It was 3am when we pulled away from our apartment that last time, and noon when we hit El Paso. We'd driven through 600 miles of Hill Country, mesquite, sage and then desert, mesas, and mountains. The next day and the next were the same, canyons of sand and rock and unforgiving light. We crossed dry grassy land, then drier river beds as we coursed north.
Then we began to climb.