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"They Paved Paradise.. #151982 07/26/21 07:33 PM
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Az4x4 Offline OP
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[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
..and put up a parking lot."

The above 1839 painting by Thomas Cole depicts the Mountain Pass called the 'Notch of the White Mountains' in New Hampshire's White Mountains during his time. Cole's paintings represented "the majesty of the American wilderness, symbolic of the country's pioneering history."

The attached 2018 photograph of that same Mountain Pass in New Hampshire provides an eye opening look at a tiny part of what 'progress American style' has brought with it, turning the wilderness into a place we rush through in our hurry to get back to the 'paved over' version of America most people know today.

I can only imagine what wilderness areas back east once looked like, as depicted in Thomas Cole's painting in contrast to the 2018 photo of the same New Hampshire area. So I'm grateful to enjoy 'step out the door immediate access' to so much of Arizona's equally beautiful 'White Mountains' Rim Country wilderness areas.

With heavy monsoon rains our forest are in great shape and should remain so for the rest of this year and into 2022. Keeping our forests closed to the public with fire danger designated as 'extreme' is essential. As our much needed rainy season tapers off and mid-summer heat returns, not having people running around in the woods doing whatever the hell they want without caring about damage they may cause is critical to our very future here on the Rim.

Exploring on my XT225 via off the beaten path tracks reaching deep into local forested areas makes for restfully quiet rides. Unknown to drivers rushing through our community on their way to somewhere else, these quiet routes are great fun and don't run afoul of forest closures.

Not having to contend with hordes of 'weekend warriors' roaring around in their expensive toys, each looking to 'outdo' the others before heading back to the Valley and it's congestion and heat to partake in the daily grind again, has been a welcomed break from former years.

With state lands and national forests in Arizona closed we've had far less traffic and congestion in our high country, somewhat a two edged sword economically but absolutely necessary for the health and well being of our forests and wild life resources.


..FAILURE is not the opposite of SUCCESS, it's part of what makes SUCCESS..
Re: "They Paved Paradise.. [Re: Az4x4] #151985 07/26/21 10:27 PM
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Muniac Offline
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That's a really nice painting. It's all about progress and/or how one wants to define it. We're losing our open rural spaces at alarming rates. I don't see any end in sight either.

You guys have some serious flooding going on as shown in this VIDEO. We've had a wet Summer so far but nothing like what this video shows. Stay safe.


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Re: "They Paved Paradise.. [Re: Muniac] #151987 07/27/21 01:29 AM
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Az4x4 Offline OP
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That looks like it's in the far east Valley. In years and decades past we had year after year of heavy monsoon rains each summer. Of late it's rare to have rain like we've seen state wide the past couple of weeks or so. Down in the desert, dry as it's been, heavy rain mostly runs off creating flooding conditions that people aren't used to anymore - as demonstrated by the fast drivers through deep flood water across roadways.

Back in the day, as a police officer in Tempe, I saw a lot of stupid drivers try to ford heavy running water across roadways, even bypassing barricades to do so. That's why Arizona passed its 'Stupid Driver' law making stunts like that illegal.

In the White Mountains we've had day after day of heavy rain, but it soaks in better up here that it does in the desert. Flagstaff had some heavy flooding a week ago with runoff from a big fire near town sweeping down residential streets and washing parked cars away. We've had equally heavy rain but the fire we had just north of us not long ago and the burned area it left drains off to the north towards Snowflake, so residential flooding hasn't been a problem. We've had a lot of water running down Buckskin wash, which our property borders, runoff from rainfall high on the Rim 12 miles to the south of us. But the wash handles runoff just fine, emptying a few miles north of our community in the area of the earlier fire that threatened us.

The big benefit up here is that our forests and watershed areas have been heavily saturated, something that's been badly needed for a number of years, dry as these mountain areas and the whole state has been and apparently will continue to be in years to come.

We had a couple of girls washed away in flash flooding, an 18 years old to the north and a 6 years old 150 miles east of the Valley. One body has been found while the other is still being searched for.

We were pretty much dry today, but beginning tomorrow through the next week and a half rain is forecast each day.


..FAILURE is not the opposite of SUCCESS, it's part of what makes SUCCESS..
Re: "They Paved Paradise.. [Re: Az4x4] #151989 07/27/21 11:30 AM
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I'd be curious to see if all the rain has any measurable effect on the lake levels in the area.


