Cabeza Prieta, ArizonaPhoto by Laurel PeacockThe Cabeza Prieta is the name of a desert mountian range in the middle of a vast, unoccupied region of southwestern Arizona. Before the destructive and unnecessary border fence was erected along the Mexican border, this intact, huge desert ecosystem extended south into the Penecates and Gran Desiereto of Sonora.

I didn't always do so much walking out on the Cabeza Prieta. My first trips out there, beginning in the late sixties, were made in the usual fashion, driving a pickup across the Devil's Highway or easing a jeep up the sandy tracks of the spur roads. Most of these trips and ninety percent of my several dozen non-solo visits to the Cabeza Prieta were taken with two closefriends named Ed: Ed Gage and Ed Abbey.

Later, when truck camping seemed tame and I needed a bit of adventure in my life, I decided to try to walk across the Cabeza Prieta alone, covering 120 to 165 miles, depending on the route I took. Taking it easy, I usually make the trip in about eleven days, ten nights.


Read more about the Cabeza Prieta in The Bombing Range from Walking It Off

"Counting Sheep" is a testimony to my own dead and a celebration of the most impostant thing Ed Abbey and I ever shared: The vast desert wilderness of the Cabeza Prieta.

Counting Sheep, July 1993

Counting Sheep

Gary Paul Nabhan (University of Arizona Press, 1993)
Download a pdf (2.8mb) or read online


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