hauled off or buried.  The flash floods that ravage this area from time to time, have also buried or carried off some of the evidence.  We take lots of photos and study the parts to be able to identify similar parts and structures when we find other sites.  To be allowed access to the gunnery range is a privilege, and we sign a pledge not to take souvenirs, and we take that promise very seriously.

Some of the parts we find are remarkably intact, like the clockworks shown here.  (probably not a clock however)

Remains of an instrument at the AT-6 crash site
Solar charging setup
Near the crash site Mark and I discovered a damaged solar panel and charging base for a two-way radio.  Nearby were also empty water bottles and some canned food.  It's probable that the set-up was used by a spotter who guided illegals through the area.  It looks like the Border Patrol may have damaged the equipment to keep it from being used again.  Mark and I climbed the nearby hilltop and walked the ridge for a short distance.  There were a lot of water bottles and food cans and wrappers in evidence, Most of them showing a lot of age.                                                                                                                                                                We had a wary guard watching us.  This guard was a wild burro, who kept its distance.  As we approached the site the burro snorted loudly from his perch above us on the hillside.  Later as we descended the ridge the burro had moved out on to the valley floor and again snorted and stomped as we passed.            Great first hike for this season.
Your Traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan

1 comment:

  1. Nice shot of the Moon and RV!
    Did you guess at the exposure? or take several bracketed shots?