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WEDNESDAY, 3/28/01: Bed 11:55PM.

THURSDAY, 3/29/01: Wake 1:55. Make list at 3:33 and pee. 4AM take melitonin. 5:50-7:30 toss and turn and think; up at 7:30, tired. Fuss to 8, breakfast and finish tasks to 8:20. Garbage down and mail letters to 8:35. TOTALLY ready at 8:40 and phone rings JUST as I write 8:40! To airport by 9:10 and airport shows 22.5 pounds for my bags at 9:18. Fred drinks coffee, which he says makes him feel worse than before. Start USA Today puzzle at gate D5 at 10AM. Last seats on left behind wing. 3:20 flight is off at 11:12, clouded at 11:20 after Shea Stadium and airport and bridges views. Small bumps and nervousness lead me to pay $4 for a Heineken, which makes me feel better. Cheese pizza and salad "breakfast" is filling enough. Land at 2:28 after 3:16. Roam ugly familiar Dallas-Fort Worth concourse and re-board. 78° in Tucson in 2 hours. Off at 3:53. Set watch from 4:12 to 2:12 after about fifteen tries! It's finally starting to clear of clouds. Clear before landing at 3:49, only 1:56. Odd areas of seeming building-plots along spider-line dirt roads which haven't been bought or built on yet. Small sets of mountains just before Tucson, some snow-topped. No view of town as we land. Out of plane at 3:58, slightly headachy, having peed in the john while waiting to vacate the plane. Check Alamo OK, while Enterprise has only sport utes at $60. We get ABOUT $50/day rate after adding to the $29/day rate the $5/day for an extra driver and the $8/day for some sort of extra insurance Fred wants and the 20% set of taxes. Fred pays with his American Express, which gives some coverage. We pay about $150 for three days by 4:30. Out to car in heat, and I've taken off my flannel shirt and sport my Galapagos T-shirt. Warm sun until we get into the breezy car, and then it feels just great. LONG 13 miles I drive to Doubletree suites at 5:15. Fred checks us in while I sit in the car, then we park, fuss with a stalled elevator, then up to spacious suites to unpack on inadequate surfaces and find there are no CHAIRS to move, so I move the round table to the square telephone-box and find it the perfect height [did I type this before??]. Fred does a shower while I look at magazines and hope to get a reservation for Kartchner by calling at 8:30AM tomorrow. We manage to get out to the car by 6:25PM, hoping to catch the spectacular sunset on the hills driving out, but the sun sets just as we drive into it. Now at 7:20AM I've caught up (in the space I put in) to what I typed last night. 5:40PM: Not much furniture in "Doubletree Suites," so I move the round table over to the box on which the telephone sits and it's the perfect height for typing! Now to unpack and get ready to continue the drive to Janos, which Fred just called to reconfirm, as I'd forgotten she didn't call me yesterday to do that. Good complimentary chocolate-chip cookies! The sun has already set behind the burning western hills by the time we turn onto Swan, so we drive north toward ragged slopes only faintly purple in the forgotten dusk-light. Lots of traffic but everyone seems to be turning left onto Sunrise, and we go more than two traffic lights but there are signs to La Paloma and to Janos, so we follow the row of edge-lighted cacti past elegant gated communities and parts of the hotel and get to the right spot in the parking lot and park in space C1010, which I fear for a moment might be reserved for the hotel room of the same number, but there were no signs indicating that. Past the J-Bar and into the patio for Janos, Fred amazed by the heaviness and ornateness of the coffered wooded portal which we pull open to an opulent reception area with bright-polished woods, terracotta floors, and a spray of 6-foot flowers on a central table. They seat us outside on the patio, but Fred dislikes the fact that we're "two feet away" from tables serving those eating at J-Bar, so we move inside next to a gauche couple that makes Fred snicker behind his hand when she picks up her knife in her FIST to cut into her bloody steak. We select the $110 tasting menu with wines, impressed by how we can change both appetizers for any other appetizers for tomorrow's tasting, and can agree on a substitute main course, for which we both think "veal and lots of lobster" would nicely qualify. The water-boy is so attentive he fills my sipped-from glass at least a dozen times, at the end striking up an intelligent conversation about the quantity of food into the bargain. Fred loves the scallop and shrimp, which I think are too seafood-y, but dislikes the venison and lamb as being too intensely sauced and overly furnished with accompaniments so that each dish is a real MEAL. I start filling up and before the last two courses feel as if I should really STOP. Another couple sits next to us and Fred tries not to listen to why he's chewing her out, though they ask us what we're having and then pointedly order something else. At the end, totally stuffed, and Fred saying he's had too much wine, though the portions are all small and I don't feel that drunk, he disappoints me greatly by saying he does NOT intend to return tomorrow night! I hope he can change his mind. We pause before the final two courses, impressed by the impeccably timed arrivals of them all, though the wines were a bit late a few times. Really posh presentations and overly laden plates make it perfect for the Beard, but Fred really doesn't want to go back. The lights of night-Tucson are preternaturally clear as we walk into the parking lot, and the crescent moon is flanked by two intense stars. Theatrical clouds make the sky photographable, but I take no pictures yet. He decided he can drive carefully back, and we have no problem finding the way. He sits up to read books on Tucson but I undress and fall into bed at 10:40PM, realizing that it's the LATEST I've gone to bed (12:40AM New York time) since returning from Turkey, and the load of food in my stomach makes me even more tired. Put in earplugs and try the facemask, but have no trouble getting to sleep.

FRIDAY, 3/30/01: Wake at 1:50, 3:20, and again, but have absolutely no urge to urinate after ALL the water I drank: probably it is processing the enormous quantities of food, while the stuffed feeling gradually disappears. I'd taken two aspirin and a melitonin along with the Pravachol, and had no trouble getting back to sleep. Got up at 6:35AM and shit a bit (bloody arse!) and type this. 6:45AM: Dream of traveling somewhere like Spain, and there's a crowded market area surmounted with a view of a Cathedral with horizontal bands of silver across the facade which are reflecting the bright rays of a rising sun, and I want very much to get a good photograph of this effect, but I can't get the right angle, and somehow I want to get a breakfast platter in the foreground (to combine the sacred and the mundane?), but when I go back to the food area, I somehow collect four aluminum trays, like Army-issue food trays, but the only food I can find is squid surrounded by scrambled eggs for $1.50, which doesn't strike me as very appetizing, so I ignore the salesman's importuning and readjust the trays into a rough alignment (feeling the edges with great distinctness in my hands in the dream) and put them onto the edge of a serving table which appears to have had the trays before, but which is empty now. Another, female, tourist is trying to get the same shot of the Cathedral, but I know it's not going to work out for her, as it did not for me. Wake at 6:33AM and figure it's time to get up. Finish typing dream and yesterday's dinner by 7:05AM, Fred not up yet, so I go back to left-space and transcribe yesterday's notes. Find it's awkward to leave spaces to type in "later-entries" because "end" sends me to the REAL end, far removed from the "space" I'm typing in. Guess I'll go back to the [bracket] convention when I type things out of order, and then switch them around in WordPerfect. So now I've caught up with the entire trip, sitting in cool-breeze air conditioning while it's probably very much the same temperature outside. Bright sun streams past the edge of the drape, and I don't care for the bathroom that puts everything behind one door, though Fred nicely moves his dop kit to the inner sink so we're not both deprived if the door to the toilet-shower area is closed. I guess I'll take a shower now at 7:24, not surprisingly not at all hungry for breakfast! Good shower controls but awkwardly dangling coiled tubing. Hair dries almost immediately. Search a long time for my lip balm against drying, and reorganize slightly scattered two drawers. Finish this at 7:55 and reluctantly decide I HAVE to get my socks and maybe wake Fred for breakfast. Then put on TV and watch nothing much (except charter-jet crash in Aspen, killing 18), and then Fred gets up reluctantly at 8:05AM, saying he only watched TV for half an hour last night. Weather seems 70s for our area into the near future, with 80s in northern Mexico. Uninteresting TV, even with HBO, CNN, ABC, CBS, mostly morning news. Call Kartchner Caverns at 8:15 and find that reservations are sold out until May 15! Walk-up information is at 520 (which is long distance anyway!) 586-4100: 100/day first-come first-served, so I suggest we go at 8AM Saturday! Decide on Saguaro Desert today. Fred dresses in shorts. I do this at 8:30AM. Down to breakfast, awful watered-scrambled eggs but good bacon, excellent orange juice according to Fred, and cut melon and cantaloupe, toast taking too long to brown. I insist we don't tip, and up to room to move things around and watch TV and leave at 10 to Saguaro at 10:15, visitor's center film from 10:30 to 10:45, then drive the loop starting at 10:55. Saguaro grows in ten years to about two inches, fifty years to five feet, and first flowers at 55, though another write-up says at 40. It lives to 150 or 200 years. #2 flowering ocotillo. Lots of cholla and purple and yellow and white and blue-star flowers. Warmer by noon. Lots of trails off the roadway. GREAT flowering cactus (but still take photo while green light is flashing, pity there's no "macro" setting) photo. Out at 12:15 and decide to go up Mt. Lemmon, which turns out to be the Skyline Drive from a brochure Fred got at the Saguaro Visitors Center. Leave Saguaro at 12:28PM. To Babad Do'ag viewpoint at 12:58. Pay $5 at 1:10, #7 Seven Cataracts and white car at lower right at 1:23. Turns out work stopped at noon, so we don't have to wait for the Pilot Car at 15 minutes to the hour, only for the red-light system at the one-lane part of the vertiginous highway with Easter Island-like rock formations looming above and below us. The final bits of the roads past Summerhaven closed because of snow conditions, and we see LOTS of snow right along the road above 6000 feet, though we don't quite get to 9000 feet. Stop for Fred to get stamps and write a couple of cards, and I go next door to the Mt. Lemmon Cafe for a piece of their homemade pie, but I'm put off by the fact that a whole pie is $24 but has to be reserved a week in advance, and a piece is $4 WITH an order and $5.50 as an ONLY order, which is too extortionate for me to tolerate. But they have a hot fudge sundae on the menu for $3.75, so I order that; he says that their only flavor is Breyer's vanilla, and he gives one scoop with about a half-cup of good hot fudge and fills the rest of the pint-size container with Reddi/wip, which he brings out to top off to make sure I have a full cup. So that's my lunch, tipping him 50 cents, getting a glass of water, and using the john. Lovely contentment sitting on the patio with the cold breezes blowing off the nearby snowbanks, touring cars passing nearby, no kids around, the sky dazzling blue between the pines agonizingly green, with a sliver of the moon between them. Back to drive up a side road with log cabins all along, and then Fred says he wants to get back, but accepts my idea of getting to Janos about 5:30 and taking a LONG time to eat, with the substitutes we talked about yesterday. He wished me a happy birthday at breakfast, seemingly embarrassed because he hadn't thought of it the first thing in the morning: "How many times does someone turn 65?" "I might hazard a rough guess when I say One?" Quick ride down, missing some of the better shots because of angle and sunlight, but it's "in my memory lock'd" as I quote Hamlet (?) and we get back to the Suites at 4:21, up to find no messages waiting for us. Turn on TV, Fred boils water for tea for both of us, and I catch up with this by 5PM, Fred saying that I've gotten a bit of "Fresh Red" on my face (I'd purposely not used cream, which I hate anyway, hoping that we'd be in and out of the car so often that I'd get a basis for a tan before getting to the intense heat of Mexico), and I said, "That's the name of the new spring color: Fresh Red." Rather tired, but it'll be nice to drive back to the restaurant and catch the sunset from there, hoping to get some good camera shots. He brought only three rolls of film and confesses to have taken maybe as many as six photos today. Wash face and change clothes while watching CNN. Tomorrow hopefully to Kartchner by 8AM. Wash and dress and look through Arizona books to 5:30 and get ready to leave for a spectacular sunset. Unfortunately there are NO clouds in the sky, so it just goes from bright blue to dark blue with only the least bit of pink in between, except for a VERY strange formation of two interlocked commas just outside the window of Janos that I even tried to get a picture of (#13, 6:38PM, flying saucer?): they weren't FUZZY like clouds, nor did they disintegrate like clouds, and they were the ONLY ones in the air for a LONG time. Mark Saul, the black waiter from last night, now tonight's maitre d', is very gracious in his greeting, which Fred compliments, and we get a lobster-tail and lox amuse bouche, an interesting "tomato water" soup with tomato-pepper and cucumber sorbets with Dungeness crab, and many other items on the hand-written list that I request, and Janos is out in force (he wasn't there last night), and Fred and I talk to him a LONG time. Better meal, with much more varied foods with two different entrees (ostrich and duck) and two different desserts (lemon meringue pie and strawberry rum creme brulee) which we share, and good wines, and a much larger crowd than last night, capped by two photos with Janos with both of us at the fireplace, and he'd been nominated for the Best Beard chef from the Southwest EACH year 1992-1998, and he finally won it in 2000. Sadly, there's NO recognition of my birthday except from Fred, who in the end was VERY glad he consented to return to Janos. Back to suites about 9:30 and look at TV a bit, but The Fight Game is on TV, so I tell Fred the climax (they're both the same guy) and get to bed at 10:17PM. Not nearly so stuffed, and I don't even bother to take two aspirin.

SATURDAY, 3/31/01: Wake to look at the clock at 1ish and 2ish and 3ish, and shit and pee at 4ish, and then wake at 5ish and stay awake until I get out of bed at 6:07AM and shower and wake Fred at 6:29 and write this to 6:42 as he showers and we get ready for the day, sun just over the horizon (guess it'll be darkish when the time changes for an hour, but Arizona doesn't change, so it'll wait for Mexico on Monday for the switch. Get out morning pills and the breakfast-buffet card and put on the almost-done-with Galapagos T-shirt and get ready for the last independent day before meeting the group tomorrow. Down at 7AM for breakfast, taking a bagel and two cream cheeses "falaters" and panic when I see SIX pills in my case, having dropped the other four in my pocket unknowningly. Back to room at 7:30 and get ready to leave for Kartchner at 7:40AM, too late for walk-ins? Into car at 7:45 and to Kartchner at 8:35: two SINGLES left at 9 and 9:20AM! Twenty in each tour. I get to 8:45 gathering at 8:47, missing a bit of the talk. Into the tram at 9AM and up to the cave at 9:02, through three air-tight doors, and she asks who'd been through such doors before, and I'm the only one to raise my hand and say "Lascaux" when she asks where. Dramatic use of light and a bit much on the music in the Throne Room with the 58-foot Kubla Khan in the 70-foot high room, not yet ready to show the Big Room from another entrance for 2-3 years. Wet floors, lots of soda straws, discs called "shields" here, and we can hear the other tours that take 500 people per day through for $14 apiece. Out at the dot of 10AM, back to the exhibit area to punch out all the pictures on the interactive screen and look at the other things until the video at 11-11:15 with Fred, who enjoyed it, too, except that his group had a kid who kept asking stupid questions, and we both felt sorry for the next tour with NINE kids! Out immediately to leave at 11:23, getting gas, having a temporary lunch, and getting to Biosphere 2 (Biosphere 1 turns out to be Planet Earth) at 1:08 after long boring drive when Fred eats muffin and I have cream cheese on blueberry bagel. #14 Biosphere 2 at 1:22. Everyone's listening to boring lectures, so we quickly pass the experimental buildings and then the greenhouses with different bioscapes inside, and then to the largest greenhouse in the world to only WALK AROUND the biomes from the outside, mainly green leaves pressed against the wall, and inside for a rather tame Environment exhibit from the Smithsonian, and a Volvo exhibit about energy-efficient automobiles. Down the elevator to the Ocean, and there were laughably few fish in the huge tanks, and Columbia University took over the place in 1996 after the "Bionauts" were forced out after two years of increasing carbon-dioxide concentrations---the place just didn't WORK, and it appears not to be working NOW. We're both disappointed, wandering around the periphery and trying to get excited with mediocre exhibits done much better at Brooklyn Botanic Garden or the Aquarium or elsewhere in NYC. Watch a bit of the movie while he finishes his chocolate yogurt that is very much like a Mr. Softee and I eat my rather decent $1.75 brownie. Out at 2:45, I figuring it's LOADS of time to get back to the airport for the 4:20PM turn-in, but we chart up 326 miles into Alamo at 4:14PM, surprisingly slow traffic through "Little Mexico," and NO sign for airport at crucial turn. Quick check-in and bill reduced from $152.66 to $102.95 for one less day. In to pee and drink water and the Stagecoach to Doubletree, round trip for both, is $33 for Grand Circle Travel, saying at 4:30 we might have to wait a half-hour. So I look at crystals and Arizona photos and write notes to 4:36. Finish New York magazine and the easy puzzle and start on the hard puzzle, giving Fred the magazine to read, and we get 18 people moving at 5:41PM! Leave at 5:43, nine of us, and long boring ride to hotel at 6:10. Meet Manuel, our guide, get forms and drink coupons, and get back to room at 6:30, TIRED! Out to walk to dinner at 6:50 and he wants Sushi, so we cross two streets and look at menu at Sachiko Sushi, and they have teriyaki, so he orders a combination dish for $16 and I get a nice glass of plum wine for $3.50 and Fred gets a large sake for $6 and I taste his chicken teriyaki which is fine and taste my beef teriyaki, which is less good, and I take the end piece and find that most of it is fat, and I put the other end of the piece of meat into my mouth and bite down on the FORK tine and BREAK MY RIGHT INCISOR off at about the 2/3 point of visibility. I retrieve the broken piece, in shock, and feel the shard left, and smile for Fred, who's appalled. I clean it off and put it BACK, and it actually FITS without any trouble. I'm amazed that there's absolutely no nerve-twinge at ALL, and suspect the tooth might be dead: it's my "utility" tooth that I use for biting and eating fingernails, chewing bits of food, and probably generally weakening, not to mention that there are two brown splotches on the INSIDE EDGE on both sides, which might be undetected decay, and I remind Fred of the comments of the guide when asked about the fragility of the stalagmites: "I could bounce a crystal glass off the carpet, but if I hit it at exactly the wrong place, it would shatter." That seems to be what happened to my tooth. Leave the restaurant about 8:15 and go back to the hotel while Fred goes shopping, and I ask the clerk for an emergency dental phone number, but they don't have anything like it, even by phoning their affiliated hotels. Looking in the yellow pages they find an "evening, Saturdays, and emergency" number which doesn't work. They try phoning a nearby emergency clinic, ask someone about a dentist, and say they'll call back. I tell them I just want maybe an emergency glue-job which would hold for the remaining two weeks of the trip until I got back to my own dentist. They said they'd phone me in my room. Get upstairs about 8:25 and start typing then, and when Fred comes in about 8:33 I'm talking to him, having replaced the tooth with SOME degree of firmness, when there's the FIRST TINY twinge of nerve-pain, and he says he has pain-killers, maybe codeine, in his dop kit and will put it out for me. He asks if I want to have the complimentary drink in the bar downstairs, and I say I want to settle the journal first. But now at 8:39PM I'm caught up to date and they still haven't phoned. Turn out to have 19 singles, 4 or 5 $5 bills, and a number of twenties for the rest of the trip. Met the S.s, or whoever, in the car, and they seem pretty typically awful. Breakfast tomorrow at 7AM and meeting in room 201 at 8AM to talk about the trip in general, then a tour, lunch at the museum, and Sabino Canyon to about 3:30, and then dinner in Room 101 at 6PM. Put in food request for the FINAL dinner on 4/11 here. Also asked for about the fourth time to fill out an Emergency Information form with "friend" and "Passport information," and I've brought it back to fill it out here. Nothing more to say at 8:42PM, tired and frustrated about the awful tooth. Nothing on television, read a new New Yorker, with a depressing article about living in Lagos, and try to get interested in something (like the Baywatch bodies) on TV, but can't, so I get to bed at 10:06PM, saying it's all right because we're up at 6AM again.

