Thursday, June 20, 2013

Less Traveled Roads

Hwy 94, Colorado
Once I left the campground, I gathered up my courage, and took the road less traveled by between Kansas and Colorado Springs.  It took courage because the memory of the previous day's storm was fresh in my mind, and I knew the smaller roads wouldn't have a safe place to pull off. 

I'm glad I took the risk.  U.S. 40 to CO 94 took longer than staying on the freeway would have, but this way, I got to get back in touch with the wild loneliness of the plains.  CO 94 is a direct shot from 40 to Colorado Springs, but little traveled.  The cut takes about 90 minutes, and I saw no more than five cars along the way.

As I drove, I was struck anew by the beauty of the open sky and by how big the world is.  My world can get crowded and small.  A drive across the high plains does wonders to bring things into perspective just a bit.

Garden of the Gods
I decided to linger in Colorado Springs for an extra day so I could adjust to the altitude a bit, which was mostly an excuse to revisit one of my favorite spots in the world, the Garden of the Gods.  It's easy to see why the Native Americans considered it a sacred space.  I had delightful company on my walk; my friend Mary's daughter is home for the summer and hiked with me.  As we took the less traveled path up and away from the crowds, we talked of life and futures and pasts.  We spoke of dreams and plans and likes and differences.  We sat for a spell in the shade of the Siamese Twins rock formation and just enjoyed the beauty around us.

It's working better today - Stop.  Breathe.  Relax.

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