Image 3

Border Crossings, Photo by the author, in another life

It is 2117 hours and I have finally been able to connect my wi-fi signal to the Ajo La Siesta Motel.  I’m in my room, where someone has punched out the on-off button for the air conditioner and the man who handed me my key, and led me on a circuitous route through the dark to this cozy cabin warned me the entire way, while randomly poking his flashlight into the bushes, about rattlesnakes.

Love it.

Modern air travel isn’t what it used to be.  Our original flight out of Redmond was delayed two hours for the lack of an oil-filter, or a spark plug, or something which caused us to miss our original connection in Portland, which caused us to not arrive in Phoenix until about 1830, which caused us to make the long drive into the Sonoran desert in the dark.

But I had a double whammy bacon burger in a corner booth of roadside Carl’s Jr., which was not a pleasure enjoyed the Apaches.

I’m afraid that this air travel experiment has run its civilized course.  And I think it is a symptom of something else going on in our culture.  Maybe we are all just becoming each day smaller and tighter and without manners or decorum.

The flight from Redmond to Portland was fine, except for the oil filter bit, but the arc from Portland to Phoenix was a grind.  The lady with the window seat slammed the blinds down so I lost a potentially great view of Zion.  The woman across the aisle snored.  I had a movie moment while I saw a woman with her baby coming down the aisle, and all I could think was “No, please, no, please God, not the baby.”  I said this because I had the aisle seat and the two beside me were initially empty.  She didn’t sit beside me, but rather behind me, which was nearly as bad, once the kid got fired up and began ripping the airplane apart with variations on the art of screaming I have never heard before.  Fortunately, my hearing aids have two channels, and I was able to switch over to Channel 2, which is fantastic for reducing noise coming from my 6 o’clock position.  Not entirely, but it helps.

There were other signs and symptoms of the coming apocalypse, but I’m too tired to relate them all now.  Suffice it to say that when we finally landed in Phoenix an older gentlemen repeatedly whacked my head and shoulders with the cane he had stuffed in the overhead bin, without so much as a cursory nod of apology.  A woman in front of me, who was for some reason carrying a basket of flowers, saw the whole thing, and formed her mouth into a perfect, OMG position, and held it.

The world takes all kinds.  In the meantime, I am having fun, and much good has already come of this foray.  I’m just too tired to say much about it now.  So long as my wi-fi holds up, I’ll be back tomorrow evening with an update on the day’s adventures on the border.

Hasta mañana, amigos.


  1. Well glad you made it Craig…
    It’s a small world ( or so they say ) unless of course you are walking. Air travel may be a notch above especially if you are flying commodity class. It’s all a tiresome process and only long distances justify it. Hell you got a story out of it anyway. All was not lost and you get to do some Gonzo journalism to boot. Where is Dr. Hunter when this political season needs him more than ever. Big boots to fill. Here’s your chance. We’ll be waiting. You chose the right time of the year to take on the Sonoran and not when it is still holding at 100 degrees at midnight…
    Hold fast!

    — ST
    Bedded down at the T T T(Tucson Terminal Truckstop)
    just east of the Ajo Way Highway en route back to Cali. on my way back from El Paso.



    1. You are right, of course, it’s the experience, good, bad, or indifferent. The older I get, and the farther away from police work, the funnier most of it seems. I don’t have Dr. Hunter’s flamboyant streak, at least not anymore. But I’m not above shooting a typewriter, or smashing a printer with a sledgehammer, either. We are haunting the same country. Safe travels.

      Liked by 1 person



    Air travel may be a notch above […]

    Should be:

    Air travel may ( only ) be a notch above […]

    The difference between being the meat in a sandwich or not. As it is, I am sandwiched into the last spot here at the Triple T having arrived late myself. Lucky to get it. Thoughts of Edward Abbey…

    — ST



    1. Funny, I was thinking about Abbey too…The Last Cowboy, or something like that.



  3. Do good work. Our younger son, Bob, is currently in L.A. and Sacto doing film work. He just posted that on the LA to SAC leg, someone opened his checked luggage and stole an essential tool he needs for adjusting his camera platform, his dress shirt (for interviewing the governor) three pairs of socks, and a pocketknife that was his grandfather’s. Flying sucks. Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2016 04:34:23 +0000 To: cynthia_wall@msn.com



    1. It isn’t what it should be. Worse, even. And I feel justified to make that comparison, based on what I knew, once. We are in trouble.



  4. A perfect start…likely got your mind right for what comes next! Step lightly.



    1. Jim, it is worse than I thought. Truly.



  5. “ If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes. ”

    — Charles A. Lindbergh

    He would know…

    — ST
    Climbing Indio hill…



    1. He would indeed. So would St. Exupery.



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