Calexico - 11/6/08 - Tucson, AZ

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Jason calls and says he'll be a little late picking us up. He had to take care of a few last minute things before heading out of town. He arrives in a late '90's Prevost bus complete with what he describes as "cheesy" decor. He seems to be in a good mood. His accent places him somewhere between Texas and Saskatchewan. Turns out he's born and raised in Regina and spent a few years in Austin, Texas. He's wondering why there's only three of us and no one to help load our gear.

John, Jacob, Nova and I load up the bus in the dark and the dust. It's a beautiful Monday night. All is quiet on the streets and highways as we pull out of Tucson. My heart sinks as I wave goodbye to Nova and our animals peering from the front door.

First truckstop is in Benson. The four J's file in for some essentials: water, Dave brand sunflower seeds, potato chips and a pack of Twinkies. I make the coffee and sit up front with Jason as we drive through the darkness on Interstate 10 talking about our favorite spots in the Southeast portion of Arizona.

Jason is a likeable character. He has that sense of humor so many Canadians possess. We talk for a few hours until my brain quits. The bus is cold and dark. Sleep happens somewhere between Wilcox and and Marfa. I dream I'm at the bottom of a James Turrell crater as I shift from side to side in my coffin-sized bunk.

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