After Calico and Baker, I decided to go through part of the Mojave National Preserve. The drive is just this magnificent deathscape—the road surrounded on either side by arthritic, winding Joshua trees and sand everywhere. I may have passed three other cars on the entire drive, which, for me, spanned a loop of about 80 miles from Interstate 15 to Kelso to Cima and then back to Interstate 15. You really do get this keen sense of complete human isolation out there. The landscape is dry, rolling, infinite, and you pass through these hills, your car undulating as if on a roller coaster. In the distance, treeless dunes shift with the harsh desert winds, and the black, volcano-tarred hills rise like ashy shoulder blades. And it’s really something to behold.