Thru San Manuel, a sharp left then the familiar right turn at the San Pedro – but today the last turn takes me into unfamiliar territory – a strange, freshly paved, night black road parallel to the river – it takes me a minute to reconcile this new thing with my memory of Redington Road.
It makes me sad and uncomfortable to see more pavement encircling the Santa Catalina Mountains – there is nothing encouraging about its current end at the Pinal County line. Maybe the pavement really isn’t that important one way or another – inconsequential compared to the destruction that the SunZia power transmission lines will likely bring to this part of the San Pedro River Valley in the coming years.
Charles Bowden, Frog Mountain Blues, 1987:
The mountain no longer seems like a thing that can stop a city in its tracks; it seems more like a cornered beast. When I hike the Catalinas now and stare down at the valleys, I feel I am on an island, one that is being constantly eroded by the fierce waves of energy sweeping across the desert floor. When I leave the city for the mountain, I walk past bulldozers on my way to the trailhead.