sakeriver.com

Tom McLeod Slept Here

On the drive back from Sonoma county this past weekend--Juliette and I went to a friend's wedding--I noticed a bunch of roadside signs on I-5. The whole stretch of road between the East Bay and the Grapevine is pretty much a wasteland when it comes to anything that will attract your attention, so the odd signs really stand out. A bunch of them are little micro-political tracts, which gets extra interesting when you see a series of them on two sides of an issue. It's kind of like watching an old married couple engaging in a very passive-aggressive argument. The sign that really sparked my curiosity, though, was just south of the Highway 46 junction, and it proclaimed "Tom McLeod slept here."

I had no idea who this Tom McLeod was, but I figured there must be some story there so I had Juliette jot down a quick note so I could remember to look it up when I got home. As it turns out, this is one area where the Internet is unfortunately inadequate to the task--Googling the phrase just turns up a handful of blogs pondering the same question as me: "Who is Tom McLeod and why should I care that he slept there?"

It seems like anyone going to the trouble of putting up a sign for such an event must be showing a certain sense of pride. I mean, as far as I know, nobody goes around at the motels I've stopped at and put up a sign about my visit. And we're not even talking about the man's birthplace, or the site of his most famous accomplishment. No, this is just a place he slept once. So my first guess was that Mr. McLeod must have been some old celebrity, possibly an early Western film star like Gene Autry or Tom Mix. Of course, it would have had to have been someone a little less famous--a second-string star, if you will--as I've clearly heard of those men but am quite clueless about Mr. McLeod. Which sort of makes the sign pathetic, even a little tragic. Here's a place whose only claim to fame, what they've decided to proudly display to the world, is that some B-lister that we've all long since forgotten once decided that he couldn't make it all the way to San Francisco or Los Angeles that day and tucked in there instead.

Of course, if there were some famous Tom McLeod like that, that's surely a person that some site somewhere would have taken note of. As far as I can tell, that's not the case here. Oh, I turned up a few names, but a Texas museum curator and a New Zealand composer don't seem quite the types to inspire such a monument.

My best guess right now is this guy, the CEO of McLeod Software, which makes and distributes trucking logistics software. I-5 is, as most Californians know, one of the major trucking arteries in the state, so it's possible that the man behind these truckers' dispatching software is a big name in those circles. Maybe he's the Bill Gates of truckers, I don't know. Except, I don't know that Bill would rate a sign if he stayed in some motel out in the middle of nowhere, so either I just don't understand celebrity in the San Joaquin Valley, or this isn't the guy.

I'm left with a mystery. So, if anyone out there knows which Tom McLeod slept there, please do get in touch and let me know.

Comments

Tante Shvester:

Perhaps Tom McLeod is notable for his intractable insomnia. Everywhere he's been, he's tossed and turned all night, not able to get even a wink of sleep. But [i]here[/i], in this hallowed locale, he was finally able to let go of the cares of the day and get some much-needed rest.

And if Tom McLeod slept here, well then, you can be assured that you will be able to get a good night's rest as well.

If I saw a sign outside a restaurant that boasted "Karen Carpenter ate here", I'd figure that they must serve up some especially tempting food.

Corwin:

Maybe he was of the clan M(a)cLeod.

Jo:

http://www4.samford.edu/pubs/seasons/spring2001/mcleod.html

Here's a good explanation.

Jason:

The trucking magnate spells his name with one 'c', while the sign has 2: McLeod vs. McCleod.

Thus, the title of this article is also spelled incorrectly.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=lost+hills,+ca&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=48.555061,79.189453&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Lost+Hills,+Kern,+California&ll=35.611116,-119.649696&spn=0.09811,0.154667&z=13&layer=c&cbll=35.610776,-119.649542&panoid=4jSzuzcGMcGXw6Md4LNmQg&cbp=12,222.17,,2,0.09

Mike Sakasegawa:

Yeah, I ran across that exact image on a message board a couple of weeks ago. It's funny, I wrote this almost a year ago, and it's still my most viewed entry, so I decided to try to do a little more digging. I'm still working on tracking down some more leads, so hopefully something will pan out eventually.

endless mike:

I know that a man named Tom McCleod lived in the town of Wasco about 15 miles west of that sign. Perhaps he visits the hotel to meet his mistress.

Mike Sakasegawa:

Aside from spelling the guy's name wrong, I also made another mistake when I wrote this article. There's no motel anywhere near the sign. If you check out the Google Maps link in the comment left by Jason, above, you can see clearly that the sign is just standing out there all by itself. Very strange.

Joanna:

Well we just drove by and it's now 2012 and tge sign still stands and the mystery continues. We were wondering the same thing and googling brought us to your page.

Mike Sakasegawa:

I have a feeling this is going to be one of those things that haunts me until I die.

Jackie Crosby:

Driving south to SD from my sister's bachelorette. Googling and finding this post has a least provided 10mins of distracting conversation. Thanks, Mike. From, Jackie, Andrea and Stormy

Corrinne Macleod:

My husband and I found this article funny. We just passed the sign heading to a friends house.

Melissa and Dave:

Thanks for posting this article. We just passed by it. TOM MCCLEOD who are you???? Hello Matthew and Tammy.

Brian, Angella & Kellie:

Thanks for the entertaining article!! We, too, saw the sign on the way down south. I googled it and found this. I read it out loud to my car mates. It was the most excitement we have had in hours.....but still leaves us wondering who the heck is this Tom??

Bre:

I too have seen this mysterious sign when I drive home from college. Has anyone stopped to see if there is anything more written on the sign in smaller letters? I am very curious about this Tom McCleod

kc:

I think Tom owned that property there. He pointed it out once on our way to cayucos, 20+ _yrs ago. Back then he was very adventurous, athletic, loving golf, biking, and hiking. I imagine he camped out there on his property or something. Although I also worried that maybe he died so a loved one put the sign up . I hope thats not the case. Whatever the reason is for the sign, it sure catches attention and sparks curiosity. I can hardly stand not knowing the real reason behind it. :) Always and forever, I wish the best for him.

Max, Mike and Gary:

The sign is a foreshadowing of our savior. In the near future, a zombie apocalypse will threaten humanity. Tom McLeod will rise out of the shadows to lead the fight against the zombies. He will reunite the remaining tribes of California survivors in an epic fight for humanity. Tom McLeod, our prophet, our savior.

Go Aggies!

Friend of Tom McLeod:

I actually know Tom Mcleod. He is the museum curator mentioned in this article. He's a very accomplished man, but I do not know if the sign is about him! He has been featured in 3 episodes of the History Channels series "Shootout" . He told me this today, and I found the dvd set on amazon, and the Google search brought me here.

Mark:

Tom McLeod, spelled variously as McCleod or McLode, (pronounced McLode) was a well-known American expatriate hunter and trapper in central California from about 1830 until his unrecorded death or departure sometime after 1855. His activity was restricted mainly to the modern Kern County area.

Historic records during this period are scarce, but it is known that Tom had an enduring relationship with the local Yokut Indians and actually adopted some of their traditions. He was idiosyncratic, and many acquaintances remarked on his wit and intelligence. One report has McLeod being fluent in both Latin and Greek, causing some to note the possibility that he was a seminary educated man, perhaps a dropout of some sort of religious order, or perhaps even a former catholic priest. If he was indeed a priest at one point, he abandoned celibacy when he came to California, because he fathered at least one child, Tom Junior, who became a gun-for-hire throughout the Southwest until his untimely death at the hands of a jealous woman.

In 1850, in response to increased immigration to the area brought on by the gold rush in Northern California, McLeod declared a large tract of land spanning the Kern River as the American Kern Island Republic. It was remarkable in that shortly after this declaration, after a drunken brawl with some of his local Indian friends, he unilaterally overthrew the republic and set himself up as king. There was no difficulty in his accomplishing this as he is the only known member of the republican government. Tom McLeod therefore has several distinctions in California History. His republic predates the establishment of the California Bear Flag Republic. His revolution is the only instance known in which a man founded a republic and then single handedly overthrew his own government.

Although the American Kern Island kingdom didn’t last much longer than its predecessor, it gave McLeod even more local fame. Tom reportedly would carve his name in tables and trees whenever he travelled away from his Kern River home. At some point it became a tradition to put up signs when these original markings were ruined, buildings torn down, trees uprooted, etc. Although the most commonly known sign is along the Interstate 5 freeway, there are actually several similar signs remaining, as well as a popular tavern near the site of Tom’s “palace” on the Kern River. Currently, the local electric utility has a small section of one of their facilities dedicated to the memory of Tom and of his son, Tom Junior.

Travis:

What an interesting read! Returning home from a camping trip, my girlfriend and I passed this (growingly notorious) sign and as usual I jumped directly onto the internet for some kind of answer, leading me here. I loved everyone's hypotheses. This last post certainly SEEMS conclusive, albeit difficult to believe. I guess half the fun of that sign on the side I'd the 5 is not knowing the real answer, so I'll leave it be. As for you, Mike, this sign is sign is kinda your story. You travelled out here once before, why not make the trek back and ask the locals? Find out who put up the sign and ask them!

