Friday, October 27, 2017

Hectic Drive

An hour and a half to arrive? I didn’t make it on time.

The bridge. Oh, the infamous bridge built in 1953 was deemed to be demolished. In January 2017 they started taking down the old and erecting a new bridge in its place, higher and impressive but not any wider, to be completed in May 2018. This is the main entrance to Glenwood Springs and other towns toward Aspen.

Photos of the demolition can be viewed all over the internet. A frightening one shows a surprise collapse of on small section. Amazingly, no one was hurt. Businesses near the project have in my humble estimation seen a downturn in foot traffic. My husband and I dined at a few of the restaurants and been the only couple, or among a handful of others.

Today, the drive from Rifle seemed uneventful until roughly a mile and a half west of Glenwood Springs. Stopped. Yes, all traffic in the right lane going into the town stood at a standstill. For weeks on Thursdays, I drove the same route but each time it progressively deteriorated taking longer each time.

I sit in traffic, my car eating fuel, and exhaust filtering through the air. What shall I do so I don’t waste my time? One Thursday, I asked my car to dial my mom. We had a good chat. Check. Most days in the car, I practice music, having to memorize sixteen songs. I sing in a community choir called Mountain Madrigals. Plug: please attend, you will like the four concerts in December.

Most days, the other drivers are pretty cool and courteous. Today is no exception. I’m thankful.

My throat is a little sore and I need my voice to hold out for my class. I teach a ladies Bible study which is where I’m headed. Phone calls nor singing appeal to me. I keep my music playing in the CD player—subconscious memorizing. Right? How should I use my time? I drum my fingers on the wheel.

That’s when my writer’s brain kicked in. My imagination swirled on overdrive. The lady in front of me is putting on make-up. The silhouette of the small wand of mascara is held up to her eye. That’s one way to utilize this down time. The lane to our left is a thoroughfare to go past Glenwood. An SUV careens in front of her pickup as she’s rolling forward. She jerks, the way a turtle jerks in a race, to a stop.

I had my foot on the brake so no problems here. I wonder what happened to her eye. Mascara is not kind to the orbs.

The guy in the SUV who tried to be one with her pickup grabbed my attention. Why do people do that? He didn’t realize for the last two miles he needed to be in this lane? Was he busy talking on the phone? Is he some important judge, late to slip on his robes? Perhaps he’s the guest speaker on a radio broadcast? Yes, we have those. Late for a rendezvous? Running for his life?

Inch forward. A bald eagle soars past my window following the river looking for breakfast. I typically see him on Thursdays while I have the opportunity to share with the ladies. In our room, we enjoy a wonderful view both west and south. Eagles and other birds grab our attention as does the changing leaves and weather. Sometimes we are entertained by other wild animals. Squirrels, deer, and even an occasional bear. I should bring my binoculars. Oh, that is not why I’m there.

A “For Rent” sign catches my eye. A townhouse I assume. I wonder what the rooms are like. Two bedrooms? Eat in kitchen? Fenced yard? Nice, they have a balcony off a bedroom with a sliding door. Also, one on the main floor. A one car garage is underneath and accessible from a driveway. Views. Up and out, a panorama of grand views of mountains that surround the south valley, and closer…us sitting in traffic. Hum. No thank you. 

Mascara lady moves a bit closer to the exit. Using both hands, she messes with her long hair swirling the strands into a bun and attaching them by tucking the ends under itself. Wow. Mine would just turn into a rats nest or slip right out of the presumed knot. Jealous.

A cop car, lights flashing, is parked by the cones where the lane ends taking a dive off I-70. All during rush hours and hours, about six hours, the policeman sits. Boring!

Should I brighten his day with a smile? Wave? I shouldn’t draw attention to myself. He may think I’m in distress. I don’t have time to get pulled over for any reason even out of politeness. Although, that would break up the monotony and maybe give me fodder for a story.

We inch toward the round-about. Collision could happen any minute! The signs say, take either lane to go around and still turn to the right. Why? Traffic normally sings around from under I-70 taking the lead to turn right to get gas or a burger or go further to turn right on the only road leading into this normally sweet quiet town. The vehicle could keep going and merge onto eastbound 70 or continue back where they came from—the north side of Glenwood which is separated from the south side by I-70, a river, and the downed bridge.

Not one car indicates which way they are intending to go. Should I close my eyes and hope for the best? Of course not! I zip in the space only a compact should go in my mid-size powder blue baby. No screeching of brakes. I made it. Now to swing to the right and then merge with the left lane as we continue on our path to the once quiet town of Glenwood Springs.

The traffic spreads out and soon, we are actually going the speed limit. Hurray! I arrive ten minutes late. What shall I do? Leave earlier next week? Really?

The ramblings of Robin Densmore Fuson

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