rules of the road

on the roadWe live almost at the end of a very rural road.  People drive through a mile of deep woods and over six small creek crossings before coming to our house, if they even notice our house for all the trees.  I’ve been contemplating what it means to me to live on this road, and have come up with a few helpful tips for people who might want to take a drive in the rural southern countryside.

  1. No matter how deeply wooded and remote-feeling the road you are traveling feels, assume that someone lives there.  If you could find it, and it is passable with your car or truck, even if only in four wheel drive, there’s a probability that someone lives or works there as well.  And if we live here, we can hear you.  Assume that.occupied territory
  2. Drive slowly, but not too slowly.  Reckless speeding on remote roads is annoying at best and dangerous at worst.  Kids on bicycles and other precious critters live in these woods. On the other hand, if you are going at a snail’s pace in front of us when we are trying to get to work, that’s no fun either.  We want you to be safe, and we already know every bump and pothole.  Pull over as best you can.  We’ll find a way around you.not too fast
  3. Keep your garbage to yourself.  Keep your cigarette butts, your beer cans, your water bottles, your fast food cartons, your small appliances and furniture IN YOUR VEHICLE.  Dispose of unwanted items properly.  Please do not think that we don’t notice your trash.  Would you notice if someone left a sofa at the side of your driveway?  We do too.  Our “driveway” is just a lot longer than yours.trash
  4. Don’t shoot the wildlife from your vehicle.  If you have permission to hunt from a landowner, please park clear of the road so that we can pass and do your hunting away from the road.  We’ve got first dibs.
  5. If there is water running over the road, proceed with great caution.  Get out of your vehicle and look closely at any fast moving streams.  Just because the road goes through to the other side doesn’t mean that the road is always passable.  We don’t want you to get stuck.  We don’t mind helping when help is needed, but it is unnerving to be called on at bedtime by strangers who have failed to notice that the creek is too high to drive through.
  6. As an addendum to number 5, please don’t drive OFF the road.  Even if you are in a zippy four wheeler, the road is where you belong.  Public land is rare in these parts.  Assume that both sides of the road, and the creek, are privately owned.  Please don’t drive in the creek.creek crossing
  7. If you are not in a honking huge truck, don’t straddle the big rocks.  Sometimes it might seem like a good idea.  But if there’s a way around, use it.
  8. Be friendly with passers-by.  We often stop and say hello to people we see on the road down here, just to check out who is tooling around the neighborhood, which is an extension of our backyard.  Surly and smartalecky responses to our greetings leave us feeling unhappy and suspicious.  We live here, and we will be as kind to you if you will allow us to be.  friendly
  9. Pull over and turn off your engine and radio.  Listen to the birds and wind and flowing water.
  10. Enjoy the view.  We do.enoy the view

2 thoughts on “rules of the road

    • i try to keep a good attitude about it, and a sense of humor. sometimes it really makes me wonder. thanks for reading, and i’m glad you can relate!

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