This shall pass, be still and know.
2006 XT225, UNI filter, ProTaper bars, MSR handguards, SS front brake line, Shinko 241's.
Re: "They Paved Paradise.. [Re: Az4x4] #151991 07/27/21 02:41 PM
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We're soaked here especially from last night's heavy rain. No damage or washouts, just unusually high ground water levels. Up on 550 north of Red Mountain Pass natural swales will carry rock, mud and debris across the road. Big basins concentrate water that flows fast and furious. CDOT is good about clearing the road quickly. The roads that access our high altitude recreational assets have many water crossings. These can wash out and trap people. The Ridgway Reservoir has benefited from rains. It's still full which is unusual for this time of year. Stage 1 fire restrictions have been lifted. A couple of days ago we had a stellar electrical storm. Best one we've seen out here in 10 years.

George - Glad you're not getting washed out. We've had problems on I70 through Glen Canyon. The fire up there wiped out vegetation with the usual mud slides imminent with wet earth. That section of road is a constant problem. After the cleanup VIDEO.

We're dealing with idiots here and inexperienced drivers resulting in ACCIDENTS. Check out this VIDEO. The young girl still remains in a wheelchair. Dealing with this has placed HUGE loads on mountain rescue, fire crews, law enforcement and emergency medical staff. Death toll here is pretty high too. Less people, less trouble is what I always say. Stay safe.


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Re: "They Paved Paradise.. [Re: Az4x4] #151993 07/28/21 04:48 PM
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Wish some of that rain would end up in lake Powell or Meade.

Re: "They Paved Paradise.. [Re: Az4x4] #151994 07/28/21 06:43 PM
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You're not alone with those wishes for Powell and Meade. And implied concerns. Right now it's a very serious situation with much news coverage about it on YouTube. So Utah wants to build a Lake Powell pipeline so St. George can accommodate their every expanding population? To include green lawns and golf courses! It's a classic WTF moment. FOX10 did a really good bit on this some months ago but I can't find the link. They had graphs, interviews and aerial photos of the scene there. Not especially pleasant viewing.

Some years back Jeannie and I rented a boat and toured Lake Powell which was beautiful then (and full). We also toured the inside of the dam and went down on the transformer deck. They poured cement 24x7 for 3 years to complete that dam. An amazing engineering feat. Now Robert Redford thinks that and other dams should be removed. Some days I wonder what planet I'm living on.


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Re: "They Paved Paradise.. [Re: Az4x4] #152006 07/31/21 09:45 PM
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Az4x4 Offline OP
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If only..

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions.."


..FAILURE is not the opposite of SUCCESS, it's part of what makes SUCCESS..
Re: "They Paved Paradise.. [Re: Az4x4] #152009 08/01/21 01:46 AM
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By far the most serious environmental damage is being done by developers. 50 years ago where I live was a wonderful place. Now it is a nightmare. They have destroyed millions of acres of desert and farm land in Maricopa and Pinal counties with cheaply built stucco houses, shopping malls, streets and freeways. They are doing the same thing in the Pacific Northwest, and cutting down tens of thousands of trees in the process.


The above is my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
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Re: "They Paved Paradise.. [Re: Az4x4] #152010 08/01/21 04:09 PM
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I am glad I didn't buy a condo in Miami...

As we travel around I have seen some lakes that are dry. Either the drought has impacted them severely or the dam's that were built are failing and the lakes drained to keep a catastrophe from happening.

One of the social changes the pandemic has accelerated is awareness of outdoor activities. The RV industry has seen a huge growth in the last couple of years. The 30-40 year olds have done well enough to afford an RV for family camping. They have flooded the RV parks and public campgrounds. On line reservations sell out camping spots 6 months in advance on Friday/Saturday/Sunday. State parks are packed to capacity.

Trailheads become a parking nightmare on the weekend. Bicycle trails become a crash zone from overcrowding. Dog friendly trails have major poo problems. I have seen dogs prohibited from walking in watersheds due to poo bacteria issues in the water systems.

Too say that I am concerned about overcrowding is an understatement. I worry about where my grandchildren will find water. So like others I am too aware of the impact we are having on our planet.

And, I am ashamed to say that I do not have any solutions. The only thing I can see to do is recycle, and leave no trace.

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