Walking the Arizona desert in 100 degree heat is no joke. I’ve done it before. During my travels I wasn’t out there alone and I had plenty of water to get me to my final stop. I was beyond well-prepared for the occasion, but it didn’t take away from the brutal heat, sun exposure and vast silent nothingness the desert so often revealed. On the flip side there are secrets only the wind carries, the skull of animal or worse – a human and border patrol know. My 20-mile stretch nothing in comparison to the journey made by hundreds of thousands Mexican migrants each day.
National Geographic Adventure Magazine has a spectacular story and photo gallery on the plight of the illegal migrant. Photographer John Annerino and contributing editor Tim Cahill spent nine days in the Sonora Desert borderlands of southwestern Arizona’s Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge discovering what goes down in one of America’s most troubled wilderness areas. One word – chaos. Imagine migrant groups battling it out with border bandits, vigilantes, Mexican coyotes and dehydration. If that isn’t enough already throw drug smugglers and the U.S. border patrol and what we have is a very ugly reality of one of the hardest types of travel known to man. The hunt for opportunity and better living in the land of the free could very well be in the hands of many migrants so long as they can make it in, through and well-out of the Devil’s Highway.
The story is truly phenomenal and the gallery just the same. If you’ve got the time I suggest you head over for a read. Makes you think.