Sunday, September 22, 2013

Karma, dude

Saturday morning I visited the Colorado National Monument, a red rock mesa rising above I-70. You can enter from either Fruita or Grand Junction and loop around to the other entry. 

I was lucky. 

I started at the Fruita end of the loop. If I’d started at the other end, I would have been stuck behind a parade of early Cadillacs, Packards, Pierce Arrows and such. Instead, I got to wave at them as I passed.

From Grand Junction, I took state highway 141 south. It goes up over the Continental Divide then follows Dolores River Canyon, getting increasingly scenic and dramatic as you go.

I was lucky.

There was a huge bicycle race going the opposite direction. I would have been stuck behind it if I’d gone the other way. Instead, I could just peacefully contemplate the differences between myself and the people who think it’s fun to pedal a hundred miles uphill.

I needed someplace to camp for the night.

I was lucky. 

A sheriff’s deputy pointed me toward public land atop a mesa. His directions were helpful and accurate. The location was wonderful. Great view. Secluded. And, amazingly, cell service.

And then my luck ran out.

From up on the mesa I could see storm clouds coming. I knew the dirt road I’d come up would turn to mud. I knew I’d be a lightning target up there. I knew I had to get down.

But where else to go? Someplace paved. A truck stop, a Walmart parking lot, something like that. But I wasn’t in a truck stop and Walmart part of the country. I was out where tiny towns, some without even gas pumps, are separated by large distances.

The storm clouds caught me as I drove.
  1. I don’t see as well in the dark as I used to
  2. Headlights coming the other way make it hard to see the road
  3. I don’t see well in the rain
  4. I can’t see the road markings very well when the road is wet; everything is just shiny
Put all those together and I was not having a relaxed drive. There were long seconds when I might as well have been totally blind. All I could do was stay straight and hope the road didn’t turn.

My Drive of Great Anxiety gave me plenty of time to think about how one shouldn’t gloat about one’s luck. Because it can change. Sometimes quickly.

So I didn’t gloat when I got safely to Cortez and learned they had a McDonald’s to supply my free wifi needs and a Walmart where I could park for the night.

No comments:

Post a Comment