Desert roads are different than those in the South and Northwest. They are not tied together with lush trees and foliage. They stretch your eye and mind with their vastness and sheer presence. Such is Indian Route 1 running north and south along the California and Arizona Border near the Colorado River. Here the desert has had it way with dreams and time. The Hopi and Mohave Indian tribes were resettled here in 1865 and taught agricultural ways. La Paz, a ghost town, flourished shortly and then died when the River changed course because of floods.
During world war II, a relocation camp was established where Japanese were sent. Indian construction firms refused the work of building the camp, protesting what they felt was a repeat of history and a crime. A young contractor named Del Webb agreed to build the camp with outside workers.
Today, the evidence of all these events has faded from the harsh desert sun and wind. You are still drawn though to how the light plays against objects, mountains and the buildings that remain. Rickshaw Downes, the painter, once said of the Southwest that much of it was not dramatic or especially beautiful, that is what is wonderful about it. The same can be said about Indian Route 1. The beauty here is subtle and takes time to savor.
Last Drive In
Colorado Crossing Home
Deserted Ball Field