Meghan:

My mom and I are driving down I-5 right now cracking up. Thank you for the entertainment & providing us with something to read about this Tom McLeod. We'd like to believe a little bit of everyone's story, especially the zombie one. Maybe the sign is meant to bring all of us together. I know if the apocalypse occurs during my lifetime I'll head straight to the sign in anticipation of teaming up with you all. In the meantime we do need to also take note that a Mrs. McLeod has a golf academy sign posted just behind Tom's. Google provided no information on her golf academy. I'm going to try Yelp next! Until the apocalypse...

Carolina:

What would we do without the Internet? I certainly would have spent the rest of my days trying to figure out what one google search returned for my 'Tom McLeod' search. He seems to have been a very interesting man, if that IS the accurate story, and I'm honored to have driven by one of his resting spots.

Scuba Wino:

Hello,

Being that my wife and I moved from Long Beach to Sacramento in 1998 and make "the several times a year drive" back down, I have seen that sign for years and always pondered it.

Today on our voyage I grabbed the phone and my Google Foo lead me here. FINALLY, some possible closure. We are heading back north Monday and I have convinced my wife to let me stop (if the 3 year old is not to challenging at that point in the drive). My curiosity is now at its high point. Like I needed another something to do.

Thanks for the great thread.

SW

Johanna:

Okay we passed right by the sign...the girls were able to catch the sign too...the 7 soon to he 8 says:"Well I bet he wasn't comfortable!"

Aaron:

I drive by that sign everyday on my way home to Bakersfield from the oil fields there in lost hills, I just noticed that sigh at the south bound on ramp at i5 & 46, so I google and then found this, we stop daily at the subway there at the love's truck stop, I will be sure to ask some locals if they know anything about the sigh, I was thinking an old cowboy that was passing thru on horse back headed to tombstone back in the day....so is like to think that haha.

Tori And Her Mommy:

My mother and I just drove by the sign and googled Tom's name. I couldnt find much other than blogs. Whoever Tom maybe he sure has captivated many people attention now. Thanks for the entertainment. I must agree with Meghan this curious little sign will be the perfect meeting place in the event of an apocalypse.

Until another curious little sign brings us all together

Andrea McLeod:

My dad's name is Tom McLeod. That sign is not about him. So, that doesn't help you.

David:

Who is John Galt?

Amanda & Javier:

We just passed the sign! Still there. I hope the story above is true otherwise I'll be searching the web all day tomorrow at work!

JPP:

Thanks for the read on our way back to SD.

Joe Mud:

I've seen that sign many times, and wondered to whom it referred. I still don't know, but I did finally catch it on camera:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joemud/8730357760/in/photostream

Jas:

Today is 4th of July 2013 and Tom Mcleodd is still there..

Micaela:

Well we were driving by from the 46 onto the 5 and we ran across the sign and wondered who Tom McCleod was and we ran across ur post and had the exact same thoughts to google it and we still hav no idea who he is...

Scott:

While the sign vexes me,
this post entertains me.
Who the heck is/was this guy?

Julie and Jessica Gonzales :

We are headed back to Bakersfield from Monterey & Jessica, my 15 year old daughter noticed the sign. Of course we had to investigate!!! Interesting conundrum! Maybe I'll investigate more when I retire!

Chris and Virginia:

It's true! What WOULD we do without the internet?? Our Texas family is on a cross-country trip and, now that we have read this informative (and hilarious) thread, this sign will be one we will continually smile about for years to come! Thank you for giving us some fun trivia to bring back home :-) Tom McLeod, we salute you!

Nelmari:

August 19, 2013. All roads lead to Rome. All 'Tom McLeod' searches lead to this post. ;-)

Salvador Lucatero:

I just passed the sign 8/22/13. I was in Julian Calif. last week and saw a display about how Tom Mcleod, a silent movie western actor, would also ride bulls in rodeo circuits. He had participated in rodeos there and they had an old photo of him riding and his movies photo in full movie cowboy outfit.

Jill:

Jill Harvey visited this blog!

Jenny:

The sign isn't real. It is merely a spell, cast like a mirage upon the side of the highway so that those of us blessed with the power to truly 'see' may find one another and gather together to solve this grand mystery. Who IS Todd McLoed? He is us, and we are him, and we are all together.

Tommy:

Hello, I am Tom McCleod and I slept here. True story.

Karen & Tracy:

Thanks for the read!!! You are google famous like Tom!!

jame:

I know the mystery behind the sign....

Natalie and Jeremy:

I just passed the sign. Was visiting my boyfriends mom up in Santa Cruz back to Los Angeles now. Googled Tom McLeod sign 5 freeway and boom here I am! I read every single comment and this is going to drive me crazy! Has anyone figured it out yet?! Haha. I like the story about the tom from the 1800s. The one about the CEO and him stopping here as truckers would is pretty awesome. Someone has to figure it out please!!! But I love how that sign has brought us all here. It's like we are all connected in a small fun way!

Liz :

Just passed sign and google brought me here. Glad to see others r curious too!

Adam:

There was a secondary sign today, Lori McLeod Realty or something like that.

Danielle Armstrong:

Nov 30 2013, am driving back from Portland to LA and noticed this sign. As the above post says, there was also a secondary sign naming a woman with the last name McLeod.
Mysterious stuff!

Ryley:

January 7, 2014 and the sign is still standing, still a mystery.

Annette mcleod:

I am married to Tom McLeod. The one that truckers come to for their software! I asked my CEO sweetheart if he realized there was a sign saying "Tom McLeod slept here" out in California. He looked at me and smiled. I also am curious! :)

Anna Holler:

I just drove by this sign. I am thinking of posting my own sign in the middle of nowhere!

Shelley:

We just passed the sign and the realty sign is still there. I love reading about the history of the area. Tom McLeod is a very interesting person! It is 3/5/14 and I'm excited to see future posts.

Albert:

I think tom is more famis now then before tom is mad now he was sleeping just fine in his grave now he has been waking i was driving by sign and i thought i saw a gost next to it was it tom i dont know becase we dont know what tom looks like

Mike Borges :

Drove past the sign with the wife and in-laws for a hard week of golfing. See all of you at the rally point when the zombies come. We'll bring the marshmallows.

Jeri 6kids:

We read every thread while heading home from Monterey. This reminds me a bit of an old Stephen King book!

Warren:

Tom McCleod will rise again and conquer all again. Only the worthy will become members of the brigade. I think we've all made the team.

OC Travelers:

Well that was a very entertaining read. You seemed to write everything we were thinking. It was almost as exciting as us reporting a drunk driver just a few minutes before seeing the famous sign. I hope the mystery is solved sometime soon. Thanks for trying.

michelle engelman berns:

brilliant! 2014 and the saga continues and the internet connects us strange and road weary travelers to a story and a mystery and a slice if Anericana. thank you all for your input. this was beautiful.

mc :

I hear Tom McCleod's hair is insured for $10,000

hummingbird:

I heard that Tom McCleod won that property in a poker game. It wasn't " 5 card stud' or "Texas hold'em" but a lesser known version of the game titled " Teddy Bear" which Tom McCleod mastered at a very young age. The truth is often stranger than fiction!

brandi:

In Ohio, watching "Epic American castles" and decided to Google Tom McLeod the owner of one. Turns out he's the trucker software CEO. Found this blog... awesome! The saga continues...

Skyler Oudega:

I've driven by this sign multiple times over the years. I may just dedicate my life to tracking down Tom Mccleod. I'll get to him too late and just as I lay eyes upon his majesty, he will pass on and dissipate into the great unknown. Or something like that, hopefully. Lots of love to you Mccleodians out there.

Skyler Oudega
Long Beach, CA

Tralena Speidel:

Just saw the sign and googled it and was led here like everyone before me. Reading all the comments has been a wonderful thing to entertain me while riding in the semi. I did however find another article breastfed this one which seems to explain it really well.

http://safe.f2bbs.com/bbs/show_topic/126959/2&cd=5&ved=0CCgQFjAE&usg=AFQjCNHZLyo-SvwNPs1tU7bctJrNv8uEZA&sig2=rO-M4JU1Afj-Vy3y2dKsvg

e parnon:

Drove by sign tonight as well as golf academy sign of another McLeod. Googling from my hotel room, found this thread and scrolled all the way down hoping I would vet an answer. Drat! Between water issues, the state of Jefferson, 'hemp is the answer' - Californians sure have a lot on their minds that they want to share with travelers whether we understand or not.

Brady:

Just another passerby thanking you for the read and extending my curiosity as well! Glad the sign and the post here both are withstanding the test of time

Chris:

Tom McLeod was a Sargeant in the Army. He slept there with his unit in the early 1800s. He rescued several troops while they slept and their camp was burned by Indians occupying the land as the US Army moved west. The family posted the sign after they learned of his heroics.

JoAnnaFromSantaAna:

I was driving down the 5 south with my mother and son, and glanced out the window when I read the sign. I started to wonder what it meant. At first I thought, it couldve been somebody who stopped on the side of the road to sleep there, and decided to put up a sign saying so. Haha! Seems like I wasnt the only one who wondered who Tom is?... All the comments have kept me entertained on this long drive back down to Orange County. Thanks!

