Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Country Roads

The last day, two weeks ago today, of my mother's and my excellent adventure left her car stranded in what they call 'gumbo'. It is the kind of clay, when wet, that each step in adds an inch of height to your shoes. Let me tell you about the draw of the country road that can get you in such a predicament...

It all started with a second trip to see Fort Robinson. We took a different road on the way out only to see mother's friend out in his front yard. We drove in to say 'hi' and before you know it all three of us were on an adventure to see the wonderful photo-op filled route they call 'Deadman's Road'. (That should have been a clue!)

We were awestruck at the beautiful green patchworks that covered the meadows. The addition of buttes and bluffs as well as canyons and wildflowers was a visual feast. We were almost back to the main road when we saw some bighorn sheep on the left, and further down the road one of those natural clothes dryers.

The last curve up the hill to the left turned from sand into gumbo. It all looked the same, and even deceptively smooth, however the car spun to a stop. Each new attempt to make progress only dressed the tires in new layers of the sticky dark dough.

Alas, I walked up the hill to a beautiful house, only to find it deserted with a lockbox on the door. After several extreme hills, I found myself at a corner of new buildings none of which was a farmhouse. I decided to go left up and down a few more hills. At that point I was grateful that I had kept up my cardio work before leaving Texas and also thankful that the day was a little cool.

To my delight, I came upon a ranch and noted a man in the front yard. I waved and asked if he might be able to help us. His tractor had broken down the day before, he had a new phone he wasn't quite sure how to navigate, but finally came upon a solution that might get us unstuck. He called 'Joe' who came out to rescue us. However, when 'Joe' arrived, he offered a ride back to town but was not about to get his truck stuck in the muck trying to pull mom's car out. It would have to wait until the roads dried out.

Well, this afternoon, I think Mom might actually be driving her car out since there have been two dry days in a row. I told her I thought it would be two weeks. Today is two weeks. The good news is that she has a network of friends that has been watching over her and driving her to wherever she needs to be. The good news is that we saw some wonderful sights along Deadman's Road. The good news is that we had a (mostly) wonderful adventure and a great story to tell.


I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free!
You, O Lord, are the pathway to victory.

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