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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Eddie and George Wake Up Somewhere In the Sign Post Forest - Watson Lake, Yukon

The Sign Post Forest is Watson Lake’s most famous attraction. Travelers from around the world have been bringing signposts from their hometowns to the Sign Post Forest since 1942 and continue to do so today.

The tradition began during the Alaska Highway Project in 1942, when U.S. soldier Carl K. Lindley spent time in Watson Lake recovering from an injury. A commanding officer asked him to repair and erect the directional signposts, and while completing the job, he added a sign that indicated the direction and mileage to his hometown of Danville, Illinois. Others followed suit, and the trend caught on. In 1990, a couple from Ohio added the 10,000th sign in the Signpost Forest. Today, there are over 82,000 signs in the Forest, and the number grows each year as visitors contribute signs and continue the tradition. The Town of Watson Lake maintains the site, adding more sign posts as they fill up.

Given this august history, the boys couldn't resist adding their own sign to the Sign Post Forest:

They pleaded so endearingly, that we planned in advance for the project.  In January 2016, when we were at the RV event in Quartzsite, Arizona, we stopped by the shop of "Too Crazy Ladies," who make all sorts of signs for RV'ers, to work with them to specially design a plastic sign memorializing the boys' anticipated visit.

George and Eddie both said they liked the finished product, so today we hauled out the ladder some screws and drill bits, and our battery-operated electric drill, and hiked over to the Sign Post Forest to add the boys to the legend.

We decided to erect our sign on the same post on which our friends, Eric and Ginny, posted theirs a couple years ago.  Of course, given how big the forest is, we had to locate their sign, so we e-mailed them asking for directions to their sign.  Luckily, they had taken a video of the spot, and we could triangulate the location from the background, then verified the post from the other signs on it.

Unfortunately, Eric's and Ginny's sign had disappeared.  We don't know whether it fell off, got blown off, or was taken off by some inconsiderate signposter who wanted their spot for his/her own sign. While it is possible that their sign, if it was lying around, would have been reinstalled on another post in the forest, we searched over half of the forest thoroughly and didn't find it.

We felt bad that our friends' memorial of their visit was apparently lost.  But the boys insisted that, in memory of the Lost Lajuene Sign, the boys wanted their sign on the same post.  And we made it so. We even used our hiker GPS to record the coordinates:  N 60.06329, W 128.71254.

David drilled the holes and prepared to set the screws to attach the sign to the post:

When it was done, the boys were pleased.  As we walked back to the RV, we turned to take one last look at the Sign Post Forest, with our sign perched somewhere in there:

Will we come back?  We don't know.

If we do, will we remember the coordinates?  Thus our notation in the blog above.

If we remember that we put the coordinates in this blog entry, will it help us find the sign?  We don't know.

If we do find the sign location, will the sign still be there?

Que Sera Sera.

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