Lessons of the open road
Another thing I learned was that you can never travel the same road twice. On the westward part of the journey, with my daughter as companion, we found the Petrified Forest with serendipitous good fortune, a half hour before the gates closed for the night. We were so taken by it that we returned the next day for a longer look and a walk among the richly hued fossilized trees. Aiming to treat my son to the same experience, I failed miserably. We arrived at the western entrance later than planned but with enough time to allow at least a car-window view of the canyon. On the road to the park, I overshot the turn-off and ended up in the turning lane of oncoming traffic. A trooper appeared as if on cue. After checking my documents, she let me go with a plea to “drive safe.” Meanwhile, we had missed the deadline and my chance to show my son a sight I had so enjoyed with his sister. Only later I realized it had been our experience I missed by trying to recreate the previous one.
Starting out, I had figured this trip to be my once-in-a-lifetime, Now I’m planning to do it again, on another route, with my husband this time, keeping in mind the lessons I’ve learned.