Have U-read the Slogans on U-Haul Trucks Lately

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U-Haul moving truck rentals in both the U.S. and Canada have elaborate and informative billboards, featuring regional facts, knowledge and attractions. Here are some that I have noted...

U-HAUL, the moving truck rental company has for some years been using mural images and slogans on the sides of their vehicles depicting Americana and abroad. Once you've seen and really noticed a few, you start looking for others. These are of high interest, informative, colorful depictions of possible destinations. There are so many of them! I visited the web site looking for more information as invited by the text on the mural, but found no additional information. Maybe I was looking in the wrong place. Maybe this is an old program and the web info have been taken down but the painted murals remain. Either way, here are a very small few for your enjoyment with the representative text and additional information on each subject featured.

Often A Treat even from Behind

Many of these adorned rental moving trucks even poke fun at moving itself with a fanciful mural on the roll-up rear door. In the image the door is down, but as you can see it depicts the owner's possessions all stacked neatly but at some risk.

Louisiana_uhaul_van_oblique_view

So, let's begin examining just some of the many moving truck themes that are out there.

Louisiana (USA)

Louisiana U-Haul Moving Van depicts the Ketona Glades, a dolomite-rich habitat with rare and unusual plant life

Did You know...

"The unique terrain of southwest Louisiana unfolds rare land formations found only four places in the world and home to millions of migrating butterflies. What can be found on the 180-mile Creole Nature Trail?"

The Creole Nature Trail in Louisiana offers the tourist astounding landscape, wildlife and beaches. The area is abundant with migratory and songbirds. Millions of game birds fly through the area on their migration routes offering the eclectic duck hunter what they call the 'grand slam' opportunity as many different specie of duck frequent these waters.

Fishermen will enjoy this region too for the diverse game fish opportunities as well. So if your game is recreation, hunting, hiking, crabbing, shelling (clamming) or just exploring, then the Creole Nature Trail has what you are looking for. Guided tours are available. Just watch out for the alligators though! They call this place home.

Alabama (USA)

Alabama USA U-Haul Truck

Did You Know...

"Strange flora, previously unknown to science, were discovered in the hidden Ketona Dolomite Glades, an area often referred to as a 'botanical lost world.'

Why do these mysterious rare plants grow only over this unique Cambrian rock?"

Carbonates of calcium and magnesium preside here and in an unusually high and pure state. Other dolomite deposits tend to be higher in other materials such as silica. Because of the high amount of carbonates, most plants won't grow in these small swamps. Such is the nature of these swamps that even plants which can grow in mildly carbonate-laden soils won't grow here. But others have adapted and flourished and some of these plants are totally unique and are found no place else.

The Ketona glades comprise a relatively small area of real estate less than 12 miles long. The actual glades are also small, some just a quarter acre in size. This is a truly bizarre place, home to several species of plants that evolved to this place and cannot live anywhere else. It is amazing that tracts of land as small as a quarter acre can support such bio-diversity. What other wonders of nature may exist in small and undiscovered tracts of land such as this?

Rhode Island (USA)

Rhode Island theme U-Haul moving van mural

Did You know...

"A mystifying stone structure still challenges America's history books. What unknown explorers built this architectural wonder? What compelling clues hint at the truth? You decide."

Here is an American mystery; The Round Tower of Newport, Rhode Island is an old circular stone tower that may been constructed to be a windmill. Also called the 'Old Stone Mill,' this Touro Park (Rhode Island) structure is believed to have been constructed in the 17th century although another line of consideration is that the tower is a few centuries older than this. It may in fact be evidence of pre-Colombian trans-Atlantic travelers. Vikings perhaps?

An obscure reference by the former Governor of Rhode Island Benedict Arnold (great grandfather of the infamous Revolutionary War General of the same name) in the year 1677 mentions "...my stone build Wind Mill" and lists this location. This seems to be provenance of actual origin. The structure bears a striking resemblance to Chesterton Windmill, another 17th century wind-powered grain mill, in Warwickshire, England. Other references to the Round Tower of Newport mention the 17th century street it is located upon, which also seem support this as historical fact.

