We covered a lot in the previous signs post, and I didn’t expect to have another so soon, but it’s amazing what you find on our highways and byways.
In Portsmouth, Ohio where we took a break to look at the murals on the flood wall, there were several of the signs below on the phone poles. I’m thinking someone isn’t following the laws of basic decency along the sidewalk there.
Traveling the back roads in northern Missouri, we ran across a sign that said “Fresh Oil Loose Gravel”. Now I’ve been on many roads with loose gravel, but have never, to my knowledge, been through fresh oil. In the previous signs post, there was an “Excess Oil on Roadway”. So I’m assuming that their oil was used, and the folks in Missouri go for the fresh stuff. Personal preference would be that they not put it (fresh or otherwise) on the roads. Seems like that’s just a recipe for disaster.
We approached a one-lane bridge and there was a sign that said “Yield to Oncoming Traffic”. Okay. No one coming, so we crossed the bridge. I looked back to see what their sign said…”Yield to Oncoming Traffic”. Huh?! So if two vehicles approach the bridge at the same time, I guess they just sit there yielding until one cries uncle and turns around to go back or floors it across the bridge in a mad act of rebellion. I’m envisioning: “After you”; “No after you. I insist.”; “No, really, I’m holding for you!” “Please, please go ahead!” “Can you just move your *SS!” “F**k YOU! You go!!” Then they both go at the same time, hit head-on on the bridge, the bridge catches on fire, and “LUCY! You got some splaining to do!!!” I guess they would both be issued citations for not following the signs.
We had another bridge situation on the last trip. On a one-lane road, we passed a sign that said “One-Lane Bridge Ahead”. Now what moron expected there to be a two-lane bridge on a one-lane road and complained to the county, therefore creating the necessity for that sign?
On another stretch we came upon “Rock Ends. Level B Service. Enter At Your Own Risk”. Doesn’t that sound ominous. It wasn’t a particularly bad road, and I couldn’t figure out what rock was ending. What exactly is level B service? Aren’t we entering at our own risk on all highways and byways? I’ll admit that passing the sign made me just a little bit nervous. Maybe we could suddenly be sucked down into a sink hole because the Level A crew wasn’t called out. Do the people on the Level A crew make more money? Is there a special selection process to get on that crew? Do they have some type of insignia or special clothing that identifies them as Level A? After traveling a LOT of state and county roads in a multitude of locations, I can definitively say two things: 1) Some states/counties DO NOT have a Level A crew. 2) Some states/counties only have Level A crews. If those two bump up against each other, you can be driving along on the smoothest, nicest piece of pavement, then cross a state/county line and suddenly be thrown against the roof of the truck with enough force to get a concussion. Slo-mo at that point would be interesting!
One of the most ignored signs in the country has to be the one at most state park campgrounds that says “Campers Only Beyond This Point”. Panther Creek State Park in Morristown, Tennessee is a great example of this. It is a huge park with plenty of parking and trails everywhere. Yet, people come into the campground area, park in the small amount of visitor parking or on empty sites, and go hike, sit up at the pavilion and talk, or a multitude of other things. The traffic driving right past the sign on the weekends is ridiculous! (Since campers are generally very nice people, I personally think that the vast majority of theft at campgrounds is perpetrated by the lookie-loos.) We had another good example of this in West Virginia the other day at Chief Logan State Park. We are early risers, but respect that many people aren’t and try to stay quiet until 9ish AM. Not so with a particular women’s morning walking group. That particular morning, as we were prepping to leave, they parked at the museum outside of the campground. Then, instead of walking on the many trails and roads that would keep them away from the campers who might still be in dreamland at 7AM, they walked all the way through the campground. As they panted by, they were talking very loudly so that everyone in the group could hear what they had to say. As Bon Qui Qui would say…RUDE!!
All over the country we pass “Children at Play” signs. We also see those little sign boards at the ends of driveways showing a playing child to remind us to slow down. But we recently saw one that was a bit confusing…”Children Along Pavement”. Do the parents not allow their kids to play in their driveways and yards, so they just get to play on the little piece of pavement between the side line and the grass? This wasn’t a neighborhood, so I’m assuming they aren’t just letting them play in the middle of the road. Do they stand their kids along the pavement as their time-out place? Why would the children be allowed to be along the pavement. Are the parents so bored and desperate with this quarantine mess that they are standing their kids along the road and telling them to watch the parade (us)? Or having them count cars? Since there is a sign telling me to watch out for them, I’m assuming there isn’t adult supervision for this pavement standing. Seems like a dangerous situation to me.
