Stranded in a motel room in Baker, California. Gateway to the Mohave Desert. Summer 2007. 112 degrees outside. The stench of an overflowing septic tank inside. Chose your poison. Took three days to find another vehicle after the drive train fell out of the tour van. Drove straight to Vegas, gambled for the first time, and won $500. Guess my luck changed. Self portrait by Beverly Hames.