The Unpredictability of Letting Go

I have a problem with control.  One of the major reasons I hate to fly.  I can’t control the lines, the plane, the crew, the time spent waiting and I just all around hate it.  This was one of the reasons I was skeptical in taking The Journey this year.  Time off work wasn’t the problem, money wasn’t the problem, but control….control was major for me.  I’m a planner at heart and in coming on the trip, I had no control whatsoever as to what we were doing, seeing, eating, etc.  My brother-in-law planned the entire trip and initially I had a hard time, but then I realized, “hey, this is kinda nice to have someone do all the work for you.”  Control relinquished . . . for now.  Unbeknownst to me there were many obstacles to overcome on my journey of letting go.

When you travel alone, with friends, or with strangers things are going to happen that you don’t plan always for.  Honestly, to me, that’s the beauty of traveling.  As stated before I like control, but I do like spontaneity and adventure!  Normally I work 8 to 5 every day excluding weekends, so I know what my schedule will be.  My alarm is set for the same time every day.  Boring…boring…boring…and more boring.  The Journey awaited and I was ready to go, but maybe not as ready as I thought . . .

Obstacle 1 – The Big Diversion

We were all completely pumped for our first day of the trip.  Our drive started from Greeley, CO and we were to end in Jackson Hole, WY.  I had never been to Jackson Hole and was so excited to go!  We started the 7 ½ hour drive pretty early so we could get to Jackson Hole & explore.  After a long day in the car we got to the point where we had 1 hour left.  Only 68 miles to go when we saw a sign up in the distance, “Road Closed ½ mile”.  Nobody said anything, we just kept driving as sometimes signs aren’t always accurate.   What we found was . . . BIG SURPRISE . . . in half a mile the road was in fact, closed.  Two firemen stood in the road with a big bar crossing both lanes.  This was not looking good.  We pulled up, along with the other two Jeeps in our little caravan and asked one of the guys on duty what our best route to get to Jackson Hole was if the road was closed.  He gave us a look of impending doom.  A look of dread as the words he was about to say were poison on his tongue.  He pulled out a map and showed us the only route into Jackson.  That route being an extra 4 ½ hours out of our way adding 300 additional miles to our already 500 mile itinerary.  The cause of this obstacle . . . a big ole nasty forest fire.  Our mouths dropped and our hearts skipped a beat.  The irony of it all was we were going to take a different route that would bring us in North of Jackson Hole, but we decided on the “shorter” route.    Shorter my foot!  You would think they would’ve given us a little more warning than “Road closed ½ mile!”  The nerve of this forest fire!

Now, forest fires and me aren’t familiar with one another.  I’ve grown up on the East Coast all my life and summer time we can see rain almost every afternoon.  If a forest fire happens, it’s more than likely ALWAYS man made and can be contained pretty easily.  This was my first trip to the Mid-West where there’s literally one road in and one road out.  There was no way we were driving through that road.  I can’t begin to describe the disappointment we felt.  The sadness of not being able to see Jackson Hole as we would now be arriving at 9:00 pm instead of 3:30 in the afternoon.  But what could we do?  The only thing to do was laugh, cry and then get back into the car and continue onward.  Control is an interesting thing.  Once let go it can be an amazing experience of freedom.  In that moment, however, I simply felt trapped.  Trapped in the car and trapped out of seeing a place I’ve always wanted to go.  We had overcome obstacle number one, but our little group was in store for many, many more . . .

The Journey of the Soul 

The path we needed to take.

The path we needed to take.

The new path...

The new path...