Seeing beyond a broken road

broken road with dog

Sometimes when it looks like the road you’re on has suddenly ended it just means you have to look for another way forward. That was the case tonight when I took Jazzmin for a walk and we decided to venture down the “Road Closed” section around the corner from my house. A few days ago, the road was “closed” but still in one piece, but tonight the road was more than closed, it was missing a huge section.

That section on that road has suffered erosion problems since last year’s heavy rains and this year’s heavy rains haven’t helped the situation. Their initial “solution” was to put up signs that read “No Shoulder” along with some cautionary orange cones that warned drivers not to stray into the nonexistent shoulder and off the cliff. It’s not a very high cliff, but it’s high enough that anyone who drove over it wouldn’t end up in great shape.

The road crews are finally addressing the issue by digging up the entire road and placing newer, plastic pipes to guide the stream where it’s supposed to go. Once the pipes are in place they’ll fill the road back in and I’m hoping they’ll also add a guardrail as a more effective means of keeping cars and people from wandering over the steep drop-off. Time will tell.

When Jazzmin and I came to that gaping hole in the road, my first thought wasn’t to turn back. Any normal, reasonable person would have turned around and headed out on a different route, but I was curious to see if there was a path down into the ravine and back up. That road is the one we take on our long walks up the big hill and I didn’t like the idea of not being able to go that route. Have I mentioned that I’m stubborn?

From our vantage point on the broken road, I saw that the huge digger they’ve been using to clear the earth made a large, visible path down into the ravine so I thought I’d try it out. Yesterday’s rain made the ground very soft and muddy but Jazzmin and I made out way onto the slate area where an impromptu stream had bubbled up after the disruption of land around it. Walking in the slate stream was much more solid than the deep, wet dirt and we managed to make it to the main stream with only a few instances of sinking deeper than expected.

slate steam

The slate stream/path

Jazzmin is the kind of dog who will go anywhere with me because she trusts me and my guidance. I don’t know if that’s always the wisest thing, but I certainly appreciate the loyalty and commitment! She happily stepped into the stream and sniffed at the numerous deer tracks as I paused to take a few pictures with my phone. I figured since I’d taken pictures from the top, I should take them from the bottom too.

Looking up at the broken road.

Looking up at the broken road.

Looking toward the big digger.

Looking toward the big digger.

The lone tree they left standing where there used to be a mini forest.

The lone tree they left standing where there used to be a mini forest.

Looking up the other side of the ravine, I realized that there was little chance we could make it to the other side of the broken road and that even if we did, I didn’t want to slide back down that steep area on the way home. So Jazz and I stepped and sunk our way back up the makeshift path and arrived back on the road with wet, muddy paws and sneakers. Jazz wasn’t bothered by any of it and was eager to continue the walk, but I decided it would be wiser if we went home and hosed ourselves off.

The slate stream/path heading back up.

The slate stream/path heading back up.

It wasn’t a very long walk, but it was exactly what I needed to do tonight. Reaching the “end” of that road and realizing that it didn’t really end, that it had just been temporarily redirected reminded me that things aren’t always what they seem. Some people may only see a broken, impassable road, but I saw a challenging new path and decided to explore it. I didn’t have anyone there telling me I could or couldn’t do it, I was in charge of my own destiny and it felt divine!

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