The Triangle in Surprise

If you are a map freak (half of you reading this just clicked away), you might spend some time trolling on Google Earth to find interesting things. (Another 20 percent of you are now asleep on your keyboards.) I personally find this trolling over the desert more fun that watching almost anything on TV.

No surprise that I found another triangle for my collection. Over the last few weeks, I’ve found big equilateral triangles in the desert. They look like a big “on” button left by the first peoples. You can see one by clicking on the link below. It’s northwest of Surprise, Arizona:
Surprise, AZ

I know we have petroglyphs, but this was manmade. Some research turned up their age and use–they were built during WW II as airplane landing strips. By making the triangle equilateral, each side is 60 degrees. By making each side wide enough to land a plane in either direction, you had six airstrips, and never had to land a plane with more than 30 degrees cross wind. Genius. Not as interesting as the 1997 light triangles over Phoenix, but a fun discovery.
–Quinn McDonald is a writer and artist who lives in the Sonoran Desert.