If you're a Sioux Falls driver and saw someone make a turn from the wrong lane or maybe going a whole lot slower than you'd like, there's a pretty good chance you looked at the license plate and on occasion said 'Ahhh, it's some farm driver'. You may be right, but on the other hand, it could be me, too. I'm not a farm driver, I'm just old and slow.

But before you criticize those small town/farm/rural motorists, know this: They look at that big cloud of dust flying down their gravel road and go 'Ahhh, it's some city slicker driver'.

I myself have been a 'town' driver for quite some years now. But I grew up on a farm, and that road that went past our place (and the places of many of my friends) was indeed gravel. I knew how to drive the gravel roads back there 'in the day'. And these days, I'm getting a refresher course, one that might serve you as well.

My daughter, son-in-law and their family live on one of those farms alongside one of those gravel roads. And a couple weeks ago as we drove 'em, it brought back some thoughts for safety.

1) Go ahead and slow down. You could well run over what we lovingly called 'washboards'. And if you go flying across them, you're in for a bumpy ride that could shake your molars loose. Not to mention, if you're putting the pedal to the metal, you can start slidin' like you're on a sheet of ice. Just slow down pardner, it'll be fine. Even slow it's a little bumpy, sure, but it'll keep you awake. And I'm thinkin' your car mechanic will appreciate it, too.

and 2) When you come to a gravel road intersection, slow down even more. I know, I know, gee...there's never any traffic out here. Except, there is...and just in case they're not paying attention, you should. And as that corn gets higher and higher, the vision is less and less.

Oh, and one more now that I think of it: There's a lot of what I'd call 'gently rolling hills' around these parts. Not exactly mountains, but enough so that you can't see the other side. Go ahead and make doggone sure you're on the far right side of that gravel road. There just might be someone coming that's hugging the middle. Or maybe a big 'ol tractor pulling a big 'ol piece of farm machinery. Better safe than sorry.

Oh, and one more one more thing...don't be swearing about having to follow a slow moving farm vehicle of any kind. They're not out there to torque you off. They're working.

Now then, head on out and help cut thistles out in the field!

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