I'm taking a road trip through the southwest, and I'd like to see places with an interesting backstory or that show you "behind the scenes." I'm interested in places with political, economic, environmental, or industrial significance. Can you recommend some?
Here's the route: Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Moab, Phoenix. I have 11 days. I've done most of this as a tourist before, so I'm interested in seeing some of the more hidden sights.
As I said, I'm interested in the politics, economics, history, environmental, and industrial factors behind the landscape. I'm still modifying the route so I can check out interesting places. Here are the kind of places I'm talking about:
- power infrastructure (Black Mesa, the Glen Canyon Dam)
- water infrastructure (aqueducts, river diversions?)
- the nuclear program (I'm missing the Trinity Test Site visitor day by a week! Should I still go to Alamogordo? Where to go near Los Alamos?)
- mining booms and busts, related pollution (Moab's uranium tailings pile
; oil, gas, and coalbed methane development)
- industrial-scale production of anything from cattle to computer chips
- Native American history (the Cochise stronghold)
- prisons, military bases, and other nearly-blank spaces on the map (obviously, I can't enter, but I would like to know they're there)
- anything else related to political, economic, or cultural geographies (I really like Jake Kosek
- wildlife protection or environmental restoration areas, current environmental disputes
I'm interested in current or upcoming issues, not just history, and I have just started trying to get up to speed about some of the work going on now. If you have anything interesting you'd like to share but would need kept fairly quiet, my email is in my profile. (I work for an environmental nonprofit, so I understand that certain information is sensitive and needs to stay fairly confidential to keep sites from being defaced or overrun with visitors, or to protect ongoing acquisitions, negotiations, or investigations.)