The two miles of road seem so much longer. Living off a dirt road, I have an expectation of a rougher ride than the smooth and quiet movement over the asphalt. It’s comical, because I keep this in mind each morning, making my morning coffee. Sometimes, in the frenzy to get out the door to work, I can’t find the lid for my travel coffee mug. But the few times, I say, forget it, I’ve get to get going and take my mug sans lid, I regret it. The bumpety-bump of the car sloshes my coffee all over the place, leaving tell-tale stains on the seat of my car. Then, I try to hold the cup, juggling steering, down-shifting, and holding on to the coffee mug for dear life.
But, springtime brings new challenges to navigating the back roads, with melting snow and rain creating instantaneous ruts to the roads of Nederland. With more moisture, the ruts seem to get that much bigger each and every day. Even with my all wheel drive Subaru, and all terrain struts on my car, I find myself bumping along, feeling like my head is about to smack the ceiling at any moment.
It’s humorous to watch drivers coming up and down The Summer Road during these periods of potholes, ruts and rough road. I’ve noticed, when driving dirt roads, normal rules of the road don’t apply. There is no center stripe in the middle, there are no solid lines marking the sides of the road either. So anything seems to apply, which means drivers will criss-cross back and forth from one side of the road to the other, in search of the smoothest terrain to drive on.
This also applies to picking up the mail. In the rural areas, rather than having a mailbox in front of each house, they are grouped together in places along the main road, twenty or so together. It was disconcerting when I first moved here, to be driving down the road, and suddenly the car coming the other way swerves onto my side of the road for no apparent reason. As someone used to city driving, I freaked out if only for a moment. But the sudden maneuver made sense when I saw them pull up in front of the mailboxes to snag their mail and then just as quickly swerve back to the other side to continue their drive home.
So, I am resigned to ever increasing bumpy rides for another few weeks, until the dry and sunny weather of June takes over, the road maintenance folks grade the road, and for a couple precious weeks, the drive will be just a bit easier. That is until, the monsoon rains of July take over. Aah, the rigors of life in the mountains…