Heading west on I-40, I think of all those who’ve made this journey before me.. Trekking through the desert in search of work in the promised land of California. From the 49ers to Okies to migrant movie gypsies like myself, the opportunities of the world’s eighth largest economy beckon and lure. I think of the previous times I’ve driven between Albuquerque and LA and of all that has transpired in my life and career since I began making the drive regularly, five years ago.
I now know where to fill up for gas and how far each tank will take me. I know In-n-Out Burger in Kingman is half way and Starbucks in Flagstaff and Barstow will get me through. I time my journey and usually come in just under twelve hours.
I’ve begun to see the beauty in the austere landscape of the Mohave desert and have survived Needles at 119 degrees and blizzards in Flagstaff. I’m ever grateful to have a dependable car with heat and AC and think of those who traveled my route with neither.
Coming down from the mountains that separate the desert from the coast, the air is softer and a glow fills the sky as the lights of Southern California spread out before me. The traffic speeds up, the 40 becomes the 15 before dividing into more and more freeways with every mile.
I have had a rocky relationship with this city, as with the industry that keeps bringing me back, but for now I am grateful.

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