Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Colorado Learnings: The Long and Winding Road...

"Rim Rock Drive offers 23 miles of breathtaking views."  Well, I can attest that the first four miles from the west entrance are breathtaking.  They sure took my breath away.  Especially the first three.

Heading into Colorado National Monument from the west mean taking a road that shoots vertically (okay, I exagerrate a bit) to the park's high (emphasis on high) country.  As we ascended the narrow (and that I do not exagerrate) two lane road, my brother-in-law Dave kept telling Linda and me -- the flatlanders in the back seat) that he would go at whatever speed we needed to feel comfortable.

I thought about saying that reverse would be a good speed -- getting off the mountain!

Up we climbled, Dave and Julie relaxed in the front seat, looking around, marveling at the beauty.  Dave often took one hand off the steering wheel to point out some grand vista or sheer drop.  I kept both hands tightly on my knees (except when wiping the sweat from them) and watched the road ahead -- especially when, coming out of a small, low tunnel, the road took a left turn and all that was visible ahead was sky.  Lots of sky.  A phrase from the opening of "Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (one of our family's favorite movies) kept coming to me.  It's after Jimmy Durante is passing people on a high desert highway and misses a curve.  When they find him, J. Russell Finch (Milton Berle) keeps saying, "Hey, did you see th-the way he went SAILING right out there?"

Yeah.  I could envision it.

We drove along slowly.  Dave comfortable, letting us know that this road was built in the 1930s by WPA and other workers.  And I began to think about that.  How those fellows had taken on the task of making the way for us and the others who would pass that way -- carving a road out of rock face and blasting tunnels so that we could enjoy the views that would only be obtained by reaching the top.

And I thought of all the thousands upon thousands who had travelled that way before me.

I began to relax a little.  I told the J. Russell Finch voice to shut up.  And I reflected that, as on my way of faith, while the road I travel is uniquely mine, sections have been prepared by those who have gone before.  Pilgrims on the the road to the face of our loving God.  And I prayed a little pray of thanks to them who had been before -- both spiritually and literally on this road I travelled.

-- Brent

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