Manitoba (Canada) U-Haul Van

Manitoba (Canada) garter snake den where thousands of snake gather

Did You Know...

"What drive 150,000 red-sided garter snake, one of the world's largest concentrations of vertebrate species, to join mating & feeding rituals in striking spectacle?"

About six kilometers north of the city of Narcisse, Manitoba, are the winter homes of thousands upon thousands of red-sided garter snakes, which winter in the subterranean caves in the area. Formed by natural forces, these limestone caverns attract the snakes in the fall where they lay semi-dormant and peacefully in torpor until late April - early May. Then, they emerge by the innumerable thousands where they mate and disperse into the surrounding swamps and fields for the spring and summer months, returning in September to once again go underground in anticipation to escape winter's cold.

Visitors to this spectacle witness these snakes come out and abound, they are everywhere! Just like some horror movie set the ground is covered with a living slithering mass. If you stand still, dozens of these harmless snakes will crawl over your feet in their path. The snakes are harmless and can be picked up by the curious visitor and examined, then released. Such a number of snakes in one location would of course be a natural bounty for predators such as predatory birds and small mammals but there are so many snakes are that it doesn't seem to make a dent in the visible population at all.

South Carolina (USA)

South Carolina (USA) U-haul moving van mural

Did You Know...

"Using revolutionary technology ahead of its time, the H.L. Hunley inspired International submarine designs for decades. What caused her to mysteriously sink in 1864?"

The "C.S.S. Hunley" (Confederate States Ship, later renamed H.L. Hunley for the inventor Horace Lawson Hunley after his untimely death) was a man-powered submarine of the Confederate States of America. It has the notoriety of being the first submarine war vessel to sink an enemy ship even though the Hunley was not submerged, and was itself lost after the successful attack. The new submersible war vessel was revolutionary in design and function and it epitomized the dangers of undersea warfare. The Confederate navy lost 21 men in three separate sinking incidents of the Hunley including the one successful attack on an enemy vessel.

The submarine was powered and manned by an eight men crew seated in a crouched position where they cranked a horizontal camshaft which in turn, powered the propeller. A lone pilot steered the vessel using simple hand rudders and foot controls.

On Feb. 17th, 1864, the C.S.S. attacked the USS Housatonic which was anchored in Charleston (S.C.) harbor. The Hunley intended to attach a torpedo to the enemy vessel at or just below the waterline, a torpedo set to detonate a short time later. The Hunley was supposed to withdraw from the targeted enemy vessel after attaching the torpedo, and move away to safety prior to the explosion. But something went wrong and the Hunley herself did not survive.

Discovered some 136 years later (Aug. 8th, 2000) submerged and preserved under several feet of silt, the H.L. Hunley was recovered along with the remains of her crew. Lives were lost aboard the Hunley in three separate incidents:

  • A first test of the CSS Hunley (Aug. 29th, 1863) resulted in lost lives when a Lt. Payne accidentally stepped upon a lever which controlled the submarine's diving planes, causing the vessel to dive into deep water while the forward and aft hatches were still open. She rapidly took water, drowning all but himself and two other men (5 lives lost.)
  • On Oct. 15th, 1863 during an exercise the ship failed to return to the surface. The Confederate navy brought the ship up. It was the second time lives were lost on this vessel during testing, and this time it also claimed the life of her inventor, Horace Lawson Hunley, whom was on board during this mock attack exercise (8 lives lost.)
  • The third time the Hunley was used, was in battle against the USS Housatonic. The attack was successful, but the Hunley failed to return. It was the last time the Hunley was seen for 136 years. The Confederates never retrieved the sub, perhaps believing that she herself had perished in the torpedo explosion and subsequant munnitions explosions of the Housatonic (the final 8 lives lost.)

