Taroko Gorge, Taiwan

I was warned. A friend in Taipei said that if I drove up the Taroko Gorge road, I would encounter oncoming tour buses speeding at me around the curves of narrow roads. Yup.

Last month I found myself driving a road in eastern Taiwan that hugged the canyon wall of the Taroko Gorge. The road perched hundreds of feet above a frothy, slate colored river.

Being a Colorodoan, I’m a little used to driving on twisty mountain roads (the Independence Pass highway, for example.)

But I’m not used to tour buses. They own the Taroko Gorge road, as in, “Here I come, and your choices are to give me the road, or go see the river.”

The twisty road often shrank to one and a half lanes, or just one. The only way to navigate it was to look into the fisheye mirrors they had installed on the blind curves. If you saw a hot pink, lime green, or sky blue object coming up in the mirror, it’s time to back off, Jack!

This happened a few times. Then, by the grace of God, something wonderful happened. I had pulled into a little scenic overlook’s parking lot. When we got back on the road, we happened to get in right behind one of the tour buses going up the gorge road. Going our way.

After just a few seconds, I realized that what had been a terror to me was now my deliverance: Following close behind the bus as it careened up the road was like staying close behind a good blocker when you’re carrying the football: it created a nice moving hole to travel in. It was easy after that.

Sometimes the things that are the most dangerous to us, in business or in life, can become the things that can protect us the most – if we can align ourselves correctly with them.

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