New Year's Day: We landed on sizzling black tarmac and emerged into the bright, blinding dryness. Within an hour we were driving Interstate 10 south through waves of heat and the burning Arizona sun.
Tucson lay twinkling before us in the desert evening cool, nestled 'neath a blanket of sky woven of gold and purple thread. Exiting onto East Speedway, we drove through an endless sprawl of fast-food parking lots and harsh neon.
Weary and numb from the day of travel, we braked at the last intersection on the outskirts of town. The dark void yawned before us. Cares thrown to the wind, we accelerated in a spit of gravel and high-beamed into the starry Saguaro wild.