My husband and I just returned from a short road trip which means camping a night or two at different places along a specific route. We love taking the back roads because they are far more interesting and telling of an area. Once in a while we take a wrong turn. We’re pretty good about not getting upset by it because 9 times out of 10 we end up finding something of interest down the wrong way! This happened at least twice during our recent road trip not to mention the entire trip itself was just wrong.
My husband missed a turn and we had to drive around the block to get where we were going. To his delight we spotted a used book store on the opposite corner of that block. To him, a used book store is like a candy store to a kid. We bought 7 books and I freely admit three are mine. One of his was a 5” thick volume of everything you ever wanted to know about composting. Pass the no-doze please. We are very happy to find that some small bookstore operations can still make a go of it today.
To explain the value of our second wrong turn I need to tell you that we were camping at the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in Gainesville, Florida. The prairie was partly flooded and full of mosquitoes and ticks. The weather was HOT and STICKY! Not good camping weather. What were we thinking when we set up this trip? Well, that’s a whole separate topic. The final kicker for this place was the observation tower, the main attraction at the park and best way to get a bird’s eye view of the prairie, was closed for repair. The website had said it would be open that week. Silly me for not checking. That was it, I had enough. We cut our stay short. I am not usually so wimpy but I also felt if I wasn’t having fun, it was ok to bag the last night there. After returning home and finding the heat index registering well over 100 degrees, I had to forgive myself. Back to the wrong turn.
Coming out of the park, I was disoriented and accidentally told my husband to turn north instead of south towards home. After a couple of miles we came across a roadside boardwalk with an awesome view of the prairie. Thank you Spirit!! It lifted my low mood. We hadn’t come all this way just to be attacked by heat and bugs. And there next to the road we could feel a slight breeze that kept our sweat from dripping down our faces and the skeeters at bay. Jumping back in the car and heading north again (oops), I finally realized the scenery was no longer familiar and that we were headed the wrong way!! Turning around, we laughed when we realized that we would have missed the best view ever that day had we not made the earlier mistake.
Finally, taking this miserable trip in the heat got us to rethink our next trip which we now realize would have been a big mistake. Instead of camping in the heat and mugginess of the summer in the South we will be planting ourselves in a beautiful spot we can use as a base camp for shorter day treks out into the wilderness of this beautiful country we live in.
I will always look for the hidden blessing (and sometimes not so hidden) in all my missed or wrong turns in life. Thank you for showing me that this past week.
Have you had similar experiences? I’d love to hear about them.