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Monday, April 25, 2011

DAY 101: TONOPAH - BUCKEYE, ARIZONA

A reader recently asked for more Sunrise and Sunset photographs.

This was the sunrise in TONOPAH, ARIZONA this morning,,,taken through the Truck Stop Gas Pump Portal.




Two Big Guys which kept SPIA company all night at the TONOPAH Truck Stop.





Dry bare desert on one side of Saddle Mountain Road.




Lush fields of Alfalfa on the other side.




THE DIFFERENCE: Thousands of Gallons of pure fresh water gushing from giant pumps drawing water from an underground cistern (lake) over 500 feet below




There is NO surface water source on the land ( lakes, rivers, etc.) All water must be imported via aquaduct from the distant Colorado River, or pulled up from dwindling underground lakes 500 feet below the surface.




PHOENIX is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Demand for water is great and ALL of it must be imported or brought up from below.





The same pump as above creates the concrete lined irrigation canal full of water. This farmer uses the "siphon" (see prior blogs) method...which some farmers frown upon for efficiency.


This farmer's single field has two such pumps pouring forth thousands of gallons of water in a short time. There is some question as to where the excess water in the irrigation canal goes after flowing past the farmer's field.




I again must emphasize that this blog contains observations from my single walk...a momentary glimpse of what is. I certainly do not see all there is. I certainly do not have all the information to present a complete picture.




I attempt to present my discoveries in a "positive" tone and to avoid suggestions as to potential negative aspects. If I fail...it is all my own doing.






This is the opposite side of Saddle Mountain Road, directly across from the water pump shown above.




The same field, being "raked" into neat rows of already cut and dried alfalfa.





These are the rows of alfalfa the "rake" produces.









After the Rake does its job, along comes the "Baler", which picks up the alfalfa from the neat rows, compresses it into "Bales" about 2 ft x 2 ft x 3 ft long (not exact dimensions), ties it with wire or heavy twine and drops the "bale" onto the ground, waiting for the "Stacker" to pick up the bales and pile them into large piles ready for shipment...sometimes even overseas.






This Gentlemen - name omitted - was a very interesting fellow. We discussed his 54 years of living in this region...we talked about water: The water table is falling quickly and the surface run-off down the "washes" is nothing compared to only a few years ago.




We also discussed the cost of road signs - his job is to install those signs -. A single "Stop" sign cost is $85.00...a very large "budget" item.

We discussed the immense "waste" our society makes of resources.






A bit further down Saddle Mountain Road from the Deep Water Well Pumps, is this desert....much of it for sale in 5-acre lots.






Finally got a photograph of a Desert Dove. These little guys are by far the most populous bird I have seen in the desert. They are much like a pigeon, but more sleek. They have a distinct call; somewhat like:




Coo Coo Coooo; or:




Where Are Youoo...Where Are Youoo





Around these constructions - Domes and low rectangular buildings are hundreds of high power transmission lines.




I asked the local Firemen if they were Nukes: Yes...the most powerful Nuclear Power Station in the Western Hemisphere.




I asked him why, out here in the desert where there is no water for cooling the nuclear "Core" (the problem that is now a major problem in Japan).




He explained that "waste water" is piped in from PHOENIX, ARIZONA, processed to clean it up and used for the cooling of the reactors - there are three separate power plants at the site.




What he is telling ME is that as long as PHOENIX folks flush regularly, the nuclear power plant will have ample cooling water.




I did not go to school just yesterday. It would be MY "guess" (I hate that word) that each reactor has at least three on-line ready to go Deep Well Fresh Water Pumps, such as the farmer uses above.




Of course, none of it is any of my business. Well, perhaps it is a bit of my business if a "3-Mile Island" , "Chernobyl", or "Hokkaido" problem should pop up, I might like to be somewhere up-wind and not too near.





Where the PHOENIX toilet water goes for refreshing before cooling the Reactors.






Noticed this pole of Sirens near TONOPAH early this morning...wondered why "Sirens" way out here in the desert.




By the way of flight of the Crow, the Nuclear Power Plant is about 10 miles away.


OOhhh !




Walked down Saddle Mountain Road to reconnect with our old friend Salome Highway...thence to Baseline Road which led me into the quite modern town of BUCKEYE, ARIZONA, where we will spend the night.






We leave BUCKEYE on Highway 85...the old original cross-country highway into PHOENIX, which is now about 40 miles away.







Some overzealous homeowner decided to use "flood" irrigation on his small plot of land...seems it got out of control...the Baseline Highway is flooded for about 4 city blocks and neighbors are throwing up brick and dirt barricades to keep the overflowing water out of their properties.




One sure way to get attention. As I walked by one lady's home as she was shoveling sand to divert water from her already flooded front yard...you need a bit more to swim...Ha Ha Ha, she said. When I walked back an hour later, her front yard was a lake full of dozens of birds happily wading and splashing...for some it was just fine for their swimming hole.


DAILY REPORT: Walked 22 miles today.




SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: Credit 22 miles @ $0.02 per mile = $0.44 for the day.




Tomorrow, will leave SPIA parked and walk East on US 85 toward PHOENIX. After reaching the city, will hang a right on 51st Avenue and follow it South and East into CHANDLER, ARIZONA, where my niece and nephew live...



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