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Author Topic: NM, CO, WY, SD, ND Road Trip  (Read 605 times)


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NM, CO, WY, SD, ND Road Trip
« on: July 06, 2017, 04:01:52 PM »

Last week my husband and I took a road trip from El Paso to North Dakota helping a friend move. The big take away for me is that Wyoming does a really good job for a sparsely populated Western state. (I wish New Mexico did half as good a job as Wyoming.)

Below are some random photos I snapped when I could. It's by no means exhaustive nor authoritative. Just some anecdotal pics.

We stopped for lunch at Sparky's in Hatch, NM. A pretty solid menu with ubiquitous green chile and this sign from the D/FW Turnpike:

It looks like NMDOT has done some sign upgrades along I-25 between Hatch and Albuquerque. I was fascinated to see this sign had been recently installed it seems a pretty out-of-date design and it's probably something that's been thoughtlessly replicated many times over the years. (Because: New Mexico.)

In true New Mexico fashion, even when things get better there's usually something out-of-whack; in this case, that US 60 shield takes on a unique shape:

It was also unclear as to what signs were replaced and why. For example, you'd see new good advance signage "1 MILE" exit signage, while the old sign was still in place immediately before the ramp.

And since we're in New Mexico, we'll just go ahead and use the same legend for Exits 147 and 150. (At Exit 147 it should say "TO US 60 WEST").

Unlike most US routes in New Mexico, US 60 gets to share the spotlight when it shares the pavement with I-25:

This photo should also go in the "Department of Redundancy Department." In case you can't tell, we're at NM 6 in Los Lunas.

I skipped over Colorado altogether and this is the one sign pic I shot in Wyoming:

This is on the I-25/US 87 Business Loop in Wheatland, Wyoming. Had a great meal (with homemade pie) at the Western Sky's (sic) cafe.
The parking lot featured an oversized map of the Cowboy State:

 As I mentioned, I didn't shoot many pics in Wyoming I was driving most of the time and soaking up the fact that small Western states can do a good job with signage if they try. With the exception of Casper, our entire trip up I-25 was really good especially true in the Cheyenne area. (I even like their jughandle interchanges as a way to accommodate low-traffic interchanges. Perhaps something for TxDOT to consider along I-10 and I-20 in West Texas and I-40 in the Panhandle.

Day 3 took us into the Dakotas after a stop at Devils Tower. By that point I was questioning my life decision about driving this far and didn't have the patience to take pictures. However, South Dakota was clearly the lesser of the Dakotas when it came to signage. My only ding against ND is not having a very cohesive replacement strategy for their state highway shields. It was a little visually jarring to see, for example, the old shield on the JCT assembly and the new shield on the assembly at the intersection.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 04:06:38 PM by mwb1848 »


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Re: NM, CO, WY, SD, ND Road Trip
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2017, 08:01:55 PM »

Fun to see that Turnpike sign; thanks for sharing.
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Re: NM, CO, WY, SD, ND Road Trip
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2017, 06:09:11 PM »

Agreed; thank you for sharing. I thoroughly enjoy driving across Wyoming and find its signage practices to be excellent in most respects. It is very good at signing concurrencies, and with many routes converging and merging with one another all over the state, good signage for concurrencies is a good thing for navigation.

New Mexico has very unique signage all across the state. While I have not traveled across as much of New Mexico as others, the parts I have seen have all kinds of different guide signs and shields. At least the majority of its Interstate route markers contain the state name. US 66 has historic route markers all along its path in New Mexico, at least on the portion I drove west of Albuquerque.


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Re: NM, CO, WY, SD, ND Road Trip
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2017, 02:56:39 PM »

However, South Dakota was clearly the lesser of the Dakotas when it came to signage.
No. The Northern Hills area (which I'm assuming you went through if you went to Devils Tower) has to me always done a pretty good job at navigating drivers places. SD has some nitpicks, but almost every state has some nitpicks... we're still light-years better than ND.

No, I'm not biased or anything, why do you ask?  ;-)
The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see. - G.K. Chesterton


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