Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-xii

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Introduction: Stories Make a River

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pp. 1-6

IN THE HILLS called the Sierra de los Ajos, the earth squeezes forth a tiny trickle of water that is the seed of the San Pedro River.
The Sierra de los Ajos and its neighboring Sierra de la Mariquita spill northwest off the foothills of the great Sierra Madre Occidental, two of dozens of sierritas, or "little mountains," that fan out from the foothills like toes sinking into the grassy plains of northeastern Sonora, Mexico....

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1. Border to Palominas

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pp. 7-27

THUNDER FALLS OFF the shoulders of the Huachuca Mountains and boils east across the San Pedro River valley. The muddy San Pedro laps at the toe of my boot while the other boot swings on the sagging and rusting barbed wire fence that casually marks the international boundary with Mexico. When the thunder passes, the fence trembles, a message from the gods that I am not in an ideal location for experiencing a summer storm in southern Arizona....

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2. Palominas to Hereford

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pp. 28-48

ALTHOUGH IT SHOULDN'T surprise me, it always does: human behavior can be remarkably predictable, bordering on atavistic. Like the human love of campfires. For perhaps millions of years, up to this day, most humans, urbanite and peasant alike, feel drawn to and comforted by the soft lick of flame, the smell of wood smoke in hair and clothes. Our genetic memory must tell us that campfires are safe havens from the...

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3. Hereford Road to Highway 90

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pp. 49-69

JUST AFTER 1 P.M. my hu,band, Jonathan, drives off, waving, leaving me and photographer Jack Dykinga standing on the western bank of the San Pedro River at the Hereford bridge, adjusting our backpacks and drinking a few more liters of water. It is a beautiful November day, perfect 80-degree air ruffling the newly golden leaves in the cottonwoods. We are at the beginning of a 40-mile trek down the river to Fairbank....

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4. Highway 90 to Charleston

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pp. 70-94

DAWN HAD BEGUN to stain the eastern sky a faint salmon, and clouds squatted on the horizon all around. At the Genesis Aviation hangar near Tucson International's Executive Terminal, Sandy Lanham of Environmental Flying Seryice was giving her plane a preflight walkaround- oil, flaps, controls, lights, tires. The air reeked of jet fuel and vibrated with the whine of engines. Every few minutes we had to stop talking while a roaring plane hurtled down a nearby runway....

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5. Charleston to Fairbank

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pp. 95-116

"TIMBER DEPREDATIONS IN southern Arizona are becoming so extensive that there is just cause for alarm. Even the palo verde trees are being stripped from the mesa lands."
So exclaimed an editorial in the Arizona Daily Star, March 7, 1884, describing the woodcutting in southern Arizona. According to Tellman, Yarde, and Wallace, authors of Arizona's Changing Rivers and researchers at the Water Resources Research Center at the University of...

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6. Fairbank to St. David Ciénega

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pp. 117-134

IT WAS 1775 when Irish soldier of fortune Colonel Hugo Q'Conor, in the employ of the King Carlos III of Spain, stood on the western bank of the Rio de San Pietro a few miles north of the Rio de Babocomari and declared it the perfect site. Unlimited fresh water, high ground from which to keep an eye on enemies, abundant game, and river terraces for growing crops-indeed, it seemed like an excellent site for a royal...

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7. Benson to the Gila River

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pp. 135-153

I WAS INTRIGUED by its title, "Mesquite: Regarding a Resource (A Workshop on the Ecological and Socio-Economic Values of Mesquite Trees and Their By-Products)." But when I called one of the organizers in the tiny community of Cascabel, on the lower San Pedro River about 25 miles north of Benson, and told her I was a journalist interested in writing about the event and the community, a definite chill translated over the fiber optics....

Appendix 1. Species Lists

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pp. 154-183

Appendix 2. Resources

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pp. 184-187

Chapter Notes and Citations

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pp. 188-194

Suggested Reading

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pp. 195-198

Index

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pp. 199-206

About the Author

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pp. 207-207