Morning in Flagstaff at the Route 66 Motel. It's freezing outside, and Brett and I go through a coffee kiosk near the motel before driving up the hill to Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was discovered. A stray dog follows the car. The observatory is white and looks like something out of the movies, surrounded by pine trees and covered in snow.

We saw a lot of other great domes on our trip:

We spied a few cones as well. Cones are a misunderstood shape in architecture.


Inside a conical curio shop

After Flagstaff we drive past more pine forest along an icy road, until we get to a breakfast place out of town. It's Coca-Cola Americana themed, and there's a giant elk head on the wall. The people beside us in the restaurant talk about Osama Bin Laden and Homeland Security.

We pull off later that morning at the Dine-o-sphere. The Dine-o-sphere is a large, grey geodesic dome building, sitting atop a post like a golf ball on a tee. Brett tells me that it was originally intended to be a restaurant for a failed 1950s desert development, but is now a private home. The owner of the Dine-o-sphere runs a convenience store out of a trailer next door. There are blueprints of the dome on the wall, next to a few loaves of Wonderbread and a shelf of energy drinks. 

There is some UFO related sculpture outside which reminds us a lot of Craig McGuire's yard.

We get our produce inspected and drive into California. It is warm in California, so we get out of the car barefoot, in the desert, and take timed photos with the mountains behind us. We feel ecstatic. Brett and I make up a long song about Jakelopes in the absence of radio stations, and we see a whole train - start to finish - crossing the desert in the distance. A ridge that runs along the north side of the road into Amboy has become a bulletin board, where travelers have written miles of messages in rocks.

Roy's Café isn't really open, just preserved for film crews and tourists and bikers. I mail postcards from a not-quite-as-defunct post office across the street, which must exist only as a vehicle for mailing the postcards you can purchase at the café.

Brett tries to call Isa Jacoby, a contact of his professor's, who is going to be catering a retreat at the Integratron in Joshua Tree. Turns out she isn't there yet, but we are given the okay to head over.