October 22-28, 2016
As luck has it, I rolled into Tombstone, Arizona on the perfect weekend. First indication… a pair of 1880’s period dressed cowboys walking down the sidewalk packin six shooters and carrying rifles. It was Helldorado Days and the town had gone Wyatt Earp-Doc Holliday-crazy. Over the next few days there were more gun battles and shootouts than the south side of Chicago on a hot summer night. The RV park was full of horse trailers, chuck wagons, role-playing undertakers and working girls from the bordello all dressed to the T and waiting their stage call. I entered a Wild West time capsule and was loving every minute of it.
Vital to every western town full of good and bad guys is a large cemetery and Tombstone is no exception. A visit to Boot Hill was in order and well worth the $4.00 donation to get in. Here are the graves of those Clantons and McLaurys who met their maker at the OK Corral along with scores of other unfortunates who got shot playing cards, stealing a horse or thru bad luck, were mistook for someone else.
You don’t come to Tombstone for great food or nightlife. For that you head to nearby Bisbee (a town full of old mines, California hippies, artisans, musicians and great restaurants). Worth an afternoon (the local beer is excellent). For adventure and wildlife I decided to check out the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area just west of town. Very cool desert river environment where I saw owls, hawks, a white-tailed deer and no other humans for miles. At the Old Charleston Bridge there is a funny monument to a band of Mormon soldiers who were attacked by a herd of wild bulls. I heard the bulls lost.
Time to move on! Next post will be on my trip into Old Mexico to the shores of the Sea of Cortez!