TINIAN — I’ve seen the sign on the fork of the road lots of times before, a crudely made piece of wood painted with the words “Tinian Shrine” with an arrow pointing to a rough road leading to a thick shrubbery.
The huge potholes in the road are a big turnoff especially if you are not driving a four-wheel-drive or if you are not that adventurous. I had been out exploring and photographing the historical sites of Tinian with visiting photographer and professor Dirk Spennemann from Australia one day a couple of weeks back and the Tinian Shrine was not in our itinerary.
But then, we had an unspoken agreement to “follow the roads and no questions asked until we get there” so off we went.
Spennemann drove all the up to the top of the Carolinas Heights Subdivision, deftly avoiding the huge potholes and the soft portions on the road leading up, and stopped at a dead end. Or so we thought when we saw another crudely built sign with an arrow pointing to oh, miracles — a single lane dirt road almost obscured by the thick shrubbery. Hesitant to drive further, my companion said we’d have to walk the rest of the way up.
I was not interested to walk because I was getting tired and my brain was attempting to shut off any minute after working at the computer for the whole night, added to the heat of the 3 p.m. sun blazing down on us and we didn’t even have a drop of water to quench our thirst, my flimsy sandals already gave out from our earlier trek to the North Field that morning so that I had to tie the straps to my toenails, all this added to our heavy cameras and bags.
Spennemann finally gave in and taking on a “whatever” stance, took the wheel again. Luckily, the road widened when we were already some meters deep into the bushes and we drove on and up until we reached our destination.