Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dirt Roads

I had the occasion to visit a friend that lives down a long dusty dirt road. There was a car about a half mile ahead of me and my truck was still eating the dust that hadn’t settled down.

It isn’t often that we travel down dirt roads any more unless we drive in logging areas or are driving to out of the way horse camps. I must admit that I miss them. There were still a few dirt roads in the town where I grew up when I was a child. They were a novelty to drive down on our Sunday drives.

The longest dirt road drive of my childhood went on for 30 miles from Buckingham, Quebec to the lake where I would spend my summers. It was always exciting to hit the dirt road after spending ten hours on the highway getting there. It was the end of civilization and the beginning of my adventures in the Canadian wilderness. The last time I was up there most of the dirt road had been paved with maybe only five miles still dirt. I’m sure it is paved and stripped today.

One thing I find funny about people that live on dirt roads is how clean they keep their cars and trucks. I drove that road last week and my truck is still a mess. There is dust all over the interior and I can barely see through the wind shield.

If you haven’t done so in a while, I suggest you take a drive on a dirt road and I’m sure it will bring back some fond memories.


Blogger Donna said...

I don't know of any dirt roads. We have plenty of gravel roads, though, and they're as dusty as can be. Even when I ride Blue to the Missouri River, that road is graveled. Nobody lives down there, but I guess they keep it graveled for the farmers who go to check their crops.

4:47 AM  
Blogger MissKris said...

Being married to a great outdoorsman I have been down more dirt, rutted, gravel, 4-wheel drive only, washed out, gutted out roads in the last 34 years than I care to remember, ha! One of the longest I've been on is the one to Olallie Lake. It's 30-some miles, I think, and it seems endless.

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Darev said...

The wife and I used to live a few miles outside of Branson, Missouri. The roads wind up and down and around and around the mountains and lakes. Miles and miles of fairly good paved road. But for some reason whenever we were going someplace new, we ended up going down a dirt road rutted out by the rain. SOme of the places and the roads were kind of scary. Being a west coast city boy at heart, I kept hearing banjos every time we wandered down one of these rutted tracks. And just when you think it couldn't get any worse, you'd come across a sign saying "Impassable in high water" with a stream running across the road. It was some pretty country, but I rarely managed to unclench my hands and eyes from the wheel to look.

6:16 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

There's a dirt road leading to the cottage - full of potholes and providing the occasional glimpse of a deer in the forest. The dogs always perk up when we turn off the highway onto this road. They know...
And I never bother washing my car until the end of summer.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

Auntie grew up in a house right beside a dirt road. It did not get real "pavement" which was chip-seal stuff, until I was well into high school. About the same time we got TV.

Features of my youth???? Spent alot of time dusting for mom. Lots and lots of time. And when me and poophead would play outside next to the road in the creek or along the fence line I have memories of holding our breath as a car or truck passed by.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

I've got six miles of dirt and gravel to get to my mom's when I visit. The county oils it for pay to keep the dust down. I never thought about it, but his truck is never dusty. Yet, mine, when visiting was always covered to such a degree I had to use the windshield wipers to see.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

SH and I lived on a dirt road for four years in Forest Ranch. It's still there, called Garland. You couldn't drive fast on it, and there was the crackle crackle crackle of the loose gravel thinly scattered on it whenever a car went by. Dust coated everything on the road side of the house. We just kept those windows shut. You also had to remember to change your air filter lots and lots on your car, because if you didn't, you'd choke it real fast. People who didn't live on it would drive on it too fast, and ditch their cars. Pikers.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

The picture is of a gravel road.
Big difference between a dirt road and a gravel road.
In Oregon, many gravel roads are maintained by the counties.
They get regular additions of gravel and grading.
Dirt roads on the other hand are an entire different subject.
Many of the farms that I service have DIRT roads.
When it rains, those DIRT roads turn into MUD roads.
You can tell when someone attempts to press forward in the rain by the resultant 12" ruts that dry into concrete and last until someone with a tractor and a blade take the time to repair the damage.
It is amazing how nice and smooth an actual dirt road can be until someone comes along in the wet and screws it up.
As for gravel roads, they are everywhere in Oregon.
Many counties now provide an organic coating that supresses dust for a very affordable price.

10:35 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Dirt roads and gravel roads are often misnamed because they are actually crushed stone roads.

My wife tells of living on a dirt road, (crushed stone road) and it was a big deal when they paved a road near her house. They called it the Tar Road, and children would flock there from miles around just to be able to play and ride their bikes on a smooth surface.

I'll be spending a good part of my day today on dirt roads. And no, I still haven't washed the truck from the last time.

6:03 AM  

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