“Winding your way down Baker Street, light in your head and dead on your feet. Well, another crazy day. You’ll drink the night away and forget about everything…..Another year and then you’d be happy. Just one more year and then you’d be happy. But you’re crying, you’re crying now.” – Baker Street – Written and recorded by: Gerry Rafferty (1978)
There was a day when I was on a road, very similar to the one in the photo above, doing about 65 mph. It was a sunny day and very calm weather. The curves were easy to take and no small towns to slow me down. Suddenly and without warning signs, about 50 yards in front of me, the road abruptly ended leaving a large deep gorge. I slammed on my brakes as the car slid ever so close to the drop-off edge. I held my breath as the car’s inertia brought the smoking front wheels some 4-5 inches from the abyss. At that point, I woke up. It is a recurring dream I have had for decades now. I guess that’s why I still am not a fan of bridges and cliffs.
As I write this, we are about to complete our first week of Highway 2018. I surmise it will be constructed of many curves, detours, signal lights and scenic views. From time to time there will be places to stop and enjoy, and other times you should not stop at all, but rather put on some speed to escape the area. No doubt the road will bring old friends and family you’ve not seen in some time. My recommendation is to pull over and soak it up while they are still available for the visit. As any long distance traveler knows, there is the risk of a blowout while putting rubber to road. It always comes at the worst times and certainly never expected. There will be weather changes. There will be rain, driving rain, against your windshield. Fog will roll in without a moments notice, obstructing your best view. At times, you will lose traction and winds will test your ability to control the steering wheel. Exercising caution on a road like Highway 2018 is always the wiser choice. Be aware of the twists and turns Highway 2018 will deliver. Watch the warning signs and observe them on the way. Above all, keep your eye focused on the road ahead, lest there be an unanticipated washed-out section.
We all are born with a GPS guide. It has proven to be a mistake to ignore it. If you turn down the radio you can hear the smaller voice saying, “Turn here. Go there. That way is not negotiable. Manage well your line of vision. Don’t stay focused on the rear-view mirror. Slow down here. Don’t pass the one in front of you, notice the yellow line.” Remember, someone has been here before and has marked the danger zones for you. Better yet, someone has paved Highway 2018 way before you arrived and knows what you have in store on your journey.
With all that said, someone once wrote, “Sometimes plodding is better than plotting.” One foot, one mile in front of the other. Each one is to be conquered. Each one is to be enjoyed, savored and at times, endured.
My apologies to the late Gerry Rafferty. If your trek brings you to a detour and you find yourself on a Baker Street, take note. That lively lane may seem like a haven, but don’t be fooled. It’s short-lived, short on satisfaction and short on delivering promises. Think of it as a small temporary band-aid for a shotgun blast. My advice, take the exit ramp back to Highway 2018 as the Baker Street saxophone fades to black.
One thing is certain, treat the road well. As you do, you will come upon fuel for the race.
“In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will make plain thy paths.” – Solomon – Proverbs 3:6 (DBT)