Dejado Atrás: We arrived at the Arivaca Creek trailhead on the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge where a pair of women emerged from their car and greeted us. They asked if we thought the refuge headquarters was open. Seemed likely, we thought, it being early afternoon on a weekday. They explained that the last time they visited, Border Patrol stopped them and told them that the headquarters were closed and that it wasn’t safe for them to leave their vehicle due to heavy migrant and drug traffic in the area. We tried to assure them that the migrants are no threat and that the drug runners have no desire to interact with them. They allowed that we may be right, but that they’d rather not lay eyes on any of them.
Leaving those folks to their imagined peril, we wandered down the trail and soon came across a campsite that more than one group of migrants had used. Food tins, beverage cans, well-worn shoes and other detritus of camp had accumulated in a trash barrel outside an old adobe ranch house that despite being burnt out, still provided some cover and sense of relative security. Circling the house, we discovered the real danger presented by migrants in the desert when we were ambushed emotionally by a teddy bear who had been left behind.