Duke Manrod:

Can confirm, sign still standing. Will probably survive nuclear apocalypse. I'll command my great great grandchild via last will and testament to go check and report back here.

ims crew:

our work truck just drove by and same story as all above. we saw, we googled, we learned, laughed and of course discussed for a while.

long live Tom's famous sign.

Megan:

My husband says I always notice the weird things on road trips. Guess I saw something cool this time. Sign is still there.

Winston McLeod:

Tom McLeod was my great grand father who visited California in the late 1800s from England. He was a well know sheep farmer and worrier.

There are many similar signs in his home town of Doddington in Hampshire to celebrate his numerous conquests. It's written in his diary (now saved in the local chapels library) that he found the local sheep in Kern County to be so lively that he passed out from exhaustion after one of his nightly encounters. Hence he commemorated the event with a sign similar to the ones in his home town.

I recently travelled thro the colonies in 2015 to retrace his steps and an confirm that sign #127 still stands and that the local sheep are indeed as he described, although hard to keep still without assistance from my manservant.

Tom was indeed an accomplished man that forged new frontiers for man, long before the first women visited California.

He is an icon in the great sheep farming communities of Wales and New Zealand, where there is even a local beer named after him.

Winston.

Not Tom:

Today is April 7 2015
And this sign is still here. Just passed it!

Trang:

I just passed it too! WhhhhhAaat!

Annette mcleod:

Driving home from a wonderful trucking convention,I asked my sweetie again, if he knew anything about the sign. I told him for years now people have been wondering who this Tom McLeod was. I read this entertaining read to him , hoping to get a response, I even studied his expression after I read , "the Bill Gates of Trucking Software"..........NOTHING just a smile..... He keeps me wondering......

pirategirl27:

I finally found out the truth of the sign, but I swore not to tell, from the family of Tom McLeod.... and trust me, you do NOT want to know... ha ha ha ha ha!

Devin, Guy, Mike:

Just passed the sign coming back from LIB.
Good to see others are equally as curious.

Netflix doc coming soon?

Quatrailes:

So funny to be part of this quest... Sign still there today .. Found a lot of interesting info in the comments

James Starke:

I love stuff like this! Makes life more interesting.
At first I thought it said Tom Joad from the Grapes of Wrath!
I love the story about the Republic!
I wonder why the Clampers haven't gotten a hold of this and run with it? Or maybe they have...? ;)

Eric:

Jet fuel can't melt steel beams.

Andrew and Simone:

It is July 1st and the sign still stands. Thank you for the entertainment while traveling this barren and currently very dry part of California.

Vinod:

Crossed it just few mins back. Google search led me to this and what a fantastic string of theories some of it very insightful. Will keep searching for the truth is OUT THERE. :)

Heather:

July 4 2015...still no answer as to whom Tom McLeod is...the mystery remains...with no end in sight...who are you, Tom?

Travis and Nick:

Just passed by the sign, still stands, still a mystery. Some say his true identity is revealed in his Friendster account, of which he no longer accepts friend requests. This will forever be a mystery...

Jen:

I arrived here after spotting the sign and hopping onto Google to solve the mystery. Thankfully there are quirky little signs along the 5 in Central California to prevent us from slipping into a coma out of sheer boredom. I like the legend of Tom McLeod as it has unfolded here. Like most legends, accuracy isn't nearly as important as the imagination it sparks. When I was a kid, we moved into a house and found the words "it's never where you expect it" written in the stairwell. Forty years later, that still comes up occasionally at family gatherings, and we've yet to figure it out.

Wondering too!:

I ended up here because I signed up for a post office box at the Capitola, CA, post office today that formerly belonged to Tom Mcleod, and I was trying to see if I can find out who that is. Well, looks like I'm not the only one wondering!

ashley:

It's November 20,2015 and the sign still there. Who is Tom and why do we know so little lol. Passed by that sign a bunch of times and finally decided to Google it. Well guess we will never know.

Susie:

2016 y'all! Just saw the sign for the first time, can't believe I've never noticed it before! Glad it's led me to this super special secret club. What a fun little mystery!

KMama:

The sign is still standing and still torturing travelers with it's randomness and mystery.

Jasmeow:

March 17, 2016 Update: sign is still flustering tourists and bringing them here, lol.

Danielle Schulken:

Sign is still standing..

Dana:

Who. Is. Tom. McCleod.

Corleone Family :

The sign remains...what a great mystery.

marimo:

Just passed the sign!

marky :

Tom McCleod is achieving frame by simply putting up a sign. Maybe same reason some people write on bathroom walls hmmm
P.s. and someone's collecting our email addresses ;)

Mason Rothschild:

The real Tom McCleod was born to a sponge and a mop in 1849. Because there was a general air of uncouthness toward being born to cleaning products, his caring parents decided to dig a hole outside their workplace where they could hide the little scamp. Trouble is, when any son of a mop named Tom is casually deposited into a dirt hole with access to selenium and arsenic deposits from cattle run off, the lil guys not gonna stay little for long.

After about 36 years, in 1885, lil Tommy had eaten his way through the earths gentle mantle. When his nervous lips received their first taste of molten rock the already large and bunched up Tom Body began to take on size exponentially.

The worlds first Taco Bell had just been rolled to Barstow from the Worlds Fair as a publicity stunt by Nicola Tesla to showcase the power and safety of his newly founded AC power. Three days after the completion of this massive feet and just a mere 16 hours after Teslas departure, the ground beneath the building began to quake. Tom was ready to come up from his earthen incubator.

Sometime around 3:30 AM the first tendril of Toms gnarled skin cracked the bathroom floor of Taco Bell Prime. Due to high amounts of a new chemical compound that Toms body had been naturally synthesizing, know as Zeeneaphleenium, the air inside the Taco Bell was rapidly sucked into the TOMBOD. An eruption with a power never before seen in California ripped through the roof of the worlds first Nacho cheese chalupa factory. A neon blue cross of light shot into the low ionosphere. It could be seen several states away.

When the local Barstonians came to see the origin of this profectic display of unearthly power they were greeted only by the now exponentially shrinking son of a mop and a sponge. As the locals stared in awe at our dear tom performing to them what looked like a hyper fast Benjamin buttoning process an overwhelming feeling of being moderately impressed washed over them. Tom shrank and shrank and, I guess, grew younger as well until he was no more than a mere speck.

The locals vowed to mark the site of Toms entrance into the great resting place with the then colloquial saying "Tom McCleod slept here." Nicola Tesla and the Barstonians decided that, out of respect for Tom, no new Taco Bells should be built for 100 years. They managed to hold off the corporate giant for 78 years, which in this writers opinion, should be viewed as commendable.

Michelle Foster:

Just passed the sign on 5, heading South back down to L.A. from San Jose....also wondered what the sign was about and ended up here, through a Google search....and no, there's no hotel or any type of establishment there, just a graveyard of old farm equipment! Whomever he was, I hope it was an awesome nights' sleep!!

Dana W.:

As of June 19th, the mysterious sign still remains!!!

Deborah:

On our way to Disneyland..just passed the sign and had to Google...so no help but is still standing! Was a great to my husband driving!

Andrea ormonde:

There has to be a legitimate explanation!

Erika:

Sign still there and still no real answers on Wikipedia or other sites.

Kaitlyn:

Reading this article was quite entertaining. As well as all the comments! Just passed the sign myself and questioned "who is this man?" Definitely a hoot for me and my boyfriend on our long journey across the states from Florida to California.

Erick B.:

I say to you! Look alive disciples, Tom McLeod, the perfecter of our faith and deliverer of the chosen ones' day is at hand!

Brandon&Yvonne:

Sign is still there!!

Brandy and tim:

8/16/16 still wondering about this sign

Annette McLeod:

I have to clear up something here, Brandi wrote that she googled and found that the ceo of trucking software, my husband, owned one of these American castles shown on a tv program. We live on castlehill rd, but it is not the American Castles Brandi saw,, I verified this. I asked Tom McLeod king of trucking software , if he owned a Castle and was keeping it a secret..., he smiled ....ok so I know we do not own an American castle

Shea:

Oct. 2nd, 2016! Sign is still standing and just like all of you I have no idea who he is... One day we will find this man/zombie/war hero/ceo

Bruno bear:

The sign is still up and well. 11.3.16. 5 days until the apocalypse. Hopefully Tom will save us.

Tom McLeod:

I'm
Tom McLEOD from Texas. That sign is not about me...

Skyler:

Once again, I pass by this fateful sign and my mind races. Countless times i've passed by and the mystery remains. Someone please enlighten the world. Give us the truth. 3 years ago, I posted here. And still no answer.

Jessica Ballate:

Haha! A friend and I are kn our way to Joshua Tree and we just passed this infamous sign. I love that a quick google search led me to this! WHO IS HE???? TOM MClEOD PLEASE GIVE US ANSWERS!

Kris:

Tom McLeoud for President!

