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There was some book, The 5 AM Club.
It’s about these guys who meet a tycoon on a private island to wake up at 5 AM.
But if you sleep in just one hour to 6am, there’s a diner already open before sunrise in a quiet town of off-gridders way out in the middle of nowhere in Arizona.
Dusty and I are outside the town’s one gas station.
We are meeting a driver who will deliver a shipping container out onto our land. The container will be a box for our campsite and tools.
Every shop in town was supposed to be closed at this hour.
But the town’s one, single, solitary diner has lit up its OPEN sign.
Red lettering, blue oval around it. All in neon. You know how they look.
Outside, it is pitch black and ice cold.
The thought of waiting in a diner after a night of camping out in this weather sounds like salvation.
But only if it is really open.
I mean, did they leave the light on by accident?
I pull the diner door.
Coffee is on. You can hear it dripping into the pot.
Three guys in cowboy hats have their hands wrapped around mugs. They are nodding and chatting.
One could easily be a new Marlboro Man.
Right kind of sharp hat, jacket, & jaw.
“This place open?” I ask one of them.
“It’s closed, but we know the owner. We open her up and put the coffee on. Have yourself a cup.”
Seems like the kind of thing you can only do in a place like this.
It’s self serve. We walk behind the counter and fill mugs.
It’s incredible. Though really, it’s just diner coffee.
But we slept on the ground last night, which makes this hot coffee incredible.
And yes, just as you might imagine, this is a time and place where the real shop gets talked. Where the real deals go down. Where the after hours conversations (though we are all here before hours) get held.
We collect business cards. One guy knows offgrid electricity.
The other guy does plumbing. The third does foundations for structures.
But this only becomes known after a little, “Where y’all from? What y’all up to?”
Hours go by.
Shipping container guy arrives hours after he said he would.
We leave cash for the coffee & meet the driver to bring the container out to the land.
One last thanks & seeya around to the 6AM Club.
They say stop by anytime, they’re here every morning.
Time to work.
To be continued