Originally posted July 24, 2018

*UPDATE* The sign has returned to its WSDOT preferred state.*UPDATE*


McCleary, WA – The directional sign outside McCleary made famous by Nirvana band members Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselić has been returned to its original state.

The sign between McCleary and Elma reflects the mileage to nearby cities. Previously, the sign had shown 6 miles to Elma, 16 miles to Montesano, and 26 miles to Aberdeen.

In October 2018, the Washington State Department of Transportation permanently changed a sign to state 27 miles to Aberdeen.

Krist Novoselić lifting Kurt Cobain. Unknown original date. Unknown original photographer.

In a photo featuring the Nirvana members, Novoselić holds Cobain on his shoulder to reflect “666”.

KXRO learned that someone recently changed the road sign to reflect 26 miles to Aberdeen instead of the 27.

Photo property of KXRO

Based on a water damaged Nirvana sticker next to the custom numbering, the assumption of KXRO is that it was a fan of the band that changed the sign.

Photo property of KXRO

According to RCW 9A.48.090, anyone who;

“(b) Writes, paints, or draws any inscription, figure, or mark of any type on any public or private building or other structure or any real or personal property owned by any other person unless the person has obtained the express permission of the owner or operator of the property, under circumstances not amounting to malicious mischief in the first or second degree.”

would be guilt of Malicious mischief in the third degree, which is a gross misdemeanor.

At the time of the change, Doug Adamson with the Washington State Department of Transportation told KXRO that the new mileage was accurate.

Work is going on this week directly in front of the sign as repaving is being done, leaving no nearby roadside parking for Nirvana fans paying homage to the site.

When the sign was originally changed, crews were working on a project at Wildcat Creek , and the change was for safety reasons.

Doug Adamson with the Washington State Department of Transportation told KXRO in 2018 that the sign was causing issues as people were parking in the eastbound lanes and crossing over to take their own photo.

Despite some fans requesting the sign be changed back, Adamson told KXRO in October that the WSDOT has no plans of adjusting it.


A sign between Elma and Montesano that shows a 10 mile difference remains at this time.

According to online mapping services, the distance from the sign to the entry into each town from the highway is;

Main Entrance from Highway City Center
Elma 6.2 6.6
Montesano 15.9 16.7
Aberdeen 26 26.7

A request for comment from WSDOT or Adamson was not returned on Wednesday.