by Patricia George
(Hanford, California)

I was reading the story from a recent post about the children's laughter heard on Cripple Creek Road in Colorado and it touched a memory I had from a time riding on a mountain road in Colorado. I was nine or ten at the time and my parents loved to vacation in the Colorado Rockies. My dad was always up for an adventure and would take roads that were not on the map just to see where they went.

This made my mom really uncomfortable. She liked to have everything in life planned out. This time my dad should have listened to her.

He took off on a two lane highway up a mountain with no signs telling of the destination. The problem was as we climbed higher and higher it became apparent that the road was becoming more and more narrow. There was no going back now. My mom was becoming more and more agitated as she wondered what we would do if we met another car since now there was only room for our car. We still didn't know how much further we had to go.

I was picking up on the fear in the car now. Even my dad was becoming concerned. This was not good. If my dad was scared then i knew we were in danger. There would be no way we could back down all that way around the curves especially in a car with a stick shift.

Just when things seemed that things could not get any worse, the pavement ran out. All we had left was a dirt road that was barely big enough for our car.

Just then an old man on horseback came riding down the mountain. He had a long grey beard and he looked like one of those old prospectors that I'd seen in my history books on the gold rush. He and his horse were both old and skinny and a little dusty but the glitter in his eyes showed a happy spirit lived inside those old bones.

He told us not to worry that we had only a bit more to go and then the road started down the other side of the mountain and was an easy trip down.

I don't know where he could have come from, nor do I see any way he could have gone on past our car because there was no room. I just know that he went on down the mountain and we continued up to the top. We never saw any signs of life up on top.
I don't know where he had come from or where he was going.

I believe now that he was someone sent from the universe to ease our fears.As I think about that day now, I don't believe he was real at all. Thank goodness for spirits.

To this day my mom will not go on any road unless it is on a map.

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