Well, after years of passing by, I finally made time to stop at: “Bowling Travel Centers” in Benson, AZ. Part of a chain of travel centers, the theme here is, “The Thing,” which is a museum strategically located at the rear of a well-stocked, wall-to-wall store of every Southwestern trinket imaginable. So, for you parents of the “I want this!!” kids, just be aware. For you amateur to serious collectors, you will be rewarded by genuine “First American” artwork. I’m always preaching, “Buy American” (while driving around in my Corolla), and I notice many “made in China” labels on the merchandise. However, the good folks here take great care to segregate these products by country of origin giving the consumer easily informed choices. There’s Mexican artwork as well that’s genuinely Mexican in style. This is a refreshing change from the many “Made in Mexico” Native American blankets found elsewhere. The Mexican art advertised as such is a welcomed truth and a very colorful. Isn’t it better for countries to sell products reflecting their culture than producing knock-offs?? Then again, compliments to the Chinese artisan that made the Cowgirl. Watching all that Hentai must’ve paid off.
Onto the museum. This capitalizes on the UFO mythology (or truth?) and follows the well-organized structure of the store. It’s an excellent showcase to tell the story of aliens, the dinosaurs they controlled, and the possibility of alien influence over our development. An advantage to my procrastination, was seeing the latest version of this museum. The disadvantage was not seeing the old version as a comparison. Tapping into many rumors, hypothesis, and theories, the displays continue the “what ifs” many of us imagine at some time in our lives. The dinosaurs are very detailed per the latest science. Upon entering, the Ticketmaster takes pride instructing visitors to pay close attention the eye detail. He says the eyes appear to follow you. This is the case which employs a simple but effective visual illusion. After taking in all the sites and reading all the displayed story lines, the exit is close to where the tour started. This gave the advantage to witness a family with a baby and little girl, maybe about sevenish? As they were about to enter, the first display was convincing enough to her, that she was quite vocal about her concerns. Another testament to the detail of the museum’s displays, whether fact or fiction.
To the little girl, “Don’t feel bad, I freaked out going thru a car wash when I was seven(teen).”
Bowlin Travel Centers is rated 5.0 based on
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Louisiana Boulevard Northeast 150