Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tombstone & some excitement

The next thing on Grant's bucket list to see while in the Tucson area was Tombstone, AZ.   We waited for the hottest day of the year so far ( 95 degrees ) to make the 60 mile drive there.  

I usually take the long round about drive to Tombstone through Sierra Vista and then over to Tombstone.  We enjoy the backroads down through Sonoita and then over to Sierra Vista.  Another reason for this route is that we stop at the Safeway grocery store in Sierra Vista and have them prepare a Chicago South Sider sandwich for us.  Safeway officially doesn't make the South Sider anymore, but the deli clerk remembers the ingredients and prepared them for us.  

After picking up sandwiches we headed for the local park for lunch and were surprised to see they were having a "fair" in the park with many tents and food wagons.  No problem, we enjoyed our South Siders and then left for Tombstone.

We switched to the ride shown below and it took us a while to make the trip.  It was a little bumpy, but otherwise fine.  

Tomstone Stage Coach
Pancho Villa was there to greet us and I chatted with him for a while.  Actually, he just finished working on a movie being shot at Gammon's Gulch and dresses like this most of the time.  He does reenactments all over the west and also gives talks to schoolkids and tourists.  Very interesting fellow.  The man in black next to him on the left worked in Tombstone and was all dressed up like a US Marshal.

 Tombstone at 5:30 pm.  All the stores close at 5pm and the tourists leave and once again the streets are almost deserted.  In past visits to Tombstone they covered the street with dirt for a movie being shot there.  Once the movie was finished they left the dirt on the main street and it was a mess when the high winds were active.  Finally, they decided tourism was more important than a dirt road, so they removed the dust (dirt) and it went back to the present form.

 I was getting thirsty so Gerry, Grant and I went over to the Big Nose Kate's Saloon on main street.  It is quite a colorful place and they had live entertainment with a man playing a guitar and singing country ballads.

 We snagged a table really fast and then waited and waited and waited for service.  The man and woman servers were more interested in talking to people than providing any service so we got up and left after a while.  At least Grant got to see what the interior of the old place looked like.

Bar area in Big Nose Kates Saloon
One of the many shops on main street.
 Ooopps, we missed the afternoon stage to Sierra Vista.  Not to worry, we had the trusty Saturn to take us back home.

We got there right after the gunfight started at the OK Corral and the next gunfight there started while we were at the other end of town.  We did get a picture of Grant outside of the corral area.

Grant couldn't get the Duke's autograph but was able to get his picture taken next to a likeness of him.

We finally stopped at another bar and got some drinks.  Grant had a sasparilla and we had adult beverages.  This place seems to be the gathering place for all the characters who dress up in period costumes and work in Tombstone.

While we were sitting there a huge black cloud appeared down the street from us.  I thought it was a car that caught on fire, but found out it was at the Old West Theatre studio show and it caught fire 10 minutes after the last act.  The place burned to the ground along with some apartments next to the place.  It caused quite a commotion since the buildings in Tombstone are wood and quite old.  If the fire had gotten into the buildings on main street it would have been a disaster for the town.  Thankfully, the fire department was able to contain the fire and keep it from main street.

Tombstone bills itself as "the town too tough to die" and has been through fires, earthquakes, mine shutdowns and other calamaties.  They dodged the bullet once again.

After a quick stop at Boothill we made the long drive back to the motor home.  That was our exciting day, how was yours?

1 comment:

  1. We really enjoy Tombstone. I saw the fire on the news. Wasn't sure which building it was. Really scary because the town could go up really fast as dry as it is.