Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Roadside Warning Signs:
1. Deer, frogs, elk, tractors, geese, pigs, cows and equestrians crossing.
2. Rock Slide Area.
3. Bridge Ices. (Temp was 100 F)
4. Gusty Wind Area.
5. Watch for Bicycles.
6. No Cruising Zone. (Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles)
7. Do Not Pick Up Hitchickers. (Near prisons)
8. Tight Curves - Reduce Speed.
9. Helmets Required. ( Many states do not have helmet laws for motorcyclists)
10. Wild Elk Do Not Approach on Foot.
Often you read warning signs along the road about animals crossing but never catch a glimpse of them. While driving north in California from Eureka we spotted a lone Roosevelt Elk stag and were amazed at how casually he jumped over a fence into a pasture where horses were grazing. A quarter mile down the road we had to stop for a herd of elk crossing the road. What an amazing site!
Historically the range of Wapiti or Elk in the USA was from the Appalachians to the Rockies. By the 1860s white hunters had eliminated them from the eastern half of the country. The elk was a "victim of its own popularity" - meat, hides and canine teeth were in demand. By 1912 only 125 remained in California. This decreased to an alarming 15 by 1925. President Teddy Roosevelt started a campaign to protect them and the population has rebounded to more than 1,000 animals.