Monday, February 28, 2011 (Tombstone, Arizona)

We woke to clear sky this morning...and a beautiful sunrise. It was a little chilly 23F out there but it looked was to go up to 60F today. After our usual morning coffee routine, showers and breakfast, we were ready to get on with our day. It was still early...just after I thought I would take the laptop up to the library and post yesterday’s blog before we took off on our sightseeing adventure to the town of Tombstone.

We headed out to Tombstone at 10:00 a.m. It was a short 10 mile drive east through beautiful rolling hills. As we got to highway 80 where we turn south to Tombstone, there was a Border Patrol Check for the traffic lanes heading north. I forgot to mention the other day when we left Las Cruces, New Mexico that we went through a road check. They funnel all traffic off the highway through what looked like it may have been a truck weight station. They stopped and spoke to some folks; others, like us, they just waved through. There are a lot of border patrol trucks in these southern States. One of our neighbours said around 128 Mexicans were just captured not far from here towards Tucson.

We continued into Tombstone and parked in the public parking at the far end of town. Our first stop was the Bird Cage is Tombstone’s only original historic building surviving since 1881—it is not a restoration. There are still 146 bullet holes throughout the building...not sure how many were killed, but there were quite a few.

This is Tombstone’s original Boothill Hearse. With the exception of six people, it buried everyone in Boothill Cemetery. There were only 8 of these models built in 1881 and it is the only one left of the original 8. The trim on the hearse is all sterling silver and 24 carat gold leaf. Its value today is over two-million dollars.

One of the Call-Girl’s boudoirs....

We wandered down the main street. A lot of shops selling the same souvenirs and trinkets...

At noon we decided to go to Big Nose Kate’s Saloon for lunch. They had a couple of fellows playing some western tunes. They were really good and soon had the place packed. We split a burger and had a beer while listening to the music...and people watched.

After lunch we wandered around the town some more and then decided to take a stage coach tour. It was a short 25 minute ride narrated by an old cowboy. The way he spoke made you feel like you were back in the 1800’s.

This is the old Court is now a State Historical Site and Museum....

After the tour, we had about an hour and a half before the 4:00 live re-enactment at O.K. Corral so we decided to drive out to Boothill Cemetery.

There are a couple of funny grave markers...

Back downtown, we decided to try to find the store where Steve had found the tee-shirts he liked. While he was inside deciding which one he wanted, I walked outside...just at the same time as a woman I used to work with walked by...what timing!! Elsie retired from BC Assessment last January and she and her husband (Tom, I think) were down here on an extended vacation. What a shock running into her...and at the precise time that I decided to walk out of the store, she happened to be walking by!!!

About 10 minutes before the 4:00 show at the O.K. Corral, the Lawmen and the Cowboys walk down the main street enroute to the Corral. It’s done to draw more people in to the show. We watched, while Steve took pictures, and then continued into the O.K. Corral to watch the show.

After the show, we headed back to the truck...and home. We had had a long day!

Other than the historical aspect we were a little disappointed that Tombstone didn’t really make you feel like you were in an old western town...and it’s so commercialized. $12.00 each for the Bird Cage Theatre, $10.00 each for the coach tour, $10.00 each for the OK Corral Show plus there was more that we didn’t do. At least Boot Hill was free. I guess we were expecting something like historic Barkerville in B.C. where you pay your entrance fee and all of the buildings are restored to their original condition with furnishings and period actors with very little commercialization. Historically there are similarities between them...both were mining towns...had a Chinese population but Tombstone was much more lawless. We still think it’s worth seeing though.

It was sunny out, but quite windy making it a little chilly to sit outside. And it sure cools down quickly once the sun goes down. So we spent another evening inside.

We are going for an ATV ride tomorrow with a group of folks from here at the park....we can hardly wait!

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