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Off the Road


Only a short drive in the jungle

Hard is the Journey,
Hard is the Journey,
So, many turnings,
And now where am I?
---Li Po (AD 701-62)

While living in the old Canal Zone, we all at one time went on safari into the jungle. Many of us were members of the 4-Wheelers Clubs in the Canal Zone. Our family bus was a Willy's jeep station wagon. It was green so we always referred to it as the "Mean Green Machine." It had a winch on the front so often I was called by my friends in the middle of the night on weekends to get then out of a secluded place where they had gone to park. But having a jeep with high clearance made it a temptation not to go off the road and run it through its paces. So, as I was think back about those days, I came up with the following impressions:

Only a short drive in the jungle

Only a short drive in the jungle
Gravel roads, muddy roads
Roads going somewhere
But who knows where?
The chart doesn’t show it.

Only a short drive in the jungle
Tall grass all round
Hot and sweating am I
Steering wheel kicking
Slippery hands squeezing
Fighting to control

Only a short drive in the jungle
Can’t see where I am going
Jeep acting like a bush hog
Oops there goes another bump
Rocket forward over the crest

Only a short drive in the jungle
Heart racing like the engine
Wasp buzzing all around
Must have hit their nest
Tapping the accelerator
Jeep rear wheels a spinning

Only a short drive in the jungle
Shifting down into 4-wheel drive
Completely focus now
See the drop-off to the water below
Must keep on moving
No time for second thoughts
Have passed the point of no return

Only a short drive in the jungle
Oops just ran over an ant hill
Those red army ants can be really mean
They is mad as hell
They will not take it any more
Lets make tracks… now!
Gun the engine as the jeep jumps forward

Only a short drive in the jungle
What is that black cloud ahead?
Whose idea was to take this shortcut?
Drops hitting the windshield
Rain a-coming real soon
See the main road ahead
It is K-9 Road and aren’t we lucky
The heavens have opened the faucets

Only a short drive in the jungle
Not lost anymore
Jeep is buffeted by winds
Not to worry as we pick up speed
Hear the whine of the tires
We are on black pavement
Making good time now
Should be home in Cocoli soon
Thank God for that.

Off the Road




Don't let La Brujas get you...