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Wandering USA: Crossing the Border

My last day in Arizona was spent driving through the Petrified Forest National Park. It was well worth the detour and though some people don’t see the point in stopping for a vast empty desert with pretty rocks everywhere, I think my photos turned out beautifully. One couple watched me try to take a timed selfie on the edge of a cliff… about 6 times.

I had no idea I was on Route 66 until I stumbled upon an old rusty car and a Route 66 information sign. I wasn’t planning on hitting the country’s most historic road trip route, so that was a nice surprise. My dream of seeing a good Arizona sunset was also finally accomplished. The park ranger was making his rounds to get all visitors out just as I was leaving.

That night I drove until I crossed the border of New Mexico. I was determined not to spend more time than necessary in any one state. I stopped about 10 miles over the border to sleep for the night… only to wake up the next morning to another coolant leak, which I found I could not fix. I was able to fix the first one before I took off from San Diego. I guess that when you replace an engine, hose leaks are a common problem for the first 1000 miles. This time it was the radiator hose AND another one I couldn’t reach. Good Sam sent a mobile mechanic who helped me out and I was on my way pretty quickly.

I must say, I didn’t expect to spend this much time driving. This sounds like a very obvious necessity for such an ambitious road trip, but I’m used to driving an SUV with power… at about 80MPH. It’s taking me much longer to get to my destinations than I thought and honestly my back is having a difficult time keeping up. Sitting for extremely long periods of time is not within my range of abilities. I broke my back a few years ago, and I guess you could say I’m racing it for my youth. This adventure is all about exploring everywhere and anywhere as long as I physically can… I just hope all this driving won’t make it end sooner rather than later.. and that Murphy makes it through. That little motorhome struggles.

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I'm a 24 year old writer and full-time wanderer. My dog, Legedu (Leg-a-doo), and I just finished a trip in my 23 year old motorhome wandering through half of the vast USA. Armed with an annual national park pass, a camera and my pen, I'm determined to see everything this country has to offer. Next Spring I will set out once more to travel through the rest of the states.As a Master's Graduate at the School of International Service at American University, I'm fascinated by culture and societal conflict. This is the story of my ultimate global cultural immersion. I'll get to know the culture of my own country intimately and then set out to meet the rest of the world.

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