Dargaville road sign mystifies

By Annette Lambly

Finding a specially designed New Zealand AA road sign among the 76,000 plus signs in Yukon, Canada's Sign Post Forest has intrigued a Dargaville couple who are keen to know who may have placed the sign.

During a recent trip to Canada Janice and Michael Brenstrum visited the popular Watson Lake attraction which is sited on the original 2700 kilometre Alaskan Highway.

Fears the United States was under threat of invasion by the Japanese during World War II saw the United States Government foot the bill and American soldiers build the highway which links the United States with Canada and Alaska.

The very first sign was placed by a homesick soldier, Carl Lindley from Danville, Illinois in 1942. While working on the Alaska Highway, he erected a sign pointing the way and stating the mileage to his hometown. Others followed his lead and are still doing so to this day.

As of August 2010 there was more than 76,000 signs of various types depicting locations across the world and numbers are climbing each year.

"We couldn't believe it when we spotted our own hometown among the tens of thousands of other sign posts - it was really exciting and we would be interested to know who organised this very nice bold Dargaville sign with the lovely Kiwi - and why and when," said Mrs Brenstrum.

She said Watson Lake was a community of around 800 residents, but the sign post forest which covers about two hectares of land, and a world class Northern Lights full dome video centre made it well worth a visit.

"It's latitude makes it a popular location for viewing the amazing Aurora Borealis however, our most memorable viewing was from Inuvik, a small isolated village at the end of the 747km gravel surfaced Dempster Highway.

"Here the native Inuvialuit Indians from Tuktoyaktuk still hunt whales with harpoons," she said.

Tuktoyaktuk is on the Arctic Ocean and located three degrees above the Arctic Circle in North West Territories.

The Brenstrums travelled in early September and said the area was extremely pretty, but they were made well aware of the risk of early snow.

If anyone has information on Dargaville's 'Yukon' sign please contact the Brenstrums at brenstrum@gmail.com

- Northern Advocate

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