Monday, December 31, 2007

Alaska, the land of make-your-own-lanes

There are some places where rules just don't apply.  I think that it's safe to say that Alaska is one of them.  It's that whole renegade, 49th State, outlaw mentality, I think.  This completely applies to the commonly-undertaken activity called driving your car.

It's not uncommon on snowy days to have the lines on the road totally obscured by snow.  At other times, there is no excuse for not being able to see the lines -- it just doesn't seem that they are there at all.  Most of the time, the weather is wet and the road is dark when this happens, and it seems that the snowplows have scraped the paint off of the road surface.  In these cases, Alaskans feel free to participate in an old Alaskan driving past-time, that of making your own lanes. 

You see, it doesn't matter that the highway is supposed to be four lanes.  On a terribly snowy day, it may only be two lanes.  You mustn't dare to try to make a new lane unless you have a great 4wd system.  Driving through the undisturbed, massive quantities of snow may land you in the ditch scratching your head and wondering how you got there, while other motorists honk and drive past you with reckless abandon.

On the really dark days when you can't see the lines because they aren't there to begin with, there may be as many as six lanes on the highway.  Drive wherever you feel like it.  It's a bit like Greece in the way that you can drive as many cars across as can actually physically fit on the road.  Scary sometimes, I'll admit.  But that's Alaska for you...


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