Photo credit: Gary Greff, www.EnchantedHighway.net
The high price of gas is helping me savor my time on the road. I've changed my route to take the single lane Highway 12 and lowered my speed from 80 to 55 mph. I like it.
The other day I left my house about 5:00 am and drove 40 miles before I met the first car as I was crossing the Chippewa River coming into Benson. At first I reflexively worried about meeting troopers, but at 55 I don't have a care in the world. Roll down the windows, open the sun roof, turn on the satellite radio-- listen to Bob Edwards interviewing Lester Brown. Actually, I listened to every kind of music imaginable. Thoroughly enjoying the journey instead of barreling towards the destination. When I got to the Cities -- merging from 394 to 94 --I know I was the happiest person on the road.
My gas mileage went from 22 mpg to 32mpg. Round trip I spent 2 extra hours in the car, but I saved $22.70 in gas.
The other nice thing about high oil prices is that I appreciate being able to drive- that I have a car, that gas is available, its preciousness now reflected in its price. I recognize that I have the freedom of speed and movement-- all freedom comes at a cost.
Have you ever considered how perfectly smooth a newly paved road is? It's a delight to drive-- not a bump nor blemish. I fully expect that when the oil runs out we'll have other cool fuels to run our cars. But what will replace the petroleum in asphalt? Look down at that road-- it is held together with oil. What will keep up our road infrastructure? No one knows. So I'm just gonna savor that long ribbon of highway stretching from Artichoke Minnesota to St. Paul.
Trading time for mileage- and a bit of gratitude.