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Voice: Tranquil dunes become war zone

March 06, 2002

The Imperial sand dunes continually change their shape with every gust of wind in a constant evolution that has gone on for millennia.

The desert that seems at first blush a desolate wasteland is at times vibrant with life that lives under an incredible night sky. If you experience the desert moon rise, the fantastic sunrise or our incredible sunsets it gives you added appreciation for the beauty and solitude of the area.

Then you see the weekend animals that migrate there from the west, east, north and south. The tranquil desert becomes a scene from the movie "Mad Max" with riders bunching together to charge off into areas like banshees in pursuit of unknown prey.

The dirt in the air, coupled with the smell of gasoline and other noxious fumes, remind me of the movie "Apocalypse Now," and all that is needed by these humans is the smell of napalm engulfing the earth in its flames in order to quell their incessant demand for excitement.

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These tranquil dunes become a war zone patrolled by small, narcissistic groups whose bent is self-gratification at any cost. The young are constantly being trained by the old and more and more and more and more money is spent to gratify their demands for excitement.

There are millions of dollars invested by these visitors so they may come and enjoy the desert that they never see. I look at the area after the onslaught and shed a tear for the environment that the hoards decimate and never care to see.

DAVID FORRESTER

El Centro

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