Amish on the Highway

I often joke to people that in Bradford, where I live, a traffic jam is three cars behind an Amish buggy. It’s not actually a joke; when you see a line of cars going five miles an hour, you know there’s a buggy up on the front of that line. It is not actually a problem, mind you. Eventually the cars pop around the buggy and it’s fine. But it’s a reminder than not everyone lives on Internet time. I think that’s a good reminder to have, now and again.

 

24 thoughts on “Amish on the Highway

  1. Here in Massachusetts we frequently have to stop for turkey crossings. This is a relatively new phenomenon. We’ve lived in the suburbs west of Boston for 34 years and the turkey population has exploded in the last 3-5 years.

  2. Rural Maine has sen an influx of both Amish and Mennonite families has m@ny of the older farms are quite reasonably priced and thus form the nucleus of new communites for both groups. Common Ground Fair, run by the Maine Organic Farmers and agardeners Association, often has several of the families from these communities selling baked goods, jams and even clothing, mostly shawls and the like.

  3. Rdbetz: we started out with a few hundred birds in the early 70s and now have at least seventy thousand statewide, most in the southern countries where the original birds were released. A few miles from here, there’s a flock of several hundred and I’ve heard tales that they’ve made to some of the islands here in Casco Bay. I’ve seen them swimming, something that I didn’t know they did.

  4. My son-in-law comes from an Amish community in south central Kansas. That order of Amish tend to use tractors and horse trailers for commuting. But, the horse and buggies come out for church and for weddings. There were 17 horse and buggies tied up in the field by the church during the wedding.

  5. Usually, all you hear going past my daughter and son-in-law’s farm are tractors. But, you hear the clopping of horses on the special occasions. After the wedding reception was over, there was a group of my son-in-law’s nephews that were tasked with the job of cleaning up the field by the church. Even the horse apples were taken back to a farm and thrown onto the compost pile..

  6. Before the sugar cane fields were retired, cane haul trucks had the right of way bringing harvested cane back to the sugar mill. The cane haul trucks were custom built, huge tractor truck hybrids pulling trailers with chains draped over the open sides to keep the cane stalks from falling out. They were filled by claws that would have been worshiped by the Toy Story aliens, but on a gigantic scale. If we ever had an apocalypse, I was going to commandeer one of them, weld plate over the sides of the trailer and voila! A punknaught from Shadowrun.

  7. I have no interest in taking up the Amish lifestyle, but it seems like it would be a very calm, peaceful, orderly way of life.

  8. There’s a joke when paper ruled in Maine as the largest industry bar none that one always got stuck behind a truck carry pulp wood to one of the Mills, collectively know as the Seven Sisters. Those mills stank just like rotten cabbage, a smell that even blanketed Portland when the prevailing breeze was from Westbrook where one of these mills was.

    There’s just two left and neither will likely survive the decade. Lots of small towns in Maine died off effectively when these mills relocated to the Sputh and then to Central America.

  9. Farm equipment where I am too. They have engines, but they’re slow. They typically don’t go very far, though. I was in a long line of cars behind a tractor yesterday on a two-lane road with double yellow lines. Everyone just relaxed into it. What did we lose from not being able to go the 45 mph speed limit? Five minutes? Nice day, nice view of the fields around, no problem.

  10. An Amish neighbor in an open buggy drove his horse gently down our hill. A few minutes later he went tearing back up the hill as fast as he could make the horse go. Concerned, we visited to see if anything was wrong. He laughed, “I bought ice cream for the kids, and it’s a hot day.”

  11. Growing up in Oregon, if it wasn’t a combine on the highway, it’s a log truck. Such is life in the best parts of our country.

  12. One should also note that when on a motorcycle, you should never, never, ever tailgate an Amish buggy. (And leave yourself lots of wiggle-room.)

    Addendum: never, ever tailgate a livestock truck. Those aren’t raindrops appearing on your visor.

  13. A friend of mine use to pick up a little extra cash by driving Amish folk around in her car if they needed to be someplace quickly.

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