Down a dirt road, facing the jagged hills of the Spring Mountains, lies a piece of desolate land which is now a beautiful desert turned shooting dump site. As you get a little closer you realize what you thought to be mere trash was really, all once, targets for shooting. Vast amounts of spent ammunition and bullet ridden garbage cover this desert landscape. It appears as though this area has been an illegal shooting range for decades.
How did so many people find this place? Probably the same way I did, by word of mouth. It was amazing I even found the dismal location myself. I was given basic directions that involved the words “dirt road” and “hang a left at the pile of rocks.” They then added “You will know you’ve arrived at the right spot when you see what looks like the beginning of a land fill.” The further you walk towards the hills the more you realize how much damage has been done. From the piles of shot up books to the blown up cactus; it’s sad to see what our human race has done to nature.
The cactus and tress that remain struggle to survive and be seen as the winds have pushed empty clay pigeon boxes, plastic wrap, buckets, and pretty much anything light weight up against them. This has created a “fence like” barrier in some places.
I hate to say it but it even looks as if someone brought their horse for target practice. All that is remaining is a skeleton and horse shoes which are still attached to the bone. In some spots you might have thought a murder had taken place. Pieces of clothing, shoes, and even children’s toys all contribute to the overall eerie feeling of this place.
As the day comes to an end one can almost forget where they are when the low sunlight reflects off the broken glass. The glistening jewel like shards offer an odd type of multi-colored beauty in the foreground of the setting sun. As if nature, with all it’s beauty, was still trying to shine through the destruction. If I thought the sunset and landscape were beautiful covered in trash, I can only imagine what it would have looked like untouched.
Why do people decide to come out here instead of a shooting range where you wouldn’t be harming the environment? Could it be because you can’t take out your frustrations on your computer that stopped working? Or maybe because of a car that gave you so much trouble. Whatever the reason, we need to find a solution. Whether it be opening a range where you can bring in your own targets or just simply picking up after yourself, something needs to be done.
When I finally got home I looked up the location on Google Maps. I was unfortunately not surprised to find that you could see the remnants of torn and tattered trash from satellite imagery.