From Las Cruces New Mexico, we headed... West.
I've developed a pattern. Every night is a scramble. I transform into a flummoxed bummer, and try to figure out exactly where I thought we might be sleeping. As the sun disappears, I feel like a tired idiot in a game of musical chairs. As the light recedes, the efficacy of my efforts wanes as well. In darkness, I might be camping next to a rhinoceros or underneath somebody's front porch. I wouldn't know.
Daylight is my friend, but planning is an abstract concept. What I need to do each morning is figure out where I want to end up at night. I need to learn to use the hours when my brain is sputtering usefully to plan for the later hours when it absolutely threatens to stall out. Also: if you can't find a good place to camp in the desert, then there's something really mentally wrong with you. Realizing this fact and taking it to heart has given me motivation to raise myself up below the lowest possible rung.
I found a place to camp in the Sonoran Desert. I could have set us up almost anywhere, because there are no people there whatsoever. "FreeCampsites.net" provided an excellent suggestion off a small side road. Toward evening, I flummoxed the pedal to the floor as the sun began to hide behind the peak of an upcoming mountain. Nervous but determined, we managed to find the best spot ever right as the sun disappeared in a highly attractive and photogenic way.
Finally, we had occasion to set up the tent. It's a monster. We brought a 4-person Coleman tent; a behemoth for a backpacker, but an absolute mansion for dirty nerds whose other option is to sleep in a Festiva.
As the sun set and a billion stars took over, we listened to reasonable radio signals from Phoenix to the east. We have a yellow hand-crank radio which works better than I can imagine. This thing works on established facts of science and design, but I can't help believing that magic is also responsible. Music comes out with one single crank, and the speaker is a little bit too good for its size. It should sound a little bit worse, I think, or else it'll blow its cover...