Panic on the Highway 山路历险记 （1）
"Fear is a fact of life everyone faces
from time to time. In most cases fearis a healthy reaction to a
dangerous situation. But sometimes fear can be so extreme, so overwhelming,
that it interferes with normal living. That is what happened to
me driving cross-country last summer.
 I'd agreed to help my brother, Mac, move
from the East Coast to California. He would drive a rental truck
loaded with his belongings and I would follow him in his sedan,
then fly back. We figured it would be a simple trip, with four or
five motel stops along the way.
 Living and working in coastal Georgia
for most of my life, I did not have a great deal of long-distance
driving experience. Looking back on it today, I can see that I'd
always felt a twinge of fear when driving over small bridges and
along hilly highways. And as I was getting ready for the trip I
had a vague concern about the steep mountain roads that lay ahead.
But I thought I would get used to them.
 As we crossed some high bridges near
the Blue Ridge Mountains on the first leg of our trip, a kind of
breathlessness gripped me, a sinking, rolling sensation in the pit
of my stomach. I tended to veer slightly away from the edge of the
roadway and the drop-off beyond. My knuckles whitened from my tense
grip on the steering wheel. At the end of each bridge, a great rush
of relief would come over me, only to be replaced in short order
by fear of the next obstacle.
 When we stopped in Nashville the first
night, I mentioned my feelings to Mac, who is the practical sort.
"Oh, that's nothing," he said cheerfully . "Lots
of people hate driving on mountain roads and high bridges. Just
turn up the music on your radio and focus on that. Keep your mind