PHOENIX — More than 50 years ago, the Valley of the Sun was a whole lot of desert sprinkled with a few towns, mostly of them small.
Phoenix had the only airport and it was also small and, because it was in the middle of some pretty barren landscape, it was sometimes hard to spot from the air. But then, some Phoenix Boy Scouts came to the rescue.
In the 1950s, the Scouts cleared away brush and arranged rocks to spell “PHOENIX” on the southern slopes of one of the peaks in the Usery Mountains in north Mesa. They painted the rocks white, and it was fronted by a large white arrow pointing to the airport, located almost almost thirty miles away. Now, due to better guidance systems and high-tech instruments, the sign no longer serves its original purpose.
But it’s still there, and still quite visible from both land and air along US 60 and the 202 Expressway.