Sunday, May 1, 2011
Standing under giant trees that are hundreds of years old is one of them. Looking up at humongous rocks that tower over you or canyons that seem to go on forever and have been being carved by rivers for millions of years are a couple more.
Having the "check engine" light go on in your 17 year old car with over 160,000 miles on it, and your two children on board with you, while driving on an mountain road in the middle of nowhere in Colorado at 8500 feet, especially when that road that has no place to pull over, no guard rails and sheer cliff drop offs, where I doubt anything that remained of your remains would ever be found if you went off- that really tends to make you feel like any illusion of control that you have is really, really tiny.
I saw no place open to deal with my mysterious engine issue, but I did notice that every time that I drove, it was fine. It was only when I stopped that the engine started sounding like a smokers cough, and doing a little shake. Did I mention that it was getting dark?
These are the kinds of moments when people start whipping out prayers, and I am no exception. Since the car drove just fine, I took it as a sign we should drive on. We drove to the campground that we had planned to stay at for the night where I planned to research my options. The good news was that it wasn't far, and there were relatively few stops on the way, so that was without incident. When we got there however, we found out the bad news. There was a big locked gate that prevented us from getting in. Due to a late winter, it was not yet open for the season.
But, blessed as we are, things got better. It was Girl Child who ended up saving the day when she spotted a sign for the Durango Hometown Hostel. We had refuge, not to mention showers and WIFI.
The light came back on and the shuttering commenced several more times during our travels, pretty much every time we were above 6500 feet in elevation. But at least the worry was smaller and we could feel a little more confident that we'd be fine if we kept going. We went on with our journey feeling happy and blessed indeed.