Cactus Jack

We are hanging out South of Quartzite again for a few days waiting for some packages to arrive at Quiet Times in town. The last item is showing up today and then we will be decamping to Slab City to meet up with some folks we met at the RTR and to see that “art mountain” and what the whole scene is like.

After the morning’s coffee ritual we go on a dog walk which is, essentially, Willow leading and me following wherever her nose takes her. As is my habit of late I am walking, head down, looking for rocks that might pique my interest when I notice that Willow has stopped at the base of some spooky apparition ahead. Cactus Jack has appeared.

Cactus Jack Bidding us a Pleasant Morning
Cactus Jack Bidding Us A Pleasant Morning

We may be wrong but we’re guessing that is his name and that he popped up in this place in January because of his “name tag.”

Cactus Jack's Name Tag
Cactus Jack’s Name Tag

A marker was left behind for fellow visitors to leave their mark.

The Rock telling us we can leave our mark
Apparently Cactus Jack Has Approved Additional Markers

Since his appearance in January several others had done so before us including one person who Came From The Future. Spooky.

Lola From Idaho And The Future
Lola From Idaho And The Future (Pic taken on Feb. 19th)

For fun and to follow suit we left our mark as well.

Our Rock
A Bit Of Shameless Self-Promotion

All fun and kidding aside, in general we kind of frown on stunts like this as all the materials to make Cactus Jack so visible and cheery are in fact garbage out here in the desert and the writing on the rocks technically graffiti. In this case we are playing along as this is a relatively high traffic area and we are hoping that, once Cactus Jack gives up his ghost and topples, someone like us who leaves an area cleaner than when they arrived will pick up the detritus left over. Also, the marker, while “permanent,” will really only last for a couple of months in these desert conditions before the sun and wind-blown sand have scoured the marks from the rocks.

We actually like the idea of a desert ghost reanimating the frame of a once stately and now long deceased saguaro for a short period of time. We would not be surprised if the Spirit of Cactus Jack follows in our footsteps for a while and finds another cacti carcass to possess somewhere else out along the roads we travel. Foreshadowing?

One thought on “Cactus Jack

  1. tim

    Jack is a one of a kind we are the ones that found him and yes took the garbage and made him. We are Tim and Ladawn. If he is still there next year as we come through, I am going to write a short story of cactus Jack and all the bad children and post it as a camp fire story. So we hope all enjoy him and take care of him so we may return with a camp fire story to be read. Thank you Tim& Ladawn

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