SUNDAY, 4/1/01: No trouble getting to sleep, but wake at 12:50 with the "Message waiting" button blinking again, so I think it might be something (at last) about the dentist and answer it: it was Manuel at 12:44PM "last week Saturday" with a hello and welcome and sign some papers. How does this WORK (or not work)? Then up again at 3 something to shit and pee, wake at 5:25 and doze, then look at clock again at 5:55AM and lie for a bit until 6AM, when I'm up to shower and change socks and shorts and put on a shirt and fill pillbox and wake Fred at 6:30 after getting out nametag and putting it on luggage for tomorrow morning. Two questions for Manuel at our 8AM meeting: 1) do YOU know about a dentist? and 2) why do we have to have the luggage UNLOCKED for customs inspection tomorrow at the Mexican border---which I won't do? Sun wasn't quite over the horizon at 6AM, but it was shining in brightly at 6:30. First day of daylight savings everywhere but here. Feel depressed in the shower, tonguing my chipped tooth and feeling "lack of sensation" in my feet, which I presume is some sort of circulatory problem in its first stages. Am I losing calcium, which is letting my weak-bone teeth break? What a milestone for my first complete day as an official senior: one day after my 65th birthday! Can't think of anything more to say at 6:40, twenty minutes until breakfast, but at least I'm not writing notes that I'll have to transcribe in their dreadful boringness AFTER I get back to NYC. More clouds in the sky this morning, and the weather report in the van yesterday said it might even get up to 90° today. And we've not yet started south---though that will be generally to higher altitudes and cooler days---and nights, which might be a worry because I didn't even bother to take a jacket to the restaurant last night, confident that it wouldn't be that cold by 8PM when we walked back to the hotel. Fred showed me two packages of sweet-looking lemon cookies he bought with great triumph at Trader Ed's, or whatever, last night. Noted the RadioShack across the intersection, which would be my best chance to buy a spare camera-battery before leaving the civilization (such as it is) of Tucson. We finally DID drive between the three skyscrapers in the west-center of town, two of them bank buildings, many of them looking rather vacant, and transitioning quickly to boarded-up storefronts and a one-lane highway south on Stoner to the airport vicinity, and a smiling ironic wave by the Spanish passenger when we pulled out into traffic from the gas station with no other way to get where we were going after our final gassing-up. Getting so used to the quirks of this room that it'll be a real change of venue tomorrow after we leave, not to return until our final night. Hope my face and arms are getting a gradual introduction to the southern sun: two days out and not a touch of sunscreen yet---not even wearing a hat, which I've taken in my bag "in case." Put in Roll 2 of film, even though I'm only at 14 of the first roll at the start of the fourth day of the trip. Odd to have had to shit three times last night, but I guess it was the last of the teriyaki sauce getting through my system. Will try oatmeal this morning: getting tired of the artificial-tasting eggs and greasy bacon. Still haven't used my [started File 2 on SUN, 4/1, 6:49AM] complimentary drink ticket yet, which I guess Fred did last night because of the glass with stirrer on MY part of the table this morning. His small idiosyncrasies starting to get to me already (brushing teeth EVERY morning before any activity after breakfast, constantly ogling ANY possible body, long sessions in morning bathrooms, and the odd time last night when the room was VERY cold and he sat in shorts and a shirt saying he was very HOT, though it was too late for male menopause at his last-part-of-64th year. I just suffered through it, as I did the heat and stuffiness in the back of the van yesterday when no one complained, even about the totally inane conversation between two young girls in the second row. Ah, forgot to take along my trip's name-list! Breakfast 7:05-7:25, try yellow pages for Dental again, leave hotel with pager number message for 4:30 appointment. Manuel says Americans COME to Mexico for good and cheap dental care: "Stop two nights in San Carlos, go to Guyamas, I'll fill out forms and your GCT insurance will PAY for it." I ask about UNLOCKED luggage: "We call people but they can't find keys." "Bags on bus across mountain checkpoints and have to be opened while you're on TRAIN!" I tell Fred, "I'll keep mine locked." Fred says (and Manuel repeats): "So they will just CUT it open." Oh. So all valuables into A&K! Sit in crowded room and chat to 8:10, still missing four people (two in late last night, two SAID they weren't coming along today, but "Have been here very often.") Ice safe IN OUR group as served. ONLY pesos in Copper Canyon, with NO bargaining with Tarahumaras. $20 Mexico entree. "No money or candy to children." Seat rotation: two back on right, two forward on left. NO pictures of officials! Take ALL keys BACK to front desk. Copper Canyon driver 50 cents, local guides $1. Three insect-repellent places: 1) San Carlos boat ride and pearl farm, 2) El Fuerte village, and 3) ???. ALWAYS jacket on bus and train. And SWEATER at cold Copper Canyon. Unlocked luggage ONLY into Mexico tomorrow AND at Copper Canyon bus-luggage. Back to room at 8:35 to finish this, Fred hilarious with totally junky movie, and I can't find out how to spell halarious, hilarious, whatever. Quit at 8:50 to go down to bus for first tour at 9AM. 44 seats for 41 people, but my bag FITS into the overhead rack. Still four missing. Leave 9:07AM. Pass Old Tucson on roller-coaster road to Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum at 9:48AM and LOTS of saguaro! Decide to "go against" the tour's direction, and methodically see all the birds and hummingbirds and bees and carpenter bees and the hidden-on-shelf ocelot and jaguarundi and mountain lions and hidden-under-bridge pair of javalinas and hidden-under-bush single coyote of the three hidden somewhere. Good minerals and incredible seams of gems from Bisbee, mostly copper-based. Hot in the sun, guide-woman carrying around an owl and another with a taut black snake. Lots of people, lots of searching for not-found animals in huge pens, like NONE of the multiple copies of 11 species of lizard. We're to be back to the bus at 12:55. Out of bus 9:55. #16 cardinal at 10:25. #17 mountain lion at 12:40. #18 wild turkeys. Leave at 12:51, after numbered walk on map and LOVELY yogurt-root-beer float for $2.65, which I ate under a sunny ramada (slatted roof) outside a Snack Shop at a table by myself until an old volunteer and an old tourist strike up a conversation about his 1972 visit to this private, ever-expanding museum. Leave 12:58, through town and point out lots of places from a distance. Nod on drive to Sabino Canyon at the DOT of 2PM and get on SHADED part of tram where most of the others have to sit in the sun. Off at 2:05. #19 Sabino Canyon at 2:15, and other shots of skylines and streams from the moving tram, which probably won't come out very well. We get to the top of the road at 2:30, out to look around for a bit, then back to the shops at 2:54. Look at souvenirs in jammed shop, pee, and back on bus at 3:05 to leave. Hear dialogue: "What state?" "Wuss (West) Virginia." Leave at 3:06 and back at 3:21 to the hotel, with no phone blinking for any dentist's appointment. Fred wants to shop at Trader Ed's AGAIN, having bought two bottles of red wine last night, and we're over in heat, seeing that RadioShack is clearly closed on Sunday, so no camera-battery yet, though Wal-Mart on Tuesday holds out promise, and prices are ludicrously cheap, though all the signs that lead me to want a bottle finds NONE of that bottle on the shelf. Fred talks to fellow travelers incessantly. I get three bottles for about $15 total, and then get to the nut section to get unsalted pound bags of broken cashews and pistachio meats for like $3 each, paying for all with credit card. Back to hotel about 4 and put on TV to see the end of the Adam Baldwin fire-fighters film I'd seen before, and then Fred's delighted to see the end of the Richard Dreyfus, Emilio Estevez, something-or-other stakeout, and then we watch the start of Naked Gun to enormous gales of laughter from Fred at the stupidest scenes while we drink a bottle of his red, with ice cubes, washing down lots of cashews, but we have to stop at 6:25 to go down to dinner, getting in just about last and sitting next to the Columbus, Ohio, couple, and he'd been in Physics at Rockwell on Long Island, and the driver from Phoenix and the guide from Chihuahua join us for interesting conversations with the one-glass-of-white wine (additional glasses $4) chicken dinner and I even have sweetened, lightened coffee with the cheesecake dessert. Back to room to watch more TV, Sopranos from 9-10, and I get to bed and then up to phone Susan at 10:10PM, saying to meet at noon in front of the Tombstone Courthouse on her message machine. Bed at 10:15 and sleep instantly, bed extremely comfortable.

MONDAY, 4/2/01: Wake a number of times, and shit about 5:15 and lie awake until 5:55, when I get up to shower and pack and wake Fred at 6:30 and finish this up to date at 6:55, putting on pants to put out the bag before 7AM, deciding to take the wine and a jacket in a shopping bag to put into the overhead rack to minimize possibility of breakage. Fred volunteers to put my bag outside! Rooms look vacant as we get everything out. We start down to breakfast at 7, when I remember I'd not taken my cash out of my blue bag, so I'm back to the room and the spare-bag bag is right on top, so I get down quickly enough for Fred to say, "Already?" More bacon and eggs as I note, "This is our last American meal for the next ten days." More bagel and cream cheese into my pocket, and up at 7:30 (Fred has to pay the hotel bill because he left his card-imprint when he checked in while I was sitting in the car) to see the desk clerk (they don't even have a porter?!) putting the bags on a trolley, putting mine on top. USA Today came, going into my bag after discarding the Sports and Finance sections. Sun streams in the window as I finish typing, fishing particles from between my teeth that I now nibble with my FRONT incisor rather than with the now-gone side incisor, remembering the slight twinge from a pendulous, growing growth just below my neckline that I'll have to have removed when I get back to New York; checking my tooth-remnant in my A&K side pocket, and Fred comes in at 7:36, sighing as usual, with a hotel bill of $11.62 for one local (Janos) and three in-area long-distance (two to Kartchner, one to Susan for $3.85) calls. Fred packs volumes of stuff while I finish this, thinking of nothing more of any use (or even of NO use) to say at 7:40AM. Onto JAMMED bus at 7:55, rear window. Fred GETS separate seat! Get water, leave at 8:10AM. I forgot to get PASSPORT out of under-bus bag! Stop at San Xavier del Bac at 8:45. My bag is on top of pile behind second door he opens, and others are going below for various reasons. Surprisingly cool, though sunny. #26 San Xavier del Bac at 8:40AM. #27 inside at 8:52. #28 from "Lourdes" tacky cloth-wrapped-gated hole with pygmy Mary in a hole above. Back in bus 9:10. 10:34 stop at border. Leave 10:37. Stop at Mexican Customs at 10:39, where we all get off next to our bags and press a stoplight-like button which gives a majority of red "pase"s and two or three---I don't know, I guess "stop"s---whose bags have to be opened and gone through. I luck out, being the second one after someone who had to open their bag. Quick enough that we leave at 10:53, but the "NAFTA trucks" coming into the states have a long line that Manuel says may last as long as two days! To Santa Ana at 12:05, past mesa-like tailings which will later be used to RE-mine after silver and lead and other metal-separation techniques are further refined. Manuel gives a pitch for a $15 (marked $16.95) book from friends of his on Copper Canyon which covers much too much. Passes them out, as Fred says, like the sign-language cards on the subway. Then he gives a spiel for giving school supplies for kids on the street; then he talks about a special project in the depths of Copper Canyon to which a friend of his and he are going in April in a four-wheel drive and we can give him piles of school supplies to take to THEM. THEN he comes back twice through the aisle, like a super-attentive flight attendant, with a box of candy from which he begs everyone to "take as many as you want, even more than one" and I take two kisses of chocolate, which are nice, but the second time they're gone and all that's left is hard candy, which would hardly do well with my broken tooth-nerve, so I take a "Creme Savers"-wrapped LifeSaver, which admittedly does taste good, and I wonder if they can incorporate some addictive substance, even as mild as MSG, to make people want MORE of it. Particularly loud woman in front of Fred's new seat just has to give multiple communications to the pair of women sitting in BACK of Fred's new seat, which I'm sure pleases him no end. It gets cloudier and cloudier through the day, and I wear my sunhat on my right elbow to prevent it freezing from the cold breeze from the window sash. To Santa Ana (most towns down here so far look like dusty-roaded villages) at 12:05 to eat at Elba Restaurant, veal Milanese better than Fred's enchiladas, and Tecate beer is a bit sharper and more thirst-quenching than Dos Equis. Out at 12:55 and get 46 pesos at a rate of 9.2 for $5. Everyone chipper. Fred says he got 9.6 or 9.7 in Puerto Vallarta a month ago. Leave at 1PM. Then Manuel plays two half-hour "Desert Speaks" videos on the tiny, misplaced, shaky-lined videos above the seats about the islands off the coast of Baja California, none of which we'll be seeing, of course. He says the only available video on Copper Canyon doesn't have a good sound track. That goes from 1:10-2:05, taking away from the nothing-much outside, but flowering palo verde trees are almost forsythia-yellow-bright, and some of the grander organ-pipe cactus are worth a shot if we get close to a good one. Lots of flowers: purple heliotrope, white fuzzy-poppies that aren't the opium ones, and varieties of yellow something-or-others. Clouds really pile up so that I think it might rain. Then a black yard-long snake curls across a dirt road outside my window. Rest stop 2:25-2:40, where we get maps of Hermosillo and San Carlos and a color brochure on the whole area that shows a spectacular Basseachich Falls. Into Hermosillo 3:05-3:28, getting #2? of gray-and-white State Capitol built in 1881 that seems to be labeled on the map as the Governor's Palace, #2? of the Cathedral built in 1945, not really much of anything outside or in, and then #33 inside the Capitol, with the colorful murals (though not very good) behind and some patriot in front for a very nice airy-inside atmosphere. #34 bandstand and Capitol and radio-transmitter mountain behind at 3:24. To the elegant San Carlos Plaza hotel at 5:05PM, past steeply sloped mountains, particularly the "Goat's Tits" that loom over the town and hotel. #35 San Carlos Plaza Hotel at 6PM with goat's tits in background. #37 sunset panorama at 6:24PM, which I don't expect to be developed. #Roll 2: #1 sunset at 6:40PM. #3 at 6:46, #4 at 6:47, probably none of them particularly good, but we take what we get. Coolish on the beach, and I probably annoy by ignoring tourists that I don't speak to, but I just don't want to talk. Fred says he sees three whales, "or maybe just dolphins," frolicking in the near distance. I point out a big flock of pelicans on the horizon. Thank goodness there seem to be no mosquitoes, though I sprayed DEET on my arms and the back of my neck, which I take care to wash before dinner. Fred opens a good Pinot Noir imported by Louis Latour, and we watch the Discovery Channel, which he's attracted to/repelled by with the Snakes program to 8PM. I'd eaten half a bagel with a pack of cream cheese and LOTS of pecan-pieces on the bus, so I wasn't terribly hungry, but the special menu for $14 of filet mignon seemed appealing, so we go down to the atrium-style dining room where the running waters on all sides make it difficult to hear anyone, so the waiters all have to SHOUT back and forth. The "group from Utah" was being serenaded by LOUD disco music from near the pool, and then ate at a long table near us. The vegetable soup was more like a minestrone, but the mushroom-sauce covered, raw-bacon-surrounded, tough, tendoned, overcooked "filet" is a disaster. Terribly sad, but the wine-buzz made it vaguely tolerable. Everyone had eaten by now and we were about the last to leave the cavernous, echoing dining room to ride the jitter-lighted, glass-sided elevator back up to the fourth floor to walk the inside corridor, the outside corridor, and back to the last wing for room 444. When I got ice for the wine last night, the dispenser on this floor didn't work and I had to go to the one on the floor below to get some, and then pushed the button too much and almost had to break the machine to get the ice into our bucket. One of the Monty Pythons (not Palin or Cleese or Idle or Chapman) hosted a tongue-in-cheek program about Inventions and Sex, which started promisingly with muscle-builders, but then too often featured HIS pulpy torso. That was over at 10 and my eyes were closing, even though the Marrying South American Indians looked like it might have been interesting. Get to bed at 10 but then up at 10:15 when I realize I need aspirin for the wine and hadn't taken my Pravachol yet. Got back to sleep immediately.

