Sunday, January 22, 2012

Crossing over.

I can't stop myself from blogging.  It's NaBloHoMo around here.

We're scooting around the border with Mexico, which seems exotic and exciting to this country duck.  We want to give all due credence to sensible warnings, while blocking out the extreme and sensational.  You border-dwellers and -crossers, how do you make your decisions?

Here's how I made our sleeping decision last night:  heebie-jeebies.  We did all our fill-uppy things at the Flying J on the Texas side.  Still,  we were determined to cruise on into New Mexico for the night, and we rolled about 1/2 mile into the NM Welcome Center.  It's a pretty little building, secluded and quiet.  So secluded and quiet, and not visible from the road.  At 6 PM, after sunset, we were the only motorists in the entire lot.  No staff and no security, and then, no us.  We headed back to the perceived safety of a Pilot travel center.

We're actually pretty familiar with border issues.  Back in NYS, there were stories of mules:  innocent-looking U.S. citizens crossing back into our borders smuggling basic health-care for all.  Scofflaws flouting international regulations and filling their prescriptions in Canada, trafficking in recreational Crestor and Celebrex.

Photobucket

Speaking of border issues, here's a Border Patrol stop ... Annie!  Stop looking guilty, for Pete's sake.

Afternoon.  Just you two middle-aged, white women?

Yessir.  We are not, nor have we ever joked about becoming, coyotes for the purpose of making a living and supporting our mobile lifestyle.

Okay, you can go.

I'm not saying these guys are profiling. But, along with the sad decline and bodily softening of age comes a certain comfortable invisibility. They try to imagine us as dangerous criminals, but instead, they think of their moms.

Photobucket
Little Duck on a big desert.
As we drive, I see dozens of little roads I'd like to head down.  This gives me B-ness envy.  Size matters, and this Duck has to stay off many intriguing roads.

Photobucket  
Annie wants to see one of these cuidados.  I am not so brave, and would settle for a live prudencia.
Annie's sinuses have started to hurt.  Do you deserters have suggestions? Is it the elevation?  The dry air?

Pin It

39 comments:

turquoisemoon said...

Yep...go to Santa Fe, NM...!!! I'm a reeel weenie about being so isolated. Stay safe!!!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Turquoise, the sinuses stop hurting there? One more reason to go there!

Rubye Jack said...

Naw, no profiling down there. Last year driving from El Paso into NM they didn't even have me stop, like everyone else, and just waved me through.

Isn't it just so incredibly beautiful!!!

Maggie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maggie said...

Neti pot.

http://www.amazon.com/Himalayan-Institute-Ceramic-Neti-Pot/dp/B000WJIC3G

I am so jealous, sinuses and all... Neti pot and me would be on next plane if I only could.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Rubye Jack, I'm glad they could at least SEE you. And, yes. It's stunningly beautiful here.

Maggie, good idea. We sort of hung our neti pot up in a Cupboard of Shame after Louisiana, but I agree that boiling up a little water might be worth it. Unfortunately, our pot is lowly plastic, but it still netis.

Maggie said...

The Neti pot is ashamed because...?? Humidity in LA, I'm guessing?

It could also be atmospheric pressure in the high altitude, but one gets used to that. I think moisture is most important. I have never boiled my water for it, but I do use pharmaceutical salt. Boiling certainly won't hurt, and no, neither will plastic.

The Good Luck Duck said...

While we were in Louisiana, there was a fatal case of brain-eating amœbae in the parish we were in. We backed away from the neti in terror. Those stories always make me roll my eyes, but there was an actual amœba in the TAP WATER of that parish that got into the sinuses via neti pot. I had never boiled neti water, either.

PetDoc said...

FWIW, every time I travel West, my sinuses start bothering me, esp. if the dust is stirred up by wind. And I'm FROM the West. So, I usually try the old "head under towel over steam" trick. Also, thanks for posting the video on massage for sinus drainage. I think it helps. One more thing--it's nice to read of other people who are as cautious about places as I am. I try not to be overly paranoid, but...just sayin'... :)
Living vacariously thru your blog while currently land-locked....

Maggie said...

EWWWW!!!!!!!!! Um, yes, I can see why boiling became a habit right quick...

