2000 Cool Miles

One day on the Camino, I began to reminisce about all the time I have wasted on worrying about things that are beyond my control.  In the midst of this experience, I looked up in the sky and saw a beautiful stork in a nest.  This is very common in the spring but almost impossible in the fall.   Here is an excerpt from my book:

“My sighting of the stork was another example of all the luck I experienced on the Camino. From day one, things just seemed to tilt in my favor. While I have always appreciated the good fortune of my life, I began to build an inner faith that no matter what happened on this journey, everything would be just fine. The more I let go of my worries and things beyond my control, the more things fell into a perfect and satisfying order. I wondered if I was actually losing my ability to worry. What a glorious thought!”

I am currently about 2000 miles into a worry-free road trip with the world’s coolest mom.  We set out last Tuesday to to discover the national parks of Utah without a map, hotel reservation, or an ounce of worry.  Day one took us to Cedar City, Utah and a mountain of road trip food.  I am not a fast foodie, but ended up eating a McMuffin for breakfast, a double cheese from Wendy’s for lunch, and Centro’s pizza for dinner.  We conquered gluttony on day one!  While digesting at the hotel, we pulled up the reservation system for Zion National Park Lodge.  They had one room for the next day.  The next available date was in 2017.

Zion’s Canyon is astounding and my adventurous 80-year old mom likes to hike.  My mom threw caution to the wind and plowed up a mile-long steep trail with some very narrow ledges.  The reward at the top was an amazing view of the entire canyon.

The next day, we hopped in the car and headed to Bryce Canyon.  We stopped by a roadside coffee house that looked like an adobe hut from a Flintstone’s cartoon.  A delightful man explained the history of the area and made us some serious vanilla lattes.  In the car, I decided to call the Bryce National Park Lodge in hopes of getting a room.  Of course they just had a cancellation.   The day unfolded naturally and ended with a four mile hike that included 800 feet of elevation through the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon.

The next morning, Google Maps gave us two options to drive to Moab.   For some reason, I took the longer route and was amazingly rewarded with some of the most beautiful scenery of my entire life.  We arrived in Moab, UT in the late afternoon and stopped for a latte and WiFi.  There are a 49 hotels in the area and I was looking forward to introducing my mom to Priceline.  I tapped in our dates and was presented with two options.  One was $509 per night and the other was a yoga mat in a teepee for $10.  Moab was sold out!!  We decided to hoof it up and down the strip and hope for a cancellation.  Our first stop was a Best Western a block from the espresso shop.  They had one room by the ice machine and offered a 40% discount. I have earplugs and my mom can barely hear.

I am not writing this story to brag about our luck.  Had any of the above things not worked out, we would have continued down the road and ended up where we were meant to be.  I am trying to share a point that has taken me 52 years to discover. There is no need to plan for every corner and curve in life or worry about how things unfold.  It all just works out!!

The purpose of this trip is not arriving at a canyon or park lodge.  The magic of this journey is sharing 2000 miles and accepting the unknown with the world’s coolest mom.