TUESDAY, 4/3/01: Wake at 1:55 and shut off the light Fred had left on despite the fact he left out his flashlight to light our way to the john, and comfortably back to sleep, and again at 5:30 to shit a long dark turd, then lie relaxedly, trying to think of the fragment of a sexy dream I couldn't recall, and up at 6:20 to shower until 6:50, getting water all over the floor, and start typing with the light from the open curtains showing a flat-bottomed cloud over a distant mountain that reminded me of Capetown. Rolling clouds promise a coolish day on tour and in the boat. Down to breakfast at 7:30 and, contrary to my guess, they don't charge $2 for the touted "fresh-squeeze orange juice," but I don't think it was that fresh in the aerator anyway. The ham-and-cheese stuffed crepes were good, but the cheese-covered taco chips weren't that great, though Fred said the refried beans were the best things on the plate. Had scrambled eggs with ham and without ham, and hotcakes, and individual servings of cereal in Saran-wrapped bowls. Lots of our group had paired and sixed off, but there were a few younger Spanish types on vacation, unfortunately most with their kids. Eat a lot of fruit and sticky buns to 8AM, not needing any falaters, and the sliced bananas in a cinnamon yogurt were good enough to repeat. Then get the neck-lanyard key from Fred and come up to finish typing this while he undoubtedly talked with some of his lady-friends before coming up and dropping drops into his eyes. Started counting the days left even though we're not even halfway through, and the sights so far haven't been of the quality to recommend this trip to anyone, contrary to the wonderful experiences in Turkey. But hopefully the best is yet to come. Thought, "Oh, how nice, the balcony-water sounds cancel out the awful people sounds," and then the screams of various kids broke my reverie and the peace. NOTHING is preventive against them except condoms, which Fred is ALWAYS recommending for third-world countries. Finish up now at 8:13, ready for our unannounced 8:30 tour of San Carlos and probably the Wal-Mart where I hope to get my camera battery at last. Eternally repack, hoping to remember DEET and key and camera-battery slip and camera and binox and jacket. Finish this and out and down at 8:23AM. Bus full at 8:28. #5 hairbrush cactus and woodpecker-holed one at 8:34AM at "cactus garden stop." #7&8: camera BLINKED as I FIRST focused on it, but as I STARTED with it unblinking from far away and then CLOSED IN with button held down, it REMAINED UNBLINKING! If #8 IS macro-view, it'd be GREAT! (Was taken from about 3 inches away.) Leave 8:43. It's Tetakawi Mountain. Is the following true?: A WORKED rock becomes a STONE: stonework, stone house, not a rock house? #9 Hotel Plaza from bus (just as the bus lurched?). #10 Tetakawi Mountain and beach. Manuel: organ-pipe cactus has NO central trunk, as hairbrush DOES. Ironwood shop at 9:12. Owner DIGS into Manuel's "Better and cheaper in Chihuahua." "He gets 10% cut that you're paying for, and it's NOT better and cheaper, ASK MEL." "15% TAX on traveler's checks, of which I pay 5% and you pay 10%." Manuel DOES ask if I want dentist; I say no; he says I have two MORE days in Chihuahua. Little old lady with Oregon plates blinks left-turn signal as she turns right. Sit on curb and watch traffic. Manuel "explains": "This was a forced stop; he's not my friend." Leave at 9:42 with candy-pass that I pass on. 10:05 off at Pearl Farm. They GROW oysters in larger-holed nets for 2 years before implanting. Barnacles prevent shell from opening, so all 100,000 oysters cleaned four times/year! Mabe (pronounced mabi), half-pearls, ON shell, take one year to grow. Mississippi mussel-shell pearls start as ROUND pearls with piece of grafted mantle done by Japanese and five Mexicans ONLY. About 10% have pearls after 1.5 years. Only ONE pearl per oyster. This started in 1999, he gives LONG boring talk (when he says they put the oysters to sleep to operate on them, I whisper to Fred that HE should talk to them, and Fred has trouble keeping a straight face, praising me for the mot afterward), but with practice they're up to 800/day at good speed. "OUR pearls don't peel or crack as .5 year JAPANESE pearls do." Pearls UGLY and irregular in shop to 11AM. Leave at 11:05. Stop in Guaymas at 11:25. Meet back at 1:45. "Rodeo cum" photo at 11:10 with a "cowboy" below. #12 fisherman memorial. GET battery for 72P=$8 with 18P change from my $10 bill. Fat wife of tall guy later tells me she got the SAME battery at the Photo Shop across the street for 65P, and it's usually something like $6 at some el-cheapo place in NYC. Roam market and lunch at Restaurant Los Barcos on Boston (shrimp wrapped in bacon and cheese with white sauce) and beer for 124P, on Visa. Out to look at sea (oh, saw fisherman and Cathedral and park, and the room with the full-sized Santos where a woman was reaching up to grasp St. Peter's red-velvet robe and St. Anthony's foot while praying intently). Back on bus at 1:30, tired. Hot and cloudless out. Leave 1:39. Stop at dock at 2:10, early for the 2:30 departure. Boat goes at 2:27; I got into the second one, which went out first, and got to see the seal that the other boat didn't. #13 at 2:43. #14 eagle on distant tree. #15 hole in rock. #16 two herons on cactus, lower one on nest. #17 two herons on cliff-top. Seal's head in water. #18 other boat feeding gulls as we'd done more copiously earlier. #19 penthouse panorama at 3:48. Earplugs in against AWFUL music. Cute Martin is steward. The white house on the end is supposed to be Dustin Hoffman's, which he occupies one month of the year? We dock at 4PM, even though it WAS supposed to be a two-hour trip, though many, including possibly me, are totally squiffed by the endless margaritas, of which I had I think four, with two small handfuls of "the great" golden Japanese peanuts. I dash to pee, sozzled. Reminded of Boatswainbird Island in the Atlantic before Ascension, rocks off St. Kilda, and tour from Lerwick in Shetlands to the bird island. "You can't drink with Dramamine." "Yes you can and it works real well!" [Tomorrow: suitcases out at 7AM and leave on bus at 8AM; dinner 6:30 tonight.] Back to hotel at 4:20, and Fred goes down to the pool (where he says there's nothing to see) and I watch TV: rescues on HBO until 5PM, and then part of the CNN news until everything is so negative (stock market is down because Chinese collision is holding Americans in China, and other disasters). Sit to do this by getting the bedspread quintupled under my two pillows to sit on, and Fred comes in just before 6PM to worry about his laundry being returned. The $3.99 wine is surprisingly good, and even Fred likes it. I feel terrible to have finished the ENTIRE blueberry bagel I'd taken the morning before last, with the two containers of cream cheese, just to be RID of it and not have anything but NUTS left to eat, since I'm eating ENTIRELY too much. Put the cooling up because the sun streaming in was causing a greenhouse-heating, and Fred turned it up even more. Finish this at 6:15, quite full and quite drunk, so I don't quite see the point of the free dinner and drinks tonight, so I'll probably be crabby---no, maybe the drunk will take care of it. Fred seems to be taking a shower. Then the door knocks and his laundry returns. I guess I'd better take aspirin BEFORE dinner, since I'm starting a headache as I type. "She's gonna come right back with my change," says Fred. "OK?" "OK," I reply. Now 6:18 and I feel like going to BED more than anything else, and we're going to a NEW place TOMORROW. At least I'll move up on the aisle away from the rattles from the john, but also away from the super-deep seat I enjoyed today, probably the biggest on the entire BUS! Then start watching the sunset, and even though it doesn't promise to be one of the best of the decade, Fred leaves about 6:10 and I stay on until about 6:40, when it's clear that it's not noteworthy. Down to the raucous "convention hall" decorated with red/white/green Mexican-flag papers, where almost all the tables are full and Manuel makes sure my margarita glass is filled promptly. Long line, and I push ahead to get only lentil soup, then back in an almost empty line to get the last few whatevers, none of them very good, and I'm GLAD I was full. Drink about five more margaritas, and I guess they can't be very powerful, but you couldn't tell that by the soused ones coming off the bus. Fred sits across from Amarrylliss, the horrible loud one who insisted on dancing to "La Vida Loca" with Martin on the boat, and her husband is just as unpleasant (though Fred said she made it clear that he wasn't her husband). The four dancing boys are not bad looking and the girls are uniformly simpy in the two changes of costume I see. Fred said there was one (or maybe even two, who knows) more characteristic dances, but I can't really tell the differences between the costumes and the dance-steps, which undoubtedly makes me an awful tourist, but that's the case. The singer is awful, but not as bad as the OTHER maintenance/security person who played the guitar and burred into the microphone for a "deep" voice and also "played the trumpet" with his lips and the microphone, taking requests from the audience and serenading the two "moved" wedding anniversaries to be celebrated tonight, one of them the fat and the tall across from us. Many people leave, and I can't stand it about 7:40 and go back upstairs to watch the end of Ghostbusters to 9PM, at which point the food and the alcohol have so much gone to my head that I just have to get to bed while Fred continues playing the television. No trouble getting to sleep, remarking that at least the BEDS have been comfortable so far through the trip.

WEDNESDAY, 4/4/01: Wake at 12:50AM to find he's left the bright light on again, and I go to the john and shut it off. Then wake at 5:15AM and have no trouble dozing to 6:05, waking with a pathetic dream of someone like Jean-Jacques, only much younger than me, VERY much in love with me, hanging onto me, wanting to kiss and hug and be with me even with others around (is this from the redhead who seemed to have picked me up at lunch and made a point of talking to me twice on the boat?), and I feel I MUST break off the relationship even though it will hurt him terribly, before it gets even WORSE. Up quickly and shower, making sure the shower head is AWAY from the water-transparent shower curtain, and out at 6:26 to get out clean underwear and wake Fred with difficulty ("I've had SUCH mad dreams," he says.) and pack well until 7AM, when I put out my bag, and he goes down to breakfast first, saying he'll try to save a two-person table for us, and I finish this up to 7:07AM, not really hungry but thankfully not hung over, either, so the drinks must have been REALLY weak. Opened the window to what felt like a PERFECT temperature and humidity outside, but maybe that's only in comparison to the ultra-cool air conditioning in the room that Fred likes. My left forearm is beginning to itch with that "too much sun" syndrome, even though my arm isn't really that dark. [Shifted to FILE 3 at 7:08AM 4/4---really doing a LOT!] Down to breakfast as 7:08AM. Lovely eggs, and I think it might be MSG until Fred observes that everything is very salty and it's the SALT that makes the eggs so good! This time eggs are mixed with vegetables, no bacon or ham, only a little fruit, and two glasses of juice, except I take an orange for later. Pay the bill to receptionist Arturo Molina Chinchilla, who explains that I get my former signed visa-copy back, and that the bill has a one-slash $ (actually, like THAT) for pesos and a two-slash || dollar for dollars! Better NOT be billed $190! Back at 7:45 to type this, to the animated Anna and the King on TV quite loud. Woman came up to check the mini-bar. People VERY loud on bus at 7:55, most THERE, and leave 8:05. No RACK in front of this pair of seats for water bottles. Driver: "It's hard to pee and feed people on the road AROUND Copper Canyon." A MOSQUITO sits on my OUTSIDE bus window! Stop at Wal-Mart at 9:48, to be back at 10:30. NO battery my size, CHEAPEST item was 50-cent tuna, couldn't FIND any slide film to compare prices, and couldn't find NUTS---other stuff NOT that CHEAP, including booze and wine. BIG, but not much ELSE. Fred says that Manuel loaded up a shopping cart with his purchases. Leave at 10:32. LOTS give Manuel school stuff for kids. Chicken and pig farms, smelly in May. Antidrug politicians get SHOT, but SOME are successful against the drug mafia in Mexico. Yaquis (he pronounces them Jackies) and Mayos are dancing to stop devil from fighting God before Easter. Photos of them must be paid for. Into Alamos 12;12. #22 Alamos church and painted bandstand roofs at 12:18PM. #23 bougainvillea at 12:28. #24 Veronica flowers. #28 Hacienda de Los Santos for lunch, quintet singing; ate soup, quiche, salad with cilantro, and watermelon wedge and GOOD bread pudding with hot butter-brandy sauce that Jamie said will be coming out in the cookbook being printed in six months, but the kitchen was too busy to give me the recipe now. #28 other side of court from previous picture, which is also featured in the brochure that Jamie's daughter handed out (her and her parents from America). #29 dining room at 1:47, a LOVELY place! Stop for Sinaloa fruit inspection as I'm finishing my orange from breakfast, and he smiles at me, but it's not really the place because we stop LATER at the border, to be waved through without stopping. Then stop for "final stop before two hours to El Fuerte??" Guy (Joe M.), born in Poland in 1929 (and, he tells me, brought to Ellis Island by his mother when he was 12), talks of his marine, Saigon, and investing history and asks about my RETIREMENT plans! I try not to sound too stupid, telling about Keogh and IRA and Schwab and "conservative 10% bonds" rather than anything rash like stocks, and he seems pleased to be talking with SOMEONE, though I can't quite trust him when he says that THIS group is better than many he'd had on his previous five Grand Circle Travel trips. If I didn't know he was straight, I'd be suspicious---but he's only passing time. Did NOT go look at the local shoes OR the roots to cure diabetes, arthritis, or cancer. Leave at 3:22. [6:30 margaritas tonight, then 7PM dinner; tomorrow 7:30 bird-watching, then breakfast, but that was CHANGED and we have to have breakfast at 7:30 and THEN the bird-watching and leave for the village just after we return from that. Constant reminder about anti-mosquito measures.] Wear long sleeves, bring lunch choice at hotel back tonight unless we're going with Manuel into the village for lunch in town. Then the next day: 6AM knock on the door, 6:30 baggage out to be transferred around the train, 7:30 leave for train, all with DEET! Sonora has lots of desert and cactus, but Sinaloa is all farming: wheat, oats, corn, tomatillos (green tomatoes), and even some grapes. Into CAMP hotel El Fuerte at 5:05, with carvings and a painted nude right next to Saint Michael, and a probable owner who looks VERY much like Dame Edna in his crown and white gown, and fancifully painted walls and interspersed fountain-pools, and enter a TOTALLY dark room to wait for Fred to enter, and when he turns on the lights and sees me he utters a startled shout of amazement that amuses me no end. #30 hotel pool at 5:30. Others want to look at our room, calling it a suite because it goes way back to an open-facade bathroom before going through the door to the shower, and we go look at other rooms that look out over the inner courtyard with the motorcycles parked, or over laundry hanging, or, in one case, to an attractive workman about whom Fred grinned and said, "You hope he stops working before you go to bed." The M.s have a corner room that everyone envies, so that we could say WE were there when they amazedly remark that "Suddenly there were five people looking at our ROOM!" and we knew we were two of them. Then out for a walk, taking #31 Municipal Building at 5:55PM, with its Mexican lights, and up a flight of stairs to a "park" that turns out to be a view over a ruined back patio with laundry hanging on the line and broken-into schoolrooms next door, but I coax Fred to come up anyway, even though he says he's seen enough apartment reconstructions to last him for the rest of his life. Up to the fort to see small rooms being built inside either for a new hotel or for gift shops, and then to the Hotel Del Hidalgo, where we go around various patios and lanais until we get back to the pool and meet two older people from Lindblad Tours who say they're enjoying their trip, to which I add on the way down the stairs, "And they're probably paying at least twice as much as we're paying." Fred wants to shower, so he goes back to the room, and I tour around a few more blocks of nothingness and back to the hotel to see Manuel at the bar, who hasn't seen Fred, so I order a pail of ice and go up to the room to find Fred finished with the shower and he's willing to open a bottle of sweet wine, so we open the White Merlot and he actually LIKES it, which is nice, because we eventually finish the entire bottle, leaving me only with the champagne to schlep into my luggage on the underside of the bus around Copper Canyon. Then to "swimming pool" margaritas in the bar, with a guitar threesome and delicious light-dough "pretzels" for nibbles, and I ask to sit on the M.s' window ledge with them and he asks me to tell Eloise(?) about my job, and we chat nicely until we all get second pools of drink, and then dinner is announced and we're into the dining room with S. and D., both of whom open up and become pleasant, and the chicken Kiev is totally unlike any other: slices of a chicken roll stuffed with---well, stuffing---topped with a white sauce, with totally cold whipped potatoes put through a pastry-cone shaper for ruffles, which tasted much better when mixed with the totally soft butter that was pretty good with the hot rolls of unusual texture that Fred made fun of by rolling the dough through his teeth, and good hot vegetable melange of cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots; with another bread pudding for dessert. We delight in conversation and end up closing the place, getting back to the room with more ice to finish the bottle of White Merlot and Fred writes in his diary and I finish this up at 9:47, amazed that I can get through it: taking my pills and catching up with my notes and Fred's put on the air conditioner and it's humid outside, but I'm ready for bed, surely ready to get up by 7:30AM. Bed is a mess of clothing and bags, but there's NOWHERE to put anything except on nine hangers for the two of us in the bathroom. Not a SINGLE drawer, and, for the first time, no television, but Fred pays me the compliment of saying this was one of the most pleasant evenings of the trip: schmoozing over wine before writing our journals and going to bed. Now 9:49. Bed at 10:17 and wake 11ish.

