Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ain't Nothin' Like the Real "Thing?": Dragoon, Arizona's "The Thing?"

Hundreds of billboards beckon you.


The best $1 you'll ever spend.

Wood carvings...

...torture exhibits...

...all housed in metal outbuildings for your convenience.

Hitler's Rolls Royce (maybe), and then...

The Thing?

What is it?

You decide...they don't tell you.

Don't forget to pick up nice souvenirs at the gift shop...

...they've got some "thing" for everyone.

Along a starkly beautiful but rather lonely stretch of Interstate 10 in southern Arizona sits a classic, old fashioned, "Hey Dad, stop the car!" tourist attraction. Like South of the Border in South Carolina and Wall Drug in South Dakota, hundreds of billboards get you worked up to a roadside attraction fever pitch by the time you hit exit 322. Three metal shed-like buildings await you behind a large gas station and souvenir shop and for the bargain price of only $1 you can see their ancient and mysterious contents. The work of Ralph Gallagher, wood carver extraordinaire, is well represented here, including a "very special exhibit depicting ancient methods of torture" which is "the only one of its kind in the world" and represents "an investment of many thousand dollars." This is worth the eight-bit admission price alone, but wait...there's more! They've got a 1937 Rolls Royce "believed" to have been owned by Adolph Hitler. There's other bric-a-brac including some pottery and adding machines behind plexiglas cases, and then, in a brick case nearly at the end of your tour is The Thing?, which **SPOILER ALERT** turns out to be a an adult mummy holding a baby mummy -- a mummy and child reunion, if you will.

The Thing? has been around since 1950 and in this spot since 1965 and was the brainchild of Thomas Brinkley Prince, an attorney from California. Little information exists to the actual origin of the mummies themselves, though. Perhaps a dreaded curse will be put on the head of he who divulges its ancient and mysterious history. If it's not one Thing?, its another.

8 comments:

Fuzzygalore said...

"If it's not one Thing?, its another."

That right there is comedy gold, my friend :D

Gunnar and Sherry said...

Thanks, Fuzzy. That's high praise coming from you!

Mod Betty / Retro Roadmap said...

I wanna see The Thing, if only to buy a tacky souvenir commemorating the event! On the Retro Roadmap Roadtrip Map it goes!

Gunnar and Sherry said...

Yes, Betty, don't miss it. A "Thing?" of beauty is a joy to behold.

Susan said...

Sometimes it's nice to get away from reality and slip into the everyday traveler's mode. Your post is so divine! i love the pics!

Gunnar and Sherry said...

Thanks for stopping by Susan!

Honeymoon bed breakfast said...

The Arizona has so many attractions for visitors. It is a beautiful place to see and explore. The Grand Canyon and Meteor Crater are lovely places to see.

Yalit Lozano said...

they changed it that's not "the thing" there used to be another