Caught Between the Saguaros and the Deep Blue Sea

Gila Bend, Arizona, Is Where I Feel the Pull of Two Different Homes

gila bend

By the time I reach Gila Bend, the radio waves from Phoenix have almost completely faded into fuzzy static. I feel giddy anticipation as the speed limit drops abruptly from 75 to 35 miles per hour. I’m one hour from Phoenix, four from San Diego.

Cruising through the main thoroughfare of Arizona State Route 85, I pass a handful of gas stations and grungy motels evoking visions of chainsaw massacres. I slow past the nicest place on the three mile strip—the Best Western Space Age Lodge—to get a better look at …

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