THURSDAY, 4/5/01: Pee at 12ish, 1ish, and 2ish, and at 4:20 get up to sit on the pot with the light on and record a PREVIOUS dream: A blond man, like a younger Joe, says, "I love you," as I run my hands up and down his columnar torso and wonder why he doesn't respond, though he surely doesn't push me away, and I say, "No, you don't." He says with a smile, "I mean, for now." Wake without any sense of arousal, which is good, since there are still 8 more mornings in which to be not aroused. LAST dream: A man is trying to redecorate a set, or a plan for a new apartment, with a sofa moving in and out of a watery hole in the ground (probably from the tree-transplantings in the Alamos lunch-stop yesterday), and somehow a secretary, either his or one who's attached to the production of the set/apartment, tries to kill him, but he forgives her when she fails and tells her to select a pencil to fill out a resume at the end of the dream, and he pushes the sofa out of the hole as if it was a bad idea all along: it should just stand in the middle of the "room" on the grass. A PRIOR dream: I'm running down an aluminum spiral staircase in the frame of a building like a conservatory, maybe like the native market at the lunch-stop the day before yesterday, only darker inside and of a darker-painted aluminum, and, though dizzy from my rapid descent, I somehow know the building is rocking back and forth in a strong wind, or earthquake, and that I have to be on the ground and out of the building in order not to be harmed. But as I get to the base of the staircase the edges of the somewhat circular building begin to uproot, and I debate whether to run to the edge and try to creep under the low slot between the bottom of the wall and the concrete platform on which everything rests, or to stay somehow in the middle and let everything blow over me. The wall starts to flatten and all I can do is fall to the ground and hope that some part of the curvature will protect my body from the weight of the wall (is this from the 5000-pound concrete block pinning the guy to the auto-repair pit from the Discovery Channel a few days ago?). ANOTHER previous dream of an ALMOST finished and VERY complex programming or writing job, but I have only TWO summary pages to write for EACH job and it'll be finished to everyone's satisfaction. Back to bed, and have absolutely no trouble getting back to sleep each time in this room with the red light blinking on the switch, though I'm concerned about what kind of morning light will come through the single, curtained window overlooking the shaded patio in the center of this section of the hotel. Then wake at 5:50AM with a two-part dream: 1) I get back from vacation to find people standing in my lobby, saying that there's something VERY wrong, and someone says, "What's that smell?" and there are traces of smoke or steam in the air and it's very hot. I go into the basement and tear apart a foam-plastic covering from the thermostat and find that the indicator has been pushed to the extreme right, to a temperature that looks rather like 200 degrees. Put it into a normal range and go back to the apartment to find other small things wrong, which I put right. Without transition, Dennis is there trying to help out, but mainly he's much younger in the front seat of a car with me between him and a mechanic at whom he’s making real cow's eyes, and I want to tell him he's being MUCH too obvious. The technician has also checked my printer, which someone else had repaired, and I mentioned that Marj had helped the first repairperson discover that the output line had to have a "1" in front of it, and since it was missing at one point the lines were off by a control character ever after that. 2) I'm watching a Virtual Reality program and a) ask why no one's programmed a "Computer Introduction" that goes inside a computer and demonstrates that the storage is here, and the instructions are here and the data is here and the data goes where the instructions say and the storage is filled or not filled in THIS way, and he explains that a former attempt at this kind of program got into legal difficulties when someone did something wrong based on the information so-called "learned" from the program and sued for damages when their instructions caused their programs to go wrong. I thought that sounded like lousy law and judicial processes. b) I keep asking about the interactions between reality and Virtual Reality: "If a person is standing two feet in front of a locomotive, won't they be hurt?" and it's explained, or I quickly realize, that the train would just PASS THROUGH the person. LOTS of missing parts demonstrating how the program handles underground and airborne facilities, and I ask MANY questions and get MANY answers. Coming to the end of writing all those notes, I have a VERY UNREAL feeling, fearing I might fall asleep and miss my 6:30AM getting up and showering, but wake again at 6:25 and get up to shower in the touchy faucets with the last dry towel in this minimal hotel room, and finish at 6:45 and turn on lights and begin to type as Fred rouses and lies there, and finally at 6:55AM I tell him to get up, and he's groaning and sighing as I finish this at 7:18AM, ready to dress for the 7:30 bird-watch walk, already wearing my only long-sleeved shirt to help protect against bugs, and hoping for a fairly coolish walk so I don't sweat into it. Filling up lots of files fast, and I just wish there were some kind of INTERIM storage-used indication. Now 7:18AM. Down to breakfast 7:25-7:50 at a table with people I didn't talk to before: G.s, the stiff-kneed one, another couple. Eggs, beans, tortilla, fruit, juice. Then gather for bird-walk at 8:04-8:53, LOTS of birds: herons, crows, kingfishers, flycatchers, egrets, orange-billed robins, and others we could hear but couldn't see. Fast-flowing river with water hyacinth bobbing along, lots of dogs barking at us, and one grim-faced man firing a rifle just as we pass, across the river seemingly at the heron, which is still there when we get back. He MUST have done it as a protest against our mere being there: too much of a coincidence otherwise. Lots of flowering trees, including a stunning red-and-white flowered climbing vine at the front of the hotel that Manuel had never seen before and didn't know the name of. Catch up with this by 9:02, next-to-gather at 9:30 for the trip to the Mayo village. TONS of tiny flies followed us everywhere along the river; Manuel said the sonic pencil device didn't work for him, and I got some bite on the inside of my left thumb that turned red and swelled a bit and itched. One guy sneezed OUTRAGEOUSLY when, as he said, "A gnat got up my nose," but he sure scared away whatever Manuel was trying to point out to us. I saw the egret and the orange-beaked robins first, as well as a second Great Blue Heron right along the edge of the river downstream from the stunningly white Egret. More birds than I would have expected, but it's not that cool and I'm sweating under my long-sleeved shirt. Not really looking forward to the Indian village, but there's nothing else to do. Lie down till 9:18, feeling really TIRED, and maybe a little bored. Forgot to mention the SEVERE heartburn after the meal and margaritas and half-bottle of White Merlot last night, and I found I did NOT bring any of the antacid tablets. Also woke about SIX times, which meant I got no real consecutive sleep, so it's no wonder I'm tired. Also, I compared the boat trip unfavorably to others, the birds this morning scarce compared with other islands, and except for the hotel lunch yesterday, even the hotels are not that special. Let alone not worth coming back to: maybe this section of the world isn't worth the FIRST trip to! But I gamely get ready for the bus departure at 9:30, leaving room about 9:22AM. Spray backs of hands and neck THOROUGHLY. Onto bus 9:27 and leave. Tehueco ("under the blue sky" in Mayo dialect) village at 9:55. Sit in church like boobs waiting for "chief." Indians go to villages during 40 days of Lent, which started on 2/28. On Good Friday they return and burn masks and dance for protection of the cross. They drink tequila on Saturday and Easter Sunday. Go to dance in Ramada. #32 Our Lady of Miracles in church at 10:18. Show starts at 10:24 with #33. #35 deer dancer without flash. Deer hooves around waist and moth cocoons with pebbles for rattles on legs. Two scrapers on gourd to magnify sound, one gourd in pot of water for bass notes. Real deer head. #36 mask for dance to "Cat Without a Tail's Nephew." They write the songs themselves. Dance to 10:42, with gourd out for "volunteer contributions." Eat a tortilla with hand-cut onions (and hand-washed knife, adds Fred) and soft butter: do we ALL get sick? 4-5 glasses of mistletoe tea/day for 30 days with steamed cabbage and rice to "cure cholesterol." Back on bus (not taking free Coke) with RELIEF away from village at 11:21, JUST as kids gather around bus. Feel sorry for US, THEM, and guide and chief and Manuel and Mel. Manuel: "Meet at Plaza at 12:05 for outside lunch, not in front of hotel: they get mad at me." Leave at 11:26, and find out that the tiny trees in one field were a growth of wild mustard, but he didn't make it clear if they were weeds or an actual crop. Pay German (pronounced Herman) $1 and Fred piques him by giving him 9 pesos, which he says is more than a dollar, but I point out that it's actually less, and not the American currency that he requested. Into hotel at 11:54, type some and it's 12:02 and out to meet group of about THIRTY for lunch at El Meson Del Gral, where I have garlic soup, pretty good, and sincronizada, cheese and ham which sounds better than it is: little ham, ordinary ham, filling, and tasty only when salsa almost finished from the tortilla chips is added. That's only 30P, which I guess could have been clue enough. Have a Dos Equis and then Manuel orders a Michelada, a frosted stein with salt around the edge and lime in the bottom, which he says is a real thirst-quencher. Since I'm still on the thirsty side and felt like another beer anyway (since the table was awful with Smith [and Wesson?] and Fred's former friend from Morocco and Manuel, who leaves to get our visas at the bank, which turn out to be both entry AND exit fees of $18, newly applied for actual payment and not added to most airlines tickets, and thereby seemingly legitimate, rather than a rip-off for Manuel himself, as Fred suspected; and his Tortilla Soup sits there getting colder and the mountain in the middle slowly "sinks into the soup," as Fred put it). When we toast with our beers, I whisper to him, "I'd rather not be here," he whispers back, "I thought so." AFTER she brings the Tecate, a light beer, Manuel tells me that the darker the beer drunk this way, the better. Maybe I'll like it better later, and it's only 17P compared with 15P for the regular beer and 20P for the soup, for a total of 82P to which I add a tip of 9P for a Visa total of 91P, which I'm very happy to give to the sexy, black-slicked–haired, blue-eyed, nice-arm-veined Mexican who "reminds Fred of someone," like someone he would have liked to have known. Lunch to 1:15 and I can't stand the group, so excuse myself, pee, and get out in HEAT to sit in the park (the best two seats---in the shade facing the fairly busy street in front of the Municipal Palace---are occupied by a three-person family on the one side and two aged peons on the other side, so I sit in a comparable configuration facing the fountain to the west of the central pavilion, and four Indian dancers come over to try to extort money from me, saying, conveniently, "Money!" as they dance, rattle their jar under my nose, and try to cut off my determined glare at the water coming symmetrically off the top bowl of the fountain to bounce on the rim and make much of the surrounding sidewalk wet; finally, even though the last leans on my bag---the NERVE!---to shout "Money" into my "good" ear, they leave). I sit until convinced that it's getting hotter and more humid and less interesting, so at 1:46 I note that it's too hot and get back to the hotel. Knowing that #37 probably won't come out, I go halfway around the park to take the "Mexico 2001" combination on the facade through the park greenery at 1:50PM and get to the hotel to find Fred repacking for the two-night Canyon stay, pee, and can't think of anything to do but take off my sweaty long-sleeved shirt and dusty jeans and smelly socks and turn down my black bed-cover and lie down for a nap at 1:58PM. Fred fusses for a bit, I'm content to lie in my shorts and earplugs, and when I turn to look at him later, he waggles his fingers from the adjoining bed. I lie until 3:25 and then figure that lying longer will only make me feel worse, so I get up and pee, worried only the slightest that I'm experiencing the first symptoms of sleeping sickness, or bad bowel syndrome, but I don't shit at all and feel good enough to put on a short-sleeved shirt and sit at the AlphaSmart until 3:48PM typing this, figuring I'll read on one of the hotel patios, or go look at whom might be in the pool which IS, in fact, the swimming pool that I took a picture of yesterday, and pass the time until 6:30 chow time again, after which I'll pack for the two overnights and get to bed, again without television and with too much to eat. Repack for the two-night stay rather carefully until 4:15PM, then dress and go out to read while Fred remains in bed. Finish the March 25 New Yorker and give it to Fred, listening to the surprisingly New Age music coming from the patio below, which is being set up with chairs for the folklore performance tonight: good, rather than in the crowded bar. Lots of people pass and murmur greetings, others look at all of us reading and say, "Looks like a library." Some few gnats outside, once a hummingbird partook of the feeder, birds chirp, workmen knock about. The pool was empty when I passed, certainly small, with a cramped seating area reachable from curved tile steps accessible only from the pool itself. Type this at 6:07, preparing to start reading the April 2 New Yorker; Fred went down to fill up our two water bottles, and I decide to take out the little shopping bag and go with two lighter overnight bags rather than an overpacked, unwieldy A&K bag. Fred says, "It's a wasted, unending day," and I agree. But I essentially came on the trip with HIM (paying more for a better time, as is his custom), as well as an interest in Copper Canyon, which we haven't even gotten to yet, even though the trip is just over half over. Now 6:10 and I shut off again. HOW convenient this gizmo is! Get a good front-row seat and endure the paradox of sipping an overflowing margarita in a luxury hotel waiting for an ethnic dancer performance while reading about a pogrom in 1941 Poland in which a Polish village herded 1500 Jewish residents into a barn and burned them, after torturing and killing individuals in particularly unpleasant ways. The dance started just after sunset, after 6:30, and I'd changed rolls to start #Roll 3: #1: Chihuahua dance at 6:36PM. #2 Sinaloa dance at 6:45, and #3 end of dance at 6:54. Then up to the room to pee and put camera and New Yorker away and back to sit at the last table with the B.s and a single man staying at another hotel who only eats dinner here. We talked about restaurants in Tucson, where he lives, and he recommended La Rendezvous, and we talked of the Beard Foundation and my living in New York City, and his retirement and former jobs and former wife, and then we latched onto the common topic of New Zealand, which at one point had me shouting out "Fuckarewawa!" but though Fred said he heard my voice once, he couldn't hear what I was saying. Nice chat and then he suggested I come out and meet the owner, so I did, complimenting him on the quality of his hotel and the goodness of his service, and the old fart smiled and lapped it up. The Tucsonian suggested I stay, but it wasn't my thing, and I went up and had a shit. Then Fred came in and suggested we go for a walk, so after passing "Mutt and Jeff" or "Abbott and Costello" about FOUR times on various circuits of the Plaza, we took off to look at the closed entrance to the market, the "elegant" Hotel San Francisco that turned out to be more of a derelict hotel, and other places and people and shops and kids running past, we finally get back to the room where I have ANOTHER shit, thankfully mostly gas and oddly smooth pellets, not the diarrhea I'd feared, and now at 9PM I'm finishing up, almost ready for bed because we're going to be knocked on the door at 6AM, luggage out at 6:30 with breakfast starting, and leave at 7:30 for the bus to the train, keeping the same seats we had today for the short drive, and then two whole days without the bus. Fred despairs of ever getting to sleep, keeping his handwritten journal religiously. I didn't have that much to eat: tostada, bean soup, enchilada, no fish, rice, pineapple tamale with no pineapple, and flan for dessert. Iced tea quite sweet for the meal beverage. Now 9:03PM and nothing else to say; except to hope I don't wake up SIX times to pee!! Read more and Fred goes to bed before I finish a story, and I get to bed at 9:50PM. Wake and look at watch at 11:15, following the old familiar pattern.

