Ponder this:

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Giving thanks for surviving Route 10 after dark

On Thanksgiving we went from our home, in the northeast corner of our county, to dinner at an inn in the northwest corner of the county. If a person were to research New York State Route 10, he could read all about where it goes and what other routes merge with it. All you really need to know, if you're going to travel on Route 10 after sunset, is that it is DARK
It's a little country two-lane road, paved, but effectively shoulderless, with lots of blind curves. 
No sidewalks, no bike lanes, no jogging lanes. 
Not a lot of wiggle room in either driving lane.
No street lights and, since the houses are very few and far between, not much front yard lighting either. 

To illustrate, here's a picture of the beautiful countryside we passed that afternoon as we drove to dinner:




And yet . . . and YET . . . on Thanksgiving Day, an hour after sunset, in the thick woodsy wilds at this globe's 42nd parallel north in late November . . . we passed half a dozen joggers swinging along jauntily in the [perhaps] eighteen inches of snow-covered space between driving lane and four-foot-deep ditch or brush-covered earthen bank. 
All of them were dressed head to toe in dark colors, with only their faces uncovered to reflect the light from our car's headlights. Not a strip of reflective tape, nor a little light anywhere to be found on their bodies. 
From my seat in the car, it was like having ghostly figures appear in a haunted house:  nothing, nothing, nothing, movement, movement coming, turning into a human and then gone. 
Ghastly. 
Shocking. 

I am left believing that people who jog at night wearing black spandex and black caps and black gloves and black footwear have their priorities somehow awry.  If I were a jogger, drivers would be able to see me coming from half a mile away. I would be decked out in battery-operated multi-color flashing lights. I would look like a smallish traveling carnival. Drivers would slow way down, fearing that that they were about to come upon some spacecraft, glowing there up ahead. I would be an oddity, but I would be visible.

9 comments:

Barb said...

That's just crazy! Even in daylight, if I'm biking or walking a narrow road, I make sure I'm wearing something that makes me easily seen. Also, I try not to frequent the narrow roads anymore. That's why God made recreation paths and forest trails.

DJan said...

I am now also giving thanks that you made it safely, with so many possible other alternatives available. Wow! You wrote this so well I was there in the front seat next to you, watching the apparition appear in your headlights.

Linda Myers said...

Nice shot of the scenery! LOL!

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Oh June, we see it here all the time. Perhaps the authorities could start booking/fining them unless they are wearing a minimum of reflective clothing.
In Australia, if you hit 'em in the back pocket it's usually successful.
I'm with you, I'd be very very visible. Ah no, I wouldn't be there in the first place! Ha!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Yes , cross-country joggers must throw good taste and discretion to the winds and go for razzle-dazzle orange and white candy-cane stripes.
We are talking about spandex onesies , after all !

Olga Hebert said...

I live on a narrow-to-no shoulder road and I know exactly what you mean. It really bothered me to leave for work in the dark in the middle of thickly falling snow and slippery roads and have to worry about weaving around the early morning joggers. And I thoroughly understand and support the need for daily exercise...but exercise some commen sense as well.

Hilary said...

Oh yeah.. that would be disturbing for sure. I'm glad you made it okay. I hope that we can say the same for the joggers.

Tom Sightings said...

We have windy, curvy roads around where I live, too, but I worry more about the bicyclists, partly because there are more of them, and they waver on and off narrow shoulder, and then the road, blocking traffic and posing a hazard to everyone especially themselves. But dark-clothed joggers at night? That's crazy! Glad you made it home okay.

Vicki Lane said...

Made me laugh! ( Perhaps they weren't joggers but ninjas on a mission.)