40-year-old male caregiver in crisis. Having suffered an irredeemable loss two years prior to the mission, Ben is at turns dissolute, impulsive, and completely unhinged. He is currently on the run from his wife, who is desperately trying to serve him with divorce papers and almost certainly having him followed.
Trapeze artists. Sleep. To be left alone.
Legal couriers. House parties. Other people's kids.
Quixotic 19-year-old with a perfectly healthy imagination, though Duchenne muscular dystrophy is tying him in knots. Prolific cataloger of roadside attractions and obscure sexual positions he's never tried-including the Bulgarian Gas Mask, the Snowmobile, and the German Knuckle Cake.
Routine. The Weather Channel. Fish-and-chips. Girls.
Bathroom stalls without doors. Porta-potties. People who talk to him as though he's a frickin' idiot.
When asked the thing he'd most like to do if he could have full
use of his body back, Trev's reply: "Take a piss standing up."
Backseat, left window.
At 18, Dot is not technically a runaway, though she looks and acts like one—heavily pierced, recently inked, and never dressed warmly enough. Tough on the outside, tender in the middle. Hitchhiking her way to Denver, Dot suspects her loser dad may be following her.
The Cramps. The Germs. Older guys. Headphones.
Bad coffee. Jerks. Creeps.
Once seduced her dad's best friend.
21, and currently eight-and-a-half months pregnant, Peaches is on her way to Wyoming to live with her mother. Peaches is an optimist with a sunny disposition—she has to be. Her boyfriend is about to be incarcerated for the third time, she's unemployed, uninsured, and her baby is due any day.
Elton. Her mom. Ice cream. Being pregnant.
Awarded Best Smile by high school classmates.
Backseat, right window.
28-year-old former fry cook and ward of the state. Looks like a skinned weasel. Elton was recently paroled for the second time and is currently breaking said parole. Looking for a break as an inventor. Awaiting patent on sonic theft deterrent.
Free enterprise. Free beer. Free anything.
Work. Snitches. The joint.
Elton will get his ass kicked before this ride is over.
The handi-van. Beet red 1997 Mazda MVP minivan, customized for handicap accessibility, including a hydraulic chairlift and front passenger seat removal. 87,783 miles on odometer.
Priority Parking. Wide berth for chairlift. Three-passenger maximum occupancy.
Corners. Hills. Speeds in excess of 50 mph.
By the time this journey is over, the handi-van will double its
maximum occupancy, traverse one of the windiest mountain
passes in America, and travel at speeds in excess of 85 mph.