FRIDAY, 4/6/01: Pee at 1:15. Pee at 3:36 with two dreams: 1) I'm trying to mix a tiny vial (like a large half-pill capsule) of a watercolor (or some solid substance that needs water to liquefy it and render it paintable), not sure what the color [start File 4 at 6:24AM 4/6] "Urban" is that my associate has suggested as an alternative. We have to apply another layer of makeup to a bald man who has to appear "natural" and right now he just looks too pink. I STILL think green or blue would do the trick, but both my associate and our "victim" think that's ridiculous. 2) Maybe we're trying to get a Chinese boat to the set for whatever production we're working on, but I'm helping push some heavy boat onto a transporter-boat which is poled by an old woman who seems quite strong and knowledgeable of the river we're moving over. This dream seems to have an accompaniment of Chinese music in the background. Wake again at 5:05, and probably doze, because I'm next aware of morning light outside the curtained patio window, and look at my watch to see that it's 5:55AM and Fred asks, "Did they knock?" from the next bed. I take my earplug out and say I didn't hear anything, and he repeats that he thought he heard three knocks at the door. I let him smell up the place before I smell up the place with a suspiciously yellow–looking, solid-enough turd, and I guess it's just the yellow spices we've been having with our beans. Shower with the sounds of others showering around me, and out at 6:15 for him to take my place, his bag already out. I put mine out at 6:20, still quite dim on the patio. Get to this point by 6:30AM, ready for another day with the bags already packed, though I feel that it's long overdue to brush my teeth, which I'll do after breakfast despite the absence of a television to brush to. Down to breakfast at 6:32, way before Fred, and sit at a pleasant table with the G.s and the TWO Britishers (and Ken and his permanent partner), and she tells me they were actually seated at 6:20AM. Fruit followed by pancakes, scrambled eggs, and potatoes-and-chorizo, not bad, and we talk about Ohioisms and Britishisms and New Yorkisms. At the end I ask for a second glass of orange juice and actually GET it, prompting remarks that at lunch yesterday no one had the slightest idea of how to fulfill their requests for "a glass of orange," and the gruff Mr. G. (what IS their name?) mimed stuffing an orange into a glass with his thumb (no, the glass didn't have his thumb). The second glass of orange juice was deliciously cold and much fresher tasting than the already-separated one on the table before me. Up to the room to finish this by 7AM, postponing filling my bottle until after brushing my teeth. Do that and get ready to leave at 7:23, running late. To bus 7:27 to "Buenos dias, Bob" and applause, for "second wake-up call." Leave 7:28. I WAS last! VERY cloudy, but sun's place is bright, so it must only be a low layer. To station 7:40. To platform 7:45, pestered by kids that I ignore. Read New Yorker, which I'M pestered for. Train appears at 8:22. Board at "small" window. Still reading. Starts at 8:30 EXACTLY. To Loreto at 9:28, having moved to a large, empty center section with a smaller window but a better view. #4 from longest, 1650-foot bridge at 9:47. #5 distant cloudy hills at 10:14. #6 Coloseo Lake at 10:23. #11 yellow Amapa tree at 10:43. Lunch 11:45-12:40: ham and cheese sandwich, Sprite, and cookies. Cold in dining room. Put jacket on. Already past photo #24 from various views of canyons before Copper. Stop in San Rafael 1:35. Train stops at 2:17 at 263 km from Moshis and 357 km from Chihuahua! 2228 meters high = 6684 feet. [3PM, start of bird-walk at bridge; 5PM, slides of Tarahumara in Divisidero Salon; 6PM margaritas and 7PM dinner.] Manuel hands Fred keys to GREAT room 48 personally, and I'm frustrated when I try to get the teapot to boil, but change outlets after I burn my right index finger on hotplate. Fred has the clue to put the water in from the TOP, not just in the pot! To walk at 3. #25 view at 3:27PM. But it's mostly talking about the "Selling Mall" at the top of the hill, only interest: boiling grasses for different amounts of times gives different colors. Pissed, at 3:40, from SHOPPING trip. Sit and drink chamomile tea and look at views till 4:50 to check bar to see that they serve ONLY cheeses, and 5:05-5:55 stultifying four slides of Indians and LOTS of talk of politics and Mexico in general and Tarahumaras little and ENDLESS margaritas with the couple who met only last year when he ran out of gin and she had martinis (D. and S., or whoever). Sunset clearly over by 7PM, so I can willingly go up to dinner at 8 with the six who have been traveling together since the beginning, their connection being the Joan S.-like sportswoman who plays tennis with one, golf with another, and rides with the third lady! Back to room sozzled at 8PM, can't possibly type anything, and glad to find heat turned on; take notes to 8:20, having washed face, and into bed at 8:25 and sleep even when Fred gets in later at 10PM, having watched CNN "about China and Britain and Bush signing something and even Democrats happy with some kind of tax bill," which I doubt.

SATURDAY, 4/7/01: Up to 12:30 to pee, again at 3:15 to pee and shit, toilet working OK but Fred says he stuffed it up with his slight case of the shits, in addition to having broken the bottom of his bed-slats in some way. I look through the curtain to see lightening in the east, and dress in shirt and sweater and jacket and scarf and beret and gloves (and pants and shoes) and get out at 5:48AM. WHITE cloud-tops in east, roosters crowing in the far distance, a faraway bird caws, distant dog-bark, train RUMBLE coming closer. Temperature maybe 50 degrees, since I can't see any vestige of smoke-breath, though after the sun strikes me, I exhale and can see the breath THEN. Female voice downstairs at 5:56: "I'm coming, I'm coming," but NOT in a sexual way. Rim of VERY low clouds may FALSIFY "first sunlight" time. #28 at 6AM EXACTLY, just to show the conditions in the east. Cliffs "behind" me (to the west behind the main rooms of the hotel) must have been covered in sunlight by 5:59AM. #29 cliffs behind at 6:02. Others out at 6AM: a Japanese woman in Room 50, the Mutt and Jeff pair in maybe Room 45. #30 first sun rises above the highest eastern bluff at 6:05---later in the year, with the sun rising farther in the south, it would come up earlier because the highest bluffs would be much more distant from this place. #31 sunlight at 6:07AM. #32 "faces" directly below at 6:08. Big freight train rolls past on the upper, nearest, tracks at 6:29. Some Indian-chant RECORDINGS (with drums) at 6:39 (and I amuse myself by thinking how surprised I'd be if I found out later that they were LIVE sounds!). At 6:50 I leave the sleeping Fred (well, he SAID he needed the sleep, but later he said he would have rather I waked him) for the bird-walk, only 15 of us. [Today: 8AM breakfast, 9:30 bus tour; 12:30 lunch; 1:30 long hike.] Manuel: red dot on my thumb is black-gnat bite from El Fuerte. We go to the back lot and see Chihuahua ravens, huge blackbirds; vultures, with white-stripe wing; a gold-eye vireo, with a wonderful eye in the morning sunlight; a junco with an amber eye; a distant flycatcher with a yellow belly, and others that I can't catch. He returns in a large circle and then goes back up the hill, but I go back to the room at 7:40 to find Fred awake with a series of woes: he'd messed up the toilet, and he'd collapsed the bottom of his bed when I was already up and out. He'd phoned for someone to fix them. I type up to this morning, feeling better but STILL sort of winded when I walk, and I'd had a persistent cough while watching the sun rise. Then to breakfast at 8, sitting at the table-of-six with Fred, getting lots of fruit, then scrambled eggs with ham, good potato fried-chips, and a cold pancake with Karo syrup and butter. Then Fred has two falator bags that I fill with chips with which I'd filled two plates with a bit of the tasty yogurt that even seems to have honey mixed in with it. Back to the room at 8:30 to find a repairman gluing Fred's headboard to the wall. Then he indicates he's finished and I bring him back into the room to point to the slat under the bed, and it's only ONE that fell out of many, and when I confront Fred with that fact, he says, "But wasn't mine [of falling through the bed] a better story?" I doubt he even fell the INCH he amended his story to me with. Then the guy starts to leave AGAIN, and I take him into the bathroom and flush the toilet, which rises brownly, ominously, to within an inch of the rim, and he fixes THAT. Fred later confesses to having put paper into the toilet after he found some OTHER apartments that DIDN'T have the sign (not occurring to him that THOSE apartments could have a BETTER waste-flush system). Anyway, everything's fixed, and Fred said he won't put paper in again, though he has a bit of the shits. Asked Manuel after breakfast if there was a trail to the top of the "cliffs behind," and he says, "That's where the 9:30 tour is going; we'll see the view from that point." So I don't have to get up there on my own. Look out at vultures beautifully circling (tell Fred: "They're so ugly sitting in trees and so wonderful flying!"). Finally catch up with this (having tried this on the table, sitting on the arm of the soft chair, which no other apartment on this floor seems to have; sitting on the balcony with the laptop on a pillow on my lap; and finally with this on the "telephone table between the beds," if we had a telephone, that is, and me sitting on my bed) at 9:17AM, ready to organize for the bus tour at 9:30. Pack things away, and Fred and I take a last john-break and get out at 9:25AM. Bus goes at 9:30. #33 Balancing rocks and yellow senicio, good for athlete's foot at 9:42AM. To Areponapuchi, "Place of Snakes," at 9:59, to shop! I sit in school bus and read. Leave 10:26. Stop at "Ranch" at 10:43. #34 "Pioneer's Cabin" and sales force at 10:49. I'm back in bus at 10:51, we leave at 11:01. Stop at "Point" at 11:06. #35 & 36 the hotel at 11:11. #Roll 4: #1 Canyon. #2 Goat at 11:16. #3 Equestrians at 11:22. #4 Fertility dance at 11:25. We're at 7500 feet, at an old drug-airline strip now out of service. Dancer also does bull and ram and dove and burro dances. We leave at 11:47 after embarrassing "boy kicks ball" and "girl chases rings" contests in which we're encouraged to root for white or red, though we have not the slightest idea who has to do what to which to win. I refuse to put anything into the passed hat, noting that Manuel started off the ante with a $10 bill. It was 4300 feet down to the river from that point. To balancing rock at 11:57. #5 Ivan (why am I sure that isn't his name?) on rock at 12:00. #6 houses at bottom, sky on top? #7 Fred and cliff. #8 paths and tin roof at 12;04. #9 Me. #10 One-foot-tall manzanita tree. #11 back to point. Leave 12:17, tip driver 3P, back to hotel 12:37. Lunch: make our own tortillas from chicken and beef and salsa and sour cream and lettuce and onions and corn and wheat tortillas after lentil soup and before awful pink shit dessert to 1:16. #12 two squirrels at start of "long hard" hike at 1:43, ten of us including Manuel. #13 hotel at 2:06, now down to eight of us. #14 RECENT Tarahumara cave at 2:14. #15 goats and Manuel. #18 Moholian (?) walls 200-900AD at 2:52. #19 OLD drawings. #21 goat cave at 3:15. Rosa System: burn and plant beans for three years until soil is worn out, then regular scrub will grow back. #22 old burial; window for food and drink. #23 current house being built at 3:25. #25 COPPER Canyon is the one to the right into the distance at 3:46. #29 train and hotel and our BUS at 3:52. We end at 8200 feet up. On the way back, when Manuel couldn't do it, I broke ponderosa bark and managed to evoke the smell of cinnamon for everyone in the group. Back at 4:22, TIRED! Tell Fred, who's lying in bed, that he could be glad he didn't go, but that I was glad I did. Then decide I MUST shower, since I didn't this morning and don't intend to tomorrow morning, so I drag myself and my weary muscles and bones out of bed at 4:36 and wash hair and everything and change underwear until 4:54, when I dash to the Salon at 5:03 and somehow Manuel hears me coming and opens the door to let me in and starts the slide-show where he left off yesterday; somehow I manage to stay more interested since he's showing more slides, and the God-drummer's face is worth the price of admission. Kids sit on the floor and chatter in their dialect, others rap on the window and knock on the door for Manuel to try to let them in, which sometimes succeeds and sometimes doesn't. Reminds me of the tiny trio that tries to bring down a newly rooted five-foot pine at the side of the airstrip, bending it to the ground, its fronds dipping into a display of baskets and then onto the head of the woman selling the baskets and she takes absolutely no notice of them, neither being annoyed by them nor telling them to stop. Manuel makes the point with his "smiling children" series that they're all HAPPY because they're being held in the arms or on the back ALL the time, "getting the viewpoint of the parent or caretaker" and "getting used to what he has to do the rest of his life." How AWFUL! The slides end at 5:54 and I decide I don't want anything to drink and copy down the rest of the schedule: dinner at 7, tomorrow is 7:30 breakfast and 8:30 departure. Back to the room and sit on the balcony in my jacket and watch the sunset while drinking a cup of water and eating the last bag of still-crisp potato "chips" taken from this morning's buffet falater. Wonder how Fred is going to process the greasy inside of the plastic bag I returned to him. The sun's already gone and I peer at the eastern horizon for the moon, which finally appears about 6:20, implying to me that it's one day away from being full, when it would rise at 6PM, diametrically opposite the sun's rising at 6AM. But it certainly looks full as it lifts above the mountain just minutes before the last remnants of sunlight leave the upper slopes of the same mountain. Sun's already left other highest mesas, and the moon rises and gets brighter in the cloudless sky. Watch my watch and leave at 7:02, being surprised by five totally full tables of eight: there are 39 of us, and Manuel and now Mel, newly arrived, make 41, so I sit down at an empty table for four. Someone from the next table expresses sympathy, Fred drops by to say, "You finally got exactly what you always wanted," with some shreds of irony in his smile, and I get my cactus soup and walk to another table to get the pepper to pep it up, then the shish kebab arrives with its tough meat and nondescript rice with corn in it, and finish without talking before everyone else so that I get my syruped, powdered-sugar-powdered flan first, slightly warm, which makes it agreeable, and one of the older women comes before my main course to ask about the trek, and then one of the trekkers comes from the first table and sympathizes, and then others from that table indicate they can squeeze me in, but I say they're crowded enough as it is, and as I pick up my coat and leave first, someone from the "last" table says she didn't know that I was eating alone, and how awful it must be, "Don't take it personally" is the only thing I can think to say. Consequently I get back to my room quite early at 7:35PM, take off lots of clothes, reopen the bathroom window that I closed and open the balcony door about a foot because the heating unit IS much too warm for the room, and finish typing this at 8:11PM, still feeling quite full and not yet sleepy. Had gone to the balcony to see many stars and planets glittering in the sky, with the moon in its own half in the east and lots of the formations in the canyons below still discernible. A few bugs in the room show that I've left the door too far open, but I don't yet have the large bumps that Fred asked me earlier today to verify on the back-insides of his thighs and on his calves, which he can't figure when he got, since he first felt them last night when he hadn't had shorts on for ages. I couldn't help him. The ceiling fan is pushing the air around, Fred's still not back yet, and I don't feel I have to be up before 7AM to pack my few items and get ready for the 7:30 breakfast. Now at 8:15PM, what do I do for the next 10.75 hours??? Brush teeth and read New Yorker until 9PM. Decide to go to bed. Fred comes in that moment. Undress for bed at 9:05. We chat for a bit and bed at 9:15. Pee 11:15.