Esteban:

I have driven by the sign for the past four years now. There is in fact another sign behind it for a golf Academy. I will do a little more research and see what I can find it for everyone. My wife might think I'm crazy for looking for this fictional character, but people must have answers. Lol.

Solved:

BeOmni.com/about

I think I found Tom.

Robert Gilmette:

It's not the Tom McLeod from Be Omni but the company was extremely helpful in my quest to figure out our great mystery. But just like the rest of you I'm still looking for this elusive man. Good luck and safe travels for everyone this new years.

Robert Gilmette:

It's not the Tom McLeod from Be Omni but the company was extremely helpful in my quest to figure out our great mystery. But just like the rest of you I'm still looking for this elusive man. Good luck and safe travels for everyone this new years.

Susan and Carl:

1-10-17... Just passed this infamous sign... Thanks for smiles this blog has provided on our journey.

Mae Macleod :

Sign looked pretty New a few days ago and I don't recall seeing a realty sign beside it.
McCleod is not ever pronounced "McLode" so that story is not likely.
It's pronounced "Mc-Cloud". Although I live in the area there are not many McCleod folk (of any spelling) in the region, mine being directly from eastern Canada. Mystery deepens...

Renee and James:

We just passed the sign heading back towards Los Angeles from celebrating our 23rd Wedding Anniversary at Harris Ranch Inn. Now here we are looking for the same person as everyone else, such a mystery. Will we ever know the truth?

Thanks Mike Sakasegawa for creating this blog, that has brought so many together wondering the same thing.

Stephanie:

The sign remains! I kinda hate not knowing the answer.
There's an adopt-a-highway sign in Minnesota in memory of Aristotle McElroy that torments me in a similar way. It's such a great name, but there's no history of the guy anywhere on the internet. How is that possible???

Khalil:

April 2nd 2017 I just drove past the sign travelling South on I-5. When I Googled his name the first thing that came up was a Scottish sailor from the 1880s who participated in the Terra Nova Expedition and both Shackleton Expeditions. Doubt it's him but that'd be cool eh

Chris C:

April 5 - and I'm still going crazy

Rebekah N.:

Sign is still up!! April 30, 2017.

er tony:

still there today. how about someone just pull off and ask someone somewhere on the property.

Emma and Chris :

June 3, 2017 and we just passed the sign! The legend of Tom McLeod lives on. There can be only one.

Joanna:

Still there.

Joanna:

Hey Mark, teller of the one true-sounding story,

Any sources?

Stephanie:

There is a Tom Macleod that was an NFL linebacker. But this guy spelled his name with an "a". Is it possible they spelled it wrong...

Lobsang:

June 24th 2017, 3:26pm. We just passed the sign. Can someone please tear the sign down to preserve the sanity of future generations.

Hey Mike, is the couple still married from the wedding that you and Juliette attended?

Lobsang:

June 24th 2017, 3:26pm. We just passed the sign. Can someone please tear the sign down to preserve the sanity of future generations.

Hey Mike, is the couple still married from the wedding that you and Juliette attended?

Monique:

I have been passing this sign for years and just noticed it for the first time today! Who is Tom and why did he sleep here?

Lisa:

Tom was a true intellectual, a distant descendant of the greatest mind ever to live. He struggled to define his unique existence by leaving a lasting mark. But how? In 1856, he won a ticket on an adventure covered wagon tour that brought him to this barren sttetch of California. Dust storms swirled around him, obscuring his view. The caravan left him, believing Tom to be onboard. "So long as I am abandoned here," He thought, "I might as well beautify this boring place." He set about the land, gathering reeds of approximately the same lengths, binding them together with weeds. Gently, and then with greater fervor, he began to twirl in circles upon a small hilltop, brushing the ground as he moved with his nature made brooms. Decades, nay a century later, he is remembered, though mistakenly. In truth, TOM MCLEOD SWEPT HERE.

Simon n Mimi:

We were driving thru and the same conversations happened. Then googled. Found this. An interesting sign.

Adventuresofcourtandtim:

Spent 20 minutes reading the story and some of the comments aloud. Cheers to the internet for all of the entertainment. It's so strange to think that there are countless others reading the same words aloud throughout the course of time!

Jay:

July 28 2017

Just saw this sign on way to LA. Sign still stands here.

Did he sleep here alone or was he with someone?

Great idea for mystery novel.

Jay:

July 28 2017

Just saw this sign on way to LA. Sign still stands here.

Did he sleep here alone or was he with someone?

Great idea for mystery novel.

Marsella:

Me and my friend just drove by this sign and spent 20 minutes reading this thread. I can't die without knowing who he was and why the sign remains there..

Denise:

So this is definitive answer hilarious! Just passed the sign about 10 minutes ago!! Still standing!!

Mark:

Joanna: Tom McLeod and the American Kern Island Republic: A Nation of One. Doctoral dissertation by Selma Meier, 1962, out of print, available at the Henry Madden Library, California State University Fresno, Fresno, CA

Ella:

Just drove past the sign yesterday on my way back from camping and thought to look it up this morning. Thanks for all the entertaining ideas and Mark for the possibly most plausible answer!

Madeline & Rick:

Just saw the sign on our way back home to SD from Oregon (Go Ducks). This article and the comments have given my dad and I some great entertainment for the drive, so thanks guys! Waiting for the Netflix documentary on it for sure haha. See you all there if the apocalypse happens any time soon to see who the real Tom is! :)

Anthony Dominic Taormina:

I passed the sign maybe a half hour ago Google searched it and it brought me here... I made my driver stop at the next one and I ripped it down! I think I'm still drunk from labor day weekend. Anyway, I'm pissed and it felt great destroying the sign.

Claire Going:

Just passed the sign on my way down to LA, coming from Monterey. 5-6 hour drive so of course I'm going to investigate the only interesting thing I've seen on this long drive. Cool to see it's been there so long!

Claire Going:

Just passed the sign on my way down to LA, coming from Monterey. 5-6 hour drive so of course I'm going to investigate the only interesting thing I've seen on this long drive. Cool to see it's been there so long!

Mike M:

My wife has seen this sign for years and always means to Google the name ,but we always forget. Sitting in the passenger seat, this time, I was led to this blog by Google. I'm astonished that the definitive identity of this Tom McLeod still hasn't been determined. If Huell Howser we're still alive, this would have been the perfect subject for one of his shows!

Alexandra Gonzalez:

On my way to Disneyland from the SF Bay Area and have driven this way many years. Just now noticed the sign in 2017 and google led me here LOL thank you everyone for the laughs!

Pickle rick:

Amazing how this thread is still going, if there were no fame attached to this possible Inside joke, hoax, or cryptic message there certainly is now. In which could also have been the point, who knows? In the game of life, Tom McLeod certainly wins.

Pickle rick:

Amazing how this thread is still going, if there were no fame attached to this possible Inside joke, hoax, or cryptic message there certainly is now. In which could also have been the point, who knows? In the game of life, Tom McLeod certainly wins.

Pickle rick:

Amazing how this thread is still going, if there were no fame attached to this possible Inside joke, hoax, or cryptic message there certainly is now. In which could also have been the point, who knows? In the game of life, Tom McLeod certainly wins.

Henry F:

If a tree falls in a forest but no one is there to hear it, does it actually make a sound? The answer is yes...because Tom McCleod once also slept in that forest.

1am:

I've been going back and forth from
Sac to L.A. about 3 to 4 times a
month for the last 5 months
noticed it today for the first
time. I've gotten into the habit of
leaving L.A. around 1 to 3 am to
avoid 405 congestion and sleep at
a rest stop before finishing the
drive. I know where I'm sleeping
in 3 days hope I don't get shot bitten stung or arrested.I'm not going to
make a sign but I am going to sign
the back.

Bobbie :

It’s December 9,2017, and the sign is still there!

Lindz, Cat, Uncle T:

January 14, 2018. Sign still stands!

Erick Gurierrez:

Feb. 12, 2018

I am from Virginia, drove to California to drop off a good friend, her children and her pet Romeo. On my way back to VA, as I had just driven a very small percentage of my long route, the corner of my eye caught the sign. Keep in mind that I was on my way back by myself. That sign sparkled my curiosity and kept me thinking about this guy Tom for a good while. I wish we knew the truth about him.

As far as that place being a meeting point should we have an apocalyptic event, I am doomed, it would take me 40 plus hours to get there again.

Mischa:

Many years ago, I was in Vegas with a boyfriend who played an underground poker circuit. Lots of famous people played this circuit to avoid paparazzi and such. Anyway, one night my guy ended up playing with Kevin Bacon. Everyone know Kevin gets chatty when he's been drinking.

On this particular night Kevin was rambling on about that movie he did with red haired country singer, Tremors I think was the name of it. He said he had lost so much money to a guy named Tom McLeod (set extra) but he didn't want the game to end so he had to find an interesting way to keep going. He had his agent write up a contract that he would make sure everyone knew his name when the film was done shooting for as long as Kevin was alive. He slammed the last of his tequila sunrise and proceeded laughed and laughed about Tom's sign. My guy and I didn't get it, and ironically broke up that morning at sunrise.

