It was the summer before my senior year, I was 17 my brother 15. We were weathering the break up of our family, my mother’s second divorce, and we were still a bit shaken. But we weren’t going to spend the summer sitting around the house. No, no. My mom had a plan and it was called “road trip”. We were going to pick ourselves up and shake it off, more specifically drive it off, drive and drive and drive, as far as we could toward towering cactus, red sandy bluffs, turquoise beads and mesquite smoke. We packed the Ford mini-van and headed for the southwest. And to the blaring soundtrack of every Metal band that existed up until 1990, my mom, brother and I drove our crazy asses across Washington, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, even bits of Colorado in a quest to laugh and to forget and to move on. No GPS, no cells, no air b and b. Just my mother, white knuckling it down the freeway as she turned up the music.

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