It had been suggested that the torpedo may have detonated too soon and the percussion wave damaged the Hunley, causing her to sink. But when the submarine was examined there was not damage concurrent with this theory. It is believed that the men suffocated as they cranked the camshaft to make their withdrawl away from the doomed Housatonic, exhausting their limited supply of oxygen more quickly than anticipated. On April 17th, 2004, the bodily remains of the 8-man crew were identified by DNA analysis and interred with full military honors in Charleston's Magnolia Cemetery.

Newfoundland (Canada)

Newfoundland (Canada) U-Haul moving van mural depicting the Giant Squid

(image source)

Did You Know...

"The first recorded encounter with the world's largest invertebrate took place off the coast of Newfoundland. What secrets of the deep were revealed with the discovery of the giant squid?"

This is absolutely one of my favorite murals!

Spread worldwide, giant squid are usually found around Atlantic continental and deep waters of island slopes. Notably more common off the coast of Canada, esp. off the coast of Newfoundland where the first recorded specimen washed ashore as well as Norway, the British Isles and throughout the Atlantic south to Africa. There are periodic and rather bizarre periods in which 'strandings' occur, a time when the incidence of Giant Squids washing ashore is more common but the exact cause is unknown.

In the Pacific oceans around Japan, New Zealand and Australia, Giant Squid have been recorded here as well, turning up either dead or nearly dead in fishing trawler nets as well as those rare beaching incidents. Giant Squids are rare in tropical waters as well as in the polar latitudes.

These living cryptids can grow to a purported length of about 43-feet long for females, and the males somewhat less at around 33-feet in total length. Only the Colossal Squid is larger, attaining a length of perhaps 46-feet long.

Long held tales of fishermen about Giant or Colossal Squid large enough to attack a fishing or whaling boat have always been about and while it is known that Giant Squid have attacked boats (probably mistaking it for a predator about to attack them) there is little evidence to support claims of the 'monster squid' in excess of the largest reported Colossal Squid. The evidence? The indigestible beaks of Colossal Squid found in the stomachs of Sperm Whales, the only predator of the Giant and Colossal Squid. If a larger Colossal Squid existed it would stand to reason that at least one larger-than-recorded squid beak would have been found.

Although the Sperm Whales apparently enjoy the flavor of these squid and swim to great depths to catch them, it is fortunate both species that their flesh has an unpalatable taste to humans. Most sea fish employ air-sacs for bladders for attaining buoyancy but the giant and Colossal Squids use an ammonium chloride solution for buoyancy. This lighter-than-water solution which flows through their body is what makes their flesh so inedible; it would have a distinctly ammonia taste that won't rinse or soak out. So, no dinner-plate sized calamari for us and long live these true sea demons of the oceans.

Iowa (USA)

Iowa (USA) U-Haul moving van featuring a 25-mile wide impact crater(image source)

Did You Know...

"A crater 24-miles in diameter lies hidden by glacial sediment under crop fields, centered in Pocahontas County. what effects did the impact of an enormous meteor have on Iowa?"

Near Manson, Iowa one of the largest meteorite impacts in North American history occurred, some 74 million years ago. The meteorite was approximately two kilometers wide and was formerly considered to be an extinction-level event. It turns out however, that this meteorite impact predates the extinction of the dinosaurs, which occurred some 65 million ago. The stony meteorite completely buried itself or was later covered by glaciation, it is some 20-90 meters buried beneath the top soil.

It's discovery came in the early 1900s when early water well drilling yield unusual core cutting. It was mistakenly labeled in 1955 as a volcanic structure until the true nature of the space rock which extends into three counties was finally revealed.

U-Haul vans feature meteor impact event on several of these vehicles; I know of at least one other meteorite themed moving van. I wonder if meteorite collecting is permitted here? Certainly, the entrepreneurial citizens would have meteorites for sale in local shops.

Notice that this mural even has a mathematical equation shown. It has to do with the far the ejecta material is thrown and etc. This link to DISCOVER explains the equation on this U-Haul pretty well.

These and many other themed moving van roam the highways of North America. The next time you are out driving around, notice them for each one carries very interesting history, local attractions and intriguing destinations.

(All images by author except where denoted by attribution to source)

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