I haven't thought about that night, until today on a trip down to LA with my husband (I have no idea what happened to my ex, Jeremy) and two kids and saw that sign and remembered Kevin's story. Kevin Bacon, man of his word, horrible poker player.

Jaime:

Great read! Just passed the sign on our way south and l was curious and I had to google it :)

Mimi:

3/6/2018 the sign is still there and now My husband and I have joined the cult pondering who is Tom McLeod and why did he sleep there???

Mimi:

3/6/2018 the sign is still there and now My husband and I have joined the cult pondering who is Tom McLeod and why did he sleep there???

Aims:

I finally get to be a passenger on this long boring trek down the I5 ... worst drive ever. I had to randomly stop at T.A. and getting back on the fwy i looked over and low and behold... TOM lives on. I was like everyone else... i read all of the comments above and its pretty amazing. Sign looks like ita been there a while. I am wondering when it was actually put up there. Wouldnt it make a great screenplay. Wouldnt it be crazy if all the people who posted met up for a photo at the sign...

Analise:

3/18/18...the sign is still there. there are still no answers.

Emma Z:

Just passed it haha, still no answers though!

Ana :

On my way to LA from Davis and every time I pass that sign I always wonder what it means, but until today I decided to google it. Such a mysterious man.

callen:

just passed it, like many of us reading this article. one day this mystery will be solved, but not today.

Chris H:

4/14/2018 like all of you I just drove by the sign wondering about his fella! Great time killer while on the drive lol

Analise:

Update, 5/6/18: there’s a new sign next to it that says “Carolyn McLeod Golf Academy.” I have no answers, only questions.

Chad St.Clair:

I was told the origin story....but it cannot be spoken on the internet. It must be discovered.

Nicole:

June 20th, 2018

On my way home to Arizona and passed by the sign. I've taken this freeway many times as I frequent visiting California, but this was the first time I ever thought to figure out who Tom was for some reason. It seems the sign lives on another day. Maybe one day, I'll stop in town and pester the locals about this mystery man.

Interesting read for an otherwise boring long drive!

Tina:

Happy 4th Everyone!

We are traveling to LA & the sign is still standing.

My curiosity was sparked by the sign & came across this thread. Thank you for the interesting read. Helped to pass the time as I sit here looking out the glass.

Bridget:

7/15/18. Been seeing this sign for many years & we are members of “who is Tom?” Cult. There is also a sign next to the Slept Here one, stating something about Tom McLeod Golf Academy. Don’t remember seeing that one before.

Emily:

Driving from Chico to HB and just passed the sign and was curious and found this article. Literally brought me and my bf to tears. I haven’t laughed this hard in a while so funny great article
Thank you
Em and Brandyn

Candy:

July 23, 2018

Saw the sign just now. We wondered what it meant! Our automatic response is "Google it"! Got some chuckles and a welcome diversion on our drive from Washngton State to Arizona! Thank you eeveryone for your input over the years! And safe travels to all! God bless!

Lexie Slay:

I am a family dog. My master stopped for me on the long drive between Trinidad and Orange. I peed on that very sign.

Omar U:

Just passed the sign and ended up here on this site! Thank you to the person that put the sign up. Made this drive not so boring. Lol!

Ann Sullivan:

Tom McLeod lives on . . . Thanks for the fun post.
Sept. 2018

Jackie Treehorn:

I been passing by this sign for years on my way to SoCal. I prefer the 101 route but I will use the I5 route as well. Anyway I passed it today, it's still standing and the mystery remains...

Jackie Treehorn:

Mystery solved thanks to Taylor Broussard:

Taylor Broussard reviewed Tom McLeod Slept Here — 5 star
May 17 ·
Tom McLeod, spelled variously as McCleod or McLode, (pronounced McLode) was a well-known American expatriate hunter and trapper in central California from about 1830 until his unrecorded death or departure sometime after 1855. His activity was restricted mainly to the modern Kern County area.

Historic records during this period are scarce, but it is known that Tom had an enduring relationship with the local Yokut Indians and actually adopted some of their traditions. He was idiosyncratic, and many acquaintances remarked on his wit and intelligence. One report has McLeod being fluent in both Latin and Greek, causing some to note the possibility that he was a seminary educated man, perhaps a dropout of some sort of religious order, or perhaps even a former catholic priest. If he was indeed a priest at one point, he abandoned celibacy when he came to California, because he fathered at least one child, Tom Junior, who became a gun-for-hire throughout the Southwest until his untimely death at the hands of a jealous woman.

In 1850, in response to increased immigration to the area brought on by the gold rush in Northern California, McLeod declared a large tract of land spanning the Kern River as the American Kern Island Republic. It was remarkable in that shortly after this declaration, after a drunken brawl with some of his local Indian friends, he unilaterally overthrew the republic and set himself up as king. There was no difficulty in his accomplishing this as he is the only known member of the republican government. Tom McLeod therefore has several distinctions in California History. His republic predates the establishment of the California Bear Flag Republic. His revolution is the only instance known in which a man founded a republic and then single handedly overthrew his own government.

Although the American Kern Island kingdom didn’t last much longer than its predecessor, it gave McLeod even more local fame. Tom reportedly would carve his name in tables and trees whenever he travelled away from his Kern River home. At some point it became a tradition to put up signs when these original markings were ruined, buildings torn down, trees uprooted, etc. Although the most commonly known sign is along the Interstate 5 freeway, there are actually several similar signs remaining, as well as a popular tavern near the site of Tom’s “palace” on the Kern River. Currently, the local electric utility has a small section of one of their facilities dedicated to the memory of Tom and of his son, Tom Junior.

Jmoneytips:

12.23.18
Merry Christmas all.
Tom McLeod sign still stands tall.
Mystery unsolved?

Steve W:

Since it has been a year since anyone has reported on the "Sign", I too just saw it southbound on the 5 Frwy, south of 46. I wanted to go back and take a picture! Anyway, still there. BTW, Hiway 395, south of Mammoth, there is a restaurant and a few cabins called "Tom's Place"...this guy gets around! At least he could sleep there!

Sleepless in Los hills:

The first rule of Tom McLeod is we don't talk about Tom McLeod.... we shall unite upon the zombie apocalypse. Until then safe travels.

KentuckySunshine:

Just passed this sign, on the way to LA. Still a mystery on I-5! Who is Tom?!?!?

Gabriel Freitas:

Thanks for the amazing reading guys! The destiny (and Google) brought us all here. See you guys somewhere in the future.
Best regards from Brazil!

Wolfie and Kitty:

We just drove by the sign on our way back from San Francisco. Still a mystery.

Jeremy R.:

Just passed by here on the way to my first Lakers game ! Great reads man, and great comments too! It's going to really bug me haha

Good Sumaritan:

https://www.gofundme.com/tom-mcleod

Tim & Jen:

On our way from Santa Cruz county to LA for the weekend and passed the sign. Tom McCleod(McLeod?) will not die. But, here’s a question. If you Google image search the sign, no pictures of the actual sign are found. Does it really exist?

Tom MaCleod:

The sign is there if you believe it is. Or if, like me, you passed it a little while ago and wondered about the identity of Tom beyond his name and what compelled him to sleep next to a noisy interstate highway.

Ashley:

It’s still there and I’m still wondering. Thank you, Tom, wherever you are tonight

Vix and dbahn :

Someone please email us when this mystery gets solved.

This was some of the best road trip entertainment ever.

Google rules.

Cal:

Sign still stands....

Analise:

Standard six-month check-in—sign stands true. If anything should happen, we all meet here. Tom will emerge and save us all.

Mark Ross:

The sign is still there. It's on the west side of I-5. Go to Google Maps and type in the following: 35.610751, -119.649484.

Tara:

July 2 2019, this is epic.
Just drove past on way home from Santa Cruz back to Los Angeles.
I love a good conspiracy theory.
Can I be in the club now?

Benita:

Headed back to New Mexico & my husband wondered the same thing...who is Tom McLeod and why did he sleep there? And your story intrigued me the most. Good to see 9 years later that the sign is still there.....and has been there for YEARS

Cynthia :

Who is this Tom McLeod!? I neeeeeed to know!

Alejandro Aviles:

Who is Tom McLeod?

We all are lol

The sign got me too!!!

BJ Corbitt:

7/16/19 — sign still declares McLeod’s slumber.

Also, the seemingly feasible Kern Isl. Republic/kingdom story above also fails to yield to the brute force of Google, meaning it’s either a very well-concealed bit of local lore or the product of a fervid imagination.

The mystery continues

Briggette Price:

The sign still stands!!!!

This article was very entertaining and got us through the rest of our trip.

Thanks for the laughs but seriously.... ARE YOU TOM!!!!

Sam:

Tom McLeod was the original Spider-Man. He lived in the rolling hills back in the late 1800’s and was hoarding gold before the gold rush. Tom had to fight back when all of the gold miners were arguing about the rights of the gold. Now, Spider-Tom had some anger issues that were never resolved since he lived alone in the hills. Instead of discussing things peacefully, Tom used his super spider powers to stick all of the miners together using webs and dropped them all off in stinky Bakersfield. When more of the laborers found out, Tom ran further away into the hills before plotting his last act of protection.

