It was the tail end of a 26-day camping trip that took us from Texas, to New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and Home again. It was at the peak of the 2017 Phoenix heat wave — 117 degrees outside — and we were journeying toward a place known as the Valley of Fire.
I opened the car door at a gas pump 15 miles from camp. The wind blew the door wide — as if it might rip it from its hinges. I stepped out into what felt like a giant hair dryer. I might have looked like Beaker from the muppets if not for my shaved head.
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