Home Sweet Home

130601-Bitsy-ASC_3305LSsEveryone knows why Bitsy and I are leaving home, at least for the summertimes. It’s because I (and many other people, but most of them don’t know it) am “sensitive to” (that means it makes me run into the bathroom and upchuck, which is not a good way of life, or in lesser doses, it’s just feeling yucky) to combustion products. Combustion means burning. The yuckiness
depends on what is burning.

130601-LosSuenos-ASC_3336RLSsALL burning consumes oxygen to release energy by breaking down various substances that burn. They all give off carbon dioxide and water. That’s a climate change story – about the health of the biosystem more than the health of me. And burning also gives off various kinds of tars, right? We know that. And nicotine, if it’s tobacco burning. And all sorts of other toxic substances, like candles, diesel fuel, have their own tars and other byproducts. That’s about the health of me. Combustion products make me (and actually most people, just wait, think Alzheimers, asthma, allergies, pneumonia, obesity, depression) sick. You’ll find out soon enough, just wait.

130601-ToChama-ASC_3245RLSsI don’t want to wait. The Brazos Valley is now full of combustion products and other toxic compounds such as pesticides, herbicides, perfume, cleaning substances, diesel, oil wells, fracking, coal fired power plants, and much more. It’s in the air, in the summertime especially. The only way to avoid them would be to stop breathing. I don’t want to do that, or to be sick, so
last week we left the Brazos Valley, heading for the pristine Rocky Mountains.

130601-ToChama-ASC_3248RLSsGetting dark, we stopped at the Pipeliner Hotel in some little town in Texas where the room had so much perfume we could not sleep. Tried the face mask, doesn’t work with perfume, and so we ended up, the two of us twisted up in the front seat of the pickup across the
alley from the motel where the air was not so bad.

130601-ToChama-ASC_3252RLSsDid I say this was supposed to be a shortcut to Chama? And then we drove and drove and drove and after a while we came to Amarillo and got lost. And then we drove and drove, Texas is pretty big, until we got to Dumas. And from Dumas to Dalhart we drove through a dust storm worthy of the 30’s. And there was a very strange person out plowing his dusty field as the wind was blowing his soil away into the air and into my pickup. Out with the face mask again, until we got to Dalhart, where we spent the night in a much cleaner motel, but we still had the fan in the bathroom running full blast and the door cracked open just a little bit to clear the cleaning products from the air.

130601-ToChama-ASC_3258RLSsThe next day was bright and wonderfully clear. We stepped outside and breathed. And breathed. And got in the car and drove up and up and up until, at about 8000 feet, the bends struck, also known as altitude sickness from changing too fast, and so we stopped first at the roadside rest that is complete with a corral to rest the horses, and then a fine breakfast just up the hill in Perico, where the real cowboys eat, and featuring some very nice pictures by a local artist. This part of the “shortcut” was quite worth all the driving.

130601-ToChama-ASC_3254RLSsAcross the high plains, finally we left Texas behind, in to New Mexico, and moving up into the National Forest, winding around on route 63, and down again into Taos and about 80 miles of desert shrub with more and better dirt devils. Slap on that old mask again. And, here we are in our new back yard. Look at that enormous rock that probably fell all the way down from the cliff.

Home sweet home. Hear the wind in the pines.

130531-Monero-ASC_3266RLSsBut no, the house is full of the smell of mothballs, that’s not only toxic but also carcinogenic. The rattlesnake on the porch slithered under the house, and Bitsy rolled in something seriously dead. And somehow we simply could not feel at home.

So we drove on down to Santa Fe. Just in time for the forest fires.