Homepage | Introduction | Parenting Columns | Travel Features | Misc. Musings | Contact | Purchase Info


My grandmother and grandfather
must have thought that traveling
25 mph was speeding!

25 Miles Per Hour

455 words


When you think about it, 25 mph is really very fast
by Dianne Roth


One day, while driving and pondering, it occured to me that, not too many years ago, the average speed people could travel in a day was 10 miles. The pioneers who came to Oregon bringing their children and all their earthly goods were very lucky to average 25 miles in two and a half days of hard travel.

Today, we are able to travel those 25 miles in less than an hour. In fact, on the interstate going 70 mph, it only takes 21.4 minutes to go 25 miles. That would be mind boggling to those hearty pioneers.

The day I was driving and pondering, I was on one of my regular routes around town and noticed a sign limiting the traffic to 25 mph. With the pioneers fresh in my mind, I had a new appreciation for the incredible speed I was traveling. Wow! Twenty five miles in only an hour’s time.

Of course, the driver behind me was not pondering on the same track as I, so my sense of awe at being able to drive the mile and a half to downtown Corvallis from my home in 3.6 minutes was lost on her. Instead, her impatience with my dawdling sent her racing past me and the 25 mph speed limit sign only to jam on her brakes at the red light.

Ironically, because she had to come to a stop at the red light and I needed only to slow to a crawl, when the light turned green, I sailed on past her. She sped past me again, only to stop at the next red light. I have a sense she did not even notice how easily I dawdled past her again.

But, I digress. It has been 10 years since the day I was pondering and I am no less in awe of the speed at which we are able to travel through our neighborhoods. Yet, I also know that 25 mph feels remarkably slow when the light turns green and the car ahead of me quickly out distances me in the few blocks to the next stop sign and the driver behind me is chomping at the bit because I am impeding his ability to keep up with the car in front of me.

I guess what I mean to say is, “Slow down.” On most days, it takes only moments to go from here to there in Corvallis or Albany or Philomath. Relish those moments. When you see a sign limiting your speed to 25 mph, take a breath, slow down, and appreciate what was impossible only a short time ago. I guarantee it won’t take you more than a few seconds longer to get where you are going.


Dianne Roth is a teacher, mother, grandmother, and freelance writer. She lives in Oregon.




Last updated on November 4, 2015