As all know, it is the week of 4th of July, and that means lots of tourist up in our community! Summer season is in high gear and Since I just got my car back from the body shop, (not my fault this time, thank God!) I thought I would share safe driving tips for Beech Mountain!
Every corner is a blind spot, you cannot see deer, bicyclist, lady walking her dog in a stroller, or even the errant skunk around those corners. I've told my son to stick to the main roads during tourist season and take the back roads if needed.
Tailgating can be hazardous to your health as most tourists will stop on a dime if they spot a baby deer or bear having a buffet with some restaurant's trash.
High beams help with night driving, but make sure you turn them off on the turns of Beech Mountain or at the approach of any car, this can be blinding to other drivers.
Remember everyone else is driving distracted. Momma is putting on her makeup while Dad is pointing out the deer to brother and sister fighting in the back seat. Dad throws on the brakes not to look at the deer but to turn around and slap anyone in the back seat. Keep your wits about you and your cellphone in the back seat.
Everyone up here assume the yellow lines in the road are a suggestion because we have narrow roads. If you are going around a corner stick to your side of the road, otherwise do whatever you want. This is how my car got hit, going around a corner and the dude was in the middle of the road on the other side.
Going up the mountain doesn't mean 2 MPH, going down put your car in manual gear and use a lower gear for braking rather than your brakes. Your brakes will thank you and all the people behind you smelling burning brakes will also.
It is not necessary to use your turn signal on every switch back on the mountain, we are following you, we know where you are going.
Stop signs up here are not suggestions. Usually there is some type of blind spot. If there is, inch a little out and if someone from FLA is there, you'll hear them. (They love their horns)
How to be a courteous driver on Beech Mountain:
There is no leash law on Beech Mountain, that does not mean the dogs are homeless. Some dogs like to roam a little before traveling back home. If you are unsure about a found dog take it over to the police department. Do not take the dog back with you to Miami then call the owner. (Yes, this actually happened. My dog ended up in Banner Elk)
If you are on a gravel road and someone is walking, slow down so you don't kick up as much dust. Our wonderful mail men, stop until you pass by keeping down the dust inhalation.
Stick with the speed limit and limit Tokyo Drifting around the corners. Along with the possibility of running off the road because the opposite driver was in the middle of the road around a corner.
Just because it is summer, that doesn't mean you let your gas tank run low. There are no gas stations on Beech Mountain, and hoping you can drift down the mountain for gas seldom works.
If someone is waving to you as you drive a back road, they are not saying hello. They are showing you they are there. Or, they are asking you to slow down for a deer, dog or skunk about to spray. I had someone waving to me on one back road, I stopped and said, "Are you all right?"
"SLOW DOWN!" They yelled back.
If you are a visitor and traveling off the mountain, and a car with a NC plate comes up behind you hot, this is usually a local trying to get kids to school, off to job, or off to the hospital. If you want to take your time and not have them breathing down your throat, move to the side on a switch back. If they are not yelling at their children, they'll probably hang out the window and yell THANKS!
Some people like to walk their dogs with their car. No kidding, I've seen a dog run past my house on the road with the owner following behind in the car.
Better yet, park the car in the driveway and simply relax and enjoy the beauty that is Beech Mountain. Or as most of our tourists yell, "SLOW DOWN!"