SUNDAY, 4/8/01: Pee 1:05. Pee 2:45. Pee 4:45 and write this: misery, misery, misery! Up four times ALREADY! Altitude effect? Not drinking? End-of-trip anticipation? Misery! Shit a bit (as I write, but then when I flush three turds that back up the toilet for one flush, I add)---much. Toilet needs TWO flushes to digest it. Up at 5:27, having looked at my watch through the interim, pee again, take two aspirin, dress, and out on balcony at 5:39AM. Motor sound from hotel that I don't remember from yesterday morning. ONE ribbon of white cloud in east; scattered low tatters of pink. That same duo-tone, descending-octave, slowing bird-call: CHEE, do-we, do-we, do-we, do-we, dooo-weeeeee. No moon, no stars, no lights, no roof-patter, no roosters, no people. SLIGHT cold wind. 5:46: pink wisps now thicker, white above, gray below. 5:47 faint rooster. I cough. 5:49 high-soaring hawk. 5:52 crow caw. 5:53 man outside dining room; Fred peeks out. 5:56 roof-patter. 5:57 sun on trees ABOVE west wing of the hotel, even before the west cliffs. 5:58 west-back cliffs awash in sun; other mesas lit. 5:59 incredible rosiness in east. 6AM all BUT sun. Bird hops in gutter below my feet. 6:02 hotel lit. 6:03 (and then I change it to 6:04) I espy sun. 6:06 sun FULL up. Forgot yesterday: Manuel shows how reversed binoculars become magnifiers! HUGE wing-sounds of passing raven. LOTS of different, colorful, LITTLE birds. 3-4 people out on balconies by 6:35AM. Bright bugs' wings' halo in sunlight. 6:42: do I hear distant Tarahumara drummer? Sun warms where it stands on me. Warming in sun, but nothing much more that's different to watch: the sun's reached the bottoms of the east-facing canyons but hasn't yet touched west-facing anythings, even high up on hills. Decide to wait for 6:45 to go in, and Fred murmurs to me from behind his eyeshade that he had the worst night of all: tossing and turning, not able to sleep, feeling terrible. I start putting stuff away for transfer and he gets up to shower, so I pack up everything by 7AM and get down to catch up with this by 7:14. Determined to be EARLY for the 7:30 breakfast so that I don't have to sit alone again: as I said to Fred: "As God is my witness, I'll never eat alone again!" He laughs. He's still packing, fussing with plastic bags, people chat outside on balconies. My hair is still very fly-away from washing yesterday. The room feels even hotter from the heater working overtemperature. Everything away nicely, including more cash in wallet to begin searching for "the" Copper Canyon book, maybe in Creel at lunch, and spending the last of the pesos. Now stop at 7:16. To breakfast, but they forbid my even taking FRUIT until 7:30, when I do, and then eggs and tacos with what turns out to be PRUNE butter, which gives me another shit when I get back to the room. Finish at 7:53 and walk up the hill to a few good sunny-view views, and then back to hotel at 8:08, shitting, avoiding Fred running around in shorts, and finishing this up to 8:16, ready to board the bus for a long day. Fred leaves ME key to turn in, which I do AFTER carting stuff to bus at 8:20. DEBATE shopping mall walk at 8:24, but decide not. Mel asks if I've got problems, too. "No." BLESS Fred, I say ironically. (He actually says he said NOTHING to Mel.) Oteros Canyon was the one we followed in the train coming IN. Leave at 8:33. Steepest ROAD is 7.5 grade: 7.5 meters in height in 100 meters in length. Steepest TRAIN grade is 2.5. To Creel, 44 km, at 9:23. Look and actually BUY 10 NESTED boxes for 18P = $2, 20 cents each! Fred and I walk streets and he buys T-shirt from kid for $5. Leave 9:56. #31 Sunday slums in San Jacinto at 10:40. Stop for apple-farm lunch at Casa Dona Carolina at 11:54. Leave 1:16, pretty good: apple soup, steak, rice, veggies, flan and apple cider. Pit stop 2:41-2:54. [Manuel's phone is 425-5673; taxi-restaurants at La Calesa for steak or El Retablo for Mexican food. Ask bellboy for taxi, about $5 per taxi, independent of number of people in taxi. To Pancho Villa Museum (which is closed Monday, so we're going today, when it closes at 5PM) at 3:43.] Guide talks endlessly, to 4:03. #32 Villa's death car at 4:16. #33 Villa mural at 4:20. I'm not that interested in Villa, nor am I at ALL interested in standing in a hallway looking at an unattractive guide talk for TWENTY MINUTES about details I'm not particularly interested in, about his wife's adopted children who ended up going to the same school Manuel did, and the rooms added after Villa was killed, and what is LIKE what he had in the building rather than what he HAD in the building. To silver shop and pay $2.15 (and actually get 85 cents in US change back from $3) for what was probably a free Copper Canyon brochure, giving all the pictures and information I wanted in what I bought, and it even advertises "La Calesa." Leave at 4:40:40. We go AGAINST traffic on Independencia to get from the hotel to the Cathedral. To hotel Palacio del Sol at 5PM and get room 704, up to unpack and make a mess on the bed, worse when the bags come, but I at least blow my terribly dry and bloody nose and put some Vicks into it, which it dreadfully needed in Barrancas. Leave hotel at 5:40 to take a walk with Fred, and we get to the Cathedral to find people selling woven palms for Palm Sunday, and the church crowded with people for the 6PM mass. Some interesting people, some drunk, in the plaza, and we'll see this on the tour tomorrow, so we're across to the Mall where I'd fantasized we'd find an interesting restaurant, but it's rather seedy, not as neat as Manuel would have liked, and Fred keeps saying, "They never let you forget where you are," remarking about the colors in the shops "for the Mexicans," the mess on the streets, the babies, the couples, the dirt, the tacky shops, and we get to the end, then look at some of the government buildings we hope to get better pictures of tomorrow, and back on a main street to the hotel, then pass it to find that Arias Liquor store is closed, and into Conran's (or whatever) and Fred picks up a basket but gets turned off by the cans placed on shelves when people didn't want them, the steak on a produce shelf, the unwrapped seafood on the shelves, and the lack of prices and sometimes piles of produce at the bottom of the shelves. I can't find anything interesting after crossing glances with someone interesting in the photo shop where they didn't have the battery-size I wanted, and finally we leave, deciding to go to the hotel restaurant, and back to the room to open the bottle of red wine to "have a glass" and find Queer as Folk on at 7:15 and finish the wine while watching that, then down to La Noria at 8PM with a surprising number of the tour at other tables, and we have an amusing tete-a-tete across an aisle with D. and S. about the wine and the food, getting told to make SURE they understand we mean rare, and the wine isn't bad (but they end up paying 450P for it!), and I order the Crema de Nuez, the Cream of Pecan soup, and it's quite wonderful, VERY rich, and then my "filet with bearnaise sauce" comes out RIDICULOUSLY overcooked, and it's not a filet, and it's not bearnaise sauce, but I eat it anyway, however Fred turns back his rib-eye that was well-done and orders the vegetable soup, and our wines WERE 25P per glass, not commensurate with 350P/bottle as announced, and he pays 55 for his, which I put on the hotel bill that I'll pay, and the whole thing with 10% tip is 223.95P. Back to the room at 9:05 and Fred tunes through channels and finds The Sopranos with another soundtrack, which he insists on watching ANYWAY, so he does that and I do this until 9:35, when I really can't stand being awake anymore, so I type these final words and have to clear off my bed before going to sleep. Just stuff everything into the bag and get to bed at 10. Wake at 11:10 and Fred's gone to sleep with the lights off but the TV on, so I switch it off and probably pee, but I don't remember.

MONDAY, 4/9/01: Pee at 1:15AM. Pee and shit at 3:55AM, remembering dreams: 1) "Oh, sorry," some woman in my office says, "the cat ruined the end of your program." "But I have a backup," I say confidently, but the end of the backup runs out before the real end, so lots has been lost. 2) I remember no other circumstances other than an actor like Robin Williams is in some sort of friar's gown with brown burlap over the arms and body, and his arms have to be cut off at the shoulder (maybe this was from my amusement at the Franciscans and Jesuits having missions in the same town we happened to pass through yesterday), and he allows one arm to be cut off without any outward show of blood or any facial expression rather than a trying-to-be-funny resignation. I sleep relatively well, wakened by the morning sun shining through the "shower curtain" in a starlight pattern, and from about 5:50AM to 7AM did a VERY complete Actualism session for the first time in a LONG time. The little polyp at the front-right base of neck seems to have gotten thicker and it HURTS when I wash it, and little lines of red are running out from it, so [start File 5 at 8:41AM 4/9] there's something ELSE to be concerned with when I get back to NYC other than the tooth. Dress and wake Fred by 7:40 and down to breakfast with most everyone eating at tables for four, so I take fruit and refuse coffee, so the coffee man moves my cup to someone else's place, and when I refuse coffee the second time there's nothing more for them to do. Have a mammoth omelet with ham and cheese and mushrooms, MUCH bigger than the one "Mrs. D." gets when she has just a cheese omelet. The orange juice from the dispenser is much colder and tastier than the glass of orange liquid that was sitting at the table to start with. Neck polyp still annoys, as does Fred: when I get back to the room he's indicated with signs that he wants all the towels replaced in the bathroom and his bedclothes changed. Since he can indicate HIS bedclothes, mine will probably be left, but there's no way to tell them to leave MY towels. Then his insistence on watching The Sopranos even though he doesn't have the sound is strange, as is his not sitting with us but "starting a new table in case anyone hasn't been down yet." AND his constant chatting with the most obnoxious women even though he ADMITS they're obnoxious. Finished with breakfast about 8:25 and copy down the times from the information sheet posted between the elevators (surely not the swiftest for the other tourists here, who are many, including a younger Michael Blackburn type with a thick chest and appealing, center-parted, full hair and a pleasant, smiling face, even looking at me with the interest of an intelligent person, rather than "judging" or "deciding" in his demeanor): after today's 7AM breakfast and 10AM departure including lunch, with the rest of the afternoon free, tomorrow will be 7AM luggage out and breakfast starts, 8AM departure. I seem to have some sort of allergy. Vicksed up my nose copiously last night, but it still showed pink when I blew it even through this morning. Replaced the Vicks five or six times, but it still feels dry and I'm sneezing a lot and coughing some, and vaguely wonder if I might not have some sort of emphysemic reaction to the elevation in Divisadero and the lesser elevation here in Chihuahua City, or indeed just some allergy. Various OTHER teeth are beginning to hurt, too, including 1) upper left, toward the front from the space, 2) lower right, somewhere near the back, 3) lower left, somewhere around the root canal. Other things to check when I call on Friday for an emergency look at the broken incisor. Really felt DEPRESSED this morning about the trip: none of the sights were really THAT impressive, considering we didn't even PASS THROUGH any part of Copper Canyon itself, and all the shopping is a turnoff even when I managed to find something to buy, and the group isn't that great, and FRED isn't that great, becoming distant as I've probably become more distant, going to bed earlier than he does, waking before he does to shower, then going down to breakfast without him this morning and only getting the key from him to get back in. Just heard the knock of a chambermaid, thinking it was Fred. I didn't expect to SO dislike the Mexican food: breakfast buffet was FULL of brown beans and brown bubbling meats for taco-filling, and rices and salsas, some of which the people at the next table took and then complained how hot they were! Why else to take salsa? Fred said the food in Mazatlan and Cabos was much better, but Mariscos soup and whatever else he may have praised didn't seem that good, and I'm SURELY not trying the tripe soup that Manuel said was SO good. Maybe I'm just blasé from so much travel; maybe this was the wrong trip-choice, though it DID (and even Fred joked that it did) sound interesting in the brochure. And we're lucky with the not-too-hot weather, no rain, no great traffic delays, no real hotel complaints, but the not-wonderful FOOD and the not-wonderful eternally joking Manuel and the not-wonderful group just add up to a not-wonderful overall experience. Fred is inclined to agree, not liking breakfast and reminding me of how many on the trip are REALLY sick: vomiting and not being able to keep ANYTHING down. Now 9:23AM and he has no interest in Baseseachich Falls. Brush teeth. To bus 9:56. Leave 9:58. #34 "milk box" Palacio del Sol Hotel, Santa Rosa Mountain, and cathedral at 10:05. [THREE main mountains (Santa Rosa, Cerro Grande, and Colonel), on city's coat of arms.] #35 Bull, Cerro Grande Mountain with cross, group and downtown old Chihuahua at 10:07. Canal in foreground? #36 Anthony Quinn (ne Jose Antonio Quinones) picture next to Colonel Mountain, which is having a road built up its side to become a sightseeing observation point over the city, and those are the three mountains! Stop to 10:21. 110-meter flagpole has no flag because of the strong winds in March and April. Name of the store last night was Soriana. In Mexico in 1810: 11-year war of independence from Spain; in 1910: 11-year civil war against dictator-for-33-self-elected-years Porfirio Diaz. Now their Presidents are elected for only one six-year term; Fox is hoped to be good for the country. #37 Governor's Palace (at second stop) at 10:35, assumed not to come out. K. is stiff-knee; Charles S. is joker; J. is weak-cane. #Roll 5: #1 inside Governor's Palace at 10:47. #2 Hidalgo from inside Governor's Palace at 10:55, writing with Fred's pen, since mine seems to have given out. I walk up three floors to avoid BORING Martin. He covers ALL the murals on WHOLE ground floor to end of tour. Pancho Villa SAID to have had 25 wives, but no one knows for sure, since he was a law unto himself. Back to bus 11:26. Leave 11:33, having read lots of New Yorker, and showing Joe that I HAVE his issue of it. #3 Cathedral at 11:46. #4 light-changer and -cleaner in Cathedral at 11:57. Leave 12:03PM. Pass Museo de Arte Sacro in BACK of Cathedral! Drive past elegant houses, most of which are now schools or businesses or rentals, in the better part of the New City; stop for aqueduct pictures, but only built in late 1700s and stopped being used in 1960s. Stop in Rincon Mexicano at 12:31. Sit with Barbara and Charles and have Bohemia while they have "Seis Equis" (three Dos Equis), and get lettuce-and-tomato salad, tough-beef flautas served with a bean-pie and a meat pie, tortillas for one's own making with green peppers and cream, and highly spiced beef, then fried chicken with guacamole, and flan with cream. I asked for a second Bohemia, expecting to pay $3 for the 25P quoted by the waiter, but he said it was included (I guess some of the guests didn't order beer), at which the others at the table order seis MORE equis, and I drink half of what Barbara doesn't have. Actually ASK her if she's any relation to Judith W., but she says no, she has very FEW relatives, but I INSIST she's very similar in demeanor, facial expression, vocalizations, and way of being. THEY just came back from a Holland-American tour which INCLUDED Angel Falls, which they visited in February, dry season, to relatively little water, having NOT seen it on the first fly-by, but seeing it the second time around, telling me to take out LOTS of trip insurance for the flight on the 1938-built plane with four engines, two of which visibly dripped oil, with a capacity of about 26, on which they were 19, staying at a lake with waterfalls cascading into it and taking a dugout to Stage 2, and then walking under other falls while NOT taking the four-day trek to the base of Angel Falls. I promised to tell them about Sete Quedas when Charles started talking about how impressive Iguasu was with its 37 or so cataracts. Then he asked an intriguing question: where have you been where you would LEAST like to return? And he named Djibouti for himself, wryly observing, "They go to Ethiopia for vacation!" We of course exclude Mexico for the purposes of this trip. I have trouble thinking of a place: maybe Great Falls, South Dakota, would be in the running, since I did it ONLY for the falls, which weren't that great. Mentally thumb through Europe, Africa, India, Asia, South America; it would probably end up in USA. GREAT lunch to 1:35PM, then back to hotel, being told about another mural next door at the Posada de Tierra Blanca, or whatever, and I start typing, then take time out for my observation of #5 "The Eyes of the Cathedral" at 2:22:22, and then Fred suggests we get ice for my remaining bottle of champagne, and I go down with the ice bucket to come up with enough for the first layer of ice around the bottle and then Fred goes down for a second ice-bucket-full before it occurs to both of us to use the WASTEBASKET we're using for the REAL ice bucket to cool the champagne, and he puts the cap on the whole shebang, asking if I want any ice water now, and he's picked up FAR more brochures about the town and the Cathedral from the Tourist Information Office than even I did. Now it's 2:43 and I'm feeling much better than I did this afternoon; Fred is writing in his journal, and I figure I'll see what's on TV. Flick through TV to 4:10; I have headache. Jackass is a true gross-out with dog-poop used in various ways. Then Fred has his itinerary: 1) We go see the mural and I take #6 "Fifth Sun's Cosmic Ray" at 4:20. Then walk to the Cathedral, where Fred takes the picture he wants and we walk around to 2) the Museo de Arte Sacro, which is 8P for seniors, and I give them $1 and Fred gives them 7P and they give me 1.5P as change. Huge cement room downstairs with baroque paintings of Santos and an enormous wooden coffin for "the entombment of Christ." Out and decide to walk down sales blocks, and I see a view of the Municipal Building with the bandstand that I take as #7 at 5:01. We pass lots of shops, then make our way to Arias, which is open, and look at lots of stuff and I put 75.05P on my Visa for 980 ml of Kahlua, about which I tell Fred, "I'm gonna be real mad if I carry this around for two days and then find it's cheaper when we go across the border at Juarez," and Fred says he doesn't even think we'll stop at a liquor store, and I think, "No way." He says the blue (authentic?) Viagra are being sold here without prescription for 4 for $40. Get back to hotel at 5:40 to find a message from "Babs and Chas" to phone them, so I do and they say they want to go to Tony's, and I say that was OUR plan, and we agree on 8PM, meeting for a taxi downstairs (since Manuel says the 25-minute walk is through a poor neighborhood) at 7:45. Get my margarita ticket and meet Fred at the desk. He's just made reservations for 2 at 7-8PM, so the clerk says he'll call back and change it to 4 at 8PM. Back upstairs and Fred moves things around and I type this, and it's 6:11 and I'll start moving things around as Fred gets knocked up with his laundry. Have incredible trouble zipping up my black trousers, and literally have to lie down on the bed so that my stomach gets small enough for me to do it!! Get downstairs about 7:40 and they're not there yet, so we call for a cab and they come down and it turns out that each way will be 30P and Fred says we'll pay on the way out and they'll pay on the way back. She gets in front with the driver and the three of us squeeze into the back, Fred in the middle, and we get to this VERY elegant dwelling with a few immediately noticeable men without jackets, to my relief. But the menu is VERY nice, and they bring steaks on a trolley to display for them to order. I order the prosciutto and fruit, but first they bring salmon, which also shows up on the bill, which I complain about until the waiter points out that it was deducted at the bottom of the bill. They all have rib-eyes, which DO come out rare, and my duck with sweet cherries is fabulous, and Fred orders a Chilean Undurraga that is very tasty, and they don't have a Chardonnay for them, but they settle for a pinot blanc, and they eventually order TWO bottles of it, which Fred and I help them finish. The pianist is very good, and he comes out after everyone else is gone, and Charles puts a $20 bill into his glass. It MAY be he owned the Marriott on 59th and the river before selling it to the Chinese for $6.2 million when the original selling price had been set at $3.2 million! He likes Holland-American tours, particularly suites with verandahs. So he does NOT lack for money, though it comes out that she's on a "one-year probation" as a date, which leads me to say that that's the plot of Sweet November, except that it's SHE who limits HIM to ONE MONTH before anything permanent is considered. Lovely dinner, lots of concentration on Fred, and we all seem to have a very good time. Back to the hotel at 10PM and Fred insists that he can't go to sleep for another hour, saying that I can't possibly go to sleep with all my stuff on my bed, and then he goes into the bathroom for five minutes and comes out to find me closing the final zipper on my bag, with my shopping bag also in use, and I get to write this by 10:31, hoping I'll be chipper enough to wake up at 6AM to get Fred up at 6:30 as he wants for the 7AM breakfast and 8AM departure. LOTS of junk stuck in teeth. Take LAST TWO aspirin and get into bed at 10:50PM.

