I ask Gary to photograph me standing in the exact spot where our camper steps were stolen 33 years ago. Right out of the Antigua church parking lot I recognized the instant I saw it again. The second trip down the Pan-American Highway our steps didn’t even make it this far; some other traveler is probably bargaining for them at the Todos Santos Saturday market right now.
Maybe that’s why my mind leaps to conclusions when the camper starts shaking as I fall asleep. Memories intermingle with paranoia and I’m convinced a gang of robbers is trying to tip the camper. So convinced that I drop to the floor and yank the loaded gun from its hiding place. Gary is already outside, swatting at the darkness with a broomstick. We are equally ashamed and embarrassed to discover the real culprit the next morning: an earthquake. Clearly, it is time to move on.
Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now.