Saturday, January 9, 2010

Welton, AZ

After New Years I moved with several others out to some BLM land outside of Welton. Last year only about a dozen RVs were there, but this year almost 30 showed up.
Sitting in the desert. I was one of the first to arrive, but by the next day the entire area was filled with RVs.

Kurt lives in the area and he arranged a tour of the local landfill.

After a short film the site manager took us around the area. The site is 640 acres and even with computed growth is expected to operate for about 108 years into the future. Each small area of about 10 acres is excated to a depth of almost 280 feet. Then it is lined with multiple linings, even a space to catch liquids to be pumped out and recycled. This is to keep any contamination from seeping into the ground. The areas are then filled up until they are almost 500 feet above ground. It takes appx 2 years to fill the area with garbage.

The local trash is taken to a transfer station. Then at the transfer station it is sorted for recyclable products before being picked up by large semi's. Currently it is the slow period and only about 60 semi's a day are dumping, but they can accomodate up to 200 per day.

This large composter and grader crushed the garbage and packs it down. At the end of each day they cover the trash with a layer of dirt. Each small section is built up 15 feet moving down the row to the end, then they reverse the process. They also have areas where they take liquid waste. It was an interesting tour and surprisingly there were no birds around and it didn't smell like I expected. It did make me more aware of how I should be recycling and watching how much garbage I throw away because at this rate, one day our entire planet may be one big landfill.

Another day we went on a 4-wheel drive trip into the Barry Goldwater Range. Since I posted about this last year I will try to not repeat myself too much. Part of the road is El Camino Del Diablo or The Devils Highway. This was a road running from Yuma down to Mexico and dates back to before the 1800s. Originally the early natives used it to transport salt and shells from the Gulf of California. Spanish soldiers used it in the 1500s, then gold prospectors used it in the 1800s. It is estimated over 400 people died of thirst on this road in the 1850s.

And of course, we made it to The Wall between Mexico and Arizona. Not made to keep people from crossing since you can walk around the wall very easily, it was designed to keep vehicles from traveling across passes. Again this year, within a few minutes of arriving a border guard appeared to check and see what we were doing.

We even saw some cacti blooming.

The Barry Goldwater Range is still used for training today, but not live boomings, only laser targeting. Around one of the large, fenced off radar sites was this modern day outhouse. Notice the sink and even towels? You just never know what kind of modern devices you find in the desert nowadays!

This year we had about 30 people and 8 vehicles and we were out on the desert for 6 hours. We also visited high tanks, but if you want to read about that check out last years blog.


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