Driving in St. Croix

In Humor, St. Croix Living by Sarah6 Comments

Driving in St. Croix

We have briefly talked before about driving in St. Croix. It has its known quirks – driving on the left-hand side, lower speed limits, and winding roads. However, today was my first experience driving in St. Croix for an extended amount of time – by myself.

The Good

Here in St. Croix people honk all the time. They don’t honk like they honk on the mainland – to let other drivers know they are angry or frustrated. The honks are usually a courtesy. Here they honk to let you know that you can turn first. They honk to say “Thank you!” or “Good Morning!” They honk just to honk. It is charming in its own way. I am learning how to honk too. A lot of the time I end up waving and shouting and then trying to push down on my horn only to find that I can’t do that AND turn the steering wheel at the same time. It is kind of like walking and chewing gum at the same time (which, incidentally, I have never really had a problem with so I never really understood that idiom)… never the less, trying to do all of those things at once can get you in a lot of trouble. They will also often just flash their lights at you to let you know you can go first. I do love feeling like people are really watching out for you and are paying attention to each other.

The Bad

St. Croix is covered in a network of twisting and winding roads. Some lead from one end of the island to the other. Others may lead you in a circle. Today I decided to try a new road and thought I’d try the GPS. I had some good laughs today with the GPS. I was just driving along when she (as a side note…I don’t really care for the Google Maps voice – she sounds a bit condescending) says “In 20 feet turn right” well…I look ahead about 20 feet and see a giant area of jungle. Nope not going to turn right….sorry. I just laughed and kept driving. I eventually got to where I was going. I experienced that one more time today where the GPS said to turn and it was into the jungle. Just made me laugh and love my little rock where there are quirks like the GPS telling you to turn into the jungle where there is no road.

The Ugly

I live on an island….I get that. I understand there is a lot to go into road maintenance, especially when there is A LOT of water and erosion. There are just some places that it is a little bit ridiculous. Today I was driving on a particularly gnarly road that happens to be by the Gallows Bay Hardware store. First you have to traverse a GIANT pot hole at a 4-way stop. When I say GIANT…I mean….imagine (for those who have not experienced this particular pot hole – for those who have….you know I’m not exaggerating) a roughly 4’ by 5’ space of road that is about 3 to 4 inches deep. My little Mercury Sable (which isn’t actually little – it’s a grandma car) has a really hard time making it over that crater! We DID make it…no thanks to my continuous praying and mad driving skills.

I then made the mistake of going to another part of town. I was on a search for butane tanks (which is another post entirely) and I was told that I might find them at this other place. Unfortunately I had to drive on perhaps THE worst road in Christiansted. I specify “in Christiansted” because I cannot begin to speak about the horrible condition of the west-end roads. Anyway, this road in Christiansted looks like it was made for the Mars Land Rover! I’m not even sure you could actually even call it a road. Perhaps we should just say “crater-pocked through-way.” I wanted to get a picture but there were other cars behind me and I really just wanted to get away from that road. I know there are some that have to brave that road every day as they live near and I weep for them. Yes, it is that bad. Even after going on the bad road I didn’t even find the butane!!! Ugh!

I am learning that there are certain roads you avoid – or maybe just we avoid until we get a car that has a different suspension system. Either way, I love the simple idiosyncrasies that are found here in St. Croix!

Have you ever driven on a horrible road?
Tell us about it in a comment below!

Comments

  1. When we stay in St. Thomas there are crazy roads! The GPS tried to take us up and over the top of the island and we ended up on the top, on a dirt road, covered in holes of course, barely wide enough for 1 car and a huge drop off on the one side. We kept going trusting the GPS, (never again) and ended up basically in someone’s driveway where the road ended…had to turn around and drive back down to the main road and then go the proper way! I always make Garret drive when we go there, driving on the left in a car built for driving on the right takes some getting used to! Island driving is always an adventure and crazy sometimes!

    1. Author

      Ahhh….the USVI! So quirky and awesome AND beautiful and worth the crazy roads! Thanks for sharing!

  2. My father was raised driving between Utah and California in an old truck. They (he and his father) would transport whatever was needed from one destination to the other. They also picked pine-nuts in the fall and cut Christmas trees In the late fall. Selling these things was part of making a living. I first went Christmas tree cutting when I was 15; and my first experience pine-nut picking was when I was 18 and engaged to my husband to be. Anyway, sometimes dad would invite me to go scouting for pine-nuts (pinyon trees) to harvest a month or so before the harvest. On one occasion we were in Nevada, (this is where we harvested the most.) We had driven up a beautiful mountain, looking at the trees, and looking for healthy burrs (pinecones, and their seeds(the nuts).)
    When we drove on the top of this mountain, my dad say, “I think we’ll try and go down this way.” Well, lets just say when we started down the “road”, really two lines with lots of rocks; we could not even see the ground in front of the truck, it was such a steep downhill drive. Dad just drove it like it was a highway, thankfully much slower than that, really slow; we were after all, in granny low. Hair raising comes to mind, I looked across at him as if he were stark raving mad. But I am here today to say. hang in there. Obviously, all roads are NOT created equally.

    1. Author

      Wow! Sounds like you had some good times (albeit…maybe a little scary) with your dad! Thanks for sharing!

  3. A little town called Divine in Texas has a road that wraps past their cemetery, there are so many potholes and patches that it looks like the road was made with polkadots! Super bumpy!! I’m glad you guys are enjoying your time there. We’re praying for you through the storms headed your way! Love you guys!

    1. Author

      Yeah…those roads sound very similar to the ones here. Miss you and love you guys!

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