04 January 2009

Driving, Part Two

Remember when I said that drivers from here would not survive in California? Well, I have realized lately that this probably goes both ways, at least at this time of year. Driving in the winter is difficult, and, amazingly, people around here seem to become better drivers in inclement weather. (Whereas in California people freeze up when it starts raining.) For one thing, lines on the roads denoting lanes become meaningless in heavy snow. A road that is, in the summertime, two lanes each way with a center-turn lane becomes a road with one lane each way. Through the tire tracks, you can sometimes see a white dotted line, or a yellow line. But you simply have to follow along where the newly defined lane is. Sometimes this road will turn back into two lanes, only to have the right lane end abruptly in a bank left by the latest snow plow. You need to be on your toes to drive, around here.

Side roads are awful during the winter. They get plowed, but last. By the time they are plowed, the snow has often already been compacted quite a bit. I am not really certain how it happens, but after the plow comes through, the road ends up getting very bumpy. A combination of factors, I suppose, including traffic, plow, and weather. But driving on this type of road is tricky. The best way to do it is to not try to steer at all - idle along, not really even holding the wheel. Oh, of course, you have to have a hand on it, in case of emergency, but you can not do too much in the way of steering anyway. It is somewhat fun, once you get the hang of it. But I would be willing to bet that most Southern Californians would rather walk than try to navigate our roads right now.

In other news, gas is down to about one forty-five.

Blessings on your travels,
Emily.

2 comments:

Joshua said...

Yay low gas!

And yeah, most Californians wouldn't last long in real winter weather. I think it would take some real getting used to...

Calee said...

We experienced that one lane snow driving on our way to and from Colorado last week. I can't imagine braving it every day...