One of many great things about living in the Valley are the long, straight roads that seem to lead to no where but everywhere at once.
Mondays, always a tough day when Fridays end on Saturday morning, donít really seem to start until getting behind the wheel. Once everything is loaded in and the car is warm after a chilly night outside, the drive from Alamosaís northern border begins, and with it a million thoughts of what could transpire.
Usually, it is perfect. The sun shines down on the fields and melts the cold off of the cattle resting near the fence line. Birds big and small swoop and soar, sometimes at nothing and other times at a big, fat hare that didnít make it across the road. With the window down, the mountains almost hello like they would in a childrenís novel and the trees without their leaves reach out with a have-a-good-day-pat-on-the-back. Usually, itís perfect and a moment to count blessings that not many others in this big world will ever know.
Some trips into our little town, however, are spoilt in the midst of a hawkís dive or a cowís trot. It is a mystery how the motorists can all let it pass by, how they can turn a blind eye to the speed limit on a road where at least one has died. It is often unimaginable what could be so important those big, burly trucks and SUVs need to drive so fast and so close. Donít these drivers, these residents, these people who might say the same about the outside world that awaits them on a Monday morning realize the danger in hurting someone or something or missing the most beautiful moment nature might offer?
Itís very distracting to look in the rear view mirror and see a gigantic white Cadillac SUV rumbling up behind, especially when it insists on not passing, but riding the behind of a little four cylinder truck. It makes thinking about what the heck is going to fill this weekís column space a challenge when thoughts of a cow strolling out into the road and the white Cadillac SUV being in the front seat of the one it follows preoccupy. It makes preparing for the drastic changeover, from country to town, a little more nerve racking, and a little slower, especially when the tailgater, the power tripper, fails to pass or back off.
That is when it is at its worst, coming into town past the golf course. These bends give space for people to walk, children to ride, deer to roam and gangs of runners to show off their sculpted abs and mile long legs that they most likely donít want to lose to a car rounding the turn at 50 mph. While bicyclists yield, the sports car canít seem to find 30 mph when crossing over the bridge, lucky once again it didnít take out a pair of moms and their babies in strollers with a pack of dogs in tow. While the deer that residents claim actually look both ways before they cross the road, the motorist doesnít even see them because itís all a blur from a jacked-up two ton that is built to destroy.
While you might have the power and the urge, donít forget the peace and calmness of driving in rural America, a place where many stay to get away from speed and because they donít take joy in giving someone the bird. It takes away from the feathers in the sky and a perfect routine to meet the world one day at a time.