March 11, 2009

What Gets Noticed in a New Town

When I'm in someplace new, I notice the odd things, the usual things, the things I don't think a thing about when I'm home.

Like old signs on motels, one saying Ponderosa Motel with decrepit old wagon wheels, a covered wagon outlined in neon and a fake life-sized horse out front.

But what I noticed lately is street names. Around here it's all mountain-themed: Elk Run, Tall Pines Way, Deer Crossing, Vista Way, Fox Run, Running Tree Loop. You get the picture. It's evident that Flagstaff is a city at 7,000-plus feet, with higher mountains around it. Lowell Observatory is within a stone's throw from downtown, and today we saw Olympic race-walkers in training, their peculiar gait something to gawk at as they waggled down the street.

In Phoenix, the person who wrote the street names was into Western Lore: Fetlock Trail, Desperado, Tombstone and Covered Wagon Trail. (I'm not making these up. Can you imagine dictating Covered Wagon Trail over the phone to LL Bean when you're placing an order? Painful.)

So at least we know where frustrated creative writers work in government: the street-naming division.


  1. Ha! Great slice of humor!

    -Carrie F.

  2. Your slice is making me yearn for Flagstaff. I lived there for 6 months and loved it!

  3. Street name really make me laugh. Here in Canada, EVERY town has a Queen Street and/or a King Street, no matter how small the town is. Oh, and EVERY town I have ever been to has a Church Street except for when I lived in Utah and there really was a church on every street. :)

  4. I love it! Great post. When my family was moving to Virginia when I was in the 5th grade, I announced angrily that I absolutely would NOT attend school on "Pouncey Tract Road" - and sure enough, did not. :) Something about that name got to me...

  5. How I love Flagstaff! The scenery is so gorgeous. Good observations.