I stumbled across the March 1955 issue of Desert magazine. I was fascinated by the articles, the photography and the ads. Nearly every page had an ad for a Geiger Counter, with an accompanying promise to strike it rich prospecting for Uranium. It reminded me of the story of Charlie Steen, or the legendary yarn recounted by Abbey in Desert Solitaire of Albert T. Husk, a man double crossed by his financier, shot dead, and whose son rode a flash flood for days into the wilderness, only to die of exposure.
Tucked amongst ads for Indian jewelery, Mexican vacations, the nostalgic photography, and headlines like “Where Burros Collect the Garbage and No One Pays Rent” was an amusing source of entertainment.
And not just any quiz, but a desert quiz. A chance to test your knowledge of the mysterious and vast wasteland of the American Southwest, the questions are both hilarious and thoughtful. Some more absurd than sincere, others so obscure that it is no wonder that “19 is an exceptionally high score–one that few people ever attain.”
Take the quiz. Test your wits about the desert. And find out if 53 years later you are any better off than the 1955 readers of Desert magazine.