Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Within Arizona's boundaries, that means one of two places: the mountains or the desert.

The mountains, of which we have many, are a favored location when the heat bears down on us.

The desert, of which we have a lot, is where we go in the wintertime, when it's pleasantly warm.

Back in the day, a group of us used to gather in the White Tanks, west of Phoenix.

It was raw desert and our guide and grilling master, John Alba, used to scout the area and find a prime location earlier in the week.

John was an outdoorsman and an expert at Dutch Oven cookery over coals.

A small pit would be dug in a cleared area, wood would be gathered from the desert and flamed until there was a hot bed of coals.

Then the pots would be placed and loaded with chicken and biscuits and beans and other goodies.

John would always make a big show of dumping an entire bottle (or two) of Tabasco into the chicken pots.

It somehow cooked off and the chicken was only a tad spicy.

We all wore hats and I came in a Che Guevara t-shirt just to bug John, whose politics were on the other side of the spectrum.

The cookouts were great fun, enjoyed by a wild bunch of friends.

Good times, good travels to the Great Sonoran Desert.

I would imagine that whole area has been developed now by an ever-growing Greater Phoenix.


  1. John was the Master at Dutch Oven cooking. Always a great outing.

  2. Will have to explore this tabasco sauce idea.

  3. Looks like a good time, and good food.

  4. At least this pristine spot can remain untouched in your memory.

  5. Pardon me for saying, but John looks like CIA. You were really waiting for the aliens to land, weren't you? That's only about a day away from Roswell...by CAR. Which aliens wouldn't be driving...

  6. I visited the Sonora Desert Museum as a kid, marvelous place.