Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In
Published September/October 2014

Oddly Arizona

From outer space to sundials, 9 weird roadside attractions honor the peculiar side of the Grand Canyon State

BYSally J. Clasen
1. The Thing, Dragoon
Multiple billboards dotted along Interstate 10 tease travelers as they head toward Dragoon (15 miles northeast of Benson) asking, “What is The Thing?” For two bucks, you can discover “The Mystery of the Desert,” a side-show tourist stop, which includes a gas station, gift shop, and the main attraction: a self-guided tour in a backyard courtyard that leads visitors to exhibits of disparate artifacts housed in steel sheds. The final reveal is “The Thing,” explained as an ancient female mummy contained in a plexiglass tomb clutching what appears to be an infant. Some claim “The Thing” is a hoax. You can debate its authenticity at the adjacent Dairy Queen, which makes this spectacle both strange and cool.
Location: 2631 N. Johnson Road, Dragoon, (I-10 exit 322, south side), 520-586-2581
2. Bola Tie Exhibit, Wickenburg 
Dubbed the official neckwear of Arizona in 1973, a bola tie is made from cord or braided leather with decorative metal tips and is held in place with an ornamental medallion slide, often inspired by Native American culture. A collection of Arizona’s favorite neckwear is housed in the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, the Dude Ranch Capital of Arizona. The museum is a repository for the archives of the Arizona Bola Tie Society, where visitors can view a diverse selection of bola ties and learn about the neckwear’s unique history.
Location: 21 N. Frontier St., Wickenburg, 928-684-2272;
3. Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In, Seligman 
The iconic eatery on former Route 66 in Northern Arizona is a cheeky nod to roadside fun and a warm testament to the original owner’s sense of humor. Local Juan Delgadillo opened the wacky diner in 1953 on a limited budget using whatever he could find to draw attention to the over-the-top restaurant located in Seligman, the birthplace of Route 66. The highway kitsch is overflowing here, with a “Sorry We’re Open” neon sign that indicates things are little irreverent at the Snow Cap. The throwback diner serves the usual fare including “cheeseburgers with cheese” and “dead chicken,” all in a nostalgic atmosphere complete with a collection of vintage cars. Delgadillo passed away in 2004, but his children honor his prankster personality by continuing to provide a madcap dining adventure for travelers.
Location: 301 W. Chino Ave., Seligman, 928-422-3291;
The Thing
The Thing
The Desert Caballeros Western Museum
The Desert Caballeros Western Museum
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