Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.
Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.
Thursday, February 17, 2005
I did something yesterday that I can't ever recall doing before in my entire life. Nothing too earth shaking or difficult. Simply rare.
While stopped for a fillup at the GasitMart I went in and bought a big jug of wiper fluid and refilled the little reservoir under the hood.
Like I said, not too earth shaking. But it is unusual because at my previous address this was never done. My wiper fluid would get refilled at my semi-regular oil changes, A couple weeks out of the year in the bad weather I would use it regularly and that was it. Here in Montana I am pumping the crap on my windscreen daily and we are currently having nice sunny weather. It is just one of those odd little facts of Montana life. Your vehicle attracts dirt and you have to use lots of wiper fluid just to see out the window. I remember visiting California and how there were no dirty cars to be seen anywhere. Montana is the opposite, the attitude appears to be 'why fight it'.
Which brings me to some of my other observations about driving in Montana. The local drivers have no consistent style to their driving.
At one extreme you have the speed demons, usually driving dirty, rusted, old pickup trucks. These are the locals that know the roads like the back of their hand and are hell bent on getting somewhere. On the two lane highways they will hang right on your bumper until you get to the passing lane and then tear by you kicking up dust. But oddly these drivers are not in the majority. At least I expected more of them from the land of 'reasonable and prudent' speed limits.
At the other extreme are the laid back drivers. They appear to be living on 'Montana time'. No real hurry to be anywhere, usually cruising at about 5-10MPH below the posted limit, tolerant of all other drivers, showing no urgency or stress when caught behind the slowpoke logging truck going uphill. In a way I admire the attitude, except when I really want to be somewhere and I am behind them. There appears to be more members of this group than of the speed demons.
And that leaves us with everyone else who fit into the middle between the extremes. Oddly I find the 'everyone else' group to be the minority on the roads here. Another observation is that many drivers transition from one extreme to the other without any apparent reason. Another observation is that the interaction of all these disparate groups is so... friendly.
Everywhere else in this country that I have had the pleasure of driving, and that is a lot of places, there always appears to be a local 'style'. Sometimes fast, sometimes medium, almost never slow. Sometimes the locals are red light runners. Sometimes they are green light honkers. There is usually consistency. Here the only consistent thing is friendliness. The speed demons are friendly and tolerant with the slow pokes blocking them. The slow pokes are friendly with the school bus drivers. The school bus drivers wave to the logging truck drivers. Everyone pretty much lets everyone else do their thing.
There is more Jones in the archives: February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 December 2009 January 2010 May 2014