Arizona’s Mysterious Signs!
See what I see? It’s part of a roadside sign, one that eluded me for almost a hundred miles…it all began as I was driving cross-country with my son, and just outside Tucson, Arizona I was taking shots of some of Arizona’s unique rock formations:
I noticed a sign up ahead, with a cool 50’s horror movie vibe to it, and I tried to get a shot:
The Mystery Of “The Thing” Begins!
The signs went by so quickly I couldn’t get a clear shot of them, which only made us more and more curious…as we drove on, I kept trying, with mixed results…
“The Thing” Revealed!
As we got closer, the signs were more and more frequent, until I was able to get a better shot, and that’s when things turned REALLY CREEPY:
Well, that’s one unsettling little person there, but the sign promises “happiness ahead” – and more importantly it signaled we had arrived, so we pulled in to find this:
Once inside, we found ourselves in a gift shop that had a lot of unusual things for sale, like this wine bottle holder fashioned out of two six-shooters:
Guns, but no “Thing!”
Yes, the large store was filled with western souvenirs of all kinds, including lots of stuff made out of guns – but no sign of “The Thing”…literally. There were NO signs inside the store showing where “The Thing” was waiting for us…we walked back outside, went around the building to make sure there wasn’t another entrance, then headed back in and saw this:
We raced back inside to discover the “museum” housing “The Thing” was being refurbished….we were crushed…so after all of this setup, there was no “thing?”
“Oh, it’s right back there”, the woman at counter said when we asked, pointing to where a couple was standing over what looked to be a wood-framed freezer…
“And”, she said plainly, “since the museum’s closed, you can see it for free!”
Wait, “The Thing” is actually here, and we don’t have to pay? Score! With that good news, we raced over…
“The Thing” Revealed!
After a hundred miles of teasing, and a frankly confusing store housing it, we got to peer into the abyss and see “The Thing!”
Here is what we saw:
Behold “The Thing!”
And there you have it: what appears to be a mummified woman holding a mummified hat…nothing to see here, folks, thank God we didn’t have to pay the fee they normally charge:
I think we laughed our way all the way out of the store…but if you must know, wikipedia actually has information on this unique roadside attraction:
“The Thing” is an Arizona roadside attraction hyped by signs along Interstate 10 between El Paso, Texas, and Tucson, Arizona. A large number of billboards entice travelers along this sparse stretch of desert highway to stop, just to find out what the mysterious Thing might be. The object, supposedly a mummified mother and child, is believed to have been made by exhibit creator Homer Tate for sideshows.
OK, look at it again:
That’s not a child, it’s a hat! Either way, we bought tho amazingly wrinkled souvenir T-Shirts and a glass as well:
Now, a few years later, I was cleaning out some cabinets and I heard my wife Alex say:
“Hey, why do we have THAT!?!?!?”
Since she wasn’t part of the “Thing”, she didn’t realize we owned this commemorative glass!
Here’s a short video that extols its virtues:
Well, what kind of question was that? How could I possible get rid of this fine piece of art!
Now, in fairness, New Mexico was also filled with many signs enticing us to stop and buy a variety of things, like these Pueblo Indian Kuchinas, available to purchase right on the continental divide:
Yes, there were also many signs for knives and guns as well…we didn’t stop, perhaps exhausted by the mystery of “The Thing.”
This cross-country trip offered up many adventures, like Arizona’s “Dust Devils”:
I got some video of one racing across the highway in front of us – this is how fast they form and emerge!
We saw a lot of things on our multi-day trip across 8 of the United States, including the place where one of the most famous stories took place:
Yep, we visited the legendary “O.K. Corral”, where they re-enact the entire bloody altercation for people in the town of Tombstone:
Click here for a tour of the real Tombstone – beautifully kept I must say – and see the video I shot of this moment in history:
Out here in the wild Wild West, there are so many places to explore – like this real life ghost town:
As you can see, I explored Calico during the pandemic – not sure why I’d need a mask in a “GHOST TOWN” but hey, it was that kind of time, wasn’t it?
Click here to see my tour:
If you like these stories, PLEASE CLICK THE “LIKE” BUTTON SO I KNOW!
Also, why not sign up to receive emails whenever I post? It’s easy to do, I do NOT collect any information about you at all, there are absolutely NO ads of any kind, just stories about movies, music, books, food, travel and pop culture…
You can sign up by clicking on my blog here and see the note on the right!
Leave a comment and if you like this story, feel free to share on social media and let me know if you’ve see “The Thing” up close yourself!