Where Streets Have No Lanes

Wednesday, December 22, 2010
If you've read this blog for a while, you know I'm no great fan of winter driving. One might wonder why I ended up spending each winter deeper and deeper into the woods and, truthfully, I don't really know how this keeps happening either. This year finds me tucked back on a road filled with steep hills and sharp curves and sometimes, even steep hills with sharp curves. In fact, it's not uncommon for cars to go sliding off said hills and curves and into the woods for a fluffy, but abrupt stop at the base of a jack pine tree.

Now that everyone under the sun is home for Christmas and the Corolla is back from the shop with new brakes (thus losing its nickname "Squeaky"), it seems I'm running to town every other day. I love the chance to see everyone, but each trip to town, I must face my fears of sliding on ice, not making it up hills, or hitting moose. Not to mention that the trips take forever. On these snow-packed roads, I consider speeds over 45 mph a little reckless. (Call me Grandma, but I'm not into being the damsel in the ditch.)

Lots of times when I make the 55-mile trip to town in the winter,  I can count the number of cars that pass me on one hand. And that's a good thing.

It is rare for the main road to be reduced to bare pavement. The road's snowpack means winter driving rules and winter driving rules are not that different from winter parking rules: you know, in the absence of parking lines, you just stop your car in a parking lot in the general vicinity of  a parking space. The winter world is all about the path of least resistance and on Monday when I toodled into town, I was amused to see the road no longer has curves. Instead, the vast majority of drivers have taken to making multi-lane diagonals on the curves.  

Yellow line, what?

In the winter, in the woods, our lives are dependent on our isolation. (The road into the cabin in just barely wide enough for two cars to pass each other during the summer months.) There isn't really room for two cars on these roads.

So what's a girl to do?

I just grip the steering wheel with both hands, pray to all the saints I know, and hope for a Christmas miracle.

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