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Located on CA-Hwy 62
Contributed by Gerald Thurman of Tempe, Arizona
and Steve & Wendy Page of Western Australia
Iron Mountain Sign Pole
Gerald Thurman

When we first posted this story near the end of 2007, we didn't know who nailed the first hand-painted mileage sign to this telephone pole, but now, in May, 2009, we've got the whole story -- and photos, too -- from Steve and Wendy Page in Western Australia:

Hello Road Trip America,

Just the other night, while sitting our home here in Western Australia, my wife and I asked ourselves... "What would the sign post look like now at Highway 62 and the Iron Mountain Pumping Station turn off?" as we use to travel this highway extensively. So we decide to use Google Earth and Google images, and sure enough, there it is on your web site! It's definitely more colorful than it was when my wife and I "nailed" the first sign to the post about 15 - 16 years ago.

Here is our story.

We can't remember exactly why we brainstormed this idea back about 1993 - 1994, but it probably had something to do with the numerous boring commutes over the years from our house in Hesperia, California to my parent's trailer located at Windmill Trailer Park on the Colorado River.

I cut out the "Perth, Australia" sign, and and my Aussie born-and-bred wife painted it. On our very next weekend away from the city, we stopped at the Highway 62 - Iron Mountain turn off and nailed it as high up the telephone pole as I could hold it while standing on the side of my pickup truck. Actually, the sign was screwed to the telephone pole with 4-inch drywall screws and my cordless drill. Thank you to whoever invented the cordless drill!

Iron Mountain Sign Pole
Steve Page attaches the first sign to the Iron Mountain telephone pole

About six months after the installation of the first sign, my parents retired and relocated from Los Angeles to the Bend, Oregon area. So my wife and I decided to install a sign for them. This time a not so thick and bulky sign was cut from thin plywood and again painted by my wife.

Iron Mountain Sign Pole
Bend, Oregon joins Perth, Australia, and a tradition is born

On the next trip to the river, my brother and I screwed the Bend, Oregon sign to the pole.

From the picture posted on your web site, it appears that the pole has taken a bit of abuse over the years. It is not as light color as it was for decades, but appears that at some point it was set on fire. Possibly this is why the original signs do not exist anymore. Or possibly the were simple taken down to make room for newer signs?

So that's how the first two signs were installed at the Highway 62 and Iron Mountain Pumping Station turn off.

In January 1995, my wife and I decided to give up the big city lifestyle and relocate to outback Australia. But when we return to California again for a holiday we are surely going to knock up an Australia sign and drive to the Iron Mountain Pumping Station turn off in the Mojave Desert and nail up a new Australia sign!

Regards From Western Australia.
Steve & Wendy Page

Some of the signs currently attached to the Iron Mountain Sign Pole provide mileage to private homes, e.g. "Timmy's Condo: 150 miles." Others offer distances to towns and cities as far flung as Gallup, New Mexico and Cairo, Egypt.

Now, thanks to Gerald Thurman (pictured below), passersby will know the precise distance from the mileage pole to Tempe, Arizona.

Gerald Thurman
Gerald Thurman
214 Miles to Tempe, Arizona
Gerald Thurman

Just east of the Colorado River Aqueduct at the corner of Iron Mountain Pump Plant Road and CA-Hwy 62 (which is also known as Desert Center Rice Road). It is 17.1 miles west of the ghost town at Rice.


Photographed by Gerald Thurman, 11/04/07
Additional photos taken in 1993/94 submitted by Steve and Wendy Page
Posted on RoadTrip America 11/07
Updated 5/09

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