Recently, we enjoyed a two-and-a-half-week road trip to visit friends and family up north.
For the return trip home, we planned on three days and two nights on the road. Partway through the first day of driving, we decided to continue on for another three hours. But soon we would question that decision as those three hours turned into four!
The flashing road sign advised us to tune our radio to a specific station that notified us of an accident that had completely shut down the southbound lanes. At about the same time, Google Maps spoke up to say it was rerouting us to leave the highway the exit before, take a 10-mile detour, and join up south of the accident.
We were good to go.
After reviewing the mounting delay on the Maps app, we decided it was best to take the detour. Since it was only a few miles away, we knew we’d be saving ourselves at least 30 minutes, maybe more.
The new plan continued to make sense until two miles before the exit when the traffic came to a complete stop on the interstate. Turns out, the traffic had back up all the way from the accident site, blocking the new exit completely.
I try, I really do.
I want to be okay with delays. But it’s not always easy. It was nearing the end of the day and we were looking forward to dinner out and an early bedtime at the motel as we planned to be up early the next day for the 10-hour ride ahead of us.
Traffic moved but only every 5-10 minutes, and for only 5-6 car lengths. And it was frustrating watching the timing of the delay continually count higher as restlessness built inside of me. I ate a snack, tried listening to music, and talked non-stop about sitting on a highway with a 70-mph speed limit!
After about 40 minutes the traffic seemed to be inching ahead a little faster. As the exit was nearly within reach we had a decision to make. Google Maps finally showed the slow-down time going down. What to do? Take a chance and remain on the highway…or exit the road on the proven route that would be much slower but definitely get us to our destination. We chose Option 2. And I’m so glad we did.
As it turns out, staying on the interstate was faster because soon after we left the highway, the accident was cleared and vehicles once again began to move at the speed limit.
But I relished in our decision to take the detour. First of all, I dislike sitting; I dislike doing nothing. So, to travel at any speed, even 15 mph, which we did at times on the side road, was better than sitting in traffic and not moving.
Our detour took us on back roads alongside of several miles of railroad tracks. We encountered S-turns like you wouldn’t believe. Train trestles ran over the road and concrete bridges helped us cross babbling brooks. We saw a country church in the middle of nowhere. And the sweetness of being in a forested area compared to a concrete highway was relaxing and at times blissful.
I loved our detour and by the time we arrived at our motel, we were both relaxed and smiling.
I was reminded that we can’t always avoid trouble. We can’t always travel an easy route. But if we are willing to take a detour, we will often be surprised and delighted along the way.
How about you? Any delightful detours lately in your own lives?