Road Rule 1(a): R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

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The back road driver is burdened with several responsibilities, but by far the most important pertains to passage through the small town. If you are at all like me, these little communities (some in better repair than others, but each as fascinating as all the rest) are the heart and soul of the journey. As such, they are deserving of the utmost respect.

What does this entail?

First and foremost, SLOW DOWN!! Keep in mind: this is not your town. It belongs to the people who live there, and they are gracious enough to welcome us, the postmodern gypsies, into their space, however briefly we may occupy it. Obey the posted speed limits, no matter how pokey they may seem. The townsfolk likely have a good reason for posted speeds, and even if they don’t, it’s their town, so deal with it.

And whatever you do, watch out for school zones. To me, this is a deal-breaker: anyone who fails to observe school zone limits deserves all the tickets they get, and then some…

Sit back, take a breath, and enjoy where you are. Respect–this is what it means to me.

Back road travel is not about economy, after all; it is about the experience of travel, a consideration largely abandoned these days in favor of convenience. I freely admit: my kind of travel, if you feel the need for speed, is frequently quite inconvenient. But…if what you crave is everything you see, hear, and absorb as you go…well, you won’t mind taking your time. The true back-roader has nothing but time.

Actually, if you’re a true back-roader, all this will go without saying. If it doesn’t, then I’m inclined to suggest that thou getst thee to an interstate, where you belong, post-haste. Leave the real travel to the professionals, son!

But trust me…you don’t know what you’re missing!

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