14 September 2011

The Secrets of the Fire Swamp

We recently visited Texas because summer is the best time to visit the land of triple digit temperatures and record setting humidity. We used the same excellent decision making skills to determine that we should make the cross country trip in our car.

The Texan did most of the driving, and I did most of the entertaining the child in the back seat. However, one night an errand involving diapers found me behind the wheel. Driving in Texas is unlike any other place I have ever driven. When I first moved there, I was absolutely convinced that Texas traffic would be the cause of my final demise. I was particularly offended that I had to merge to get both on and off the freeway. My roommates and I referred to mastering navigation on Texas roadways as learning the secrets of the fire swamp. At a fairly recent point in my life I reasonably proficient in the secrets of the fire swamp. However, my current stint in farm town Idaho has quickly eroded my Texas driving skills.

I briefly coveted my infants five point harness and wondered if I should locate a helmet before facing the extreme peril ahead of me. I buckled my seatbelt, turned on the GPS, and set off on my diaper finding quest. I gripped the steering wheel and tried to recall the rules of Texas driving.

1. He who hesitates will never ever ever get on the freeway. Assertiveness is required. Unfortunately, the freeway is unavoidable. Texas has an abundance of freeways, and every car trip will involve at least one of them.

2. Traffic will never let up. For some reason thousands of cars have a dire need to be traversing Texas at eleven o’clock at night, or at three in the morning, or at one in the afternoon. There is no predictable or avoidable rush hour. Similar to the line in the women’s restroom, traffic in Texas is a Grand Law of the Universe.

3. Frequent lane changes are required. The Texas department of transportation is rather proud of their twelve lane highways. They have laid the roadways out in such a way that all motorists must utilize every lane. Without warning the right lane abruptly becomes the left lane, and the center lane is suddenly labeled exit only. It’s almost as though Escher was the city planner.

1 comment:

Heather said...

It's funny how fast we adjust to the area we live. I was just noticing the other day that driving 65 on the freeway here seems so fast to me now since most of the driving is on little two lane highways.