There are some long stretches of road in this world. Sometimes at night 101 from Steamboat to Taylortown seems endless. More often than not I-5 from Kelso/Longview to Centralia goes on forever. And in California I-5 South from say Stockton to the Grapevine, well it is eternal and endless.
There is another seeming endless stretch of highway. From The Dalles, OR (see picture to the left) to Pendleton goes on and on and on. Oregon, in their wisdom, has decided that 65 is an ideal speed for this flat, brown, barren strip of freeway. At times (and it is almost every time I have travelled it) I feel like I could get out and walk as fast. Of course, that is not real, but one seems to just crawl. Oh, there are windmills, like a million, but after the first 300 they lose their appeal. I have seen the dams enough to last a life time. "Oh, look, the flood gates are open this time." Yawn. And so for some 127.6 miles and a little over 2 hours (not counting the rest stop stop) boredom settles in.
Most every where I go I have a mixture of memories, most good, some bad. But that stretch of road bears few good ones. Mostly broken down cars, crying kids, sick dogs, bad weather, flat tires, I shutter to remember anymore. Needless to say, this is not my favorite part of the trip. But it is part of the trip. I can't get from Portland to Boise without going that way. Well I suppose there is an alternative, but I don't think it would be any bettern. So today I made that trip. Monday i will make it again (Maybe I will ask Sherry to drive while I sleep. No wait, I have grandkids with me so that won't work.)
Unfortunately, there are stretches of similar roads on our spiritual journeys. They are roads we all have to travel. The loss of our parents, sickness, job downsizing, mistakes, friends betraying, loneliness, the list is as long as the road itself. Frankly, I wish life were more of a party. I love to worship most Sundays. I love being with family most times. I love visiting with friends most of the time. Those are good days. Those are the days of new adventures, new ground, of fun. But all days are not "those" days. And if we want to get to where we need to go, want to go, then we have to go that way. There is no way around it. No fun to be sure, But down it we must go.