Quote of the Day: All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination. Earl Nightingale
A snowdrift is a beautiful thing – if it doesn’t like across the path you have to shovel or block the road that leads to your destination. Hal Borland
I’m a retreat kind of girl. I’ve been to writer’s conferences, spent a long weekend in PA for a Highlights writer’s workshop, been the music leader at women’s retreats, and have done a few girlfriend trips along the way. So, when my friend Georgia invited me to a Creative Women’s Retreat near Hinkley, MN, I said, “Yes.” She sent directions from the metro north, so I didn’t really pay attention to them as I was coming from the west. I googled my own map, printed out the directions, and handed them to my travel companion Connie. Neither of us are familiar with the route from Brainerd to Hinkley, which is mostly backroads.
The snow keeps falling here in Minnesota, barely a glimpse of spring in the horizon. I failed to bring the old-fashioned Atlas. Connie left her Garmin GPS at home, and cell service is sketchy on this rural route. We squinted through the flurries and made our own tracks in the snow covered roads. As the day grew darker, the road cover thicker, and the signs to help guide our way obstructed, we got a little lost. But, Scarlet the Abominable Sno-baru kept us on track. She never wavered over the drifts, but shuttered a little when I moved her too close to the rumble strips. She passed the nervous Nellies with ease and watched them eat her snowy dust. The only thing she lacked was a built-in GPS and a go-go-gadget arm that could extend out and wipe off the street/road signs.
According to our Map Quest printout, we should have arrived at our destination in less than two hours. It took about three and a half! Whew! We got cell service near the destination and Georgia talked us through the final trek. As we pulled up to the retreat center, we saw women in the windows waving, and one of Connie’s friends outside signaling us into a parking spot.
Despite the difficult journey, I never felt afraid. Connie was a cheerful and hopeful travel partner who saw the whole experience as a way to get to know one another, share our stories, and have an adventure. My 2014 Subaru Outback handled well in these wintery conditions, and I was glad I bought it last fall. I think Connie might even be shopping for one of her own next time she gets a new vehicle!
The harder the journey, the sweeter the success. The ladies came out to greet us, carried in our things, and helped us settle in. I was grateful for the soup I brought along from The Biker Chef, and enjoyed it with a glass of wine. I dreamed all night of driving endless roads, up and up, to reach my destination. I believe it is significant that I was traveling upward, the climb.
Onward and upwards, folks, and Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: Write about a difficult journey.