Sunday, November 4, 2012

DAY 74- Tombstone…

Tombstone tallied as the town that would not die.  I had been seeing the billboards for Tombstone almost everywhere I went in the state; giving directions and showing the 5 gun slinging guys holding guns out towards you.  Well, it was only about 80 miles southeast of Tucson.  I thought I had better check this one out.  So off I went east on I-10.

When I got to Tombstone was really unsure of where to go.  I had an address for Tombstone from the internet for Allen Street; I got a little ways into town and saw a sign that read Allen Street this way.  I followed.  Then I saw Allen Street and it was closed to cars.  I found parking on a side street right across from the Tombstone Courthouse which is touted as the smallest state park in the west; one more small thing to log in on my BIG adventure.
Photo- Stage coach waiting to give a tour for visitors in Tombstone.

I walked over to Allen Street and walked along the board walk sidewalks where here and there cowboys were decked out down to their spurs.  They would say howdy ma’am as I walked by and tip their hats.  I wandered in and out of a few shops as I went along.  At one intersection the cowboys were talking about a shootout that was going to occur at Helldorado Town if you weren’t too much of a yellow belly to watch it then you should go down the street to it.  Of course, I wasn’t and off down the street I went and purchased a ticket for the next shoot out show.
Photo- Board walk sidewalks in Tombstone.

I found a sit among the cowboy hatted group and watched the show.  It was some interactive fun.  The sheriff was introducing the good guys (Yeah!) and the bad guys (Boo!) and the ugly (laughing booing!).  Then, they started a skit and one of them was tossing his gun up and around; doing all kinds of fancy gun works.  Some balloons got shot out, and then the ugly guy got shot.  Then, a miner who was a good guy (yeah!) showed up who was looking for his donkey that one of the bad guys had sold.  Well, some more entertaining fun came along with this part of the skits and I think a great deal of it was adlibbed because periodically they would say that wasn’t in the script. 
Photo- A bad guy (Boo!) whose showing off his with his gun at the shoot out show.
Photo- The inexperienced miner, a good guy (Yeah!), at a shoot out.

When the show was over they introduced everyone and said that unfortunately for their families this was how they earned their living and if you enjoyed the show to please tip generously on your way out.  Also, they said that our ticket stubs were good for discounts at the Helldorado restaurant and for the tour trolley car ride.  I walked across the street to the trolley and asked when the next tour was.  It was in 20 min.  I bought a ticket which I was told was good for discounts at other places in Tombstone and that our trolley ride guide would point out where those places were.  Yep, there was a bit of marketing racket going on in Tombstone but then again was that any surprise.
Photo- Tombstone's famous newspaper.

The trolley tour ended up being filled to the gills but it was a good tour and there was a fair amount of colorful history in the area.  We sat for the first bit of the trolley ride at the main stop while the driver told us how Tombstone came into being.  It was silver mining that out it on the map and its height it had 7000 male residents.  He said that the census back then did not take into consideration anything other than white males; that didn’t include the woman working in the brothels or the Chinese that also lived in the area.  We were taken along the edges and back and forth across Allen Street that was closed to cars because the streets have tunnels underneath them.  When it was really rainy, they were discovering that the weight of the cars was causing the streets to collapse just a little bit.  So it’s only the horse wagons that are allowed on Allen Street. 

Half way through the tour they drove out to Boothill Cemetery where you could get off the trolley and then catch the next trolley in about 45 min.  I stayed on because I was hoping to find a place to eat shortly after the trolley car tour was done.  The driver said that Boothill was the second most haunted place in Tombstone and that it closed before dark because it was too haunted for even the employees to stay past dark.  I don’t remember where the first haunted place but he kept on talking about how many were killed here and there in gun shoot outs as he drove us back through the rest of the tour.  There was plenty for the driver to talk about and he wasn’t the short winded type anyway.
Photo- The inside of the Crystal Palace Saloon in Tombstone.

With the tour done, it was now time to find a place to eat but first I went to my car and grabbed my warped cowboy hat.  I told myself it was for the shade and to keep my hair out of my eyes; not because I was at Tombstone and wanted to semi-try to fit in, of course.  I walked by a couple of bars and a restaurant.  The restaurant had closed because they were just open for a short lunch hour.  The 2nd bar that I came to was the Crystal Palace Saloon.  I went in and sat at the wonderful wooden bar area.  I ordered a Blue Moon draft and asked for a menu. 
Photo- The Crystal Palace Saloon's signage outside.

While waiting for my burger on rye, a couple of women walked in.  One of them has this southern slang; she’s yelling and waving obnoxiously across the bar about getting shots of tequila with salt.  They have their shots and then discover that their husbands are down the bar a ways.  They get up, move down the bar, order more shots and proceed again to get salt all over the bar while they have their shots.  Then shortly after that they leave, the bartender clad in a black bustier old saloon attire with fish net stockings ended up wiping and wiping to get all of the salt off the bar.  I laughed and told her that she needed a little mini vacuum.   That would be really nice to have right now she said.  We strike up a conversation and I discover that she owns 5 horses.  She breeds them but most of the time she really has a hard time selling the young ones because she gets attached to them.  She really seemed like a nice gal.
Photo- A sign outside one of the shops along Allen Street in Tombstone.

After lunch I walked along Allen Street more and I went in more shops.  I was on the search for postcards and possibly an inexpensive t-shirt.  I ended up finding postcards in one shop and a t-shirt in another.  Then, I got to looking at some of the sterling silver rings that were priced very low and reasonable.  Oh, why not I thought to myself.  I ended up going around to 3 different shops and found a stainless steel one I really liked.  Now, it’s about 4pm and I still have a three hour drive to Phoenix where I’m meeting my friend Laura at a hotel in the downtown area.

I drive north on I-10W past Tucson and continue to Phoenix.  I watch the sunset as I drive north.  It’s dark by the time I get to the turn off exit in Phoenix.  I find the hotel and end up seeing my friend Laura for just a short bit as she takes a break from the nuns’ retreat she is attending.  She’s had 6 diet cokes and is just bouncing up off the walls; cracking me up. 

The guy at the front desk recommended a restaurant that was kitty corner from the hotel.  The name of the bar/restaurant is called Switch.  I walked across to it; and it’s pretty busy.  It’s a nice bar/restaurant with dim lighting and under lighting done in blue which is kind of cool with the décor.  I asked the hostess if I could just sit up at the bar. 

I end up sitting between a guy and a pair of friends.  The pair of friends is a younger slim sorority type black haired gal that went to Ball State which is where the guy on the other side of me went.  They talk together for a short bit and I think Cassie, her name, thinks that he and I are together.  Because she keeps on trying to include me in the conversation and she’s quite the talker I tell you!  Then she starts talking with her “buddy”, her married friend that she’s out to dinner with; who can’t seem to keep his hands off of her. 

She and her “buddy” leave after one drink.  I look at the guy next to me and told him I wanted to yell to go get a room.  He laughed and said I don’t treat my female friends like that.  We end up talking and watching the Washington- California college football game.  The game has had 8 turn overs and about 6 flags in the 25 minutes that we’ve been sitting there.  I teased Logan, the guy, that it’s a new game called Ping-Pong Football because the football has been going back and forth over and over with in the same 20 yards on the football field. 

We talked for a while longer.  Logan is currently on call for his work which is as the I.T. person for the 20 floor office building across the street.  I gave him a bit of a hard time about having three phones and that’s when he explained his on call status.  I teased him about I just figured he was one of those guys that likes his greatest and latest toys.   I ended up wishing him a good night and went back to the hotel with my left overs.

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