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Exploring Newton County
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Week two of my newcomers log (makes me feel like I'm on the Starship Enterprise) and I can add another day of snow to my Newton County experience. That's two more days of snow than I've seen in the last five years.

I had actually planned a day of exploring for Saturday. I looked forward to driving around the county to see the lay of the land. After a quick trip to the grocery store became a two-hour adventure through the snow, I resigned myself to cleaning my loft and cooking a crock pot full of chili.

What is it about snow that makes most folks forget the normal rules and courtesies of driving?

Either they slow to a grinding halt to avoid accidents or they speed up to get to their destination more quickly.

It would make a good psychological study of the effects of inclement weather on driving (mentally that is - not so much the physical aspects of slippery driving conditions).

The same happens when it rains. Folks throw all driving norms out of the passenger-side window.

Some of the drivers I love (love to hate) during bad weather follow.

The impatient driver: This is the driver that no matter what you're speed is it's really about 20 miles per hour slower than what he wants to go. He's the driver that rides your tail because there's no other lane for him to slide into - even with three other lanes open to the left of you. Finally, he passes you only to shoot you a look of contempt as if you were at fault for his impatience. (This particular driver exists in all weather conditions but is more dangerous and annoying in times of snow or rain.) To this driver, I want to say, it is perfectly fine to drive the speed limit - really it is.

The "I'm afraid of rain/snow so you must be too" driver:

This driver is the exact opposite of the previous driver but just as annoying. This driver stays in the far left lane going the directed minimum speed limit, which is not a suggested speed limit. It's just a number the highway department created to make sure no one went sight seeing on major interstates and highways. This driver thinks slower means better during times of bad weather, but his lack of speed can be just as dangerous to other drivers around him.

The overly cautious driver:

You all know this person. The one that adores his brakes. Don't get within a couple of feet of this driver because the stress will make him crack. I loathe getting behind this driver because I start feeling self-conscious that the folks behind me think I'm the overly cautious driver. I'd hate to have to pay for the brake pads that these folks burn up.

We all think our driving is superb (I'm no different) but I'm sure we all have our little idiosyncrasies on the road, especially during nasty conditions.

I went through all of this to say my exploring expedition on Saturday was postponed until this coming Saturday. But a quick check of the weather today indicated we have a possibility of rain for this weekend - rain is a good thing though. I guess I'm going to have to become a totally separate kind of annoying driver, the "Sunday driver," to get a good look at the county. At the rate the weather is going, I may still be trying to find my way around this spring.

Robby Byrd is the editor of The Covington News. He can be reached at rbyrd@covnews.