The Adventure Continues…
Listening To The Boys
“Self-love is being comfortable with yourself; a level of comfort that feels peaceful, calm and without worry of am I good enough, does anyone care or other thoughts of lack. There’s an unconditional respect of Self’s basic needs.”
– CK Kochis
On my way to pay for an additional three nights at Elephant Butte State Park, I viewed the lake out the driver’s side window and saw a sailboat with its white sails stretched by the light wind. It reminded me of the sailboat my father moored in Portage Lake when I was a young teen.
I parked the truck in the group picnic area overlooking the lake and watched the sailboat for a few minutes. The lyrics, “Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be. Just a dream and the wind to carry me. And soon I will be free…” by Christopher Cross spewed out of my memory banks and into the moment. Every time I hear that song I am taken back to sailing on daddy’s boat.
I could feel my father sitting in the passenger seat. He said, “It’s going to be okay. You’re doing fine.” You see, a short time before I drove away from my home on wheels, I’d been thinking of my father and both of my sons. I miss my family. My heart welled up with tears as I heard my father’s voice and my eyes leaked down my cheeks. I heard Jeremiah, my oldest son who’s deceased, say, “You’ve come a long way, Baby,” in a humorous tone of endearment.
If I was to keep any kind of composure, I knew I had to put the truck in drive and change the scenery. I drove to the visitor booth and spoke with one of the volunteers about extending my stay. She asked what site I was parked and I told her the site number. She got a puzzled look on her face, asked herself, “Twenty-five? Where’s twenty-five?”
Before I could answer her, it dawned on her where I was at and made the same goofy hand jester my youngest son used to do when he was a teenager. I roared with laughter unable to stop the tears.
The look on her face was priceless, as if afraid she’d offended me. I felt I owed her an explanation for my spontaneous reaction. I generically shared with her the sailboat story, how it reminded me of my father and Jeremiah, and her hand jester brought everything full circle to include my youngest son.
The next day I drove into the mountain range between Kingston and San Lorenzo with the curiosity of a school girl. I’d been avoiding the snow like the plaque on this trip, but for some odd reason I wanted to travel the roads leading through the nearby snow covered mountain.
The hair pin corners on the edge of nothingness motivated this gal to go slower than the posted 15 mph caution sign on several of the turns. The speed limit for this mountain range portion of Highway 152 was 35 mph and I had no intentions of pushing my truck to see how fast it’d climb, descend and corner. As I’ve heard several people say around the mountainous areas, “You need your wits about ya when drivin’ them hills.”
I was ready for a break from driving when I came across the Gila National Forest Vista Point – Emory Pass. The vista views were breathtaking. Several cars were in the parking lot when I arrived. A gentleman prepped his camera gear before starting down one of the trails from the parking lot. A young couple took a few snapshots with their cellphones. Me, I took in a deep breath and exhaled. Several moments later the young couple departed and I was alone on the mountaintop perch.
Looking out over the mountain range, I heard the wise words I’d heard at the Gila Cliff Dwellings – love is simple. The sound of a vehicle accelerating in the distance broke the silence of nature and brought me back to my surroundings. I don’t know where I went for brief moment, but it was heavenly. A sense of peace embraced every fiber of my being.
At the stop sign, I turned right instead of left (to return back to camp). Something inspired me to continue my journey through to the other side. I did not have cell service and the map didn’t display any of the National Park points of interest. I had no way of knowing how far I’d traveled or what remained of the journey. I simply knew my curiosity was leading the way.
I rounded one corner and was immediately surrounded by tall, steep rock walls with a river far below to my left. This. This is what I had to see, smell and feel (and thankfully, not touch). I could feel the ancestors standing in the higher elevations of the narrow passage looking down on me, my truck and my journey. I exhaled.
On the other side of the mountain range, I saw a directional sight for a small town I’d read about in a brochure and thought it would be fun to visit. I decided to stop on my way back from wherever I was going. And then, WHAM! It was time to turn around. The desire to see what’s next evaporated and I was gifted a wide driveway to make a u-turn. Following my intuition, I didn’t hesitate to switch the driving direction and followed the same stretch of highway through the mountains. As I drove past the first 35 mph sign on my ascent up the mountain, I realized I missed the turn off for the small town I wanted to tour.
I wondered, how could I miss that road? I was actively looking for it!
Dad whispered into the cab of the truck, “You didn’t want to go there. You’re going to miss your grandson’s call soon. Time to head home to call Konner back.”
Captured moments along the way…
Explore the adventures that got me here…
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