U.S. Route 50 includes a stretch in Nevada known as the "Loneliest Road in America." Mobilus In Mobili/CC BY-SA 2.0

Highway signs in Sacramento and Ocean City, Md., show their mileage from one another

There are highway signs in both Sacramento and Ocean City, Md., indicating that the cities are 3,073 miles apart.

U.S. Route 50 leaves Sacramento and spans the country’s midriff — passing small town America along stretches of desert, farmland, high plains, and mountains — before reaching the resort town of Ocean City on the Atlantic.

Mileage signs at the west and east coast terminuses of U.S. Route 50.

Wikimedia Commons

Maryland highway authorities posted the distance to California in a moment of whimsy back in the early 1980s. Years later, according to Capital Public Radio, a Caltrans employee named John R. Cropper, Jr., noticed the sign while visiting Ocean City and thought, “Well, that’s a pretty good idea.”

Cropper was senior enough to sign off on a reciprocal sign in Sacramento. People liked it so much that they kept stealing it. Caltrans eventually redesigned the sign to include distances to Placerville and South Lake Tahoe, making it bigger and harder to toss in the back of a truck.

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