Find Me a Detour

A tree that could be found in Sequoia National Forest

A tree that could be found
in Sequoia National Forest

On one of my trips back to California from Phoenix, possibly after visiting my son or getting a haircut, (yes I drive 700 miles roundtrip to get my hair cut, but that’s another story) I read a flashing sign ** Interstate 10 shut down **.  When it’s 110⁰, this is not something you want to see in the middle of the desert.

I called my son, since I was close to Phoenix, to see if he could research the road closure.  He found that it was indeed closed and all I could envision was a million cars stopped ahead waiting for whatever to be fixed.  I asked him to find me a detour and with his engineering expertise, I was off the freeway in 5 minutes.  His instructions were turn left, and then left again and then…. NO SERVICE.   Now was not a good time for my cell service to die, pictures of parched cattle skulls flashed through my head.  Siri, my new best friend since moving to California (yep Siri on my phone – don’t hate) was also out of commission.

Panic set in as I drove on to what I thought was my detour and didn’t see one car, not one.  Didn’t anyone want to avoid one million cars on a very hot freeway?  I kept driving, as my breathing increased, to find no mile markers or signs on how to get back to I-10 and no road to turn left.  I started to sweat even with the air on.  As I continued to drive deeper into the desert I noticed how the road wasn’t flat anymore, but undulating with small curves every so often and signs warning of ‘cattle crossings’ or ‘flash flooding’ started to appear.  I may be close to civilization…

As I started observing my surroundings and how unexpected the drive had turned out, my panic started to subside and I really wanted to see some of those cattle, free-ranging cross the road.  I drove into a very small town, wondering if my left turn would appear at some point, when I started to smile at the charm of the police station which was located in a former drive-up restaurant.  The main street was congregated with horses and cars, and there were quite a few people standing outside the quaint mud brick diner, which looked like it had been there for over 100 years.

My left turn appeared with an I-10 sign illuminating the way.  As I continued on, I didn’t want my adventure to end and was a bit embarrassed as I thought back on how fearful I was on the onset.  How could one little detour cause me such discomfort?  What had I learned?

When detours arise, it’s all in the perception of the situation.  I need to take a deep breath when those uncomfortable feelings arise; the ones of helplessness, being out-of-control or the unknown and let the situation unfold.  If not I may be missing out on things I have never witnessed before, like unique experiences that are waiting just for me or the sight of a couple free-ranging cattle crossing the road.

Grateful for you,


It's all in the perception... In reality it's a hedge found on our walk

It’s all in the perception…
In reality it’s a hedge found on our walk








6 thoughts on “Find Me a Detour

  1. This is so true…we all are in such a rush to get to our destinations or to stay on that all important schedule, we miss the wonderful gifts of our surroundings and the opportunities to either connect with others along the way or to just BE with our thoughts and aloneness. Thanks for the reminder….I will defiantly try to be more mindful of my journey through life!

    • I love it – ‘defiantly’ ! We should all replace the word ‘definitely’ with DEFIANTLY, maybe we would then follow through with all our plans.

  2. I had a similar experience years ago on a roller coaster, which I was riding with my best friend, who was blind. I had always hung on for dear life as I approached the top of the hills, yet still always felt I was being pulled out of my seat (to certain death) on the downsides. My friend couldn’t see that he was at the top of the hills, so was much more relaxed throughout the ride, held to his seat, and enjoyed himself. He suggested I try it. What a revelation! Afterwards, we talked about the experience as a metaphor for life’s challenges. Sheree’s story about her desert detour reminded me of my roller coaster. I needed that.

    • Without our roller coasters, appreciating the great stuff wouldn’t seem as amazing! Thanks so much for your insight, I love it!

  3. I loved reading this blog (my palms were sweating and thinking of white knuckles) as I think back on my fear of traveling to places unknown to me. That could be on a plane, train, car, bus, etc. With your advice in the past and present, I have almost rid myself of both physical reactions. Knowing and admitting that I’m directionally impaired with our friends N-S-E-W, I’ve come to appreciate the assistance others give me to get me where I need to go. (i.e., by phone, GPS, etc.) By the way, that does not include a map unless I’m in the passenger side. HA
    How right you are that in those moments of distress, you don’t see the beautiful fields of sunflowers or the trees filled with birds chirping wildly. I plan on looking beyond my momentary distresses to see the WONDERFUL! Thank you big sister!

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