Country Roads

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With the cooler weather, Jim and I have been walking a bit in the evening.  Yes, it’s a gravel road, but by the time we get out there, most everybody’s home. Less traffic means less dust.

The other evening–maybe Monday–a new sight astonished us. Speed limit signs. Someone had planted A 35 MPH sign at the corner of our gravel road–running north and south–and the chip-and-seal road– running east and west.

Well, we said to each other, people drive 50 or 60 MPH on that nice chip-and-seal. Sort of dangerous when a car is coming the other way. Can’t always see them over the hill. Although neither of us could imagine driving a mere 35.

But as we turned to head home, we noticed a speed limit sign on OUR gravel road.

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We thought about it for a bit, the question being, why 40 MPH on gravel with its potholes and skid-promoting surface, but 35 on smooth, easy to drive chip-and-seal?

The wisdom of the country commissioners? Asked tongue in cheek …

Now here’s the next question. Who will enforce these speed limits?  In almost 20 years here, I’ve never seen a police car lurking to ticket miscreants on our country roads.

Oh and that beagle in the middle of the road? Not my dog. He’s one of three following us when we go for walks.

 

 

Walking on Gravel Roads

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My husband tells me I complain too often about too much. And it’s true. About five years ago, my New Year’s Resolution was to complain more often, a promise that has expanded to unimagined heights.

In fact, I once complained about the number of clicks involved in an online shopping pay-you-back scheme, and the only response I got was from a young ‘un who said: “Old people. Always complaining.”

But here’s the thing. I like to walk. When I lived in town, I’d take a three mile walk in the morning before work and a three mile walk in the evening after work. Kept my stress levels under control. Gave me something to look forward to every day. Loved the endorphins.

Plus the chance to march through my neighborhood, waving to people I knew by sight, stopping to visit with friends.

But in 2000, we moved to the ‘country.’ And I thought, yippee, great place to walk.

I was so wrong. The exurbs do not come with sidewalks. Dogs–some friendly, some not–wander about. Walking on gravel is not pleasant. Easy to twist an ankle or foot. And the dust … Good heavens, either wear a mask or turn your back when a car or truck goes by.

Three years ago, maybe four, Jim got tired of hearing me complain. He went to the county commissioners and asked if our road could be treated with dust control, preferably a chip-and-seal.  That would’ve given us a smooth surface for walking and reduced the dust by about 80 percent.

Our commissioner promised everything and gave us nothing. So here I am, 18 years of walking–not very often–on gravel roads. And yes, I have a treadmill (boring), and those walk-in-your-house DVDs (irritating). I could drive six miles to walk around the lake, but then there’s the cost of gas and the hassle of taking the car …

I guess I do complain a lot.