My story, an urban fantasy set in mid-fall of 1998, has three main plotlines. One of them involves a young man named Jordan Masters who, while driving through the middle of nowhere at night, accidentally runs over a child. The child had been traveling with her mother when their car broke down and, not understanding how long it takes cars to stop, naively ran out into the middle of the street to try to signal Jordan to help. He couldn't stop in time and crashed straight into the little girl, killing her. The mother, who as it turns out is a powerful magic user, blames Jordan for the accident, and uses her powers to magically strike Jordan permanently blind. Then she takes his car and drives off, leaving him to die stumbling blindly through the middle of nowhere, or so she thinks. Reality has other plans, but that's another story. One of the places I'm considering this happening in is the Mojave Desert in California. But I don't live anywhere near there, and thus have very little information about the roads through that desert and why people use them. Can somebody give me a hand coming up with believable reasons why somebody who lives in California would be driving through the Mojave Desert on the night before Halloween in 1998?