In these thousands of road miles there are always things that are thought provoking. Some of them are signs.
This one, for example. Oregon takes littering very seriously. In other state I’ve seen fines posted in the $100 and $500 ranges, but this one takes the cake. With even the modest amount of litter I saw along the highways of Oregon they must easily run a financial surplus in this state. With fines like that they could easily afford to swab DNA samples off litter and prosecute offenders that way, or clone them. Oregon may have hit on a better way to handle the Federal Deficit. Just hand out fines for littering that are say, $10,000 each offense. Why we could even fine corporations that pollute as if they were littering and jack the fines up to $10,000,000 for each piece. Hmm.
Look closely at the sign above. It is to indicate a tsunami evacuation route. I didn’t know that we had a warning system so I checked out the NOAA web site and discovered that “…if you feel violent shaking for several minutes, head for higher ground. The earthquake is your warning.” Now that’s nice to know. I wonder how much time that might give a person to get to higher ground?
The chart above is to represent the warning system that exists. Tsunamis travel in deep water at hundreds of miles an hour and, in deep water, are barely perceptible. It is only when things get shallow that they take on their deadly form of gigantic waves.
So one has to wonder just how much of a warning can coastal areas count on, and how far inland might you have to travel in order to escape the gigantic waves.
Well there is this island off of Africa that geologists have determined that it is likely to split into two if and when its volcano erupts. That much of a land slide is calculated to produce a mega tsunami that will travel upwards of 500 miles per hour and hit the east coast of America and be as high as 3000 feet. Forget trying to evacuate via I95 in Connecticut. Sounds like high ground will be Mount Washington.
Probably the best thing you can do in that case is go outside and watch.
Then there was all the traveling I did around the Yellowstone area. Sheesh! Did you know that there is a Caldera? This means that all those great hot springs and Old Faithfull are just warning signs to let us know that there is a gigantic blob of volcanic magma under ground there that likes to become a mega volcano. It became one, 2.1 million years ago, 1.3 million years ago, and the last one was 640,000 years ago. This magma blob is about 40 miles long and 30 miles wide and is said to be behind schedule on its next eruption.
So I really didn’t feel like spending a whole lot of time in the Yellowstone area, or anyplace within a thousand miles of it for that matter. I’d rather explore a cave full of oil soaked ammonium nitrate with a railroad flare than spend a weekend in Yellowstone. Thank you very much.
Then there are the Tetons.
They are also part of the Caldera. Yes, I know this is a lousy photo. I really didn’t want to hang around and take a beautiful one. I was more interested in putting miles between myself and Yellowstone.
And do you know what Tetons refers to? Boobs. Yup, breasts, mammaries. Some French explorers named them that. Come on now, is that what French breasts look like? They should stick to fries and wine.
Every once in a while you would see a sign like this that would warn you that if the lights were flashing the road was closed.
They even have a gate that comes down like you would see at a railroad crossing. This is used when the snows or weather gets so tough that there is no point in traveling on the highways. Unless you like getting stranded in the middle of nowhere and freezing to death.
Okay, this one isn’t a sign. But it is the biggest dam straw that I have ever come across. You could stick a .45 caliber bullet in this straw and it would probably drop to the bottom of the glass.
Over the years the diameter of straws has grown, but this was astounding. When I was a kid they were made of paper and were maybe the diameter of the end of your shoe lace. You know, like the diameter of a natural piece of straw that grows in the ground (guess how it got its name). They didn’t even come in paper wrappers either. They just sat there in a container at the counter of the soda fountain and someone would reach in with their grubby hands and stick one in your drink. One mind you. If you wanted to share you would get two straws. Over time they changed to plastic and then they started to wrap them in paper for sanitary reasons. They also got larger in diameter so you could just about inhale your Biggie drink.
This one was huge.