Also, any way you can just humidify the duck. Boil a pan of water...?

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

Congrats on finally making it out west. Remmeber ... You're wanted, duck or alive!

Protip: Don't pick any mushrooms you might happen across in the desert. The poultry out here can get a might large and peckish.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rT4UmxqoFt4

Judy and Emma said...

After spending a summer in the high desert of Utah, (Dinosaur Nat'l Monument) I have tended to bypass such dry environs. It changed my voice for the time I was there. Of course that combined dryness and some altitude.

Guess I'm more comfortable with muggy, except for my arthritis...?

The Good Luck Duck said...

Doc, I know what you mean. I try to only be as paranoid as is healthy. Those videos have helped us, too - glad they're working for you.

Steve, we won't forget our wanted status: Duck or Alive. And, things seem pretty big to me when I'm unaltered; I'll stay clear away from the 'shrooms.

Maggie, the Duck is usually pretty much the way the outdoors is. It's pretty permeable. But, maybe something more localized like a towel over a pan, or the neti will help.

Judy, I'm gonna give the desert a good, hard try. I've lived in humidity all my life. Parts of me are moss-covered.

Nance said...

It's been twenty+ years since I spent any time in the desert. Thanks for the visit. What brave ducks you seem to me, even when you're hightailing it to the travel center.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Thanks, Nance. I don't think we feel especially brave, but I like hearing that we seem it.

Sue Malone said...

oops. love the desert, but yup, dry desert air does a number on the sinuses. You'll get used to it. I nearly fell out of my chair when I said "B-ness Envy" out loud. Just a little slow here, but sooo funny.

Barbara and Ron said...

I remember the amoeba story. Didn't they recommend buying distilled water for the neti pot? You could just try spraying your nose with Ocean Spray saline solution a few times a day. That works pretty well for me.

JC said...

What is a neti?

JC

Gaelyn said...

Dry and high will both get the sinuses. Either you get used to it over time, maybe with some of these suggestions, or you don't. The SW blowing desert dust kicks in my sinusitis. Glad I live at a little higher elevation with less dust. It's great out here. Hope our paths cross.

Sherry said...

It's another stamp on my weirdness passport. Out there in the deep bright desert southwest my sinus were paying no attention but my eyes just refused the dryness. Good luck Duck!

Andra Watkins said...

My nose always hurts in the desert, too. It shrivels in that dry air. I agree with everyone else. If you've gotten used to doing the neti pot, you should go back to it, especially in the dry air. A humidifier or a steamy shower also helps me.

Page said...

I have a brother who lives in Santa Fe. He uses his neti regularly. Even here in the humid south, I neti in the winter because the air is much dryer than the rest of the year. Distilled water is the way to go.

May Annie's sinuses be happy and well!

Lou said...

The quick and easy relief is Q-tips and plain old Vaseline. Just a smidge inside each nostril and that will provide some protection.

Soooo, are you sure that you are not nor have ever been coyotes? There's a lot of that desert reincarnation going around, you know.

Desert Diva said...

You're probably gone on by now, but I actually live in Las Cruces. You were correct to follow your instincts and not stay at the isolated Welcome Center. Some time ago, someone was murdered there. Las Cruces has two "friendly" WalMarts that you could have used for your overnight. Sorry, I missed you all coming through...

intrepid-decrepit-traveler said...

One more thought on dusty desert dryness: Drink LOTS of water. Hydration is the key... and it helps lubricate those bone-dry painful sinus cavities!

G'wan down to Organ Pipe Cactus Nat'l Monument in AZ near the Mexican border. We were there in Jan '08 and, tho we'd been warned by a friend to stay away from the area, we loved it. Felt very safe.

Janie and John said...

I had more sinus and allergy problems in the SW last year then I ever did in the midwest where ragweed reigns. I'm not sure if it was the dryness or the allergens but it was a small price to pay for being away from the snow. :)

The Good Luck Duck said...

OMG DESERT DIVA!!! That gave me chills. In fact, I said KAIYIYI! Word must be out about the place now, it just hadn't gotten to us yet.

Sue, thanks for saying it out loud. I was afraid I had just thrown that one away.

B&R, it seems like distilled would be safe, having been boiled (I'm assuming). I just remember them saying "boil." We may look for a solution like you describe.

