Before purchasing our rural mountain property, I didn't realize there were so many ways a person could wave to oncoming cars. The rural wave is a very rich tradition in the country, and one which should not be taken lightly. Julie Fritz even wrote a piece about the rural wave in her book, Keepers of the Sangres. A person's style of wave can determine if they are an insider or an outsider. One thing is for certain....no one waves on busy highways where the speed limit exceeds 35 mph. It's only on the dusty, washboard, rock-infested county and private roads where you will find the rural wave acceptable.
If someone waves with an active wrist and all five fingers in the air, they are probably new to the area, or just visiting.
Some men have been known to give the two-fingers-pointed-right-at-you wave with thumb in the air. This wave always reminds me of a tip-of-the-hat style greeting.
and the four-finger-with-thumb-tucked-under wave...
There is some debate about the four-finger wave being the most popular, however, my amateur studies have shown this wave to be the most popular in our neck o' the woods...
As Julie Fritz explains in her book, "The wave is one of empathy; you have both survived a tire-flattening, suspension-destroying, driveshaft-dropping experience. But more importantly, the wave is an acknowledgment; you both know you have had the privilege of sharing the road with the mountains and canyons and rolling hay fields. You have both just been dazzled by the shifts of the sun and the play of the clouds. You two have driven the Wet Mountain Valley".
And I wouldn't want it any other way.