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
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.