Many of you have visited Williams, AZ along with us as I share the adventures of our annual vacations spent up there.

Besides being located along the historic Route 66 and being the gateway to the Grand Canyon – we also enjoy the cool weather, spending time with family and fishing.

Each year, we are fortunate to stay in cabins that are owned by my sister-in-law’s family.  They are very generous and we are so thankful to have places to stay each year.

Typically, each family stays in an individual cabin.  In the past, we have stayed in the ‘grandmother’s cabin and also in the ‘main’ cabin.

However, this year, we were excited that we were to stay in what my youngest daughter, Gracie, calls the “Dead Animal Cabin”.
This cabin is owned by my sister-in-law’s cousin.  

And, he is a hunter, who has decorated his cabin with some of his ‘trophies’…
There are a total of three large heads of elk mounted on the walls…
This one was so large, that he had to remove the blades from the ceiling fan to fit the head.
Now, we don’t hunt and so the culture of hunting is somewhat foreign to us.
But, the kids love the seeing all of the animals hanging off the wall.
In addition to the elk, there are also other animals as well…

Now for the ‘mystery’…
When we arrived in the cabin, it was a bit dirty.  My sister-in-law, Marisue, who had arrived earlier did some cleaning and found the first clue of our ‘mystery’:
An empty condom wrapper
I promise it wasn’t used for what you think….this a ‘family appropriate’ blog after all 😉
We found the second clue to the mystery on the dining room table.  It was a list.
Take a closer look at the third item on the list, which is the second clue to the mystery…

Box for testicles
Yes, it does say that.
I couldn’t imagine what these two clues pointed too.  At first, we didn’t even know that they were connected and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to.

So, my sister-in-law, Marisue, called her cousin and got the entire story.
 1. Hunter friends of her cousin had recently killed a Desert Bighorn Sheep while hunting.  
Photo by: Andrew Barnes
 2. So they contacted him so that he could collect the testicles.

3. He then put the testicles into a condom (remember the empty condom wrapper?)
4. Then he packed the testicles on ice in the box for testicles and drove them to the airport where they were shipped to a sheep farmer up in Montana.
Why?  Well, farmers use the semen in the testicles to artificially inseminate their female sheep.

So, that is the story behind the empty condom wrapper and the list including a ‘box for testicles’.

I couldn’t have made this story up, even if I had wanted too.
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

4 replies
  1. Rohrerbot
    Rohrerbot says:

    Oh my. I've never been a fan of the hanging heads on the wall but kids do love that stuff. Half of my family hunts back in Wisconsin. Hope you've been getting some nice rain in the Phoenix area.

  2. Indie
    Indie says:

    Oh that is too funny!! I can't even imagine finding such crazy clues – I would be a little scared at what crazy person had been staying at the cabin before me! Glad you solved the mystery!

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