The full-frame b&w shots in this segment were done with the M3 and 35 or 50 Summicron on FP4+ or HP5+; the cropped shots were made with a Pentax 645 and 35/f3.5 lens on Delta 100 (unless otherwise noted). Chapter Seven: No Sleep 'til Sonoma I started out driving on our trek westward from Junction, TX, but after a few hours of mind-numbing monotony, I started getting drowsy. Sarah took over while I slept off the big greasy breakfast I had enjoyed in Junction. I awoke around El Paso, just in time to celebrate our escape from Texas. We stopped in some town in New Mexico for dinner at an excellent little Mexican restuarant (along with several Border Patrol agents). across the street from the restaurant (75 Summilux, EPJ 320T) At some point in Arizona (I think it was Arizona), I made Sarah pull over after she became so engrossed in her phone conversation that she nearly drove off the road. While she finished talking, I enjoyed the stars in the desert. She promised to be more careful, and I made the mistake of letting her continue to drive. At Phoenix, we headed north toward the Grand Canyon. It was also around this time that we had our first fight. It wasn't really much of a fight, though; she got really mad at me about something (I think I was being difficult about accepting fuzzy terminology in a discussion concerning the nature of the universe) and I responed with something along the lines of, "What the f**k is your problem?" After she settled down, she blamed it on the lack of nicotine (she had chosen this trip to quit smoking) in her system and a hormonal imbalance. Ah, women . . . This day, Sarah was determined that we make it to the vicinity of our next stop, the Grand Canyon, before stopping. She remained undaunted in spite of the horrifying degree to which her driving had deteriorated due to fatigue (she had trouble grasping the distinction between awake and alert). Fortunately, there were very few other cars on the road for her to run into, and we managed to make it to Flagstaff without being killed or maimed. Chapter Eight: From the Grand Canyon to the Coast We awoke late the next morning, reasonably well refreshed. Sarah, accepting that her driving privileges had been revoked, turned over the keys. After lunch, we headed toward the Grand Canyon. The countryside on the drive north and along the canyon was breathtaking. I won't waste time with text descriptions that will fail to convey the grandeur of the place--I'll just note that photos don't do a very good job conveying a sense of the place, either. we were there! (35 Summicron, E100S) I'm not a very serious landscape shooter, so I didn't spend a lot of film photographing the scenery. Sarah probably took more photos that I did because she ran around all afternoon asking everyone with a camera if they wanted her to take their picture. I think it was a Dutch couple who took our photo above. I was there! interior of the observatory While in the observatory, I encountered some Buddhist monks who were there visiting. Without the robes, they would have been hard to distinguish from the rest of the tourists. Sarah was happy to be there! After watching the sun set over the canyon, we hit the road again. Next stop, Los Angeles! The drive was largely uneventful, though I didn't realize that there is absolutely nothing between Needles and Santa Barbara. I had realized just how empty the desert would be, and I was about to starve by the time we reached civilization again. We finally got into LA and reached our destination, Greg's apartment in Torrance, about 3:30 a.m. I was thoroughly exhausted by this point, but driving that far was actually less stressful and exhausting than being a passenger while Sarah drove. Once at Greg's, I officially relinquished my responsibility for looking after his grilfriend, and he thanked me for getting her there alive and well. Chapter Nine: Drive in the Desert The next day, after lunch, we headed toward Joshua Tree National Park. Sarah and I had originally planned to go there on the way to LA, but rearranged our agenda so she could see Greg sooner. You know those couples who are unberably cute and sweet togther--they're like that. Anyway, we were appalled by just how long it took to get through LA on a weekend afternoon, but we had fun cruising along in Greg's convertible, dancing around a bit to the radio, waving to the other drivers, doing the LA thing. on the road again We got into the park only a half hour before dusk, so my photo opportunities were again limited. No big deal, though, I enjoyed the scenery even if I wasn't taking pictures of it. I did get a shot of Sarah and Greg engaging in their usual unbearable cuteness before we ran out of light. aaawwwwwwww . . . (645, 35/3.5) After running around in the dark desert for a while, we then headed back to civilization. I drove while the lovebirds enjoyed the close confines of the back seat. We all enjoyed the warm desert evening with the top down as we headed back. We stoppped for a few games of pool (and they had a few beers) in the town of Joshua Tree, then grabbed a bite to eat before returning to L.A. And so ends this chapter. One more to go . . .