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The Story of the Two Signs: Ocean City and Sacramento

Have you ever wondered why there is a sign in Ocean City that lists the distance to Sacramento? Did you know there is one in Sacramento that lists the distance to Ocean City? Then sit back and enjoy the the story of the two signs! I thought it was fascinating-there’s even a link to a podcast from NPR’s Washington, DC affiliate.

The Ocean City Sign
Adolfo Mercado stands in front of the sign on Route 50 in Ocean City that shows its distance to Sacramento, CA. There is a similar sign in West Sacramento.


Route 50 connects the US
Route 50 runs across the US from Ocean City, MD to Sacramento, CA.

At the suggestion of a friend who is local to the area, I contacted Adolfo Mercado to get the scoop on the story of the two signs. Adolfo is an aspiring Franciscan friar who lives in California. My friend told me, though, that if I were to contact Adolfo, I’d have to do the interview in Spanish. I’m fluent, but I wasn’t sure how an aspiring Franciscan friar who lived in Maryland and California during his lifetime, didn’t speak English. However, I didn’t question it and went about contacting Adolfo.

After composing a short message in proper Spanish (did you know that when you say “Como esta usted?” it actually means “How art thou?”), Adolfo replied and was enthusiastic to speak about his time in Maryland and what he learned, especially about Ocean City.  We began the discussion, and funnily enough, I eventually figured out that he speaks English-fluently-and that he and my local fiend were just trying to get me to practice my Spanish. We were off to an interesting start.

Sacramento to Ocean City distance

This sign in West Sacramento shows its distance to Ocean City. Photo credit: Google

But back to the story of the two signs. The signs were one of Adolfo’s primary reasons for visiting Ocean City. Did you know that Route 50 begins in West Sacramento (5 miles from Sacramento) and ends at MD 528 in Ocean City? The map above has the details of how it spans across the entire US!

Photo Credit: Oceancity.com

Originally from Sacramento, Adolfo’s time in Maryland made him want to see more of it; his journey eventually took him to Ocean City. He says his time there was too brief and he would be excited to go back and indicated that Ocean City has various appeals and ultimately has something for everyone. That’s the charm of Ocean City.

Adolfo loved what he encountered and was intrigued by the story of the two signs. It’s the type of story that makes Ocean City.

OC sign in Sacramento
A tourist (not Adolfo) stands near the beginning of Route 50 in West Sacramento. Photo credit: Google

Though he has lived in California and spent a lot of time in Mexico City and Guadalajara, he would not trade his time in Maryland for anything, and is eager to return, particularly to Ocean City. Who wouldn’t be? Is your interest piqued by the story of the two signs?

Hopefully, residents of Ocean City have a chance to visit his native Sacramento and bring back photo mementos, including the selfies with the sign.  What are you waiting for? You could get a picture just like him!

The Ocean City Sign

His May 25, 2019 visit to the sign, which bridges geographical differences between the East and West coasts, is the perfect jumping off point for his hopeful return to Ocean City someday in the near future. We hope you enjoyed the story of the two signs!

Jack Bradley
Jack Bradley
Jack Bradley is a contributor to Oceancity.com and ShoreCraftBeer.com and works as an Academic Counselor at Delaware Technical Community College. He assists students with academic advisement, teaches first year seminars, manages the food pantry, and serves as advisor for the Alpha Zeta Kappa Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the Community College Honor Society. An English major at the College of the Holy Cross, Jack has always loved to write and is grateful for the opportunity to be a contributor to this site. He received an an M.B.A. from Clark University and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Delaware. When he is not working or writing, he can be found out and about in Ocean City and surrounding towns, enjoying the amazing attractions they have to offer.

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  1. There is no story of the two signs here. In fact, there is no story. Just says a guy visited Maryland because of the signs. Truly uninformative.


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