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It’s late afternoon and the sun is soft under a kind and image laden cloud cover that’s protected us all the way from Gallup, we roll west on I-40. We pulled off at a hail laden pine woods, and Rob created an egg bomb and an apple bomb with some M-90’s we’d bought in Tennessee. He drew hapless victim faces on the egg and the apple with a blue Sharpie, and executed them on a hail covered rock outcropping. The apple exploded in cinematic fashion, leaving its plaintive face split in two looking up from the snow. The egg was more stubborn, surviving an initial explosion. Paul suggested clemency, but a second M-90 blew Mr. Egg into oblivion.

Now we’re 35 miles from California. The desert scrub and craggy purple mountains are surprisingly familiar and homey, homie. Can’t believe we’re almost back. Welcome back to California, as the old ghosts say. Three niights with the wives and cats and dogs and kids. Then it’s up the coast for the final, hemp-charged leg of our tour.

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