Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Far from the madding crowd

Rural 2-lane roads are statistically much more dangerous than interstate highways. Still, with the constant traffic on so many US interstates including huge numbers of trucks and people in such a rush in their cars jockeying to get ahead of the pack, it can be a relief to take the older, quieter roads. It seems that the notion of "getting there is half the fun" has long been forgotten, and now everyone just wants to get there, wherever "there" is, in as little time as possible.

Meanwhile, on certain back roads at certain times, there is a solitude that simply can't be found on the interstates. This photo of the open road was taken last Sunday afternoon on US Route 340 just west of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the scenic Shenandoah Valley between the towns of Elkton and Waynesboro, Virginia. Oncoming traffic was light to moderate, I never had to pass a slower moving vehicle going my way, and no one approached my rear bumper for the entire 30-mile stretch.


Anonymous said...

Greetings. Was enjoying reading your blog on all things driving related and wanted to pass on why the trucker was sitting on your bumper. When you drive in the center lane(3 lane or more highway) you are traveling in the only legal truck passing lane. They can be ticketed for being in the left lane and for passing on the right. Most states have pass left, keep right laws but are seldom enforced. Hope this helps your driving habits.

Mike said...

Your point is well-taken, and when driving on a freeway with 3 lanes in each direction, I keep to the right lane if I am going slower than the general flow of traffic.

But the road in question is an arterial road through a commercial district with conventional intersections and traffic lights every 1/2 mile or less. There are many additional entrances and exits for businesses on the right side of the road between the traffic lights. And the road is 4 lanes in each direction.

Trucks are not prohibited from using all 4 lanes; moreover, the far right lane becomes a right-turn-only lane at the end of the sprawl zone.

So I generally travel in the second lane from the right if I am going straight through this section.