PHOTO PROMPT © Dawn M. Miller
Janie slumped in her corner of the back seat, hypnotized by monotony. It was hot. No AC in 1953. The scarf around her head kept the wind from blowing her hair to kingdom come.
Drowsy, she jerked awake when Dad said, “Here comes the tunnel! It’s going to seem like you’re right in the water when we get through to the other side!”
And it did. The rushing Colorado River cooled the air, and clung to the wet rock as far as Janie could see. Janie’s excitement returned. They would be in Grand Junction today!
Note: After I wrote this, I looked up the photo on Google and found that’s it’s probably a bridge into Harper’s Ferry–definitely not Colorado. But the moment I saw the picture, Colorado and our trips back there to see my dad’s parents came clearly to mind. The long, hot monotony of Kansas and Nebraska, yielding grudgingly to the blue line of the Rockies on the horizon; the suddenness of being on what seemed like a very narrow road that clung to the rock that was washed by the wide, rushing water, was such a change! I used to imagine what it had been like for the first pioneers trying to figure out a way to get across that river. I’m sure there was a portage somewhere much farther north or south, but at least for a while I could entertain myself with pictures in my mind of what it was like to travel that country for the very first time, with horses or oxen pulling the prairie schooners to their new home.