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I can’t see you

October 13, 2010

Right before the night set in, I was traveling home on Rt 100 North, passing newly cut fields.  In the glooming I could see a safety Slow Moving Vehicle sign, but little else of the tractor, bailer or hay truck in slow procession back to the farm.  The view all around was spectacular, tress lit with autumn color, purple and rusty mountains in the sunset glow and the progression of geese overhead.  No wonder the guy ahead of me slammed on his brakes as he got much too close to the farm equipment sharing the same road, but at a different pace. 

I like to think that I know better,  I watched the farmers out in the fields at the end of day just before sun-down and I expected that near dusk was when they would finish up and head back.  Living in Rural America has a pattern and a rhythm to the seasons and seeing a tractor or hay wagon on our drive is anticipated. 

But tourists don’t have that same sense.  They are not expecting farm equipment in the middle of route 100 at 7 pm in October.  I saw the Slow Moving Vehicle signs way off, but I don’t know if the driver in front of me was simply distracted or simply obtuse to the sign.    

Some tractors I notice have old faded SMV signs, which generally need to be replaced every couple of years.  A good way to check them is to go out with a flash light after dark and see for yourself what the driver behind you is or is not seeing.   Or simply put your headlights on them after dark.   If you don’t think the SMV sign pops out at you, then it probably doesn’t make much of an impact to the  tourist driving behind you either.

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