Atmospheric CO2

Welcome to carbonstories.org. On this site you can learn about Michael Johnson-Chase and follow my blogs. With some exceptions, this site follows "theme based" cycling tours focusing on social and climate related issues. Slowed down observations of the world over days, weeks and months at 10 to 15 miles an hour can reveal a depth and quality of understanding about our environment often missed by faster modes of travel.

Phoenix to El Paso, Post 2

The Chiricahua Mountains near Rodeo, NM.  

The Chiricahua Mountains near Rodeo, NM.  

I spent several days in Douglas, AZ. The first day was sunny, and my friend Dave and I went across the border into Agua Prieta. It was like many other border towns I have visited -- cheerful, dusty and enterprising.

The main square in Agua Prieta. 

The main square in Agua Prieta. 

The Mexican side of the border fence.  

The Mexican side of the border fence.  

A Periodoncista office in Agua Prieta. 

A Periodoncista office in Agua Prieta. 

It's no secret that there are many thriving dentistry businessness in the border towns that cater to Americans looking for affordable dentistry. I'm told that lots of Mexicans come to the US to study, get their board certifications in California, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas, and then set up business across the border where they can count on a ready supply of American patients happy to travel across the border to pay lower prices. Cleanings, fillings, crowns, etc, are all hundreds of dollars cheaper than what similar treatments cost in the US.  

It rained heavily the next day, and was also cold, windy and occasionally snowy, all very unusual for this far south. During a break in the rain, Dave and I drove the gravel road that follows the American side of the border to Naco.

The US side of the wall looking west.

The US side of the wall looking west.

This will make intruders cower!  

This will make intruders cower!  

A reengineered wash. 

A reengineered wash. 

US fencing currently seems to be a hodgepodge of different construction phases over the years, from a simple barbed wire fence that spanned much of the border for decades, to various high slat based versions that were built consecutively by the Bush and Obama administrations. Trump has primarily brought us concertina wire (see Post 1 of this series) that will slice up anyone attempting to rope-climb down the US side of the fence. 

Someone's view of US trade policy. 

Someone's view of US trade policy. 

The next day I left Douglas and biked (with a 27 mile an hour backwind) northeast along the Chiricahua Mountain Range over a mild pass to the east, and then downhill to the north with the Chiricahuas to my left. With the back wind, I could go 10-15 miles an hour simply by sitting on my bike and using my back as a sail. Thank God I didn't have to go the other way.

Just north of Douglas on the way out of town.  

Just north of Douglas on the way out of town.  

I had this view for about 20 miles as I headed northeast.  

I had this view for about 20 miles as I headed northeast.  

The Chiricahuas are stunning, as is the Animus Valley to the east. I really can't express the (almost painful) beauty I find in such uncompromising and imposing environments. I was enthralled every fleeting moment the sun made an appearance. 

The view from cave Creek Canyon near Portal west of Rodeo.  

The view from cave Creek Canyon near Portal west of Rodeo.  

Another view at Cave Creek looking west.  

Another view at Cave Creek looking west.  

In closing, I'd like to include a link from an article from Inside Climate News that refelects on two different (but potentially complimentary) legislative proposals in Congress right now that address climate change. We may be nearing that seminal moment when the shoe falls on climate science denial, and our normal public narrative becomes that it's soberingly real, and must be addressed thoughtfully and urgently. That outcome is inevitable, but will it happen soon enough?

I, for one, would like it to be characteristically warm in the southwest when I leave the northeast to cycle here. Two days ago I sat in a bar in Bisbee, AZ watching snow fall. It was March 12, and I was about 15 miles north of the Mexican border. I hear it's been a whacky year for our jet stream and polar vortex to the north. 

Sure looks like climate change to me. 

More to come, of course.  

For those of you missing my Garmin posts, here is yesterday's ride.

All photos, unless credited or otherwise noted, are copyrighted property of the blog post author.

Phoenix to El Paso, Post 1