I read last night the first two chapters of L’Amour’s Mojave Crossing to reconnoiter my upcoming parallel adventure. Tell Sackett stops at every landmark in my memory along the trail including Fort Mojave, Piute Range, the Old Government Road, and Rock Springs. Sackett hasn’t spoken yet of the weather that would be first off his lips if the summer furnace or winter chill, so the crossing must have been at this time of year. He carried 32-lbs. of gold in his saddlebag but I’ll take his weighty story deep in my backpack to compare our views. Of course, there’s the danged black-eyed girl that L’Amour atypically opens this tale with. I nearly threw the book down in Carl Jr.’s as my favorite author always presents a flash of fists or guns with a heavy puzzle, but I held the reins of L’Amour’s grand storytelling and then looked up and around the burger joint. Black-eyed girls are not common in these parts just south of where the novel opens, though nowadays they’re unilateral with an equal number of black-eyed men. She was being tailed! To better sense Tell’s carrying a treasure and thus encumbered across the vast desert, I’m hiring such a girl whom I used to date who now has a third-degree karate black belt and a new mate. I requested this morning, — But she must be a black-eyed girl — do you have black eyes?’ If all goes well, we’ll be hot on the trail from the Colorado River to retrace Tell Sackett across the Mojave.