Lena Katz has run away from home this winter to roadtrip across the Great American Southwest in a in a borrowed Volkswagen Touareg TDI "Clean Diesel" SUV with her chow-chow, Rocky. Through December, Away.com will travel with her from the Mojave Desert to Arizona ghost towns to the Apache Trail to Bandera ("Cowboy Capital of Texas"), eventually winding up in Archer City, where she will pilgrimage to the bookshop of Mr. Larry McMurtry. Following is what she wrote about Mesa during her Great Southwest Road Trip:

I detoured 150 miles to go to Mesa, Arizona, for the swap meet and to see the new Howdy Show starring Kitty McGuire, which is faithfully modeled after a Gold Rush-era touring dinner show. Maybe this is tantamount to admitting I'm really old—as in, retirement age—but it was fully worth the extra 2+2 hours on the road.  (Click here to read the whole story.)