We left Aaron’s house on Friday morning en route to Odessa TX. Texas is a freaking big state; it takes a while to get through.
Saturday we drove from Odessa back to Lordsburg NM.
Sunday morning things got interesting. An excerpt from the travel journal entry I made the next day, Monday:
Yesterday wasn’t one of our better days. Elizabeth got hit by some sort of stomach bug; either that or the overdose of Zoo candy finally caught up with her. All I know is that as we were getting ready to leave Lordsburg she suddenly spewed technicolor vomit on the hotel parking lot.
And again in the restaurant where we stopped for breakfast.
And again in the restaurant’s restroom. Twice.
And at random intervals throughout the day.
Pretty much all we could do was keep her well-supplied with barf bags and sanitizing wet wipes. The mere mention of food was enough to set her off. She was just miserable.
It was a very long day. But even the less-than-ideal circumstances didn’t squelch the kids’ youthful curiousity and sense of adventure. Somewhere near El Paso we’d begun seeing billboards advertising “THE THING,” whatever that was. By the time we got to Arizona THE THING billboards were all over the place, and by the time we got to the appropriate exit Luke and even Elizabeth were wild to find out what THE THING might be. I admit to a certain amount of curiousity myself. So, we took the exit, pulled into the parking lot of a big gift/souvenir store, and plunked down a grand total of $2.50 to see THE THING.
As tourist traps go, this was one of the strangest I’d ever seen. It was a museum of sorts, full of random oddities. We walked through a series of sheds; the first was full of old vehicles (including a 1937 Rolls Royce which is “believed” to have been used by Hitler) and figures carved out of wood (from classic wooden Indians and the oxen pulling a Conestoga wagon to a bizarre life-size display of torturers and their victims).
The second shed was full of…um…well…I don’t know what they were. Someone had taken branches and chunks of wood and added a few details here and there to turn them into creatures. There were dozens of them. A few samples:
Finally we come to the third shed. Here are more of the weird tree animals, and the actual THING.
THE THING is apparently a mummified woman holding a mummified baby, both encased in glass and concrete. There are no details given as to who they were or where they hail from, and the longer I looked at them the more they looked like they might just be papier maché. You be the judge:
Our curiousity satisfied (sort of), we continued on our way.