15 Megs of Fame

Diaryland is da bomb I just *have* to tell you how much this all sucks. Who're these other people he's writing about? Who's the freak writing this, anyway? What's gone before. What's going on right now? Where do *you* visit on the web? What're you building right now?

New! Search this site:

Subscribe to the notify list for announcements of updates and changes

Buy Blue

Make me a friend on Twitter.

Another smart-assed remark from Mike
The mystery of I-10's mile marker 666... solved!
16:00:00 on 2005-04-21

On I-10 near Flatonia, Texas, there's an interesting distinction: it's near the point where mile marker 666 should be. The trick? It isn't.

The number 666, being what it is, you notice it and numbers around it. It's just ingrained in your conscious if you're a twisted guy like me and recognize that sort of thing around you. However, when I note the mile marker 665 or 667, I am always waiting for the marker at 666.

Many times Marilynn and I have driven down the interstate and I've noticed that yes, it's missing; I've never seen it, and I look every time, much to her chagrin. Flatonia being the God-fearing, rural area of Czech and German heritage area that it is, I'm not surprised that you never see the sign out there. I've often speculated that someone is driving down the road and sees the sign, pulls over and rips the sign down. Some rancher probably has a collection of them in his barn.

Others I've talked to about that have speculated that kids have them on the walls of their bedroom or dorm room, and I've wondered if the state just doesn't even bother to put them out. I mean, you have to wonder if religious zealots protested and made them take it up. This is Texas, after all.

Yesterday I decided to find out once and for all.

I visited the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) website and checked the frequently asked questions to no avail. However, I did find that they have a contact us page. I filled in the contact information and then typed this missive:

I often travel Interstate 10 between Houston and San Antonio, and I've noticed an interesting anomaly. Each direction the mile marker for mile 666 is missing! You go from mile 665 to mile 667, without a marker inbetween.

Does the state not place mile 666 markers, or are they stolen? Is the mile simply skipped, so all the mileage calculations across I-10 are a mile off?

Simple enough. I thought I might get a response in a week or two, but the very next morning I got this:

Thanks you for your request. The mile marker in question should be in place. Being the marker is 666 it was most likely stolen. Our maintenance supervisor for Fayette county has been contacted and will be replacing the marker. If I can be of further help please let me know.

Wow! A response, and a timely one, at that! I thought that was interesting enough, until later in the day I got another response:

I just found out more information on the mile marker 666 on Interstate 10. Mile marker 666 is not placed at this location because it was being stolen within a week of being put up, so we decided to save the money the sign costs and put up a plain object marker. The plain object marker was put in about 4 years ago.

Interesting. I guess the general supposition of somebody taking them for reasons of decoration or conscience is the case; so much for the conspiracy theory that the state didn't put it out to pacify Christians. Of course, I'm curious what an object marker is now, so I write back.

Thank you for your helpful responses! This has been a point of curiosity for my fiancee and myself during our frequent road trips. Searching the internet hasn't come up with answers, but that sheds light on the situation.

What does the "object marker" look like? I am very curious to actually go take a picture and put up a page on the internet about this. Everyone I discussed this at work with seems to think it's something you hardly ever wonder about but is interesting in and of itself.

I guess by this point, the lady from TxDOT was somewhat tired of the banter about this, because this was the response I got:

An object marker is 3"x12" with yellow reflective material mounted on a delineator post. It is smaller than the mile markers and resembles a delineator.

The obvious question is, "what's a delineator look like?" but I won't ask. I think I know the sort of thing she's talking about, and I'll keep an eye out the next time we pass through.

So, the mystery of the missing mile marker is solved, and it's hardly mysterious. It sort of broke my heart that it wasn't more interesting than that, but there are surely many more things on the road that are filled with mystery.


Ancient history:
2013-03-01"You'll be stone dead in a moment!"
2007-08-07I covet fuck you money
2007-07-16My own long, dark tea-time of the soul
2007-07-11My internet experience is lacking

<< Before nowAfter now >>