Tom decided that building a fortress was the only safe option. He had one big room for his gold and kept it hidden safely as if he were a dragon. Tom soon started going insane thinking that he would be found. In his insanity, Tom developed insomnia and began going on long walks. He was eventually hit in the back of the head with an old shovel and was laid to rest, not out of respect for Tom, but because he was not wearing clothes and only covered in old spider webs.

Legend says that Tom’s gold is still somewhere out there in the desert.

Lesners:

Damn Tom and this 10min rabbit hole we just went on. Reminds me of season1 of the Serial podcast. No answers. Just questions.

Garcias:

Reading about this sign has probably given me the most entertainment I’ve experienced while going down the I-5 lol. The legend of Tom McCleod lives on.

Bony Tony:

This rules and so does Tom Mcleod.

Derrick Griggs:

Saw the sign today...and this post, but I've wandered who Tom was for years.

Claire and Jordan:

Just pasted this sign going south bound from Salem, OR to Yucaipa, CA!! We are dying to know who Tom is and why he slept there!

matt & jack :

passed by the sign and enjoyed this post. here’s to tom and the many stories (true or not) of his legacy

Sergeant Major :

9/5/19
I’ve been traveling back and forth on I-5 for many years to Camp Pendleton, from the Bay Area. I’m sure I’ve seen the sign, but paid no attention!
Today, I was taking in the scenery (At 90mph) and looking out for the Chippies and saw the sign. And like you, wondered....who was this Tom Guy? So, like many of you...here I am on Marks blog on my way down to Camp Pendleton to retire. Thanks for the posts! I’ll start on 2014 posts soon! Maybe he had been identified, since Dec 2013? Semper Fi
Deitsch

Carolyn C.:

Just passed the sign heading back to Orange County from Sacramento. Of courses I had to goggle it and came across this article. The sign is getting a bit faded

Keyo :

Interesting mystery I stumbled onto, just passed the sign after leaving the Pilot on 1-5 heading south

D duran:

I've noticed this sign before but never gave it much thought to Google who and why but there are some boondockers in the area behind the sign, maybe that's the first clue?

Kate:

October 2019 and Tom’s sign is still going very strong. Exciting to know it’s been a 10 year mystery to who the heck this guy was and why his sleep deserved a sign!

Dustin Pasioles:

On the way to ol Diney land and the signs still there! 9 years after original post, good grief. Some funny interesting info. Dang you Tom! Made us all google search.

Joe Silveira:

October 17, 2019. Sigh still stands and peaked my curiosity and google led me here.

Rovy:

10/19/19. Sign still there. It exists. :) super fun mystery.

Tony:

10/30/19, heading to Irvine from SF, sign still up.

Arlene Ogg:

Wow sign still up interesting ideas and thoughts on who he is

KD:

The sign stands as of 11/22/19. THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE.

Tom King:

Driving from Seattle to San Diego! We think maybe the letters can be switched around like Tom Riddle in Harry Potter.

So, we are now working on that.

Zolina :

12/29/19 sign still standing strong

Cat & Louise:

The sign stands another decade! Tom McLeod still slept there as of 1/1/20.

Love laugh forever, Louise and Cat

Corbin + Elena:

Happy New Year, Tom McLeod! Wow, this thread is a time capsule if I ever saw one.

Dagny:

Over a decade since this post started, still the mystery remains. Just passing the sign on I-5. Perhaps Tom McLeod is code for an alien landing spot. Perhaps he is a notorious time traveler in search for a pleasant spot to rest. Good luck to Tom McLeod, time traveler, in his search for sleep.

Dagny:

Over a decade since this post started, still the mystery remains. Just passing the sign on I-5. Perhaps Tom McLeod is code for an alien landing spot. Perhaps he is a notorious time traveler in search for a pleasant spot to rest. Good luck to Tom McLeod, time traveler, in his search for sleep.

Tom:

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
I wish, I wish he'd go away...

Anna Becker:

Tom is still alive and well as of 3/22/20.
Hope everyone is staying safe from the Coronavirus.
Thanks for the thread. Heading from Santa Cruz to Long Beach.

Anna Becker:

Tom is still alive and well as of 3/22/20.
Hope everyone is staying safe from the Coronavirus.
Thanks for the thread. Heading from Santa Cruz to Long Beach.

Luis Vergara :

Saw that from Santa Cruz to Lancaster! Wondering the exact same thing as everyone else.

Diana:

Saw the sign like so many others and Googled it. We escaped quarantine and took a short family road trip. Could Tom have something to do with the coronavirus?? Perhaps his sleeping there so long ago started this path to quarantine.

Sean:

As of June 21st Tom long lauded night of rest remains memorialized. Cheers to Tom.

O'DiFeb:

6/23/2020 - Sign still there!

Carol Baskin killed Tom loooong ago and fed his remains to the local coyotes. The sign is there to throw us all off the trail.

Still, I'll meet you all here when the apocalypse happens to ensure we destroy all the zombies!

Until then, drink up, Cheers.

JuJu:

We just drove past the sign, googled, and found your very humorous article. We agreed with everything you said. Loved the readers comments, too!

Thanks for putting our thoughts into words.

JuJu:

We just drove past the sign, googled, and found your very humorous article. We agreed with everything you said. Loved the readers comments, too!

Thanks for putting our thoughts into words.

Josh and Amanda from Idaho:

Falling into good company ...
Wife and I are driving south and noticed the curious sign about Tom and his night of sleep. I know we are full swing in a pandemic and political disaster so we will wait to hear if anyone is meeting at this sign. Worst case we mask up , stop traffic, and take the sign down.
Loved all the reading while driving ....

Lord Mortis:

Drove down yesterday and made a note of the sign, I was driving and couldn't Google it. My wife and daughter were in the car ahead of me and both saw the sign and chatted about it for a bit. Had I not remembered the note on my phone it would have been a lost thought. Luckily I had a moment to take a tiny peek on the internet to solve this fleeting mystery. It should only take a minute, like the search I did on Zyzzyx road off the 15 fwy. Oh no! Here I am three hours later so far down the rabbit hole I'm thinking about hopping in the car and driving back out there and posing as an LA Times reporter and lining up all the town's folk and beating the answers out of each and everyone of their hampsters!
Whoa, I almost lost my cool there.

Haven't heard from Mark in awhile, has the government arrested him and buried him under an off shore black site? Maybe he has gone mad and blown his brains out with a toaster. Perhaps Tom has found him and brought him into the fold and he is living a peaceful life in a technological wonderland. Mark, if you are able please let us know you are okay. Perhaps you could give us a "sign" maybe somewhere on the 5? Sorry if this posted twice but there is no confirmation after one posts a comment.

Claire:

Driving home to Phoenix from the Bay Area - this thread made me smile! I’m almost glad no one knows who Tom is - brings some of us closer together during a pandemic and a tumultuous time. All love!

Faith:

The sign is still there and looks freshly painted. There is a bicycle right after it too that is also painted white. Is that a clue or has it always been there?

Samantha:

August 2020- sign is as good as new!
No bike.
Mystery continues.
Although I do appreciate everyone’s story making.

Craig L.:

Today is August 19, 2020, 4:36 p.m., and I just past the sign on the I-5 South on my to L.A. about 140 miles north of L.A. It too caught my attention. I have no idea who this person is/was so googled and ran across this blog..very interesting..maybe one day the mystery will be solved! Safe travels! Craig L. Phoenix, AZ

Sadie:

August 23rd, 2020 and the sign is still here! The white bike on a tall pole is as well. This mystery is killing us.

-Garrett and Sadie (road-tripping Garrett’s move back from Seattle to Orange County)

Kristina Hong:

08/30/2020
Sign is still there, next to a bike on top of a tall post. I started searching to see who Tom Mcleod was. Found this site and am loving the comments. ;)

Grey Arnau:

september 3rd 2020, the sign and a small white bicycle caught my attention on my journey from san francisco to LA. i’m dying to know, can the oil farmer who said he would ask the local gas station employees come back and tell us how that went ?

Vanessa:

09/04/20 - Just passed the sign and the bike! We’re driving back home to Orange County from Oregon, we’ve driven past here a few times before but I don’t recall noticing the sign, I wish I knew Toms story! Safe travels, everyone!

Alex:

Just passed the sign and bike on my way to LA. Had to do a Google search, glad to know I’m not the only one questioning who he was and why he slept there! Hope we all get an answer some day.

Brian Piper:

Since 2015 I have made the drive from Sacramento to Ventura a minimum of twice a month (long distance relationships amirite) that roughly calculates to 125 trips!!! TODAY IS SAW THIS SIGN FOR THE FIRST TIME!! Does Tom only appear to those ready to “see” him?!? The mystery continues...but thanks for the read!!

Leslie:

Just saw the sign. Googled it to see who this Tom fellow might be which led me to this thread. Lots of theories and interesting stories but I am still left unfulfilled regarding the truth. Bucket list item? Who is Tom?

