If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you know how much I love quirky roadside attractions. I’ll drive hundreds of miles out of my way to see the world’s largest anything. So when a friend heard I was heading for the Yukon and told me about the world famous Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake, I had to go.
As the legend goes, the Sign Post Forest was started in the 1940′s by a homesick American GI, who posted a sign pointing to his hometown of Danville, Illinois. Watson Lake is a significant waypoint along the Alaskan Highway, the major link between Canada and the North, and scores of travelers have passed through and added signs pointing back to their own hometowns. At last count, in 2010, the forest boasted more than 70,000 signs, license plates and plaques from all over the world.
Anybody can add a sign; when I was there, several groups of people were wandering around, looking for an open spot. The collection covers several acres, surrounding the Watson Lake Visitor Center. It really is a forest: the posts are arranged as haphazardly as trees and in their midst, it’s possible to feel a little lost, even if you do know it’s 3,908 miles to Boston or 5,459 kilometers to Colima, Mexico or 7,335 kilometers to Knau, Germany.
On to Alaska! My 50th state and Bowie’s 49th!