We had hoped to make the trip in Mary's just-acquired 1974 Airstream (you can see it at the left in the first shot). That plan didn't work out, so on August 20 we packed up her Explorer (complete with Firestone tires) and headed west with everything we could think of that we might need living in the desert for a week.
We visited some friends and family along the way, then took the southern route across Kansas. At one truck stop, I gassed up the Explorer in one of the worst dust storms I had ever experienced, a harbinger of things to come. Meanwhile Mary made sammiches inside and posed with the mayo.
Later we camped in the Rocky Mountains, just west of the Continental Divide.
As an aside, check out the payphone in Dodge City, KS. Why a payphone? Let's just say I have been known to pick up a copy of 2600 now and then.