I've been trying to find a new route to my daughter's house. One way was full of traffic especially by the lake; another way took me too far north. The best way seemed to be the first route, but taking a loop to miss all the lake traffic. It still had lights, slowdowns & traffic, though. This past Saturday, I finally found it! I found a route right in-between the two that took me straight through a National Forest, and omg it was beautiful.
I've always like to drive and find new routes. My sense of direction is great and I guess because of that I don't really worry about getting lost. I find it exciting, whether in a car or on foot, to follow a new path just to see where it goes. My hubby, on the other hand, has the worst sense of direction ever. If you are supposed to take a right, he will always take a left and really feel it is the right way. My sister is the same way. Anyway, it drives him totally bonkers when I just seek out a new path with him in the car. This time I was traveling all by myself and could indulge my wanderlust.
I started out on the northern route going east, but just before it actually turned north, I took a Farm to Market Road south until I came to the road that would take me east through the forest. There was no traffic and the speed limit, although a little slower was fine at 65. The road was a two-lane blacktop but good. There were farms on both sides of the road but no other cars, at all. Then I saw all the trees and the sign that announced I was entering the National Forest. The speed limit slowed to 55, but still there were no lights, no stop signs and no traffic so it was a breeze. I was absolutely struck by the beauty of the forest. I must thrive on nature because the feeling that came over me was one of awe, peace and wonder. I breathed deep and just enjoyed the drive. I felt renewed and alive. It was absolutely gorgeous!
The road continued and took me across the northern part of the lake. I saw a few cars there, parked well off the road. I wanted to park too, and dip my feet in the lake waters or hike a trail. But I had an appointment to keep, so I journeyed on. Next time, I'll leave 1 hour earlier and make that stop.
I stayed late at my daughters. And because the night was closing in, I contemplated going one of the old ways home. I knew it would be pitch black in the forest. But, then the adventurer poked her head up and off I went back through the forest. I was not disappointed. It was still beautiful. I did wind up following one other car, but they were trucking at a good pace and actually wound up leaving me behind after many miles. I came across a doe on the side of the road eating the lush grass that grows there and as I slowed she took off through the barbed wire fence, getting hung only slightly before bounding off and dissapearing in the trees.
I’ve read over and over again that they say it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. I totally believe that now. I am actually amazed and pleased that more people do not take that route. I guess it is because they can't go 70mph. But who'd want to fly so fast past all this beauty. The kicker is, in drive time it was actually about the same as the other two routes, I just didn't have the frustration, slow downs and traffic. I know I will always be taking the Beautiful Forest Road from now on.