Friday, October 05, 2007

Rush Hour the country!

Late yesterday afternoon, 3:30 ish, I heard several cars drive by my house. After about 10 minutes, I started counting cars. Why would I do that? On a normal day I see 3 or 4 cars on this country road. I am located about 3/4 mile off a main road, on a very rustic, dirt, rockie, washed out road, and even the neighbors don't go out every day. By the time I had counted 30 or so cars, I realized something must have happened on the main road. Traffic is like rushing water here, when one passage becomes impassible, it will find another way or make one quickly. Later, I was told that 2 power line poles had fallen (so much rain had softened the ground) on the road and traffic was blocked both ways. No one waits, you can't, because it takes forever for someone to come and move the obstruction. So if there is a way around the problem, they will find it. They were turning off the main road, onto any available side road, and trying to find another way around the mess. The roads here are mostly private roads which go to houses or farm fields, though one is a round about, and if you make the proper turn, you will get back on the main road again. Because this is a mountainous area, the private roads are only maintained to a "barely passable" status, and any abnormal amount of traffic, in the rainy season, will destroy a road in no time at all. One neighbor had just put over $2000 into fixing his very long drive.

After 2 hours of constant traffic, and people getting stuck everywhere, a neighbor drove his car out and blocked one entrance, and asked another neighbor to close and lock the gate to his drive. The gate is normally closed and locked at 6:30, but last night it needed to be closed sooner. There were several cars stuck in the farmers field, lower in the valley after taking a wrong turn. One car got stuck near my house when he spun out trying to make the hill, and I am sure his paint job was scratched when he backed into my barbed wire fence. No harm done to the fence. Most posts in fences here were once tree limbs, and when placed in the ground, they soon develop roots, and waa-laa, another tree is born. I must say, I like the effect. After a few seasons, the fence develops into a very nice surrounding.

And yes, we were without power for 1 1/2 hours. I think my friend has it right. She is almost ready to move into her newly built home. One feature she had added was a propane gas generator. She will be the one neighbor with power when the rest of us are sitting in the dark. I may look into the same solution. I usually read when the power is out. Most of us have powerful lights, battery type, for power outages. Scheduled outages usually don't last more than 4 or 5 hours, but who knows ICE's schedule. And unscheduled just hope they find and fix it before your freezer thaws. Oh the challenges of life in paradise! I still would not trade it for anywhere else.

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