Stop and Read the Signs

When we were married for all of 5 days, we headed out on a 9 day adventurous drive across the country, across Canada, and into Alaska to begin a new life together. While there's so much I could say about that trip, I'm bringing it up now because of Watson Lake in Alberta, Canada. We had the privilege of staying there one night, and while I was given all of 5 minutes to explore the next morning by an impatient, new husband who wanted to get on the road, those 5 minutes were enough to discover this awesome sight:

That is the Sign Post Forest, started when the Alaskan Canadian Highway was built, and added to yearly. I could have spent the remainder of the day there reading signs. Most were city limit type signs, but there were enough others thrown in for interest. It was just fun to walk through and read where people were from. And wonder why on earth they'd steal a city limit sign and drive the whole way to Watson Lake to hang it. So much to contemplate. And I've been contemplating for the past 20 years on that.

I came to the conclusion that we needed a sign post. Not that the general public would be walking through our garden to read where all we've been, but I would, and that's enough reason to make one. Plus, I find sign posts to be about seventeen kinds of awesome. Travel is important to me, and our kids love looking at albums and reminiscing about the trips we've taken. Why not reminisce in the great outdoors, too?

So I pitched my idea to Sam, who must have liked the idea as much as I did because he said nary a word when I told him that he needed to sink a 12' post into the ground. Which he did, mind you, without a complaint. He even knew where a 12' post was just lying around waiting for a job to do. (Don't worry, it was on our property. And no, it wasn't a telephone pole.)

We then cut a truckload of signs out of scrap lumber we have lying around (sometimes it's nice being married to a packrat) and I went about painting and lettering. I then realized most of the signs were pointing the wrong direction, so we sanded them off and I painted and lettered again. The internet was a huge help with this project. Mapquest rocks at shouting out mileages. In addition to the city we visited and how many miles away it is (because that's fun), I also added the year(s) we were there. I used outdoor paint because this has to last as long as possible, and did some of the lettering with fabric paint if I needed fine print somewhere. Fabric paint is made to last through laundry, so it's weather proof. I've used it for mailbox lettering in the past and it's incredibly durable.

I really love the way the whole thing turned out. While I had to choose the highlights of our travels, there are still about half a dozen more that I'll be adding to it. (Becky is quite a traveled young lady. Unfortunately, most of the cities she visited were during her first year and she remembers nothing.) But my goal is for the kids to have something else to remember the good times we had together as a family, and so far it's been successful. The kids are already talking about what they did there, and if we could go back to that one.

It was 20 years in the making, but I think it was worth it.


Heidi said...

That is a awesome project! We have one of our license plates hanging there. Heidi

Karen said...

I love that I now know someone who posted something there!

LEsherick2008 said...

That is so cool, right now my dad is into licence plates so we have a few now attached to a beam between our kitchen and living room, may he would want to do a sign post too. Oh and by the way I just got a 4 month old Corgi Girl her name is Laci

The Sports Mama said...

So, fun fact... I looked at your sign, and had a great memory flashback. :) The sign for Surprise? Reminded me of getting to meet you!! :)

Flea said...

Look at you showing up in a Stumble!