Tales From The Road: Happy Trails

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - OPINION - Gene Linzey Reflections on Life

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were my all-time fa­vorite tele­vi­sion friends. The Lone Ranger, Zorro, and Robin Hood were in sec­ond, third and fourth place.

Af­ter each weekly ad­ven­ture, Roy and Dale (rid­ing Trig­ger and But­ter­cup) sang in beautiful har­mony, “Happy trails to you, un­til we meet again; Happy trails to you, keep smil­ing un­til then. Who cares about the clouds when we’re to­gether? Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather. Happy trails to you, ’til we meet again.” Then af­ter a short com­mer­cial, an ex­cit­ing portion of the Wil­liam Tell Over­ture in­tro­duced the Lone Ranger as Sil­ver reared and pawed the air.

Those are happy and care­free me­mories of the early decades of our lives. But in these, our lat­ter decades, Carol and I are set­ting out to cre­ate new me­mories by trav­el­ing the coun­try in a trailer.

When we pulled out of our drive­way to be­gin this month-long trek, “Happy Trails” came to mind; and, as the song in­toned, Satur­day was cloudy and rainy. But we didn’t care about the clouds be­cause we were to­gether; and our singing pro­duced sunny weather — at least in­side the car.

I’ve been driv­ing cars since I was 15 years old, and I’ve driven 28-foot U-Haul or Penske trucks no less than 14 times across the western U.S.A. as we changed res­i­dences. But pulling a trailer is dif­fer­ent, and many of you know what I mean. As I drive at 60-65 mph, the air pres­sure from the 18-wheel­ers and pick­ups pulling big fifth-wheel rigs pass­ing me go­ing 70-80 mph cre­ates a lit­tle ex­cite­ment. And I change lanes as few times as pos­si­ble!

I sup­pose I’ll get ac­cus­tomed to it, but so far driv­ing is the hard part. Set­ting up for the camp­site or get­ting ready to hit the road has al­ready be­come an easy rou­tine. But the best part is walk­ing around the camp­site and meet­ing peo­ple.

The re­tired U.S. Army colonel next to us was ad­just­ing the wa­ter pu­rifi­ca­tion sys­tem to his dou­bleaxle Grey­hound-bus-size mo­tor-home as Carol and I walked up to him. Jim was an in­stant friend. He eas­ily stopped what he was do­ing and gave me some point­ers that a new­comer to R-Ving needs to know; adding that I check the air pres­sure in the tires. Af­ter thank­ing him for serv­ing our coun­try, we con­tin­ued down the trail to meet other friends.

When Colonel Jim pulled out the next morn­ing, I saluted and he gave me a friendly blast from the horn of his mo­bile con­do­minium. Happy Trails to you, Jim.

When I pulled my stu­dio-apart­ment sized trailer out the fol­low­ing morn­ing, I went to the Shell sta­tion to add air to the tires. Do you know how dif­fi­cult it is to turn around in a gas-sta­tion park­ing lot? I won’t tell you how many times I went backand-forth be­fore I got it right. It was em­bar­rass­ing when a man fi­nally said, “Let me move my truck so you don’t hit it.”

Back­ing straight is easy, but back­ing and turn­ing? I have a lot to learn. Pray for me — I’ll get the hang of it even­tu­ally.

This new phase of life is sim­i­lar to what is in­volved when a per­son be­comes a Chris­tian and wants to serve the Lord. There is a lot to learn, and it re­minds me of a Sun­day evening church ser­vice in Quincy, Mass., back in 1962. Me­gan, call­ing her­self a street-lady, con­fessed that she lived a raunchy life. Af­ter tear­fully re­pent­ing for a life of sin and pro­fess­ing Je­sus Christ as her Sav­ior, Me­gan hap­pily an­nounced, “I’m glad I fi­nally come to Je­sus. I’ll have a hell-of-a-time serv­ing Him!”

We didn’t judge Me­gan for that. She was ex­cited to be­come a fol­lower of Je­sus, but it takes a while to learn a new way of liv­ing and a new way of talk­ing.

Like back­ing straight, it is easy to stop what we call the ma­jor sins. But like back­ing and turn­ing, chang­ing a lifestyle takes some ef­fort and train­ing.

Oh-oh, a cloud just burst and the heav­ens are emp­ty­ing their re­sources. I’ll go for now and close win­dows. Happy Trails to you.

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