Sunday, October 20, 2013

Heeeere's Your Sign!

When my children were little, they would accompany me on frequent weekend shopping trips to The Wooden Nickel, an eclectic little shop down Marysvale Canyon that sold consignment items, home decor, crafting materials, and antiques.  We would poke around the shop, looking for little treasures.  My boys were drawn to the old guns and cowboy items, Sierra loved the little stuffed animals and stickers, and I drooled over the bookshelves, seasonal decorations, and scrapbooking supplies.

As we traveled down old highway 89 through the canyon, there were signs with the cautionary
words:  FALLING ROCK.  The rock walls often send tumbling rocks down onto the road, and you just never know when there will be obstacles in the path of your car.

After many such shopping trips, Sierra finally asked, "Just where IS Falling Rock?"


"Falling Rock.  Where is it? I keep seeing signs to it, but I've never seen the town."

Oh, Sisi.  The boys and I have loved teasing her about it ever since; that was nearly twenty years ago!  

When Bridger and I were in Virginia, we noticed a street sign in my sister Kathy's neighborhood, and we sent Sierra a picture of it in a text message.  "We finally found Falling Rock!"  I'm not sure she thought it was that funny.

See that sign to the right?  The bright yellow caution sign with the leaping deer?  In Utah, these signs warn motorists to watch for deer on the highway.  As someone who traveled the highways of Utah recording the information of deer fatalities and their locations (don't ask; it was a contract with the department of highways)'s easy for me to understand how they determine where to install the signs.  I think most people understand that the signs are to make drivers more alert.

Unless you're my mom.  These signs puzzle Mom.  She thinks the signs are endangering the deer population, and really, something should be done about them.

"Why would they put deer crossing signs on such a busy highway?"  We tried to explain that the deer traffic is busy there, too, so it's just a warning to travelers to watch for deer.

"Well, it seems to me that the state should put those signs on less traveled roads to keep the deer safe."

"Mom, you do understand the deer don't read those signs, right?"

"Well, they must see those signs and cross there, or there wouldn't be so many crossing on that section of highway. Why don't they move those deer crossing signs to roads that aren't so busy?  Those deer shouldn't be made to cross where there's so much traffic.  All the state would have to do is move the signs to little dirt roads or places where there aren't so many cars."

We just walk away, shaking our heads; she's so confused. And she walks away, shaking her head, thinking the department of transportation has it all wrong.  Those poor deer don't stand a chance with signs showing them to cross on such busy roadways.

As the comedian Bill Engvall always says, "Here's your sign!"


  1. When I was younger two of my older siblings told me that Falling Rock was the son of an Indian Chief who had gotten lost and that the Chief looked and looked and looked for him and never found him; the sign was in remembrance/honor (?) of Falling Rock who never came home...

    1. Yes, I've heard that "legend," as well. Too silly.

  2. Oh, this is too funny! Falling Rock and deer signs. Girl, you can tell a tale! Where in Virginia does your sister Kathy live? I lived in Roanoke, Virginia for 25 years before we moved to Massachusetts. I still get teased when I say "y'all!" Happy Day, Denise!

    1. Kathy is in the Waynesboro area...with most of my family. We grew up in Amherst and Nelson counties. I moved to Utah in 1979 for college, and the rest, as they say, is history. Have a HAPPIER day, Carol!


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