The End of the World as We Knew It

Trip Start Jan 12, 2007
Trip End Nov 19, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Friday, November 9, 2007

Life as we had known it for the last 10 months changed in Buckeye, Arizona.

It is at Buckeye where the gentle north-south running Highway 85 intersects with Highway 10, an eight-lane super freeway that follows a straight line between LA and Phoenix.

It was at Buckeye where we were thrust back into the frenetic North American way of life.

It is the economy, stupid. Or at least it is on Highway 10, as every fourth truck barreling past us on the super energized transit route seemed to be either from Walmart/Sams Club or Fed-Ex.

At the same time the pace of traffic increased 20-fold, the number of radio stations we could receive clearly exploded. Everyone wanted to sing or talk loudly to us. Or more to the point, sell us something we didn't need.

But truth be told, while we were forced to press harder on the gas pedal, and to turn the radio down, the road tripping mode of travel inherently shielded us from experiencing unsettling culture shock.

As we headed north we had had hours and days on the road to adjust to the gradual changes: there is a Starbucks in Puerto Vallarta but not in San Cristobal de das Casas. Many neighbourhoods in Hermosillo look like they belong in Tuscon, whereas Nicaragua looks like it belongs on a different planet.

- - -

We had crossed back into the US a day earlier, but the going ons in Lukeville, Arizona had hardly jarred our senses.

Lukeville is in fact so small - a parking lot, a grocery store, an insurance office, a liquor store, a gas station, a hotel and the border post - that we missed it the first time.

It wasn't until we had driven several kilometers down the road, reaching the entrance to the Oregon Pipe Cactus National Monument Park, that we had realized we had missed something, and turned around.

And we only did turn around because the rates at the Gringo Pass Motel and RV Park were slightly cheaper than at the campsite at the national monument and the views of the stunning Sonoran Desert landscape were almost as good.

Even with the Canadian dollar soaring at $1.08 US, we needed to keep an eye on our depleted bank accounts.

See more about our roadtrip, and others' roadtrips, at
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