Driving up from our valley home onto a bewildering network of roads, missing a turn or two, we finally
arrived in Barstow, where I recall a story told to me by the artist Hammond Gurthrie. He was given a
card by
"a senior member of the Hells Angels, which said,

"This is good for one ride to anywhere.'" Years later, stranded in Barstow, CA, a group of Angels
magically rolled in. Suddenly remembering the card tucked in his wallet, Gurthrie, with his "speed-
drenched brain," approached the Angels, who stared at him as if he were a bug approaching a boot.
He handed the card to one of them, who whereupon "sized me up for just a second, smiled as onl
y an Angel from Hell can, and said, 'Hop on little buddy and I'll take you anywhere in the country
you want to go.'"

In a Barstow Starbucks, I smiled upon hearing again Sam "The Man" Taylor blowing his saxophone in
his timeless Saturnean groove. From there, we entered a desert of cactus, ramshackle sheds, strings
of cattle strolling toward tubs of water mapped by their ungulate brains, repeating the life cycle, diesel-
powered trucks humming over pavement cracked with ancient languages undecipherably rising with
wafting sand into Flagstaff Arizona.