July 27, 2010

The Westcliffe Wave

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.

There is the four-finger-with-thumb resting on the steering wheel wave....


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...

The good old two-finger wave with thumb tucked.  This wave allows you to maintain control of the steering wheel while still appearing to be neighborly.  It's the perfect wave, and the one I use most often.

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.

9 comments:

AJ-OAKS said...

Great post! Not a lot of folks wave around here anymore. You can tell right away who is an 'old timer' here in the valley because they still do the neighbor wave. It's the four finger one off the steering wheel.
Thanks for the nostalgic smile this morning.

JOE and JANE said...

I do the middle finger wave....and most wave back at me!

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

I usually use the two finger with thumb tucked wave. In my area, it's mostly the older citizens who wave. The younger folks are too busy texting or talking on the phone to wave.

frugalmom said...

I love this post! Im not sure which one I do...It just happens. Ill have to pay more attn next time. :-)

cousin Arnetta said...

I realized that I did a 2-finger wave from the steering wheel... but I'm sure it varies... funny I had not thought about 'wave styles' before your post....

morningbrayfarm said...

Too freakin' funny. I'll have to do an analysis of what I see most 'round these parts.

Tina said...

It's like the Jeep wave...Jeep drivers wave at each other...sadly I do it even if I am walking i have at the Jeep drivers...and they must think I am nuts lol.

Kuhns Acres said...

I must say that I just found your blog via another blog that I follow and when I saw this post about the westcliffe wave it caught my intrest. You might like to know that I might have been one of those people that you have waved at and then I started going through your posts only to find out our family cabin is just past where you are working. It sure is a small world.

Lilla said...

Tina, that's funny about the Jeep wave!

Kuhn's Acres...welcome to my blog and thanks for commenting. What a small, small world it is! I can't believe you have a cabin near the Pines Ranch!