I recently had the chance to spend an afternoon with a long-time friend from California. We have shared a few adventures through the years and decided to take the "scenic route" to a small town about 25 miles away. It was a wonderful drive on a relatively quiet country road as we caught up on the last few years and she encouraged me in my dream of writing a book.
We enjoyed a leisurely lunch at an historic home, did a bit of window shopping and headed back home. However, as we were driving out of town, we couldn’t remember which road it was that had brought us to the road we were on. We turned on one that we thought may be the one. It was not. We knew pretty much right away, but it didn’t seem to matter much to either of us. We knew we were headed in the right direction. Surely we would happen upon another road that was more recognizable and/or that would get us the rest of the way home. In the meantime, we were together and still had plenty to talk about. We laughed as I told her that we were on the "road less traveled," and without missing a beat, she finished the sentence from the same poem by saying, "and that has made all the difference."
Soon, however, we ran out of pavement and found ourselves on a gravel road. I knew we were still at least 20 miles from Salina but we laughed even harder as I took back my words and rightfully applied the "road less traveled" to the gravel road instead. We watched for roads that may have intersected the one we were on, but they were all dirt roads, rutted and rugged. We stayed on the gravel road. To our delight, just a few miles down the road, we came to a nicely paved road. Our road had dead-ended and there was a sign with an arrow to the left that said, SALINA 16. We made the turn and were thankful for pavement and road signs. The scenery seemed prettier and our hearts became more grateful. It was gratitude, coupled with relief, for all those things we usually take for granted.
As we were in the middle of our little adventure, I told my friend that we were ‘making memories.’ In years to come, we may not remember what we had for lunch at our special restaurant but we would remember we turned down 1900 Road! The road less traveled surely makes the trip more memorable. And though I encourage you to take it every now and then, I do have a few tips…
* Make sure you have a little extra time and a little extra gas.
* Things could get a little messy. Clouds of dust and dings from gravel kicked up from an occasional passer-by are real risks. (If things need to look perfect from the outside, this part will be stressful for you.)
* The whole experience is better when shared with a friend – preferably one with a good sense of humor and direction! (Thanks, Karen!)
* A sense of adventure is imperative. Between my "how lost can we get?" philosophy and my friend’s extensive travel throughout the world, this obscure country road posed little threat.
Life continually presents us with unplanned twists and turns and unexpected roads. The truth is, if we can keep the right attitude, we can appreciate their beauty and laugh along the way. Giving us a new perspective, they really can make a difference!
Daring to Detour with You,