JC, a neti pot is just a little gizmo that looks a bit like a tea pot, but with a long snout for your snout. You put warm water and a very mild bicarb/salt mixture in and ... well, I'll let you Google the details. It feels like it did when you were a kid and got a schnoz full of pool water, but that's about it.

Gaelyn, I hope we do cross paths. To meet you, and to get better acquainted with your 'hood. I've never seen anything as awe-inspiring as the Canyon, and I hope I never do, because the awe knocked me over.

Ah, Sherry, the eyes! We'll see what happens there.

Andra and Page, we did neti last night with boiled water (what we had available). I think it helped. Page, we used it up north, too, even when it was warm and humid.

Lou, I'll try that, too. No, I can't swear to it. I hope we were at least ethical coyotes like on Weeds.

Intrepid, GREAT advice about the water. It lubes everything up. I think I'll become fashionably deserty and keep a can of water always by my side.

I think there's a lot to be said for our instincts. I mean, we didn't make it this far as a species by habitually making bad choices. But, it's hard for me to separate fear from instinct or intuition.

Janie, I hear you. I jumped out of the Duck this morning in my t-shirt and shivered a little until I got into the sun. My friends back in NYS aren't sympathetic.

Pam and Wayne said...

I am a HUGE fan of neti. I have 2 stainless steel ones I ordered on Amazon. They took forever to get here but were worth it. They hold twice as much water as the plastic or ceramic kind, and won't melt or break! I boil my water because I don't want to fuss with buying distilled, then reuse the previously boiled water the next time so I don't have to wait for it to cool down. I also use a simple bottle of saline spray before bed, that would probably help out in between using the neti in a dry climate.

Andra Watkins said...

I had to come back and tell you that I've been laughing at NaBloHoMo all day.

Hope Annie's feeling back to normal.

Karen and Al said...

I just never quite know how to respond to your blog. :)

I did post a picture on my blog, just for you guys!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Ooh, stainless steel neti pots! That's the kind of fancy I can't resist. Good idea about boiling more than what I need at once.

Andra, thank you for coming back to say that. It made me snicker to write it, and I'm glad it did something similar for you.

Karen, other people tell me my writing leaves them speechless, too. Your manatee pictures are SO GREAT! I want to pet them. And, get on that Lucky Duck boat! And, not at the same time. Manatee + motorboats = bad.

Soaring Sun said...

Another vote here for the neti pot. I also use the inexpensive plastic one from NeilMed. Works fine. I fill it with boiled water from the tea kettle after I've made tea or coffee, then let it cool or add some cool water to it. I use water purchased from those 25 cent per gallon water kiosks that are everywhere in the SW.

Soaring Sun said...

Oh, I forgot, about profiling. I have learned to tell the Border Patrol that I am a "SnowBird." There are never any more questions after that except sometimes some friendly ones.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Sue, thanks for the "snowbird" tip; I wouldn't have thought of that. Our neti is lightweight plastic, too. I'll get into the habit of boiling more than I need.

Angie Mizzell said...

Ditto Andra about NaBloHoMo. I'm a little late to this party but I can't blame it on dry air... I'll blame it on about to pop pregnancy. Your story (sort of) reminds me of the time my husband-then-boyfriend and I drove across the Canadian border. On the way out the officer asked what we did over there. "We had lunch," Shawn said. "You drove all the way from South Carolina to have lunch?" "Yes," he said. And he let us go.

¡Vizcacha! said...

Angie, that's hilarious. It makes me wonder what kinds of things those guys hear every day. He was probably thankful to hear something that made him laugh.

stillhowlyn said...

Don't like pushing products but...Ocean sinus irrigation works for this desert dweller.

As frequent travelers south of the border, we stick to day time driving and high profile roads.

hobopals said...

I had an awful time in NM high desert. For me, I think it's a combination altitude, dust, and dryness. Someone recommended lifesavers...nope, didn't do a thing.

I didn't know about the Neti pot, but that's what I would use. In fact, if I'm EVER in the desert, again, I'll have one in the trailer. I'd just be sure to use distilled or sterilized water as manufacturers recommend. Anything for relief. I swear, my nose is starting to feel dry just remembering!

Post a Comment

Quack here!