My family has a longstanding property in one of Ontario’s cottage countries. We lived on the edge of this now “hot” area all my growing up years and are intimately familiar with the area and its roads. I left to move back to my family’s original Canadian settlement area. We now come back home to cottage country. On a recent trip back to what is now the cottage I observed something about cottage country drivers.
There are three major types and two are anoying.
First for some context:
a. I like to drive
b. most country roads especially the paved ones are great for driving.
c. The design for most paved curves on rural ontario roads is to be safe in wet weather right at the speed limit.
d. They’re fun to drive when pushing the speed limit.
e. I drive a standard transmission sedan and sit at a normal height from the ground.
f. The vehicle I drive has a good suspension and is made for driving.
g. I made my living managing a rural road system. I never had a four wheel drive, a SUV, a pickup. I got around in all weather just fine. Southern Ontario (south of the North Bay/Sudbury line) has a great rural road system, also
h. I used to (motor) cycle and love curves.
There are two type of drivers in cottage country.
1. The locals
a. Locals seem to like to drive trucks; a left over from when a lot of them farmed and those who didn’t were small business types who needed a truck. Pick ups abound,
i. Some with caps
ii. Some with equipment racks
iii. Some fancied up
iv. Some just a plane jane slightly rusted work truck (Once in a chat with a local while waiting for children to exit an event, I chatted with a local who knew a good friend of mine. Unfortunately it forgot his name, but remembered he had a beard and a rusting pick up. When I tried to recall him to my friend, his reply was Hell, they all drive rusty pickups!).
b. Locals drive slowly because they’re at home and not trying to get somewhere. They often don’t signal because most of the year every one else knows where they’re going.
2. The tourist
a. Tourists like to drive SUVs or their cousin the CUV (Cross-over Utility Vehicle if they’ve been fooled into believing that they’re now being green)
i. Tourist drivers think they’re in the boonies (not many tourists actually make it to the boonies) so come armed with a SUV
ii. The SUV is often a great honking four wheel drive
iii. Especially if the vehicle’s a CUV there’s often a Tulle box and/or a kayak or bicycle carrier mounted on luggage rails.
b. Tourist drive slow because they’re semi lost. They’re trying to get somewhere they don’t really know and afraid they’ll miss the turn.
It’s a pain being in cottage country roads behind vehicles that obstruct your view and are moving so slow that they take all the fun out of driving.