Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Don't Take the Drive if You Don't Look at the View

I have a friend visiting me from California at the moment. We took a glorious drive up on Mount Rainier today, and did one of my favorite hikes from Cougar Rock Camp Ground to Narada Falls (and back). It's a 5.4 mile hike with stunning views of the Paradise River, Carter Falls and the crowning glory, Narada Falls. We had a wonderful time driving through the park, then hiking this gorgeous trail and engaging in delightful conversation all the while. I was driving in my convertible, the weather was fairly cooperative and it felt wonderful to be out in nature enjoying all that it has to offer.

After our hike as we were driving down the mountain, we went by a place in the road where another waterfall cascades very close by. The car in front of me stopped so that the passenger could snap a photo. I didn't mind at all. We were all driving so slow anyway, and after all, that's why we were there. I stopped for a second as well so my friend could snap a photo. I was paused no more than 5 seconds when the guy in the car behind me laid on his horn. It was one of the rudest encounters I've had in a long time!

There was a long line of cars winding it's way down the mountain. The speed limit ranges between 35 and 25 miles an hour. It's a scenic highway, not a thoroughfare. People on that road have come to enjoy nature and the park.

What was this guy's problem? My friend and I were shocked. I did make a frustrated gesture in the review mirror. (No... not the one you are thinking of), and I think it actually embarrassed the guy, because he backed off and kept his distance as we drove down the mountain, even though we were all driving pretty slowly.

It begs the question... why the heck was he so irritated and impatient? For all the reasons previously mentioned someone being that impatient was completely out of the range of normal behavior. If you don't want to look at the scenery, for goodness sake, don't take the scenic drive with those who do!! Or better yet, take a deep breath, relax, and ask yourself, "What would I do with those extra 3 seconds if that person wasn't snapping their photo?" It's a great question.

Let's all show each other a little bit of compassion and patience for goodness sake!

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