Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Life Elevated

Welcome to Utah, on Arizona / Utah border, US-89N

“Welcome to Utah”, on Arizona / Utah border, US-89N

If you’ve ever visited any national parks you’ve no doubt seen people crowded around the signs near the entrances – taking pictures.  I guess it’s so they can show people that they were, in fact, at the Grand Canyon or Death Valley or wherever.  It’s not unusual to see people standing in line, waiting for their opportunity.

Utah is not a national park, of course.  It’s a state.  But people stop at these signs as well.  We got lucky here (Barbara, my wife, wanted a picture of this sign so we stopped).  She had it all to herself.  Almost immediately, though, a whole bunch of other vehicles arrived to take pictures.  Not to mention a bus.

To me this is an interesting phenomenon.  Interesting because I’ve never seen anyone do it on the New York state border (a State Trooper would probably arrest you for loitering if you did).  I’ve also never seen anyone do it at most other state borders.  So why Utah?

I guess it’s a good question.  Maybe it’s because folks want to remember that they’ve been to Utah.  Or maybe it’s right there on the sign: Life Elevated.  I’m not exactly sure what that means, but it’s catchy.  I suppose it could mean that if you’ve seen all that there is to see in Utah, or at least some of it, your life has been “elevated”.

Personally, I like that interpretation; it makes sense to me.


6 Responses to “Life Elevated”

  1. Cedric Canard

    Well, I also like your interpretation 🙂

    The first time I visited the States I photographed every such signs, state crossings, national parks etc. Back then I was shooting film and having those photos interspersed among the hundreds of photos really helped jog the memory when we got them all developed nine months later. With 33 states visited and countless parks and forests I can’t tell you how grateful I was that I’d done that. These days however, with GPS and the ability to sort and organise digital photos so quickly I probably wouldn’t to it anymore.

    Gotta say, I do miss those open deserts

    • Paul Maxim

      Boy, I certainly can’t argue with that. Visiting so many spots – and having to use film – you’d either have to take really good notes or do what you did. Kind of like creating visual markers. Most of us still do it, but now it’s a digital GPS location. Although there are still instances where I’ll look at an image and say, “Huh”? I won’t remember where I took it. Must be old age…….

      By the way, I’ve made reservations at Death Valley for early March. I can easily cancel, of course, but I figured it would be safer to have them. As you correctly say, “I do miss those open deserts”.

  2. John

    I’ve seen people doing this at the Colorado border, and, believe it or not, the Nebraska state line as well! I guess it’s just documenting a trip and it’s milestones.

    • Paul Maxim

      Yeah, John, I’ve seen it in a few other places, too. The one that comes to mind is the Nevada / Arizona state line as you cross over the Colorado River near Hoover Dam. I can understand that one, but Nebraska?? That’s almost as unusual (to me) as taking a picture of the signs at the NY border.


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