I decide to drive to the Lazy K. For the duration of my stay, Mary has loaned me Keller’s truck. I walk the length of the hotel parking lot, get in the cab, and start the engine. The air-conditioning vents blast hot air in my face, and I wait for the cool to kick in. I throw the truck in gear, back out of the parking slot, and roar toward the highway.

On Saturday, we drove past the ranch access road. I have no trouble finding it—a wide, open gate. “Lazy K” worked in wrought iron across the top.

I turn onto the dirt road and race toward the ranch house. The truck throws up a plume of dust, visible in the rearview mirror. On either side of the road lie brown, rolling hills covered with mesquite and creosote. The terrain looks earthier than the rocky land fifteen miles south. The mesquite grows taller.

Movement atop a hill catches my eye. A pack of wild dogs are fighting over something. I take my foot off the gas, and the speedometer drops to twenty miles an hour.