Mysterious smiley faces perplex officials



When thinking of graffiti, the image of a smiling face appearing periodically on long stretches of highway usually isn't the first thing to enter one's mind.

But that's exactly what the smiley faces appearing on U.S. Highway 101 and state Highway 112 are, said Terry Barnett with the Department of Transportation.

The smiley faces began showing up in the spring on Highway 101 and have been sighted as far south as Queets and as far east as the Clallam County line. They also are painted on parts of Highway 112, Barnett said.

"We don't know who is doing that (painting the faces)," he said.

Barnett said at least the graffiti isn't offensive.

"In other parts of the state, they're dealing with the same kind of stuff only in an offensive way so I guess we should be glad for that," he said.

Barnett said the Washington State Patrol is aware, as its troopers have to drive over the smiley faces every day.

State Patrol Trooper Krista Hedstrom said dispatchers haven't received calls about the smiley faces and until someone is caught in the act, there isn't anything they can do.

"I guess somebody's just happy out there," she said.

Amanda Winters can be reached at

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