Line of Departure


Apache Sentinels of the Sonoran Desert, Art by James Sayers

I’ll cross the LOD sometime tomorrow morning, flying from Redmond to Portland, then catching another flight to Phoenix, where I’ll meet up with the rest of the Warfighter Outfitters bunch who are gathering for a week in the Sonoran Desert.  So far as I can tell, they are coming from across the nation.  Chicago, Austin, Fresno, Seattle.  From Phoenix we drive south to Ajo to check in to our lodging, and tomorrow evening we will gather for our first group dinner at the Estrella Restaurant.

I haven’t been back to Arizona in a while.  I used to live there, in Flagstaff and Mountainaire.  Wendy and I went back to Flag a few years ago, and a few years before that I met up with an old Marine Corps friend for a week in the Blue Range Wilderness.  We were trying to find wolves.  We didn’t, but not for lack of trying, and it was a satisfying dip into some fabulously rough and unpopulated country.

When I lived in Arizona I didn’t make it south to the Sonoran.  Most of my wanderings were in the Mogollons, or out east and north into Anasazi and pueblo country.  I rode bucking horses all over the place, but never set foot in the true Sonoran badlands.  I’m looking forward to it now, not least because the trip has meaning beyond a simple tourist excursion.

So that’s the brief.  I will endeavor to post each day, and keep you up to speed on our mission to help dismantle smuggling sites on the border, and to introduce you to some fine people.  There is a story waiting for us down there, and I can’t wait to write it.

  1. Travel safely and take good care. Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2016 21:18:03 +0000 To:



    1. Thank you, and I will. If a cartel peanut tries to kidnap me, I will waive my press pass around and tell them I am Sean Penn 🙂



      1. You write for a more reputable publication than Rolling Stone. Just sayin’.


      2. Tru Dat…RS tanked itself and is now unreadable. I guess they have been doing that for decades. I remember, somewhere in my brain, a story of Jim Belushi taking a baseball bat to their offices after a crank piece they did on his brother.


  2. When seeking cover, do not hug the cacti.



    1. That is excellent advice, and I shall heed it.



  3. Jim & Craig…
    You two really know how to fire me up.
    Regarding the current state of affairs with RS…
    With few exceptions it is now no better than PEOPLE MAGAZINE with an edge. I still take a free browse on occasion when hanging out at a bookstore. It is encouraged mind you. Every once in awhile you find a diamond in a goat’s ass. I grew up with the foldovers from their earliest days when it really meant something. A daunting task to maintain that forever… Paid $20 bucks a copy for some vintage issues from a very small bookstore a while back. The cachet and gravitas from those days is long long gone…
    The moss has turned to mold!

    — ST
    Camped at the Flying Hook in Eloy, AZ after a short run turn to Tucson … Heading back west in the morning.



    1. Gravitas. Yes, that is precisely what is missing in so much of the print media, and is almost impossible to find in television media–which are largely shouting kabuki with bad lighting. Awful. Be safe on the road…



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