Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Sign Post Forest

It is almost a "right of passage" on the trek to Alaska -- a stop at the Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon Territory.

The Sign Post Forest was begun in 1942 during the construction of the Alaska Highway (the Alcan). At that time, Carl K. Lindley, a U. S. Army Engineer, was tasked with fixing a "miles-to-destination" sign that had been damaged by a bulldozer. He decided to add his own hometown, Danville, Illinois, at 2835 miles. A tradition was begun, and over the years, over 71,000 signs have been added!

This is what the original sign looked like:

This is not "the" original sign, but was re-created by Carl Lindley to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Sign Post Forest.

Here is how just a part of it looks today:

John found the sign his Alaskan tour put up in 2006, but it was faded badly:
Our friends, Deb and Paul, asked us to attempt to find their sign, also erected around 2006. We found the basic location, but could not locate the post or sign. A woman from the visitor center told us that posts that need replacing are torn down each fall. All the signs from those posts are put in a big pile, and reattached on the new posts or wherever there is room on existing ones. So you can't depend on "your" sign ending up where you put it!

Some signs were obviously made ahead of time, and some on the spot. Here are some interesting ones:

Tomorrow we are off to Whitehorse, our last city in Canada.

4 comments:

Mr Ulster said...

I like the "Fish Naked: Show Off Your Bobbers" sign!

diana said...

Hi from a new again reader. I remember your blog but lost track somehow. But happy to be back in time to follow your trip to Alaska! Great pics of the signs, that is really fascinating!

Roadrunner said...

I just found my pictures from my husband and my trip in 1991. We went in Sept. Weather was great. I have the same picture of the Sign Post ! Enjoy, I wish I could do it again. We never paid that much for RV space. I hope you have the Milepost, it gives so much information.

Anonymous said...

Hey. so glad U made it to the SignPost Affair..... Too Bad you did not see Poop/Brat birdie sign up.. but thx for thinking of us and trying to locate. I hope you got your sign up on a post Z & J NomadLanders.. Enjoy your trip coming up into AK Real Close now!Birdladydeb.