What is "The Thing"?

What is the Thing?  Along Interstate 10, from Tucson, Arizona to El Paso, Texas, you see billboards with messages to tickle your interests.  One will say, "The Thing?", and a few miles more you will see "What is it?" and down the road a ways another might say "Mystery of the Desert".  

Located on a hilltop between Benson and Wilcox, Arizona, you will see a large red, yellow, blue filling station and gift shop.  Inside you will find the typical southwest roadside gifts such as bows, arrows, moccasins, baseball caps, turquoise jewelry and The Thing? shot glasses, T-shirts and other items with the logo on it.

What is it?  I sounds like a novelty which peaks enough people's interest to get them to stop and check it out.  For a dollar, you walk past the register and into a tiny outside courtyard.  In the courtyard is three prefabricated corrugated steel sheds full of odd exhibits.  You will see unusual wood carvings, framed lithographs, saddles, rifles, a covered wagon and some vintage automobiles.  They even claim that the 1937 Rolls-Royce once was owned by Adolf Hitler.  After walking through the maze of bizarre stuff, you finally see The Thing?, a mummified mother-and-child tableau encased in a glass-cover coffin.

Next week, Sharon and I are going to head down to Tucson, Bisbee, and Tombstone.  One of the stops along the way is to the town of Benson to see "The Thing" for ourselves.  Post and pictures to come later....


  1. That sign would be enough to make me curious while driving by! Hmm... mummies are not what I expected "The Thing" to be. I was expecting a big lizard for some reason. Have fun! Those sheds sound worth checking out.


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