Thursday, April 23, 2009

Data Detective

I was back enumerating in the same rural area of Jefferson County today. My weeks of working in west St. Louis County, which is overwhelmingly suburban, didn't do a good job of preparing me for what I've done since I was transferred.

Random notes from my exploits today:
  • People that live in the country don't seem to feel the need to post an address on their house. The number is always posted on the mailbox, but that may be on the opposite side of the road and hard to verify when you're driving. If someone is home, the job is easy because they TELL you the address, but if no one is home it becomes more difficult. More than once I pulled my car into a driveway and darted across the road to check to see where I was
  • Occasionally even street signs are optional. I guess if you live in the area you KNOW where you need to turn.
  • Sometimes the only indication of a house is a gravel drive leading off the road. It's not a good idea to try to make a sudden stop to pull into a narrow lane!
  • "No Trespassing" signs don't necessarily mean I shouldn't go down a driveway. Every person I talked to at the end of those driveways was very friendly.
  • "Beware of Dog" signs mean I should look carefully before I get out of the car, but the majority of the time all I had to beware of was the dog's wagging tail.
  • A gas station with a soda fountain and a real bathroom at the end of the day is much appreciated. Bonus points if they also sell fruit.


  1. I once lived in the middle of nowhere - you are so right about street signs being optional!

  2. I remember going to my Uncle's farm in the Foristell area. Some of the turns we had to take involved "turn right at the old church sign!"

    A couple once had the road name painted on a fence, which when replaced, the road sign never was.

    Those are actually great memories! :)

  3. My mum lives in the country and they have their address absolutely nowhere - not on the house or on the mailbox. Searching online for their address leads you to many different results. Apparently they get their mail delivered because the postal delivery guy knows who lives in which houses. When they first moved there, they had a real problem getting mail.

  4. I imagine it can get kind of tricky.