(SPOILER ALERT: If you plan to see “The Thing?”, as advertised on the many signs along Highway 10 in Arizona, don’t read any further. They make an effort to keep The Thing? a secret until you get inside the third and last building in the little gas station/museum. However, photos of it are widely published on the internet, and the employee I spoke with said it was ok to write this article and include my photos. It’s totally worth the $1 entrance fee!)
If you’ve ever driven around southeastern Arizona, you’ve seen one of the 247 signs advertising “The Thing?”.
The mysterious Thing.
Every mile or so on I-10 there’s a sign:
“The Thing? What is it?”
“Mystery of the desert”
“Don’t miss The Thing?”
“You’re only 16 miles from The Thing?”
“See The Thing?”
247 signs. TWO-HUNDRED AND FORTY-SEVEN signs. In an often barren landscape with little else to look at you are their captive audience.
The Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge was the only way to go coast to coast back in the day.
The Ocean-to-Ocean Highway Bridge has spanned the Colorado River in Yuma, Arizona since 1915. If you were heading from coast to coast at that time, the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge was the only place to cross the river, and it meant going miles out of your way to do so.
It lights up at night. You'll have to take my word for it because this picture is as good as it gets on this blog.
And that, my dear Kernutties, is your history lesson for the day. Never say I didn’t teach you anything. Notice I didn’t say “important”. Useless trivia is my specialty.
Shake Your Dates
Since my first trip to Slab City, California this past winter, all I heard was that I had to have a date shake.
“What’s a ‘date shake”‘, I asked. “Is that a shake you share with a date? What if I don’t have a date, can I get one on the side?”
Yeah, I know. Sometimes I’m the only one laughing.
The infamous Area 51 is in Arizona, a state where many people claim to have seen UFOs.
I’ve met some of them. The people, not the UFOs.
One told me there is a local support group for alien abductees.
Huh? (I looked, but I could not find a link to the meetings.)
To capitalize on the alien folklore by simultaneously combining themes from Area 51 and nearby Route 66, some enterprising folks came up with Area 66.
It’s in a town called Yucca. Yes, it is.
A "UFO" at Area 66. It's just landing, and in a minute the green VW Bug will be flattened.
The woman running the small convenience store at Area 66 has seen UFO-type lights. She seems completely sane. Probably because she considers they were most likely aircraft from the nearby military facility.
However, the guy who insisted on building the above flying saucer for Area 66 claims to have been abducted by aliens.
Seligman, Arizona, a small rural town, is known as the birthplace of Route 66. It’s full of Route 66 memorabilia.
Reportedly held notorious outlaws that they didn't teach us about in school. And the evening news is worthless as usual. Thanks for nothing, FOX.
Along with a few themed restaurants and shops, there is the old Territorial Jail House from 1860. At one time it housed notorious outlaws such as Seligman Slim, Four-fingered Frank, and Carl “Curly” Bane. (Don’t feel bad. I don’t know who they are, either. Sorry, Dead Guys, but it’s been 150 years.)
While researching my trip, I’d read somewhere “not to miss Pandora’s Box” in the men’s room of The Roadkill Cafe.
Of course, a place named The Roadkill Cafe sounded like a good place to eat, anyway. And I was on a mission to find this Pandora’s Box in the men’s room.
When I walked in to the restaurant, three friendly ladies greeted me. I inquired about ‘Pandora’s Box’ in the men’s room. They all gave me blank looks. No one knew about it. Well, none of the ladies. Not so sure about the men.
I know why! The dinosaurs have all run away to Route 66.
This is how it started...
Route 66 is a long treasure-trove of the wonderful, goofy, and uniquely odd sights in America: Dinosaur statues, Wigwam Motels, 2.9 million-year-old alligator in Arizona, Longest Map of Route 66, Standing On A corner In Winslow, Roadkill Cafe, etc.
Who thinks of these things?! Oh, how I love this country and it’s quirky marketing ideas!
Here’s how the advertising pitch must have gone:
(First) Rock and Fossil Store Owner: I want help promoting my rock and fossil store. What do you have for me?
Advertising Agency: We’ll get a few of those large, fake dinosaur statues and place them out front. People will come from miles around just to see your rock and fossil store!
Can we really say a monkey who takes our drinks is a thief? An alcoholic, yes, but it needs to be breaking a law to be committing a crime and considered a thief. Last I heard they were no laws governing what monkeys can or cannot do. They’re allowed to drink and drive because they’re not expressly prohibited from doing so.
Yes, my new job is with attorneys. Sorry, I’ll stop now.
Ok, on with the show… uh, so to speak. (The NSFW stuff follows…) But, wait! There’s more…