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Table Top Barrier, AZ
mini location map2013-09-07
8 by photographer avatarOutlander
photographer avatar
 
Table Top Barrier, AZ 
Table Top Barrier, AZ
 
Hiking11.00 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles   9 Hrs      1.83 mph
1,200 ft AEG   3 Hrs    Break30 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The mission was to check out the vehicle barrier over at the Table Top Wilderness.

The 1.3 mile vehicle barrier was built in 2011 to protect sensitive environmental areas from smuggling and off-road crossings. Despite being over 70 miles north of the line, this zone was hit hard for a number of years until the BLM, law enforcement, and local volunteers took action.

I spent the morning walking the barrier, checking for crossings and gaps as I went. It resembles something from the beaches of Normandy, made with scrap railroad rails connected in a cross, then a header along the top. The rails have the name and date of manufacture stamped on the sides, and most are over a hundred years old. It was fun to see names like Lackawanna Steel Company, Algoma, and others; to reminisce of old mill towns in the Rust Belt and Indiana. The repurposed steel has found a new life here, and so far, has been very effective. BLM Kevin did a good job on the project.

The next stop was the fence line of the Tohono O’odham Nation (TO). There were a few cuts in the wire where vehicles had passed through, but not very much activity. This zone has slowed way down the last couple of years due to a number of factors.

It was another cloudy day so the snakes were out again, one of which I almost stepped on before he gave me a courtesy rattle. It is a challenge to keep your eyes both on the ground and the horizon at the same time. Maybe some snake gaiters are in order.

The snakes produced a yawn, but adrenaline ran high when I walked into a vehicle hidden in a wash. It turned out to be just a stolen car that had been driven across the desert, abandoned once it got stuck in the sand. For a minute though, it looked like trouble in a bad place. Load vehicles in the desert are often filled with contraband worth tens of thousands of dollars. I am not sure how that situation will go down, but in any case, it is best to avoid it if possible. No treasure or dead bodies were found inside the car. I did find a femur bone that looked human later in the day, but after further scrutiny, it came up negative.

It was a good day out there; it is always fun to kick around in the desert.
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Table Top Wilderness
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