July 28, Day 26 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014
This morning started off innocently enough. We rode the I-90 frontage road from Belgrade to Bozeman, following driving directions provided last night by a tech-savvy motel receptionist. Once in Bozeman, however, I began to doubt the route ahead. The Interstate seemed to offer a more direct route to our intended destination, and the climb through Bozeman Pass would be much more gradual than on secondary roads.
So, after discussing this with Debbie, we decided to go to the local AAA office and inquire about road conditions and routes. We were more or less convinced that we’d use the highway today, despite one person’s attempt to talk us out of it. We also wanted a tour book for upcoming routing and accommodation questions.
Eventually, we did make it to the AAA office and had great conversation with the local staff. We shared TheHopeLine and our story before running another errand, and then riding through downtown to see the sights. We anticipate Bozeman to be the largest city we will encounter in some time.
Finally, we hopped on the Interstate and embarked on our trip out of town. Soon, I began questioning my recommendation to scuttle the bicycle route map the motel receptionist had so kindly provided me. Traffic was more robust than our last venture onto I-90 a few days ago. And, the shoulder became narrower and narrower the longer we rode. Once on the highway, we couldn’t reverse our direction or our decision. As the shoulder shrank and the rumble strips disappeared, we were wedged around a couple of bends for our final ascent up Bozeman Pass. Finally, the shoulder returned to an acceptable width.
There were redeeming qualities to the Interstate adventure. There were beautiful views and a gradual climb. However, if I had known about the traffic and road conditions, I would never have gone there. The advantages didn’t outweigh the stress of tolerating the adverse conditions.
Isn’t that sometimes the case in life? If we only knew what something would be like, it would make our decisions much easier. We can gather information from others with more experience or research issues ourselves, but there will be factors unbeknownst to us until we actually take the plunge. That’s where the faith element comes in for us. We do our best and leave the rest up to God. In hindsight, however, I think He was already providing His Divine guidance last night at the motel, had I only recognized it. Nevertheless, God allows us choice and can bless our path anyway, even though it may not have been the best one He had in store for us.