October 30, 2020
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"Made you look!" That's a classic line from when we were kids. As we're driving through some of this continent's steep mountain ranges, we've seen a sign that's guaranteed to make me look. You usually see it on a long drive down a steep mountain. The sign says, "Runaway truck ramp ahead." Of course I immediately look in my rear view mirror for some reason. If some big old semi with failed brakes is barreling down the mountain, about to run me over, I would like to be the first to know! I'm not sure what I'd do about it, but at least I'd like a moment for my whole life to flash before me. Those ramps are long emergency ramps, usually covered with something like sand that will help a truck grind to a halt. Now, if you've ever smelled the hot rubber of overworked brakes on a mountain, and you probably have (I have), you know that providing a way to stop runaway trucks is really a good idea. And they must be needed. I hate to say this, but I often see fresh truck tracks in that sand!