THE NEEDLE ON THE TEMP GAUGE pushed into the red. And then it kept going, like the needle on an old record player when the song ends. We were at the foot of the wash, just out of cell range, still 3500 vertical feet and ten long miles from the crest of the Inyos.
I wasn’t terribly concerned. We had eleven gallons of water, a twelve-pack of Mexican beer, ice, food, shade, propane, firewood, bicycles, sleeping bags, good shoes and hats, pens, notebooks, a new letter-stamp kit with red ink, and a library ranging from Babar to Blood Meridian.