As we were traveling a long country road, we came upon a sign that said “Impassable During High Water”. I understand the meaning. What I don’t understand is why there wasn’t a sign back before the last turnoff to warn of the upcoming situation. Had there been high water, we would have been stuck backing up for quite a ways just to find a turn-around point. Along those same lines, there have been a couple of times that we approached low overpasses with the warning sign giving their height. Most of the time the signs for that are well back from the actual obstruction, giving you an opportunity to assess and reroute. (The signs for the tunnel at Cumberland Gap, which doesn’t allow certain chemicals and open propane tanks to go through, and has other loads that must be escorted, start a good 35 miles early! There is really no excuse for showing up there unprepared.) However, for some obstructions, the sign has been about 25′ from the actual bridge. I mean, you can see how low it is and the sign on the actual overpass by the time you see that sign. What the hell?! Some of these giant rigs running along at the speed limit wouldn’t be able to stop before taking the roof off. If any of you work with the highway sign folks, pass along that advance warning means less overpass repair. (At 12’8″, we have only been too tall once so far, and the sign in that instance was back where we could divert, and was next to a convenient place to turn around! Bravo!!)
In Salem, Indiana, we drove past a business named “Florence’s Flowers by Carol”. That just made me smile. I’m picturing Carol making an offer to buy from Florence, and the only way Florence would accept is if her name stayed on the sign. Carol, not to be outdone, just added her name on the end. It’s kind of like movie credits. Everyone is vying to be named first, so somewhere along the way someone said “okay”, then added the “featuring” label to make their name stand out at the end. Those earlier guys had to be ticked the first time that happened. In the case of the flower shop, another option would be that they moved from Florence. Maybe the Italian Carol just didn’t catch it when she made the sign. English isn’t her first language, after all.
We saw a couple more church signs that made us smile. In one instance, they were having church services outside for Covid. It said “Church in Parking Lot. 100 Degrees is Colder than Hell”. Another said “Our Church is Prayer Conditioned”. Such creative people!
Another business in Pikeville, Kentucky was named “Mountain Furniture and Firearms”. What a combo. We once visited the home of a former Vietnam-era Green Beret. He had a long-range firing range, and a pistol range. MW was in HEAVEN! The pistol range was really his favorite, though. You could actually open up the sliding glass door, sit in the recliner in the living room, and shoot. I’m all for having a firing range, but I put my foot down at shooting from inside the house. Well, unless there is an intruder. Then it will be like the OK Corral inside. (Fair warning.) This store could sell you the recliner, the guns, the ammo, and maybe a cute little side table to sit your beer on. How cool is that?! I wonder how they came up with the business model. Was it a slow furniture year and someone in the sales meeting said, “You know, if we started selling guns, sales would pick up and it would be easier to keep people from stealing lamps.” Or was it more like: “I’m so glad we could help you with this new sofa. Is there anything else you are looking for?” “Well, now that you mention it, I’ve really been trying to find a Desert Eagle .50 cal with a 10″ barrel.” “Wow, let me see what I can do.” Now that is true customer service!
Saw the sign below at a seafood restaurant. I’m thinking the owners must be older and have been to Woodstock in the 60s. That was the official slogan, wasn’t it?
Finally, we ran across a sign that said “Drinking Water Protected Area Report Spills). What??!! I immediately checked my water bottle to make sure everything was okay there and told MW we needed to pull over to check those in Petunia. What happens if we spill our water? Are we going to be fined? Do they have a spring water sniffing dog or pig or goat that roams around telling them when someone has spilled drinking water? All this time I believed that, in our closed atmosphere, if I actually spilled my drinking water it would eventually come back to me as rain. Are they trying to tell me that isn’t so? Perplexing. Ah, ha…maybe they are saying report other types of spills to protect the water! How thorough are we required to be in these reports? Do I report spilling a Coke? my lemonade? dirty rainwater from the birdbath? Wait…how close was that fresh oil sign???? Is someone reporting THAT???!!!
Until next time, I’ll keep watching. See you on the road!!
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