TUESDAY, 4/10/01: Wake at 12:30 to shut off TV and pee. Wake at 3:20 to pee. Wake at 4:40 to pee, starting to feel miserable again. It's possible I napped for a few minutes between 4:40 and 6:20, but it didn't feel like it when I got up at 6:20, exhausted from trying to avoid the bright shafts of morning light coming around the sides of the curtains that don't even reach BACK to cover the total-room-width windows, not to mention the persistent starry-sky effect even when the curtains are closed over the "blackout" curtains. In opening them wider yesterday afternoon I managed to pull down the left outer-drapery rod, and just left it curled up on the floor for the maid to find after we leave. Out from washing my hands (nails VERY dirty!) and face at 6:32 and have to call "Fred" about eight times, the last time louder, at which he jumps, but what else could I do short of touching him, which would have had to have been the next step. Miserable last night with a hard core of "burp" lodged just under a bolus of horrid-acid-tasting food, and it just couldn't be brought up until right before I woke. Also, the terminally FULL feeling lasted unto NOW, and I'm resolved to have ONLY fruit for breakfast and be HUNGRY for lunch, which will also be small. Debate asking Fred if he has any Tylenol left, since he took some of my aspirin. Now 6:40 and Fred's still in the shower. Relentlessly sunny outside, and the Mexico book is still draped over the mid-window vent to prevent it from opening and closing, due to the high variable winds outside, with tremendous bangs. Everything ready for putting out my bag and for breakfast, but I feel tired and logy and SO short of breath I wonder if I might not be wise to be tested for adult-onset asthma as one possible cause of "altitude sickness" when I'm not even that high or that active---no trace of it on the STRENUOUS Divisidero walk, but I feel it walking the streets of Chihuahua City. Not wearing an undershirt in the hopes of not disturbing what might be a scab over the polyp on my right-front neck. Lots of things going wrong, including a continually bloody-blow from the dry nose, and I keep repeating, "Day after tomorrow I'm HOME!" to make me feel somewhat better. Last full day in Mexico today, crossing the border tomorrow, getting ready for NYC the day after tomorrow. WOW, am I TIRED of this trip and the people on it! Now 6:44AM. Get the bag out at 6:54, others already waiting in the hall. Fred gives me two outrageously shiny, bright red and bright yellow Tylenol, insisting they're just "normal strength," which I take, hoping to feel better stomach-wise (which is STILL stuffed) and head-wise, which doesn't exactly feel like it has a headache, but it's only one step removed from either that or falling asleep as I type or sit on the bus. Everything done now at 6:58, and down to breakfast. Get down at 7:02 and the place is already jammed with us. Fred said, "I hope there's a table for one or two," and the next thing he's started a table for six with a couple already sitting there. I go to the farthest table and get a bowl of fruit and, after three guys ask if I want coffee, and the third even suggests tea, I ask if it's possible to have hot chocolate and he says yes. Really feel drunk when I knock over a half-glass of orange juice right into the chair of anyone who would have been sitting to my right! Just then an older waiter brings my hot chocolate and I indicate the spill to him, and he gathers napkins and wipes things up, and when he returns with a mop I offer him a dollar, which he refuses with a smile, but I say "Please!" and he takes it with a smile. Cleans it all up except only leaving no place setting for the still-wet chair seat. Back to my room at 7:20 and type this to 7:23, intending to LIE DOWN until departing just before 8AM. FORGOT to pay bill, and they run my Visa about four times before they accept it. Onto bus at 7:59 and have trouble finding an overhead space, moving way back to bin six. Fred says about TEN on the trip are vomiting and shitting. Leave at 8:05, Fred NEXT to me because people are sitting in his proper seat to line up for the john in the rear. My pen runs out again! Borrow Fred's. Stop at big junk-statue of Don Quixote that I don't even bother to get out of the bus for, and there's a rest stop 9:30-9:52 at a toll station in the middle of a roaring dust storm. Since there's nothing to watch, I close my eyes for most of the morning, feeling like I might ALSO become sick in any number of ways: constipation, shits, throwing up from bus-motion sickness. Manuel buys a half-case of Gatorade for "electrolyte balance" for the shitters, and he has a bottle left that he gives for Fred and me to share, and my body appreciates the fluid supplement. Stop 10:40-10:43 for more pees. HUGE sandstorms, bus having to slow sometimes when the lane-lines are BARELY visible. Nothing to see outside anyway but desert and not one but TWO dead animals, a small cow in the distance and a large black bull right by the road which may have been hit by a vehicle in the dust. Spot check at 11:37, waiting for the vehicles in front of us, but they wave us through unchecked at 11:39. 11:47: a semi PASSES us quickly, but has to get back in because of oncoming traffic and CUTS IN TOO QUICK and HITS us! Mel and Manuel get out; Manuel, on phone, tells Philippe to REPORT the yellow-cabbed semi to the police. Move again at 11:50. To Hotel Hacienda at 12:05 to give out the room keys and let people use the johns. I just dump my stuff out and rest and get back to the bus at 12:27, Fred last. Leave at 12:36. Lunch at Restaurant Malmedy to 1:33, feeling VERY edgy, not wanting to eat anything and putting a ham-and-cheese in Fred's bag in my hat for later. Have some of the lettuce and potatoes, and the two glasses of lemonade are very appreciated. Old homestead-type rooms, painted a very dark green. I just want to GO, get FINISHED with the touring day, and everyone's TALKING. Leave at 1:41. #8 dust storm on Main Street at 1:43 from inside bus. Three more leave when we stop back at the hotel. Old Casas Grande started in 1661. Paquime at its height from 1361-1426(?). I look at the beginning map before anyone else gets in, and keep going ahead of Manuel and the group, listening to him and reading more of the captions. VERY elaborate museum, lots of scholarship evidenced in plastic containers of everyday materials like shells and grains and seeds, and wonderful models of cliff dwellings and of Paquime itself, except that NO photographs are allowed, under the "new" reasoning that THIEVES would take pictures to be able to DUPLICATE objects they would then steal and replace with the duplicates! Lots of interesting drawings of the Indians, some indicating that the male genitals were left totally uncovered, which would be nice. Burials and connections with northern and southern areas, and Mexican history with more slaying of missionaries and Indians and Spanish and Americans, and loss of water as reasons for abandoning of towns. NO books in the shop about the museum! SAD! About 2:35 find Manuel in the shop and ask when we have to be back to the bus: 3:30! Outside in wind but blessedly little dust blowing, take pictures, but the plan doesn't seem to match the ground layout, and I'm flying blind, feeling I'm getting a fever, and putting my camera under my jacket to protect it from the dust. SOME tourists are INSIDE areas which are clearly marked as forbidden! Search for the "cross" but just can't find it and don't have the energy to backtrack to make sense of the terrain. Have enough to give an IDEA of what's there, anyway. Back to museum at 3:15 and pee and everyone's gone, so I'm back to the bus at 3:25 and I'm last, so we leave at 3:24, to pottery exhibition at 3:35. FEEL AWFUL! Lie down, and to bus at 4:17. [Tomorrow: 7:30 luggage out and breakfast, leave 8:30.] Take Cipro #1 at 4:48, then into bed, with chills, telling Fred to double quilt over me. Sweating and miserable till 7PM, when I feel somewhat better and start drying out sheets and up at 7:20 to try to shit, but can't. Eat sandwich, which tastes pretty good, and take dinner pills to 7:50. Don't feel like going to bed and need to let food digest, so I read New Yorker and watch TV with Fred and get to bed at 9:15PM, feeling quite a bit better. Seem to get right to sleep, comfortable under blanket.

WEDNESDAY, 4/11/01: Up at 3:15AM (SIX STRAIGHT HOURS SLEEP!) to pee. Up at 6:15 and actually SHIT! Normal amount and texture. YAY! Shower 6:20-6:40, which wears me out "like I'd run the marathon." But start repacking, give Fred the tipping sheet, get my bags reorganized and get the blue bag out at 7:25AM. Fred goes to breakfast early and I follow at 7:32. Everyone's there in the crowded room, lots of other tourists, and breakfast is NOT minimal as told: I have scrambled eggs and ham, fruit (papaya which sticks together), and two glasses of orange juice, with two half-slices of buttered toast. Manuel announces that we'll be leaving at 8AM! Fred, he tells me now, says "No way" twice, but "he just gave me a dirty look: you troublemaker," and ignored him. I dash back at 7:43 after the fastest breakfast in captivity (no place to sit, and Manuel himself brought me a place setting at his table) and finish this up to date at 7:54, rather doubting that everyone will be on the bus at 8AM. Leave room (teeth fuzzy) at 7:58. Evelyn S. gave me apricots. "Shit," I said, first thing, to her and she smiled and said, "Good." People cheery boarding, bus fresh-looking. Leave 8:09. Cipro #2 at 9:15PM last night; Cipro #3 7:45AM this morning. Five MILLION archeological sites, with 11,000 open to public in Mexico! Lots of green Mennonite wheat and alfalfa fields as opposed to deserts yesterday. And NO WIND! 8:39 control point stop. They feel HANDHOLDS on sides and top-exit, and take a CANDY, but go off at 8:42. Checkpoint #2 at 9:23, one guy on, two before. Checks overheads, we leave at 9:25. #15 snowcaps in FAR distance at 10:22 in North Mexico. Fuzzy with bumpy bus? Control point #3 at 10:33 through 10:36. #16 Mexico-US iron curtain at 10:49. Start line to US at 10:50, USA at 11:02. Stop at Wal-Mart 11:04. Buy what LOOKS to be a glucosamine/chondroitin bargain for $36.47 for 280 capsules. Back on bus 11:26, throwing Elsie's stuff back onto HER seat. Leave 11:38. Douglas City is US border town. Lavender pit 900 feet deep. Bisbee pit 12:03. #17-18 pit; #19 hill color. Manuel tries to HURRY us, but people stand around and CHAT! Leave at 12:09. #20-22 Bisbee from bus. "Buses are not allowed to drive through anymore." Tombstone at 12:40, back 2:20 in park. Susan's not THERE. Lunch at OK Cafe (emu burger for $7.50) to 1:45. #23 Tombstone Stagecoach at 1:47. #25 north end of Fifth Street at 2:01. #26 "On this sight." "Wind and hail and snow here yesterday." Walk ALL streets to 2:36 and board bus. Leave 2:41. [Dinner at 7PM in room 201.] Arrive 4:05PM, room 213, looking exactly the same as the prior. Flick through TV mindlessly, Susan calls and "had a deadline" and couldn't come. Nice of her to phone. To dinner at 6:55 and sit with Babs and Chas and S.s and Joe and wife and Manuel, awful London broil and other food, eating about half of it. Get a vodka-tonic for well drink and finish this at 8:59PM in time to watch Sex and the City at 9PM on HBO. It was an episode Fred had seen before, but not that interesting, to 9:30. Then he wanted to watch Arliss, which I didn't care for. Interesting how last night's illness took TOTAL priority over "How much longer is there to this trip?" But now I know there's less than 24 hours left before I'm HOME, and can do what I WANT, like jerk off, read the mail, catch up on the Times, talk to friends on the phone, put things away, see about getting my tooth fixed, and enjoy life for the 40-odd days before the NEXT trip with its impossible flights, not to mention the LAST trip of the year with the MORE impossible flights. Everyone on the trip impressed with the number of trips, but I keep saying that I'm slowing down: it was five last year and only four this year. To change the subject, why did I feel so sad when Joe kept trying to make conversation on the bus, which I didn't feel interested in continuing---even though it was quite clear that he was only searching for a way to occupy his time. Watch The Sopranos until 11PM and go right to bed.

