They had to move slower with the trailer full of supplies behind them, but Sam was still able to get the car to hit thirty miles before the engine started to protest. Tama sat shotgun while Evelyn sat atop a box of ammunition in the back seat.
“I just wish we hadn’t had to leave the box of tuna behind,” Tama said, for perhaps the fifth time.
“I never liked tuna to begin with.” Sam said, which irked Tama even more.
“Hey, look at that!” He pointed in the distance where the sign for Arizona had just become visible.
Evelyn cheered. “We’re almost there!”
“Sweetie, we still have a whole state to cross.
“We need to stop soon and replace the battery.” Sam said as the battery light came on.
“Well, lets do it now, and we can stop later and see if we can get a new one.” Tama said, and Sam agreed, pulling off to the side of the road beside the sign for Arizona.
It took him fifteen minutes to swap the battery out, and leaving the dead one on the side of the road, they were on there way again. It was three hours later when they passed by a small airport, a crater in the middle of a runway, the tail fin of a small jet the only thing that remained.
“Damned shame that,” Tama said.
“I’ve seen worse,” Sam said, remembering coming across the scattered remains of a large passenger jet not long before he had joined the Bazaar. Thinking of the Bazaar, he wondered what had happened to them and if the attempt on his and Evelyn’s life had been part of a larger plan or if it was just a crime of opportunity committed by a few greedy men.
They entered the town of Winslow and located an auto shop, grabbing a pair of batteries and throwing them into the back seat of the car beside Evelyn. While stopped, they had lunch.
“How much farther you think it is?” Evelyn asked.
“Oh, I think if we make good time, we should be there about this time tomorrow.”
“Is there any where we can put the box of bullets I’m sitting on?”
Sam laughed, “Sure, let me see what we can do now.”
He grabbed the ammunition and opened the back of the trailer, managing to wedge it tight between a case of Ramen noodles and a stack of canned vegetables. “There’s something to be said about that,” he said, taking a step back.
“What?” Asked Tama.
“Just that,” He said pointing at the trailer. “We’ve got probably two months worth of food in there and who knows what else. I would have taken all of that for granted but a year ago.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean,” she said as she pushed on the door, shutting it with a clang.
Something in a nearby building was spooked by the noise, but it turned out to be nothing more than a bird. Sam laughed and managed to chase the bird out of the store, which had Evelyn laughing.
They got lost trying to find their way out of the town, back towards the highway, and drove around in
circles for nearly an hour.
“Why do you keep stopping here?” Tama asked at one point.
Sam pointed at the sun-bleached stop sign.
“Do you really expect someone to be coming the other way?”
Sam chuckled, “Old habits I guess. I never thought about it.” They finally managed to spot a sign for the highway and soon were back on the road.
“What are you looking forward to the most?” Sam asked Tama.
“A warm bath. I want hot water I don’t have to heat myself.”
“Ooh, that sounds good. Do you think they’ll have television? And ice cream?” Asked Evelyn.
“Maybe so dear. What about you Sam?”
“I don’t know, I hadn’t given it much thought. I’ve spent so much time trying to get there, but I really don’t know what there is. Music. Like the real stuff, not this crap, he held up a pair of cd’s. I mean I like this stuff, but I miss hearing it live you know?”
“Yeah, I know what you mean. It has more soul that way,” Tama said.
“Although ice cream does sound good.”
As they chased the sun in its descent, the way became rougher and they had to slow down even further. Sam turned the cars lights on finally and continued to drive, finally pulling off the road.
“What do you think, if we push on any more, we’re going to begin to climb that mountain, we could stop here and conquer it in the morning.” He offered.
“Let’s keep going,” Evelyn said, and was punctuated by a snore from Tama.
“What do you think of her?” He asked Evelyn as he drove on.
“I like her, she’s nice.”
“That she is,” Sam said as the car began to protest taking the steep slope at such a fast pace. He slowed the car down and began to ease it up the mountain road, afraid the trailer was going to drag him bag down again. It did not and pretty soon Sam could see where the road finally dipped back downward. “We’ll stop up there if it is flat enough, and go down tomorrow.
It was a large plateau at the top where they stopped.
Sam stepped out of the car to stretch his legs, followed by Evelyn, who shut her door, waking up Tama.
Evelyn walked toward the edge of the flat area, and stopped, her jaw open. “Guys, come look!”
Sam and Tama both made it to where she stood and joined her in surprise. In the distance they could see the lights of Boulder City, glowing like stars in the night.
“You ever see anything so beautiful?” Sam asked.