When traveling across the US, there are always a few “little” things that are different.  On a family trip this summer, we interacted with the states of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Utah.  And you know what?  They’re weird!

We actually had a very good time in each of the states, but sometimes things were just a bit off.  Of course, the rudeness of Park City, Utah jumps to mind right away, but mostly it was just minor things.

New Mexico is probably the winner of the most “off.”  The road signage was absolutely baffling.  Had I known after seeing the first one that it was going to be a trend, I would have taken photos…. but alas, I didn’t.  There were signs like “Right Turn Only” with an arrow pointing left.  Another curious sign came up in construction area and said something like “STOP AHEAD FOR CONSTRUCTION – NO SLOWING DOWN.”   ?????  Huh???  I am so cornfuzzled by that one.

no-passing-zoneAlso, New Mexico’s constant overuse of passing zone signage got me thinking that this was some political payola scam.  Seriously, every single curve in the road had a “NO PASSING ZONE” sign on one end and an “END NO PASSING ZONE” sign at the other.  In Texas, we don’t need all those signs – just a simple dotted center line on our side when passing is allowed and a solid yellow line when it is not allowed.  Those signs must have cost a fortune – surely, there is some better use for that money.

Okay, so it was mainly New Mexico that freaked me out – the weird signage across a state that appears to be filled with nothing…  well nothing that isn’t dry, hot and incredibly dusty.  But there were other tales worth telling from the trip.

Utah has to be the home of the nicest highway patrolmen – albeit a bit weird there too.  I was flying pretty fast (like 83 in a 70) north of Moab and marveling at all the amazing scenery, when a cop spun around, hit the lights and pulled me over.

I’m a pretty charmed person so very often get let off with only a warning.  He did let me slide, but what he said was funny.

“I have you doing 83 mph and just wanted to let you know that we have just started Utah’s “100 Deadliest Days of Summer,”  when most the traffic deaths in our state occur.  I am letting you off with a warning to slow down.  Now, I have you in the system so if anyone stops you, they will see you’ve been warned and then you’ll get it in the pants,” he explained in the kindest way I have ever seen from a police officer.

We thanked him and headed out before nearly rolling on the floor that a UHP officer had… sorta threatened to stick something in my pants if I drove fast in his state.  Needless to say, I stayed within the posted limits until I left Utah.

Chris Doelle