Pluto Walks the Earth, Chapter 45
Read Pluto Walks the Earth, Chapter 44: Deal of the Century
The Mustang is humming that nice throaty idle when Pluto finally climbs in.
“Buckle up, buttercup,” I say. “We are goin’ for a ride.”
That’s no lie. I have to see Pluto through this. Just have to. So I’m driving through the Mojave to Amargosa Desert, Nevada, right near the California line, about an hour and a half northwest of Vegas. Pretty much a straight shot up Highway 95.
Amargosa is really just one patch of the 25,000 square mile Mojave sandpile that extends from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Colorado Plateau. I can’t say for sure it stands out from the other scorching patches, but talk about desolate beauty; it is something to behold. The whole run up there is a two-lane ribbon of blacktop through a stunning, arid wasteland. Purple mountains jut fuzzily from the endless, distant horizon, with a vast foreground of sand and sandstone, Cholla cactus and scrub pushing up from the gravel. The Creosote bushes and Joshua trees, it’s like they’re just being ignorant of the elements, like dinner guests who won’t leave even when you cut the music and lights. Land alive, don’t they know better? It is hot out here. And more water, probably, on the damn moon. Every now and then, a black-tailed jack rabbit will skitter into view, and if you keep your eyes peeled you can spy quite a few rattlers and chuckwalla lizards. But mostly it’s like a Flintstones cartoon: you drive and drive, and the same background keeps running by you in a loop.