Unusual display near Jump Creek sends dual message

This odd roadside display is attracting the public's attention near Jump Creek, the popular hiking area south of Marsing. But the people who put it up say that's the whole point. (KBOI Photo)

On the road to Jump Creek, a popular hiking and recreation area just south of Marsing, it's hard not to notice a rather unusual roadside display.

One sign reads: "I don't care what your GPS says. This is not Jump Creek. This is my home."

Then there's a plastic skeleton in a hangman's noose labeled "the last litterbug."

It's the skeleton some people find in poor taste.

"That's crazy, inhumane," said Yasmine Paredes of Caldwell, as she was driving past on her way to hike at Jump Creek. "I don't even know why they would do that. It's not something to joke around with."

"Having a skeleton there is a little morbid," said Joe O'Dell of Star. "But having said that, it's also private property. That's why we live where we live."

But the couple who put up the display on their own property says it's meant to do two things: stop people from diving onto their private road and up to their house, thinking it's the way to Jump Creek.

And, to stop people from littering.

"I just went out there one day to fix the GPS sign, cause we get a lot of traffic up here," said Shari Aevermann, the homeowner. "And I started picking up the trash again like we do every weekend. It's just nonstop."

Shari says she and her husband thought the skeleton would send to the right message to would be litterbugs, a minority, she believes, of the many people who visit Jump Creek.

But no disrespect was ever intended, she says.

"It's beautiful out here. We want to keep it that way," Shari said. "Have a little humor with things. That's all it was."

And perhaps humor, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Maybe the roadside display is having an impact. We looked around the parking lot and the entrance into the hiking area. And we couldn't find any litter.

Well, for the most part.

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