Jennifer:

My fiancé: “Who is Tom McLeod? And why would he sleep there?” Now here I am on Sept. 7, 2020 and the saga continues.....

Thanks for the entertainment on our 6 hour drive back to Orange County!

Jennifer:

My fiancé: “Who is Tom McLeod? And why would he sleep there?” Now here I am on Sept. 7, 2020 and the saga continues.....

Thanks for the entertainment on our 6 hour drive back to Orange County!

Brian & Vy:

Hi,

Today is September 7th, 2020. We’re going down from NorCal to LA for a Labor Day family trip. We saw the sign with the bike next to it so we searched it up and saw this whole blog. What an interesting read! It killed almost an hour. We are so curious we decided to search this up but Google didn’t give much info. This blog brought us all together here. Who is Tom?? Still a mystery today...

Linz :

September 8th 2020. I just drove by this sign! Google brought me here. The stories were great. Driving from Davis CA back to Durham NC thanks for the laughs. Would love to know who Tom really is though!

proud californian:

ive made the drive from monterey and sacramento to la many times ever since i started driving. the first time i ever paid any attention to this sign was just yesterday. driving alone i jotted the name to research when i got home. read this thread and found my answer! i really appreciate local history and those who share the same enthusiasm. is tom mcleod a hero?...maybe...we all share equal vonurability to the elements no matter the generation. so be smart, keep an ear low, and travel "lite." and, maybe one day you will have a sign on the side of I-5 with your name enscribed

ps Jesus saves from death

Dean & Laura:

And in all of the madness that is 2020, this quirky sign led my husband down the same google path as all of you and here we are, reading about the CEO/King/Zombie Apocalypse savior Tom and gave us a great laugh. To anyone else who have found themselves here looking for answers, safe travels to you all!

Rey and aurora:

Coming home to San Diego from visiting families in Fremont and Manteca. Sign is still there next to a bike, looks like welded to a pole.

Cindy:

Just drove by the sign and also noticed a white bicycle near the it?

Margaret Yoon:

Have you seen the sign before that? "A taco a day" but I didn't see any other related sign after that

angysboo :

passed by the sign and white bike on the way home from camping. The white bike may be a memorial structure for whoever passed.

Ricky:

Thanks for an interesting read.

Kianna :

I hope Tom was a nomad who lived his life the way he wanted. What a pleasant thought that he might’ve been some wandering town-drunkard or cryptid, yet caused all this excitement through a sign decades later. 09-17-20 :)

Mariah:

Driving from Washington State to Orange County and noticed this sign! Googled who he is and my husband and I have been reading all the stories! My husband thinks this story is ridiculous and unnecessary, I’m living for it.

J & V:

It’s 2020 and the sign is still there. Come forth Tom!

Bella:

Just drove past it today, weird but interesting. Maybe he’ll save us all in 2020

Marcus M:

Just asked my friend, Tom. He doesn’t know who he is, so I figured he won’t know Tom either. Worth a try though.
But SF to SFV twice a month for last seven years and always wondered too??? , just who, Tom could be???
Thank you for starting this feed. Sign is up and well on Election Day, 2020 at 11:50am.

Marcus M:

Just asked my friend, Tom. He doesn’t know who he is, so I figured he won’t know Tom either. Worth a try though.
But SF to SFV twice a month for last seven years and always wondered too??? , just who, Tom could be???
Thank you for starting this feed. Sign is up and well on Election Day, 2020 at 11:50am.

Marcus M:

Just asked my friend, Tom. He doesn’t know who he is, so I figured he won’t know Tom either. Worth a try though.
But SF to SFV twice a month for last seven years and always wondered too??? , just who, Tom could be???
Thank you for starting this feed. Sign is up and well on Election Day, 2020 at 11:50am.

Oscar G.:

Sign is still alive and I am happy to be part of this thread.

SJ->LA

SueSageASMR:

Driving on the I 5 southbound listening to classic Motown golden oldies and must of past this same stretch of road a dozen times and forgot about this sign. I was brought here today like many others in search of the same mystery and instead found some great comments. :)

Ani:

November 20, 2020. Sign is still there, going strong.

SF > Joshua Tree

Mark Webber:

21 November 2020
Sign remains. I’m confused but amused!
I think the real question is “where did he wake up?!”

Melissa O'Neil:

Looks like the sign is surviving COVID just fine and continuing to entertain travelers.

Erika Danielle Norva:

The sign is still up and well! Saw it driving back from Big Sur and back down to LA. anyone else noticed the white bike after the sign?

Erika Danielle Norva:

The sign is still up and well! Saw it driving back from Big Sur and back down to LA. anyone else noticed the white bike after the sign?

Matt C:

Haha, Erika. We must be not too far a part in our travel and both our minds led us to the same spot. I noticed the sign and the bike and had to know what this was all about.

TIMMY!:

Tom is a local kern county boy, about 27 years of age today. He lives in the outskirts of Buttonwillow with his abusive uncle Charlie. Both Tom’s parents haven’t been in his life since he was very young. His Father was in and out of prison and no one knows where he is anymore. Tom’s mom was a junkie and prostitute, she often left him at the Mc Donald’s play land while she lurked around the truck stops. Tom had it hard, and when his mom finally od’ed, he was lost. He was about 13 when he just started roaming the local farms and fields. He stumbled across a kit fox in one of the fields and because he had small pieces of bread, the fox grew fond of Tom. One night it got extremely cold, Tom curled up in a little hole, when he woke up, the kit fox was right there next to him. He was so excited, he gathered up pieces of wood, found a bucket of paint on the side of the freeway, and made a sign. For years and years he goes back on the anniversary of that night. October 10th. He goes back and paints it fresh. The last time he went, he got 2 flat tires on his white BMX. Hinge the bike on a pole. He had to walk about 20 miles home, but I believe he is still there. In a run down trailer, drinking budwiser with uncle Charlie, couple old dogs and broken lawnmowers in the mix, but that’s it. Sorry to disappoint everyone. Love the wild imaginations though. ;)

Joban:

Saw the sign yesterday as I was driving back home to LA from Redding. God knows it’s the most boring drive on the planet but this sign definitely peaked my interest! And now I’m deep in the rabbit hole. #whoistommccleod

Coreenbby:

SEA>OC

I travel this 4-6 times a year & never seen this sign. As everyone else the curiosity was killing me & Google led me here! I too hope a little of everyone’s story is true. Strange how something so strange can bring so many curious cats together. I’ll be at the rally point come the apocalypse :)

Sydnee Earnshaw:

Sign still stands... like many other commenters I thoroughly enjoyed reading through the many stories. I also noticed a white bike attached above the sign. Any idea what that represents? I also noticed many (what seemed to be) abandoned campers behind/near the sign. I wish there were a definite answer!

Christina:

It’s just code for the location of secret bunkers. Y’all are thinking about it too hard.

Boyfriend says Toms a character in a murder mystery that he tried to solve.

*Brisket and Butters Slept Here

Katherine:

Driving back down to school with my dad after this covid filled year and seeing this sign/reading this thread made us smile for quite a bit. Grateful to find there’s others who are as interested in this as we are!

If 2020 taught us anything it’s that you’ll find community in places you’d never expect. Well wishes for the new year everyone :)

Big and little:

Wow! This article kept us entertained for a long while as I read the article and many many comments. We are driving back to our home area of Los Alamitos when we noticed the sign. Does the bike that’s way up on the post or is that an entire different story? To see that this thread has been going for so many years is very cool. To see all the people who have traveled this road that have been as intrigued as we are and took time to comment is awesome!
Cheers!
Big and little
2021

Christina B:

I wonder if Tom knows he’s so popular. Just driving home to Long Beach from a weekend in Paso Robles. Of course the sign and the bike struck curiosity and had to look it up. Looks like we may never know the answer, but keeps us questioning and creating “what if’s”.

Sharon S. :

It's February 11. 2021 and the sign is still there. Maybe Tom McLeod was exhausted after he Shafter and needed a place to rest.

Jr:

Who is John Galt?

Wendy:

March 3, 2021 still there, although been traveling this section for years, first time I noticed it.

Aimee:

Love the thread and may the mystery continue!

BazeFam:

March 24, 2021... after a weekend in Paso Robles, heading the long 4 hours home, admiring the sheep wandering the land on the side of the road - the sign caught my eye. Who is Tom McLeod and why is where he slept so notable? Of course I had to look him up. This thread is amazing and all who have added to it. Hats off to Tom for encouraging curious minds!

Gina and Kristin:

March 25, 2021
Day one of our four day trip to New Orleans...will be pondering the mystery of Tom Mcloed for the rest of our journey. Thanks for the entertainment along this otherwise dusty stretch! What a fun little rabbithole to fall into.

Sarah Aguirre:

So the mystery of Tom McCleod continues? Heading from LA to Sacramento (:

Jason and Katherine:

Once again driving the long stretch from Portland to LA on our way back to school after Spring break and the sign is still there! Gave us a chuckle to read back through these comments, we look forward to seeing the sign every time we do this drive. It’ll be a long standing tradition to check on this thread for sure. Cheers all!