THURSDAY, 4/12/01: Wake at 12:15AM to pee, then [start File 6 at 7:06AM 4/12] at 3:20 to shit rather aromatically, I guess from the Cipro. Wake at 6:15 with memory of two dreams: 1) Someone has discovered a Chardin painting that should be worth at least half a million, and there's some interaction with other dealers or auctioneers that I've forgotten at this point. 2) I'm watching a series of reconstructions at 167 Hicks, which has turned into a southwestern-style series of balconied apartments somewhat like Doubletree, and they're finally clearing out a central pit that had become filled with garbage and putrid water, and as they dug deeper it turns out this was a wonderful cenote-type swimming pool that, when filled with clear water, allows anyone to look down from the edge and see two levels of apartment windows below, causing me to wonder, since they don't look particularly reinforced, how the bottom ones in particular are constructed to withstand the pressure of the water down 15-20 feet. There's another decorative pool on another side, and I think, in the dream, that 167 Hicks has so much improved that I might actually stay here rather than move into Cadman Plaza when it becomes available. Our wakeup call comes at 6:45 and Fred gets up to shower and as soon as he exits at 7AM I go in to shit and do so SO copiously that it takes four flushes to rid the bowl of the floating dollops of crap and remaining particles. Fred says the same thing happened to him, also. He goes to breakfast after we AGAIN watch parts of the adulterated Disney cartoon of Anna and the King. I get down about 7:40 and many of the men from the trip absolutely IGNORE me, which is only fair. But some of the women are friendly, including the large, loud woman who proclaims, "LaGuardia locked in fog and Chicago with one-hour wind delays." Up at 8:30 to a bizarre message which is only a toodle-oo alarm-type sound. Eula calls about Cipro, and at least I tell her it's two tablets a day for five days. Finish this up (rooting in the bag for an undershirt and adding the pillbox) at 8:50, putting it in my A&K bag with the bagel and cream cheese I got "falater." Now starts a long airport day. Fred leaves and pays $1.50 phone bill. Desk tells us that Stagecoach ARRIVED at 8:15 and left at 8:30, saying, "Another will be past at 9AM!" Get outside at 8:58 amid varying group goodbyes. Stagecoach actually arrives at 9AM and leaves at 9:03. Arrive at the airport at 9:25. Get seat 20F "almost front of wing" at 9:34. Wait at gate 24. 9:45: departure delayed "fairly significantly by traffic-flow delays into Chicago because of winds." By 10AM we've been SWITCHED (with bags and aisle and window seats for us) to a DALLAS flight leaving at 11:02, connecting to a 4PM LaGuardia flight arriving about 8:40PM, "only 20 minutes later." Let's hope all is OK. GREAT window seat 9A, Fred next to me, board at 10:40, facing north as we fly straight east on this 1:35 flight! #27 housing grids in west Texas at 11:56. #28 same, with TOWN grid for scale (it's getting cloudy) at 11:59. Good views, and we land easy (?); I'm VERY antsy first half of flight, but then I SORT of calm down. 12:22: Dallas isn't PARTLY cloudy, it's TOTALLY cloudy. #29 and 30 amusement park at 12:40. Land at 12:42, only 1:33. 1:36: "LaGuardia wants us to leave at 3PM (5PM local time)!" At 2:25 (4:25 local) VERY rain-cloudy out, yet we're boarding. JAMMED plane. FAT woman next to me. Announce flight of 2:28!: 51° in NYC. Can't BELIEVE the flight is only 2:28! ASSHOLE next to fatty KEEPS trying to phone his CUNT! 3:11: "Flight attendants prepare for GATE arrival, please!" SHIT! 3:19: "SWITCH repair needed." 3:45 STILL SIT! 4:07: "This aircraft is out of service." Re-board at 5:15, numbers of puzzles later. 5:32: "Flight WILL be an HOUR shorter with good tailwinds." Again announced at 2:28 flight, misty in 51° NYC. Off at 6:20! Black clouds and lots of bumps and previously unheard announcement of "Parents, keep a tight hold on your children!" when flight attendants ordered to secure their service carts and strap down. 8:45: we'll land in 40 minutes in NEWARK! 8:52: LaGuardia IS closed, we'll land at EITHER Newark or JFK! 9:08: "If there is a doctor on board, please push attendant's button." 9:11: Atlantic City GLITTERS through dramatically parting and closing cloud-covers. 9:17: Newark and JFK full, we're 140 miles north of DULLES and going DOWN. 9:26: landing in Dulles in 25 minutes. Land at 9:55PM, which is 12:55AM local time! We sit OUT on runway. Board two people-movers at 10:15PM, off at 10:30. We get into lounge and MILL, no one knowing anything. ONE woman is handling all: 100 Amtrak seats on train from 5AM - 8AM NYC for $162, YOU pay, American Airlines only pays taxi from Dulles to Union Station. Fred and I decide to wait for hotel and leave (on same flight?) in morning. Then, at 11:20PM: NO hotel rooms. UNKNOWN 6AM flight MAYBE to LaGuardia, but who says it'll be open at 7AM? We have to pick up checked luggage, which I finally find by asking someone who has theirs, and they're lumped into the farthest corner of the downstairs areas. Tell Fred we'd better get Amtrak, since I just want to get HOME! Then at 11:40PM "34 Amtrak passengers follow me," and she takes us downstairs and we three get onto first utility-taxi at 11:50, Pakistani driver sniveling for lack of tip.

FRIDAY, 4/13/01 (Yeah, Friday the 13th!): Change time mentally (since it's on taxi's clock and on radio announcements) to 2:50AM, glad we have three-hour's "gain" on feeling sleepy at local time. LONG road past lots of hotels into center of city via Alexandria (isn't that SOUTH and Dulles NORTH?), and get White House pointed out to us with its newly opened side roads, and at 3:25 a red car SIDESWIPES us, while Fred and I glance at each other agonizedly and say, "This can't be HAPPENING!" Two Blacks use their cell phone and our Paki uses his cell phone, and about seven minutes later a passing patrol car decides to help us; it was only about HALF AN HOUR later that a lights-flashing "called" car pulls up behind us and then leaves. Think the offending license is YRV-5904, since no one seems to be interested in that fact. I note questions for complaint letters to American Airlines: NO hotel rooms? NO public-address system in whole AIRPORT? All the while, the meter is RUNNING, maybe $43-44 at time of accident, but $51 by 3:51. Cop has to return "report number," for taxi's insurance company, so he can't leave until he gets it. Birds constantly chirping in lit parks in center of city, which is 73° and HUMID. Second police car arrives at 3:53AM. I figure sitting in taxi, watching drama, is better than sitting in an empty Union Station. To 3:59AM and $53.25 on meter when we leave for the station. I figure to piss outside locked gate of men's room until I find the door just to the side IS open for us. We'd been told we have to buy tickets on train, but woman at gate says we have to go to COUNTER. Long line would be impossible by 5AM, so I stick Visa into ATM-type machine and GET my ticket for $143, so I shout to others that the machines work. Onto nice train just before 5AM and it leaves on time, but lights and fans and motors keep switching on and off, and finally at 5:13 comes an announcement: "Computers aren't working properly, we don't have full power, we're going to be delayed 40-50 minutes, but we're working on it and might catch up." We're into Philadelphia at 6:54 when we were due at 6:32, 20 minutes late, and we STAYED until 6:58, while they tried and couldn't fix the delays. Lights, air, speed KEEP going on and off for the ENTIRE trip. We get a sandwich and drink free from the club car, which is having problems because the microwave power goes on and off as the train's power varies. Arrive at Penn Station at 8:40AM when we'd been scheduled in at 7:44AM, only 2:44 taking 3:40; refund due from Amtrak?? Into taxi with exhausted Fred lugging his huge bag and get home at 9:05AM. #31 John takes a picture of my tooth-gap on Friday. [This finishes small-notebook notesheets.] I'm tired, so I crawl into bed at 9:20AM, setting alarm for 1:20PM. 10:22 decide to jerk off. Cum to 10:52. Listen to phone messages to 11AM. Back to bed, happy about two indexes! 11:40 up and start phoning: 1) Spartacus must be online. 2) LW with Mary Ann at Springer, OK for index re-do. 3) St. Martin's index is GONE. 4) Arnold to 12:30. 5) Frances Y. to 12:35. Breakfast and pills to 1:40. Pope to 2PM. LW with Carolyn, who calls at 9:25. LW with Vicki, who calls Sunday. LW with Sherryl, to whom I talk 7-7:30. No answer from Charles. Mildred to 3PM. Charles to 5:30. Read New York Times to 8PM. Have noted phone conversations until I'm exhausted into bed at 10:25PM.

SATURDAY, 4/14/01: Pee at 12:52AM. Pee 5:05. Up at 8:07 after GOOD sleep! Read second New York Times, go to gym, LW with Shelley and Lina, both of whom call back. Finish going through the mail. Start to jerk off at 10:45PM and watch TV to 1:20AM!

SUNDAY, 4/15/01: Bed at 1:20AM and at 9:43AM note: WAKE at 6 and 8, but NO PEE! Read third New York Times and go to Games Group and have dinner with them at West End Cafe and play Scrabble, losing first and winning second to 10PM, full from junk food.

MONDAY, 4/16/01: Bed 1:13AM. Up 9:53AM, NO pee! Watch TV, mail 8 letters, spend evening with Shelley and Oliver Sacks. Bed 11:20PM, EXHAUSTED. Scrappy notes.

TUESDAY, 4/17/01: 2:27AM pee and take antacids. Up 8:21AM. Unpack during day.

WEDNESDAY, 4/18/01: Bed 1:06AM, up 8:50AM. See Tote Stadt with Mildred.

THURSDAY, 4/19/01: Bed 1:40AM, up 9:15AM. Mail China visa forms at last. Enter and proofread 30 pages of \TR\COPPCANY. Buy Contact tickets; Grolier CLOSED for private party; see Macy's Flower Show; dine at Quince. Back to schedule now.

FRIDAY, 4/20/01: Bed 1AM, up 9AM. No return calls from Springer or ASME with another index, and I simply catch up on TV tapes ALL DAY, letting everything else go!

SATURDAY, 4/21/01: Bed 12:50AM, pee at 3:20, up at 9:10 to type dream [DREAMS:4/21/01], then finish these notes to 10:30AM, ENDING the Copper Canyon note-keeping.

SATURDAY LIST FOR BEFORE-TRIP TASKS: 1) Vacuum and scrub kitchen, 2) Pick up laundry, 3) HIP ID correction, 4) Order Pravachol and lecithin and Q10, 5) Record phone message, 6) Shave beard, 7) Clip toenails, 8) Tucson on Internet for trip, 9) Go to gym, 10) Wash dishes, 11) Turkish airlines: Knife? Phone number LOST (but I get NEW SWISS knife in mail when I get back!), 12) Set VCRs (and Panasonic does NOT change to daylight savings, so I loose hours THERE, and yesterday find Ally McBeal and Dark Angel were REPEATS; AND Ebert and Roeper CHANGED to 2AM!), 13) Get cash, 14) Tell John to get two Times, 15) Glasses adjusted, 16) Pack, 17) Radiators off. Now I can throw THAT list away!

THURSDAY 1:55AM LIST: 1) Pack HEAVY socks (never used), 2) Aspirins, 3) Flashlight, 4) Clock gift, 5) DEET into A&K bag, 6) Melitonin for sleeping.

EXPENSES LIST: 15 days: Deposit and insurance on Visa 1/3/01: $384. Check #1011 on 1/16/01 for $1580, total of $1964. Take cash $249.96 and return with $73.91 so spend $176.05. Waiting for Visa charges. Blue bag went out 14# and returned 18#; A&K bag went out 7# and returned 16#, from 21# to 34# total weight.

AIRLINES CHECK: 8:27AM 3/29: AA flight 731 WILL depart 10:28AM, terminal 1, gate D5, checked by calling 1-800-433-7300.

DRUG CHECK: Find I got 210 chondroitin/glucosamine from AARP for $40!

TRIP-DAYS CHECK: Had 5 trips in 2000: 1) Cambodia with Fred: 1/7-31 for 25 days, 2) Amazon alone: 4/12-5/3 for 22 days, 3) Prague with John: 5/9-16 for 8 days, 4) Mauritius/Reunion with Ken: 5/31-6/23 for 24 days, 5) Santa Fe with Fred: 7/28-8/5 for 8 days for a total of 87 days. Will have 4 trips in 2001: 1) Turkey alone: 2/27-3/17 for 19 days; 2) Copper Canyon with Fred: 3/29-4/13 for 16 days, 3) Yangtze with Fred: 5/27-6/21 for 44 days, 4) South Pacific with Fred: 10/10-11/18 for 40 days for a total of 101 days. Will 2002 hold to the same pattern with 3 trips?

Note: 10:50AM: For a shortish trip that's vaguely disappointing, I'm sure printing MORE pages and doing MORE stuff than I'd done before. The two blockbuster flights and trips are yet to be done this year. Guess I can permit myself to leave the rest of this page blank: have yet to do the summary sheet and the photo-list!


THU, 3/29: Fly NYC-Dallas 11:12AM-2:28PM, to Tucson 3:53-5:49. Get car. Check into Doubletree Suites; dinner at Janos with set $110 tasting menu. Overdone.
FRI, 3/30: Tour eastern Saguaro National Park, drive up Mt. Lemmon, hot fudge sundae  lunch at Mt. Lemmon Cafe. Dinner #2, our menu, better, at Janos.
SAT, 3/31: Kartchner Caverns tours and movie. Falater lunch in car. Biosphere 2 disappointing. Return car. Dinner at Sachiko Sushi and break tooth! No dentist!
SUN, 4/1: Pass Old Tucson on way to Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, lunch there. Sabino Canyon tramway; shop Trader Joe's for wine and nuts; Doubletree dinner.
MON, 4/2: San Xavier del Bac, Mexican customs, lunch at Elba Restaurant in Santa Ana. Hermosillo buildings toured. San Carlos Plaza Hotel beach and dinner.
TUE, 4/3: Cactus garden stop, Pearl Farm, Guaymas walk and battery-buy. Lunch at Restaurant Los Barcos on Boston (shrimp in bacon), Cathedral, boat ride in Guaymas bay with free margaritas, birds, and seal. Mexican-fiesta dinner and dance exhibition. Ghostbusters end.
WED, 4/4: Alamos church and flowers. Hacienda de Los Santos for lunch with singing quintet. To El Fuerte for Posada and tour Hotel Del Hidalgo. More free margaritas and oddest chicken Kiev for dinner in Posada.
THU, 4/5: Lot of dreams. Morning bird-watching tour along river. Mayo Village for church and chief-greeting and deer dancing. Eat handmade tortillas. Lunch at El Meson Del Gral. Folkloric dance at Posada, dinner with visitor, walk through boring town, drinking much too much wine these days.
FRI, 4/6: Board Chihuahua-Pacific (Chepe) train through Loreto, Coloseo Lake, San Rafael. Lunch on sandwiches on train. Off at Divisidero for La Barranca Hotel wonderful balcony. Bird-walk turns into shopping tour. Watch moonrise through free margaritas. Mediocre dinner in hotel dining room.
SAT, 4/7: Watch sunrise, take early-morning bird-walk with no salespeople. Fred overflows toilet. School-bus tour to balancing rocks, Areponapuchi for shopping, "Ranch" for shopping, "Pioneer's Cabin" for shopping. "Point" view, goats, equestrians, Fertility Dance, and "Boy kicks ball" and "Girl chases ring" races by Tarahumara shills. Make own tortillas for lunch in hotel. Long arduous cliff-walk in Canyon with only eight of us. Manuel shows second hour of his Tarahumara slides. Watch sunset and moonrise. I have dinner at table alone: best company of trip. Reading lots with no TV to flick through.
SUN, 4/8: Bus takes us to Creel, where I buy ten nested woven boxes for $2. Fred and I walk Creel main street. Lunch at Casa Dona Carolina apple farm. To Chihuahua for Pancho Villa Museum. Walk with Fred to Cathedral and shopping streets and decrepit aisles of Soriano shopping center. Arias wine-shop closed. Awful hotel-restaurant La Noria dinner except for Crema de Nuez (pecan soup).
MON, 4/9: Chihuahua bus tour to Anthony Quinn overlook with awful guide, to Governor's Palace, where Martin describes ALL the murals. Tour Cathedral, elegant houses, aqueduct, and lunch in Rincon Mexicano with Barbara and Charles and free beers. Look at big mural at Posada de Tierra Blanca, tour Museo de Arte Sacra under Cathedral, buy wine at Arias, have free margarita, drink champagne, dine at Tony's with Chas and Babs, great, even MORE wine! Soused!
TUE, 4/10: Feeling ill in morning. Huge sandstorms on way to Casas Grandes. Semi pushes bus off road. Lunch at Restaurant Malmedy, taking sandwich out in bag. Paquime museum and site, Ortiz pottery-making, bed with quilt, sweat a lot and start taking Cipro with apricots from thoughtful tourist. Feel better.
WED, 4/11: Checkpoints on bus to Douglas City after stopping at Wal-Mart. Bisbee Lavender Pit and town from bus. Stop in Tombstone for OK Cafe emu burger and no Susan at Courthouse. Walk town completely. Doubletree and farewell dinner.
THU, 4/12: Wake 6:45AM and shit lots. Stagecoach at 9AM. Flight changed to Dallas because winds delay landing in Chicago. Next plane out of service because of switch problem. Off at 6:20PM for 2:28 flight to LaGuardia. 9:17: LaGuardia closed, Newark and JFK full, we're going to DULLES. Bumpy miserables.
FRI, 4/13: Land Dulles 12:55AM, taxi accident, Amtrak slow 5AM-8:40AM; home 9:05! (RETURN TO JOURNALS 4/21/01).