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Whats the background of your interest in all this? How’d you develop it?

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Max Rockatansky:
I don't mind being the passenger per se on something like a freeway.  I notice though that I tend to have a habit of critiquing the driving of others (namely they are too slow) get bored easily.  If its a mountain road or a two lane I can't recall the last time I haven't been the driver.


--- Quote from: TheDon102 on September 28, 2021, 04:45:37 PM ---I've always loved looking at maps so that where my interested stems from, but also taking various road trips with my family throughout my childhood helped influence my passion for roads.

Also driving is awesome.

--- End quote ---
I totally agree that driving is awesome! The majority of jobs involved driving. I started driving taxis from 6pm to 6am in the early 70s. I also drove a 10 wheel produce truck whenever something was harvested. I made trips to nearby PA, NJ, MD & VA from Dover, DE. I'd help load the truck b4 dawn drive to delivery, go back empty & do it again. I'd make as many runs as I could then do it again the next day. I also drove(?) a huge bean picker for Green Giant a few summers. Then I had a 20 yr career as an otr truck driver. Drove 100,000 miles a yr so thats about 2 million miles for my entire career. Without an injury accident, jus a couple of fender benders. Even after retiring in 2009 I still go off on aimless drives & make regular roadtrips to south IL to see my sister & friends.
My interest in roads is not so much how they are designed but the routing they follow as well as  mileage. I enjoy seeing how individual states word their welcome signs as well as the design of their traffic control signs. I was surprised to see WA, UT, CA, CO & others(?) use an image for their state routes that isnt a square, circle or other drab image. When eating a meal in my truck I would look at my atlas & most everytime I'd find something I had'nt noticed b4.

From riding the streets to a Cubs game at Wrigley to long road trips on Route 66, I developed my love for roadgeeking at a very young age. I had barely made it to high school when they decommissioned that beloved Chicago-to-L.A. route, but I give it all my credit. This was also passed down to my brother Jeff, who is six years younger than me and lives in Denver.

We moved to Greensboro in 1975 after living in ND (I was 4).  Many of my dad's family was in Knoxville, TN, and we used to visit them once a quarter.  At first, I didn't take note of the signs, but eventually I started noticing highway signs, and NC DOT was starting to number their exits at that time, specifically in the Asheville area.  I could memorize the highway/road at each of the numbered exits.

We travelled quite a bit when I was growing up, even not counting the Knoxville trips, and I became fascinated with the road signs.  It truly was a matter of "getting there is half the fun."

I can't count the many highway sign drawings I used to make as a kid.  I got teased a lot for it, too, but hey, you have your "art" interests I have mine.

Also of note was the grain pattern that school desks used to have.  They almost always had a "highway" feel to them so I would trace them with my finger and imagine naming the "roads".

For a long time, I wouldn't take pictures because I couldn't imagine justifying a roll of 110 film on just road signs.  Plus, I sometimes went on long day trips alone.  The trips in South Georgia we took (I went to Clemson, played in the marching band) and we made many a trip down I-75 south of Macon en route to Tallahassee) could have filled a whole roll alone.

When I got my first DSLR camera,  at the recommendation of one of my fellow roadgeeks, I invested in a 75-300mm lens with a polarizing filter.  My wife loves to tease me about my road sign photographs, but even now with the more uniform standard for highway signs, there is a certain character to each state's designs. 

Even when I was a kid, my parents usually deferred to my discretion on highway choices in unfamiliar areas.  My dad told me about the time we were on the Outer Banks and were returning home.  We got to Mann's Harbor, where normally you would turn right on to US 64 westbound, but instead they headed straight on to US 264 westbound.  I told them they were going in the wrong direction and, of course, I turned out to be right (US 264 is a pretty drive to Raleigh, but it is super long; I've done it twice myself).

When we went on away trips with Tiger Band, the director usually asked me in cases where we were in the Triangle or Triad area for a game.


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