If you’ve driven the stretch of Interstate 40 across northern Arizona between Gallup and Holbrook, you’ve perhaps seen the signs for a place called Goodwater. If you’ve not, trust me – there’s not much good water around those parts. The story of human settlement in the region is the story of the struggle for good water, precisely because there is so little of it. Holbrook, the nearest town to Goodwater I could find with a long term weather record, averages 8 inches (20 cm) of precipitation a year.
Goodwater, I once wrote, “has always looked to me like one of the driest places on earth.”
Which is why Richard White’s description of Rock Springs, Wyoming, in Railroaded struck me:
Despite the town’s name, its water came in by tank cars.
Rock Springs gets about the same annual precip as Goodwater, near as I can tell.
Any other favorite watery names in the arid West?