Sunday, February 24, 2008

Amish Snow Tires

We've had plenty of "wintery mix" recently in suburban Washington, DC. Nearly two weeks ago, all three routes to our house were blocked by police cruisers with flashing lights because of accidents on the overpasses. I was trying to drive our grandson home from school, but kept having to turn around. I thought we'd never get there, until I found a route that went under, rather than over, the railroad.

We have a cabin in Knox County, Ohio. Increasing numbers of Amish are moving into Knox County. In fact, our cabin was built by Amish labor about three years ago. According to a local history buff, who is also our neighbor and good friend, Holmes County, which is adjacent to Knox, has a larger Amish population than Lancaster County, PA. So I asked him how the Amish cope with icy conditions when traveling by horse and buggy.

Our friend responded that tungsten carbide particles embedded in the horseshoe provide traction on icy roads. However, tungsten carbide is an abrasive, which wears ruts in the middle of the lane, ruts that do not fit the "track" (inter-tire width) of the cars driven by the "English." These ruts cause cars to swerve when the roads are wet. People complain that the Amish " don't pay gasoline taxes, but they're ruining our roads." In defense of the old-order Amish, our friend pointed out that they DO pay real-estate taxes. Although a large percentage of their income goes for real estate taxes, the Amish operate their own schools.


Nancy Chisum said...

I would guess too that a certain amount of tourism dollars come from the presence of the Amish so, it probably all evens out.

Nancy said...

Just wondered what you were up to. Haven't seen a new post lately. Hope all is well. I have deleted my old blog and started another one its at Hope to hear from you soon.

Crockhead said...

Amish horses do tend to tear up the oil roads in their communities. It's a common complaint by people who live there. I suppose the Amish response would be, "We don't really need paved roads for our horses and buggies. It's not our fault you need pavement for your cars."