Sunday, August 16, 2009
Evergreen State Drivers
Living in California for pretty much all of my life, you get used to the rat race, I have to hurry to work type of drivers. We see them every morning on our way to work and again while driving home. When I ride my personal motorcycle to work, I usually zip to work doing a comfortable 75 mph. But even at that speed I'll have motorists creep up on my ass and I'm not even in the so called "fast lane".
Now I typically don't mind if someone creeps up on my ass while I'm in my car, but I tend not to like it when I'm on my motorcycle. I harbor those thoughts of having a hand full of ball bearings in my hand to toss up behind me to let the driver behind me know that they're too close. Just a thought mind you.
Recently while on a trip in Washington State, the wife and I picked up our rental car at the airport and drove from Seattle, around the south part of Puget Sound and up north along the Sounds west side to Port Townsend.
The speed limit is 60 mph on Washington State freeways. It took some doing not to drive the usual Californian style of 75 mph or faster. I found it easiest to put the cruise control on 65 mph. I was amazed that most if not all of the other drivers were going the speed limit or slightly faster like I was.
I thought to myself, "Geeze, those Washington State Troopers must be some hard asses and not give any breaks to speeding motorists".
Being well into the groove of cruising at 65 mph, and I'll tell you it sure seems like you're traveling at a snails pace, I was feeling pretty relaxed and taking in the beautiful scenery. My wife had a harder time adjusting to the speed limit than I did.
While driving through Tacoma, the traffic was bumper to bumper. I didn't experience the usual Californian "You're not gonna take that space in front of me" mentality when trying to move over. I found the drivers to be courteous and had no problem making my way over to the interchange.
After getting out of Tacoma, the traffic thinned and soon enough we were back up to that sound barrier breaking speed of 65 mph. Once again I was driving along, relaxed, enjoying the scenery and pace.
Driving northbound on Hwy 16 across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was very scenic to me. The contrast of the evergreen trees which dominate the skyline as well as the contrasting deep blue waters of Puget Sound and the light blue sky was calming. I drove along with not a worry in the world.
Hwy 16 is made up of two northbound lanes and two southbound lanes separated by a very wide median of green grass. The traffic had become very light. I think I saw more cars going southbound than I did going my direction.
As we neared the Bremerton Naval Shipyard on Hwy 3, I saw a Ford F-150 coming up from behind at a high rate of speed. So I moved over to the right lane to let speed racer zoom by. As the truck zoomed by, you could probably guess which state license plate was on it...... yep California.
I guess there are those who don't do as the natives do.