Question for Rural Drivers

I’ve broken down and had to walk, many years ago. No cell phones then (well, I guess businesses and guys in Mercedes had those bag phones). I guess I feel more comfortable broken down in rural MS than I would feel broken down in a large city in a bad neighborhood or with a large amount of traffic flying by. If I’m going to have a bad day, I prefer to do it alone. :laughing:

In other words, some folks think “Please don’t let me break down in the middle of nowhere.”, whereas I’ve caught myself thinking “Please don’t let this Buick crap the bed here in the middle of Memphis traffic”!


Twice I have broken down in the middle of nowhere when I could not fix the car myself before cell phones. Twice to be rescued by tow trucks that just happened by. I consider myself very lucky in that respect. Tow drivers that took car of my car and didn’t screw me over. One in Kentucky and one in Ohio. Cars fixed by great shops that bent over backwards to help me out.

I have driven from central Ohio to Phoenix via Texas twice. Ridden as a kid from Ohio to Colorado through Kansas and to New Mexico via Oklahoma. Drove the UP of Michigan to Wisconsin. Visited 45 US states and been in or driven cars in all of them. I need to visit NH, Maine, RI, Alaska and Vermont to complete the 50.

Never felt nervous driving open roads, and I’ve driven roads waaay out in the boonies in Texas, NM and Arizona. Driven roads east of the Mississippi that some city dwellers would consider out in the boonies, but I don’t. Maybe a little bit nervous in some sections of a couple of decayed northern cities, mostly because of what I was driving…sometimes that was a positive! A trip into Detroit to visit Cadillac Engineering wearing suits driving a pearl yellow Cadillac Seville with gold trim. My boss, riding shotgun, was nervous. I told him don’t worry, no one will bother us, we look like Mob bosses.

Overall, very positive experiences seeing great parts of the country and meeting very nice people. People that do not resemble TV and movie stereotypes in the least nor do they live as they are portrayed either.


My brother and SIL live in a rural area of PA, and until they installed Wi-Fi at their home a couple of years ago, they were unable to use their cellphones at home.

When he wanted to make a cell call, my brother used to drive a few miles, to a location where there was an extremely weak signal. The reception was really crappy, and calls were frequently dropped because of the poor signal quality, but this was the only way for them to use a cell phone anywhere near their home.

Did they not have the resources to force their carrier to improve their reception?

I’ve never heard of this happening, have you?


My wife gets mad at me sometimes for not taking my phone with me everywhere outside of our house.

I tell her that our modern society has somehow learned to expect “constant availability”, and it’s a mixed blessing all around.

We got by just fine for a long time without phones in our pockets. Sometimes it’s good to be “unavailable.”


speaking specifically towards the rural areas in northern PA (my family owns property in Pine Creek State Park), there are so few people up there and the roads to get the equipment up there are not great. The amount of money required is prohibitive. Personally, I love our house up there. No cell reception, landline is local calls only, no wifi. Off the grid.


just out of curiosity, how do they own land in a state park? did they own the land before it became a park?

Please describe in detail how this is done.

a machine gun, a kid napping and a tower as ransom. LOL
wonder if they have cell service in jail?

Our family has owned the land long before it became a state park. So our area of the state park is posted as private property to warn hunters to not get too close to it. It’s currently my great-uncle’s land, so I’m not 100% certain how everything works, but what may have happened is that our land is not part of the state park, but I doubt it as our property would be 100% surrounded.

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We even have indoor outhouses! :smiley:


Yes, there is a development 3 miles from my house that has as its residents a high proportion of doctors, lawyers, and politicians. They’ve been having chronic issues with both Verizon and ATT cell service. They’ve gotten together, and a couple of the attorneys there have filed suit. They’ve brought this to the media’s attention, and they are getting noisier.

Remember what Al Capone was fond of saying “you can go quite far with a smile and a kind word, you can go even farther with a smile, a kind word, and a gun.”

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Heh heh. On our delayed honeymoon in 74, heading south to New Orleans, I got lost in Natchez, MS. New Olds, Minnesota plates, and a very bad area. I got out of there no problem. Maybe I was just stereotyping I dunno, but when I had stopped for gas farther north the guy warned me what town not to stop in or even slow down. Guess I wouldn’t be welcome there.

I’ve been in most states and Mexico and Canada. I’d have to look at the map to list the ones I missed. Must have been about 1976 when I was amazed when I stopped for gas in NC and the pump wouldn’t work. Went inside and found out it was a pre-pay. Never encountered that before. I asked how do I know how much gas it would take to fill the tank? It never occurred to me that people would drive off without paying for gas. Different culture.

Remember driving instructions for making deliveries of printed materials near the stock yards of Chicago in my bosses new white Cadillac in the 70’s. Always leave a car length in front of you at any light or sign so you can bail if you need to. Somebody tries to wave you down, keep on driving, do not look at the driver of any car next to you.

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Reminds me of when my wife’s aunt from Cincinnati wouldn’t spend the night at her brothers farm. She said it was too far from the city and there was no police protection if something happened.
The only crime I remember is when my deadbeat brother in law would steal gas from the farm trucks.

The only place I’d stay between Chicago and LA is Las Vegas.

The Adirondack Northway used to be dark and scary for us who had street lights in small cities.
The only thing scarier is driving East over the top of L. A. and seeing all the wasted money spent on San Bernardino signs. 50, 45, 40, 35, miles. They could have made them smaller.
There are the endless billboards in New Mexico. Tucumcari Tonight?
Drive route 40 from Tennessee to California then figure out how to get to Lompoc from Barstow. It isn’t difficult but it can be fun. It isn’t all empty space. Somewhere in Ca. you might have to stop and be asked if you have any walnuts or almonds. That’s seasonal but it’s good for a laugh.
I was impressed by the expanses of brown in the west from the airplane. North Central Washington has some dark roads too. Plenty of space in Southern Illinois. Good drive in the daylight from San Diego up the coast. You don’t want to miss that drive.
Step out the door in New Sweden Maine and look up on a clear night in January and be scared of the bright stars. You’re in the Milky Way. I got in the car and went to work shivering and I was used to darkness. Bangor to Houlton in the dark is a trip but in daylight the Alton Bog from Orono is a good bug collection in summer. Lots of good trips! I am not typing this from the third floor outdoor balcony in Nordstrom’s in Santa Barbara. There ain’t no red tile roofs here.

You are missing out on a lot of great places with that attitude…:grinning: