We have highway road arrows leading to our business, Sandy Point Resort. They are at least 15 years old. Sporting black and white paint wrinkles and withered lettering, they’ve aged more than I—at least physically. Today, I decided, they needed a few shots of Botox.
We have two sets of road arrows steering State Hwy. 70 traffic to our resort and disc golf course—those facing east and those facing west. Over the years they’ve attracted a phenomenal amount of business. Almost daily during our high season we have wayward travelers coming into the pro shop asking everything from “where’s the DISCOUNT golf course” to “what’s DISCO golf?” Also, on a weekly basis, we find enthusiastic disc golfers at our door, who “never knew” there was a course here and couldn’t believe it when they saw our arrows.
Pretty important signage, don’t you think?
Mike and I made the six-foot arrows ourselves. He sawed the wood and I painted the white background, cut out and traced the letters from type I printed from the computer, and hand-painted with black enamel paint and a very steady hand. Mike would have hung them if the Wisconsin Department of Transportation had allowed it, but mere mortal men aren’t allowed to hang highway signs.
The government required we drive the arrows about 30 miles away to the nearest county hub, drop them off, and have professionals put them in place. It took weeks. But back then, when we lived here year round, we could afford the time. Perhaps it’s not surprising that we didn’t enlist government help for the cosmetic surgery required today.
I woke up this morning knowing today was the day. The sun was shining, all our cabins were clean and ready for the guests, and it was a designated maintenance day. I drove to the arrow site, less than a mile from our house, parked, and painted the west-facing arrows on site. Using a ladder to reach them and sporting what my teenager called “MOM JEANS” and a blaze orange cap, I wasn’t cute. Cars didn’t honk and wave; however, two cars did stop to ask directions while I worked on the arrows exposed to the west.
It was awkward and the conditions were far from perfect. I admit I did a half-assed job. I assured myself, however, that the Sandy Point motto (WHERE GOOD ENOUGH IS) applied.
BTW: The counterpart set of arrows some 400 ft. away on the opposite site of the highway and exposed to the east, were in FAR greater need of repair. There was no way I could give them a proper facelift on site. Without question, they had to be removed and bought back to my workshop for more serious microderm abrasion and Botox injections.
Baby, the morning sun when it’s in your face really shows your age.
Last summer, when we first noticed the arrows had grown tired, we couldn’t dedicate the hours needed to refurbish them. We didn’t want to take them down and miss the business that directed drivers off the Hwy. and into our den of income. For about a minute, I considered driving my golf cart to the highway and making a paint-in-hand house call. Mike even thought it would be good for business if I donned my special red bikini.
Don’t laugh. I gave it some thought.
As is usually the case, the season passed by so quickly, and the road arrows were left on the 2008’s backburner. But upon my 2009 return and like being fed up with too many gray hairs on an otherwise attractive middle-aged head, I simply had to go into makeover mode. I put on the blaze orange cap and the Mom Jeans, and broke out a little Road-Arrow-Loreal.
The business was worth it.
Ultimately, like a good dye job or a few Botox injections, we—the proud owners of the prettiest resort in the Northwoods—are probably the only ones who will notice the improvements.