Interstate 40 (I-40) is the 3rd longest major east-west Interstate Highway in the United States, after I-90 and I-80. Its western end is at Interstate 15 in Barstow, California; its eastern end is at a concurrency of U.S. Route 117 and North Carolina Highway 132 in Wilmington, North Carolina. We, essentially, covered every state included on the I-40 in our move from California to North Carolina and we did it with a two month old. After 41 hours of driving, we arrived at our new home in Charlotte, but it wasn’t without its tedious moments. Boredom knows no limits when you are staring at the highway for roughly 12 hours a day. We needed to find something to do; we needed to come up with a game that lasted more than ten minutes or didn’t make us want to kill each other. The U-Haul Supergraphics provided us with hours of entertainment and forced us to remain focused on the road. It was the perfect way to pass the time since the game was never-ending.
Venture Across America SuperGraphics aren’t just eye catching pictures that U-Haul artists dream up and creatively place on vehicles. They are carefully researched rare findings, little-known facts and mysteries that exist throughout the United States and Canada. But they don’t stop at simply placing an extraordinary picture on the sides of their vehicles. They keep the intrigue alive by putting each graphic on the uhaul.com website so that people can find even more information on the graphic that just drove by them on the highway.
Darren and I used the Venture Across America SuperGraphics twofold. First, we played “spot the U-Haul” then we figured out what state or province each SuperGraphic represented and I looked up the facts and findings on each one.
Our U-Haul SuperGraphic represented Montana. The side of the truck said, “Did you know… Sacajawea seemed to vanish after leading the Corps of Discovery through the perils of uncharted wilderness. Why did she mysteriously disappear after the Lewis and Clark Expedition?” I remembered hearing about Sacajawea in the movie “Night at the Museum,” but I didn’t know much about her. I checked out the U-Haul site and learned that she saved the important expedition that documented and mapped America. She helped lead the Lewis and Clark expedition to victory. As an English and History major, you would think that I would know a little more about Sacajawea; I’ll blame my ignorance on studying more recent history like WW1 and WW2.
The Bay of Fundy represents New Brunswick, Darren’s home province, and we were able to spot two truck graphics along the I-40, but in 41 hours we never did see The Phantom Ship of Nova Scotia. U-Haul, I feel my province is under represented.
Secrets of the Singing Sands, with its visual representation of music, ocean, and sand is my favorite graphic. Singing Sands Beach is one of many that make up more than 500 miles of coastline throughout Prince Edward Island; however, it’s the only one where visitors can hear sounds similar to singing emanating from the white sands. I grew up in Nova Scotia and visited Prince Edward Island several times, yet I’d never heard of Singing Sands Beach. I was surprised with the creativity of each graphic and tidbit of information presented on the trucks. What a cool idea.
Darren: 82, Lesley: 69
These were the final scores of our “spot the U-Haul” game. In all fairness, I was texting, writing, and tending to the baby during most of the trip so I think I should have a “tending to tech and baby” handicap. Darren, however, believes that he is the rightful winner because he had to keep his eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times; that reminds me, there was a LOT of singing during the trip as well. If he was ever going to be sick of my voice, it would be now.
As a teacher for 8 years and a student for life, I’m constantly aiming to learn new information and share it with my family. Education is the key element in the Venture Across America series. By approaching unusual and unfamiliar subjects through SuperGraphics, U-Haul invites people to venture beyond the obvious and challenges them to explore new territory, which truly reflects the goals of Bucket List Publications and my personal objectives in life.
*SuperGraphics offers coloring pages along with a chance to enter artwork and potentially win prizes. It’s another great pastime for kids and worth mentioning, but I think I’ll stick to researching the information on the trucks; after all, I could obviously use a refresher on Canadian and American facts.