The second day of our Phoenix trip found us getting up before the sun to head out on a road trip. Our destination was Tombstone, a historic city acclaimed in film, television, and music.
The trip there took about three hours. First we headed east through the Phoenix metropolitan area, turned to the south and went through Tucson, then got off the interstate and drove for another half hour. Along the way the scenery changed from desert scrub to trees. Just outside of Tucson we passed a huge pecan orchard that stretched on both sides of the Interstate, and as we got close to our destination we saw several roadside stands offering nuts.
When we arrived in Tombstone we parked the car and set out on foot to explore. The historic district covers sixteen blocks. Half of them had boardwalks lined with stores, saloons, and places to eat. We purchased tickets for the O.K. Corral shootout, which also included admission to a newspaper museum and an orientation film.
The gunfight reenactment was entertaining, and the actors did a good job of weaving in the history of the bad blood between the lawmen and the cowboys. The climax came when both sides started shooting. At the end three of the cowboys were dead and two lawmen were wounded. Of course, everyone jumped up, and the actors posed for photos with audience members as we filed out. During the film I learned that in the late 1800s, Tombstone was the center of the largest silver district in Arizona. Eventually the mines penetrated the water table. They started pumping it out, but in 1886 a fire destroyed the pumps. The city nearly became a ghost town, saved only because it was the county seat.
We had lunch at a restored saloon, browsed through a couple of stores, then decided to head back. Tombstone is only 30 miles from the U.S.–Mexico border. On the way home we had to go through a checkpoint. A dog sniffed around the trunk area, and an agent looked to see who was in the car before we were waved through.
Five years ago today: Best Of The Fools