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The Open Road

Japanese tourists stood in the middle of the freeway taking photos of the Route 66 sign. It’s fair to say there’s not much traffic in the Mojave, a huge wilderness of sand, rattlesnakes, agave and Joshua trees with road signs that point to places like Hole in the Wall and Morning Star Mine Road.

In the distance, jagged mountains glow pink in the afternoon sun. A few other tourists ambled out of Roy’s, a gas station and motel. Roy offers the only gas for miles in any direction, and at 5 bucks a gallon, he must be proud of it. Fortunately, we had a full tank.

Gary and I drove from Palm Desert to Las Vegas to replace our worn out car. After 310 thousand miles, our old car deserves a break, and when the air conditioner bit the dust last week, we finally pulled the plug.

Yes, it would have been easier to buy a new car from a local guy, but Gary found a good deal in Las Vegas. And we would have missed dusk in the Mojave National Preserve when sun, clouds, mountains and insane-looking plants put on a show. We wouldn’t have seen Zzyyx (rhymes with Issac’s) officially the weirdest town in America.

Being self employed can be a roller coaster ride, and it’s not for everyone. But on days like today, when buying a car turns into a breathtaking series of twists and turns, each one revealing a different spectacular view of the desert’s stark, mysterious beauty, I’m grateful for the freedom that comes with my lifestyle. Instead of being stuck in some dealer's windowless office for hours talking about floor mats and key fobs, we took to the open road.

My husband and I rolled down the windows, warm dry air fanned our hair and skin, and I felt like a teenager on summer break on a date with the hottest guy in school. Where will this car take us next?

The Deets

Traveling from Las Vegas to Palm Springs, skip the congestion and go through one of America's largest spans of wilderness. Make sure you check a map first, because you won't get internet reception and you'll have to make a few turns along the way. Read more here:

R & D Motors is in Henderson, Nevada just outside of Las Vegas. Richard's a super nice guy, and he gave us a great deal. The warm quiche he had waiting for our arrival was a nice touch too. Thanks, Richard! Check him out at

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