Ready to Rumble?

Planes, trains, and automobiles—there’s no doubt that we travel a lot. Not only do Len and I love it, but Willa does too!

Willa catching G-force

One of the cool things about state-side travel in a vehicle is the rumble strips. They’re not in every state, but we’ve discovered they’re prevalent in the Pacific Northwest.

If your vehicle is just a wee bit further into the left lane than you intended, you hear a loud rumble noise that captures your attention in a quick hurry. And if you were starting to doze off, it’s enough to wake you up!

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, a center line rumble strip is a longitudinal safety feature installed at or near the center line of a paved roadway. It is made of a series of milled or raised elements intended to alert inattentive drivers (through vibration and sound) that their vehicles have left the travel lane.

What was the last thing that grabbed your attention?


40 thoughts on “Ready to Rumble?

  1. Hi Laurie

    Depends how seriously you mean that.

    Having someone send me home “palliative care only” got my attention like nothing else ever has.

    And I have had far more attention grabbing moments than most people, too close to too many existential edges too often.

    A whole bunch of errors in some code I was writing to download dataloggers for our Hutton’s Shearwater colony had my attention this afternoon – and I tracked them all down. The job is coming along nicely now.

    A friend with cancer called in and had my attention for an hour or so this afternoon.

    Our daughter had my attention on a skype call earlier this evening.

    A neighbour with a problem getting data out of his GPS had my attention for an hour or so, until I figured a way to get what he needed and give to him.

    • Ted — I remember when you got that horrendous prognosis, and you took matters into your own hands.

      I loved the way you phrased this: “…too close, to too many existential edges, too often.”

    • Shirley — yes, Yes, and a great big YES!

      The Buddha’s Last Instruction by Mary Oliver
      “Make of yourself a light”
      said the Buddha,
      before he died.
      I think of this every morning
      as the east begins
      to tear off its many clouds
      of darkness, to send up the first
      signal-a white fan
      streaked with pink and violet,
      even green.
      An old man, he lay down
      between two sala trees,
      and he might have said anything,
      knowing it was his final hour.
      The light burns upward,
      it thickens and settles over the fields.
      Around him, the villagers gathered
      and stretched forward to listen.
      Even before the sun itself
      hangs, disattached, in the blue air,
      I am touched everywhere
      by its ocean of yellow waves.
      No doubt he thought of everything
      that had happened in his difficult life.
      And then I feel the sun itself
      as it blazes over the hills,
      like a million flowers on fire-
      clearly I’m not needed,
      yet I feel myself turning
      into something of inexplicable value.
      Slowly, beneath the branches,
      he raised his head.
      He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd.

  2. Yesterday, visiting with a sweet female cousin in from Canada had my attention; lots of laughs ensued. This morning a very loud goose calling out with vigor serving as goose AM alarm and woke me up an hour earlier than planned; definitely caught my attention.

  3. Love this photo of your dog. What grabbed my attention this morning — a very rainy morning here in Va., was driving up over a curb trying to maneuver into a parking lot. I needed a rumble strip! At least it wasn’t anything dangerous, just bad for the car. Don’t tell my husband. I thought of your query.

  4. Our dog likes to travel in the car as well and was great when we drove to France with her. Those rumble strips are such a good idea. Enjoy your road trips!!

  5. I was woke by an owl calling at 4:00 am outside my open window yesterday Laurie. Definitely had my attention! So much so, I got up and made coffee and started my day. It was a going to be a warm one and I had an old show to take down and a new one to hang in the gallery. Ever move several very large paintings up and down many stair steps? If one is not paying attention the results will be worse than a rumble. But we got it done without incident and well before the heat of the day closed in next to my skin.

    Enjoy your road trips and may your travel lane be clear and take you far.

  6. I am sure those rumble strips must have saved quite a few lives and we do get them over in Europe too. Travelling on the right hand side of the road can be a bit tricky sometimes, being used to the UK left hand drive, so I am always grateful for them, as our motorhome is our only home now. In France they are called bandes rougueuses and they do wake you up, especially when all the crockery and cutlery, bottles and glasses start rattling. Marvellous idea!

  7. We have a “black” beak cuckoo living outside our bedroom window, has not found a mate this year and makes his fun noise from first light until about noon – hoping. We know it is morning even earlier than Zip’s 5 am wake up call. I have no one in my family to invite to my daughter’s wedding, fortunately her Godmother is coming and she has lots of very special friends too all RSVPing, this reminded me how important friends are and how they help us celebrate.

  8. There is one section of the road coming home from town when I inevitably hit the rumble strip on the outside of the lane. Gets my attention every time.

  9. If I sit down to work/write for a period of time before I have to go to an appointment at a certain time, I set an alarm. Otherwise I get so involved in what I’m doing I lose track of time and end up late or forgetting something altogether. Sort of an intentional rumble strip.

  10. I can’t say I’ve heard of rumble strips but hey ho ! great idea . We had a dog who always put his head out of the window , he used to have huge spaniel ears that used to float on the wind …so funny .
    Something grabbed my attention yesterday , a tiny craft shop in llangrannog ( our nearest beach ) All the crafts are by local artists who each in turn help man the shop for free …super idea .

  11. Hi Laurie, We have rumble strips in some areas and they save lives. It’s hard to drift over the center line when they are in place. My attention…hmmm…perhaps it’s the call to be even kinder, because when people behave in a bad way to others, on purpose, it surely does get your attention.

  12. I love rumble strips, they relieve me of the responsibility of instructing the driver to “Stay between the lines!” In the vast desert of the American Southwest. The expressways stretch for miles and miles and roadway hypnosis is a very real danger when the things become monotonous. The rumblers keep commercial truckers and other high-speed traffic safely in their own lanes, and we are alert to our own position in the traffic parade. Personally, I always like a little head’s up when we are skipping too close to the center line, not so much correction needed!

    • Sandi — You’re absolutely right about “roadway hypnosis.” It’s a real thing; especially in the desert where you live with nothin but cactus and tumbleweeds for miles on end. Thank goodness for rumble strips!

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