What a Difference a Mile Makes

Remember that mildly disappointing rest area in the middle of Arizona? It’s got a twin, just west and across the highway, on the eastbound side, and it’s not an identical twin, either. The eastbound one has no interpretive asphalt trail, slightly more interesting topography, and, most importantly, no cattle roaming the BLM land across the barbed wire.

I didn’t mention the cow patties before. Sparse monoculture Ponderosa forest with cow patties and meager clumps of two kinds of grass. On the eastbound side that’s sparse monoculture Ponderosa forest with elk sign, numerous dens of some sort of burrowing animal, a wider variety of grasses and other undergrowth, and several kinds of wildflower including one species new to me, an orange trumpet-shaped number with yellow flecks.

Bloody cows.

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