As we dropped out of the mountains into Imperial County, the Mercury's thermometer began to rise. Three grown men were driving through the desert with their eyes glued to a little green readout on the dash.
We started in the 90's. When we hit the valley floor, it was 105. As we crossed the desert, it inexorably ticked away the numbers. It plateaued at 115 for a while, then continued ever higher. Finally, we crossed into 118, beating my personal record of 117. A few minutes later, we hit 119 briefly, then back down. Then 119 stuck.
We stopped at the rest area and experienced the heat without the air conditioner protecting us. It was like a sauna. Not the metaphorical "like"; the "like" that means it had all the characteristics of a sauna.
We continued our drive. We figured we had hit the top, since we were leaving the raw desert and entering agricultural land that has lots of water to cool it. Unexpectedly, as we got close to El Centro, the little digital readout suddenly blipped and told us it was 120 degrees outside. A shout of triumph went up in the car.