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04 March, 2014

An Other Sign Post

Signs may be the Alpha and the Omega

For some reason, one post I wrote about signs keeps getting hits, and currently (again) tops the list of hits over the past month. Signs have been an obsession of mine for a long time; I compulsively take photos of them, and write about them from time to time. Often, it's because signs are so often inadvertently self-mocking. Official signs, so often so lacking in humor, can be hilarious.

But then there are the signs posted by people who have no "right" to do so, no funding, no license to signify the wilds. The "A Line" and "Z Line" signs shown above, for instance, are on logging roads that belong to one of the largest resource extraction corporations on the continent, but somehow I doubt that corporate HQ called for or even approved those signs.  But the elk and shroom hunters wanna get their bearings, and so they put up signs.

Another species of signs in the NW woods are the mile markers. Not sure what "WILLY" has to do with it, or if this is even truly the 20th mile of the road I was on, but on many a logging road, you will see spray-painted upon trees numbers corresponding to the miles and half-miles of haul routes. Entering the forest, you'll see a little paper sign announcing the CB channel you're to tune into, upon which you are to announce your presence in-going or out-going so as not to be run down by a truckload of logs. Some guy drives the route with a can of spraypaint, stopping and hopping out, a scribe saving your life. Unofficial, but important.

Despite those efforts, people still die on roads, be they glacial gravel miles from pavement, or 8 lanes of asphalt. The bereaved often place signs in memoriam. Rex, I'm thinking, went down on his hog. This was on the same logging roads southwest of some place you've never heard of where the other photos in this post came from, but you'll see memorial signs closer to and even in towns, on highways and freeways.

People, humans with no authority or even any tendency to respect authority, have a need to put up signs. Wayfinding, marking miles, or memorializing, we put up signs.

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