Thursday, July 19, 2007

What's in a Sign?

When traveling, I often notice things that strike me funny. Last year my husband and I had a whirlwind and amazing trip in Ketchikan, Alaska visiting our daughter Ginger who was working there for the summer. Ketchikan defies convention and seems like a separate country even though it's technically part of the U.S. Anyway while wandering the small town (10,000 locals) we came across this sign above a Mexican restaurant. Even having a Mexican restaurant in this town located on a small island noted for world class fishing, and at one time huge fish canneries is a bit odd, but what we found even odder was the "BEST Pizza in Town." I'm not sure if it was meant to be a joke or not, but the sign, dripping with irony--not only because of the obvious reason, but also because they were the only place offering pizza in town. My guess is that the sign draws attention and then people go in and eat.

Another sign I found in Ketchikan was located on a walkway over a pier. The lower sign said "No Dogs Allowed--$100.00 fine" and the upper sign which you might not be able to read states that you must pick up after your dog and offers poop bags! I don't think this sign is meant to be a joke. I guess what the officials are saying is if you want to pay the $100.00 fine and walk your dog over the pier, you must clean up after it.

Recently we made our yearly trek to our family cabin in Silver Gate, Montana which is located one mile outside of the N.E. entrance to Yellowstone. Sometimes when we're there we like to attend L.D.S services in Gardiner, Montana--about 45 miles from our cabin, but still the closest Mormon church. The branch boasts 13 active members. The focus for the meeting we attended was Food Storage. If you happen to be a Mormon, you know that being prepared both spiritually and temporally for what may come is a big deal in the Church. I can't remember a time in my life where storing food and water wasn't stressed, and every once in a while it's the entire focus of a meeting as was the case this Sunday. Right after we were done with church we decided to take a look around and drove up a dirt road behind the church and right away spotted this sign, "Food Storage Required." I'm sure local Montanans understand that the signs are referring to storing your food for the back country in bear-proof containers, but to us Utah Mormons, the sign struck our funny bone.

The other photo I've included is to show a full-fledged bear jam--no sign needed! Back in the sixties when our family would visit the park, the bear jam was a common occurrence. Now days they are more rare. What you are seeing here is a mother Grizzly. She had two cubs with her although you can't see them in the photo. She crossed the road right after I took the photo. I'm interested in bear jams because the book I'm writing right now starts out in Yellowstone Park with just such a scene! During our trip we saw this Grizzly and several others. It seems the drought is forcing the bears out of the high country and bringing them in close proximity to visitors--not exactly safe for the people or the bears.

If you notice a funny sign--I'd love to hear about it.


Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Wow, people were out of their cars with a grizzly bear that close? He must been eying everyone like he was at a buffet.

Sounds like you had a blast and the signs are great.

Janet Jensen said...

Carole, love your signs! I have some on my website, and you're welcome to copy/post any that you like!


Marsha Ward said...

Great signs! Great post! Thanks, Carole.

Anne Bradshaw said...

Fun blog, Carole. Thanks for sharing. I, too, have a few funny signs I need to dig out when I get a moment.

By the way, you've been tagged (hope it's not a double tag) this morning on my Moaning Meme blog. Enjoy!

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...


You've been tagged at -- go check it out!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Thanks for explaining the food storage sign, Carole -- I was a little confused there for a minute. :)