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,