Jason and Katherine:

Once again driving the long stretch from Portland to LA on our way back to school after Spring break and the sign is still there! Gave us a chuckle to read back through these comments, we look forward to seeing the sign every time we do this drive. It’ll be a long standing tradition to check on this thread for sure. Cheers all!

Mai:

Who is Tom??? I’m so amazed that this mystery remains after so many years. Thanks Mike for creating a fun post for so many to unite in this strange investigation.

Mai:

Who is Tom??? I’m so amazed that this mystery remains after so many years. Thanks Mike for creating a fun post for so many to unite in this strange investigation.

Dave and Cathy:

This is awesome.... Google led us here as well
So another one added to the list
Where is Jimmy Hoffa buried
Who built the pyramids
What's in Area 51
Who is Tom McLeod and why should we care he bedded down

Well written and entertaining.. thanks Mike

Mike, Michael & Mikayla:

The infamous Tom sign and bike are alive and well! After twenty plus years of 5 Fwy trips my eyes have finally been opened. So curious.

Bravo:

The sign still stands in eternal vigilance

Don and Kim:

I’m traveling with my husband in his semi on our way to LA. I noticed the infamous sign. I first asked the hubs if he knew about Tom Mccleod. Before I googled I imagined that Tom rode his bike across the United States and stopped to rest at this point. Now my husband and I are both curious....

Thanks for the entertaining comments!

Kim & Don

Gabs:

The sign still remains standing! It’s insane how the internet search on who Tom McCleod is led me to this awesome time capsule of responses. Now I will look forward to seeing the sign when I make my way back to the Inland Empire from up North. Thanks to everyone who kept the thread going!!

Roy Schmellman :

Hey All,

Roy Here. Its so odd that we haven’t been able to figure this thing out by now. I think we should create a “Tom McLeod” convention somewhere along I5 where we can all meet and get to the bottom of this. Let’s celebrate! If interested follow the official Instagram account @tommcleod_sleepingmystery

— Schmellman

Irin:

4/24/21
My husband and I driving from Carmel to San Diego.
I noticed the sign and was wondering who Tom was! My husband who normally knows everything had no clue!
Googld it and found these post! Had so much fun reading them!
Roy! Really funny about the convention! Haha

Deserae:

I am from the Central Valley and now live in Southern California. In all the years of driving this road today was the first time I noticed it. Crazy there isn’t a clear answer as to he is!

Samantha C.:

SF->LA

The comments on this post make me smile seeing how far back this goes. I think the bike is part of it, though it seemed like a child's bike when we briefly passed by it.

Hope everyone is staying safe out there.

Nicole W and Ian S:

Checking in on May 8, 2021! Driving back from an entire Seattle -> Orange County road trip, and noticed the little sign on the side of the road. Googling this and finding this page (and all of my new I-5 friends) has definitely has made this drive immensely better. I was so excited to scroll to the bottom of the comments to see that everyone is still active on this article, but not so excited that there still isn’t a clear answer! I can’t wait until my next road trip, maybe Mr. McLeod himself will reply by then.

Kami, Gunnar, and Hunter :

It’s May 17th , 2021 and that damn notorious sign is still up. I was so curious what this sign meant and I ended up here. Still not sure what it means, so it’s still a mystery. I’m glad to know I am not the only curious minded person out there. Me and my friends are on the way back from santa cruz to orange country and I saw it. I’m the only interested person in this car about that sign lol. This is something I want to figure out until I die. SO CURIOUS.

Kami, Gunnar, and Hunter :

It’s May 17th , 2021 and that damn notorious sign is still up. I was so curious what this sign meant and I ended up here. Still not sure what it means, so it’s still a mystery. I’m glad to know I am not the only curious minded person out there. Me and my friends are on the way back from santa cruz to orange country and I saw it. I’m the only interested person in this car about that sign lol. This is something I want to figure out until I die. SO CURIOUS.

Rae:

Checking in on May 23,2021... Tom is still there... and like others I jumped straight to the internet for this... so curious... must... keep... searching...

Clint Stites:

Monday may 24 2021 Tom's sign still alive and well while on my way to Orange County. Who is maintaining the sign? Obviously someone that owns a paint brush.

Jen Stone:

May 29, 2021. I’ve spotted this sign several times on my way home to San Diego from the SF and Monterey areas. This is the first time I’ve remembered to google it at the end of my drive. Thanks for the original post and years’ of entertaining comments. Was thinking it might be worth asking a reporter at the LA Times or the Bakersfield paper to take a deeper dive. Locals must know something., right? - Jen Stone

Liza Charnoki:

Driving back home from our Memorial Weekend vacay to the Bay, and we too were wondering the same thing…. Who is Tom McLeod???!

I thought I had it figured out when I saw the composer come up on google search… but then the hubby reminded me of the plot twist—> the bike that was left beside the sign. And the quest for Tom’s identity continues!

Tom, who art thou?

Tina Kuhns:

It's now June 5th 2021 almost post apocalyptic COVID style and the sign is still there. I'm taking it as a sign. Ha!

Karina Cerqueda:

Today is June 6, 2021 and the sign is still there. We are coming from Sacramento to LA and since it’s a 5-6 hr drive, I thought I should google this and this article came up. Now I’m on a mission to find out more with just 2 hours left of our drive.

Wendy paulino:

June 8th 2021 Sign is still standing mystifying travelers. Thanks from the paulino family

Ritz:

My husband and I are driving to Las Vegas as I’m sitting in the passenger seat looking out the window I notice the sign and like all of you got curious to see what it meant or who is Tom and why he slept there. Must keep searching

Ritz:

My husband and I are driving to Las Vegas as I’m sitting in the passenger seat looking out the window I notice the sign and like all of you got curious to see what it meant or who is Tom and why he slept there. Must keep searching

Doug:

Saw the sign today so it's still there.

Doug C:

The true story of Tom McLeod dates back to the early 20th century when Wyatt Earp had retired to Los Angeles with his wife Josie and went to work at the film studios this is back when John Wayne was a very Young and was also a regular at the studios where he daily had lunch with Wyatt Earp himself. This is how John Wayne got to learn how to talk and behave like a real cowboy in his Western movie true story learned it directly from Wyatt Earp. But not having anything to do with Tom McLeod the time set the stage Tom McLeod was an associate of Brushy bill they both came out of the Hills to reintroduce themselves to the population now everyone knows the Brushy bill was Billy the Kid Tom McLeod was Billy the Kid's partner. The only one out of all these four characters that didn't get a movie was Tom McLeod now I think we owe him that respect right on I-5 freeway

Jenny C:

This area of I-5 is so devoid of sites to see. My husband and I are grateful for this oasis of entertainment/information sparked by that intriguing sign! Well written & wholly entertaining!

milena and genavie:

POV: you just spent 1 hour reading these comments and researching Tom

happy we will all be haunted by this mystery.

we will stop on the way up to the bay and ask who Tom really was

someone hire tom’s marketing team

Lee Morrell:

Yup. July 11, still informing with no information. Perhaps someday...

Dave & Cathy:

Signage Still here!.. 7/12/21 - and this time we anxiously waited to take a picture

Dave & Cathy:

Signage Still here!.. 7/12/21 - and this time we anxiously waited to take a picture to preserve the memory!.

Tim and Laura:

Just passed the sign!!! 2021 we are still talking about Tom!!! Now we’re on a mission to see the other sign near the Kern River!!! Safe travels peeps!!!

Tina Navarrete:

Saw the sign today…and this blog for the first time, even though I’ve passed this sign hundreds of times. This is the first time I tried to find who this Tom guy is, and why I should care that he slept there.

Carolina V.:

Just passed the sign and ended up here. Who are you Tom McLeod!!!? XD

Ozzie :

July 25th, 2021 and the sign still stands. Passed by it today around 11am in the morning coming from Lake Tahoe back to San Diego. Funny to see how many people have googled this haha. Even with the internet it’s still hard to put your thumb on it.

Celina:

August 8th, on our way to Universal Studios from our home in SF. Hard to believe we still don’t know who Tom is- this article is a good 9yrs+ old. Who are you Tom and why did you sleep there?!

Celina:

August 8th, on our way to Universal Studios from our home in SF. Hard to believe we still don’t know who Tom is- this article is a good 12yrs+ old. Who are you Tom and why did you sleep there?!

Amanda Nowell:

Alllll these years and still no answers… drove by today and I’m still wondering.

Geronimo:

This will probably only confuse things further, but I am both the person who put the sign up, my name is Tom McLeod, I slept where the sign is, and yet that is not what the sign refers to.

Uchiha:

Im on my way from San Francisco to a rave in San Bernardino (Beyond Wonderland). I also saw the sign for the first time and got curious. Sucks we still don’t have info. Now I’m curious.

Gonzo:

Sign still up. Noticed a suspended bicycle had been added. Was that your bike Tom?!

Post a Comment

Name:

Email:

Comment:

What is the last word of the title of the article?
(Punctuation counts, capitalization doesn't.)