You’ve struck a trail. It’s rough, but it’ll make a man of you. It’ll lead somewhere.”
“A man went ahead doing the best he could, but it always seemed there was more trouble lurking just around the bend in the road.”
It’s been a few years now, in fact, it’s been many years since my Dad took us on a little weekend vacation. I cannot recall the year, but it was somewhere between 1961-63. It was my Dad, Uncle James, Grandpa, my cousins Ted and Mike and myself. He wanted to drive to where they first came when they left Oklahoma for Colorado. Between the Dust Bowl and the coal mines closing Grandpa had to find new work, so he came to Colorado to find a job in the mines. However, there were no jobs available when he arrived so the family moved up in the mountains near Pitkin, CO where Grandpa worked as a lumberjack for a season.
We drove and I remember spending a night in a hotel in Gunnison. The next day we were going to see if the cabin was still standing or not. We went through Waunita Hot Springs and not far from that location there was the cabin. Still standing but with grass and brush grown up all around. Dad ventured in first and the rest of us followed. Six people lived in that small one-room cabin. Dad’s job, since he was too young to work the lumber, was to hunt food; he was 14.
It rained some overnight, but the next day we were going to travel and see the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Somehow, and I still can’t figure it with Dad, we got on the road that went on the backside of the Canyon. It was dirt, well, now it was mud. His little Fairlane moved right through it, when suddenly there were three cars stuck in the mud. The men got out and pushed the other cars to get them started and we took off again. Now keep this in mind; there was no railing, just a cliff wall on one side and the drop off into the canyon on the other. The car slid from one side to the other, but we kept going forward. After we were able to get on a paved road again my Dad remarked, “I bet you’re glad I was driving.”
About 4-5 years back my wife and I made a little trip to see if the cabin was still standing. I thought it would be nice to take a picture and have it painted and framed. I decided to go over Cottonwood Pass into Taylor Park and from there over Cumberland Pass and Waunita Pass. I figured my old truck could make it. We moved through the Park and through the ghost town of Tincup up the pass. Just as we began to climb up Cumberland Pass it began to rain. The road was somewhere between a lane and a lane and a half. Water began to flow down the road and into the gullies and now it was muddy. At little higher and sleet became mixed with the rain as we moved up the pass; sliding but making continual progress. When arrived at the summit I simply geared down the truck and we chugged down the other side; the rain and sleet had stopped. I looked at Annie, who had been a mite nervous and said, “I bet you’re glad I was driving.”
Looking back at six decades of life I’ve been on some rough roads. Some were dusty and full of washboards, while others were muddy and I slid from side to side. There were times I broke down on the road, and times that I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. There were even a few times I drove through dust storms where the wind blew so hard I could barely see and the next day my arms were sore from holding the car on the road. Then there were roads packed with ice and roads where the winds howled and the snow blew. Hmmm, it seems like I hear a voice. It’s not my Dad’s and I’m not repeating myself, but I’m sure I heard, “Aren’t you glad I’m driving?” I know it has to be the voice of my heavenly Father. See all of those dangerous roads were physical, many of them were spiritual as well.
“…And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
–Matthew 28:20 (HCSB)