Have you tried driving down Highway 50 on Orchard Mesa since yesterday (Tuesday, March 22)? If you have, no doubt you experienced a 'Close Encounter of the Weird Kind.' The highway has been re-lined, and the results ultimately confuse more than they help. Take a little ride and see for yourself.

Obviously, the relining of the highway is all part of a much bigger project. In the meantime, though, the drive through Orchard Mesa is more than a little confusing.

Following a telephone conversation with the Colorado Department of Transportation, it was learned crews are removing the median on Highway 50 from Unaweep all the way to the Orchard Mesa City Market. Construction will last through July.

As it stands now, what used to be the right shoulder of the road now serves as the right lane. If you're in the left lane... good luck. The previous broken white line is still there, so you can either straddle it or create your own lane.

Question: Can you still make a left-hand turn via the left-hand turn lanes, even though they are now blocked by a solid yellow line? If memory serves, the solid yellow line indicates a boundary you're not allowed to cross.

Okay, so it's not that big of a deal. Then again, if you want to turn left to go to Dairy Queen, then you want to turn left to go to Dairy Queen. Where does this solid yellow line come off telling you it's not allowed?

This is not a complaint. Just the opposite. The highway on Orchard Mesa is long overdue for some TLC. The current road markings are simply a little awkward, especially for those who travel the road all the time, and whose cars can pretty much drive themselves.

Orchard Mesa residents who make the drive into town each day can pretty much put the wheel between their knees and snooze as they make their way to town. The bizarre lines throw a monkey wrench in that plan.