Arizona - Tombstone


High Noon


If you’re going to make the trip to Arizona, I would urge you to get amongst the Wild West and there’s no better place to do this than Tombstone. The famous frontier mining town where peace officer Wyatt Earp had a showdown with a gang called “the cowboys” at the OK Corral in 1881. 

Back in its heyday the town grew to a population of 14,000 and boasted 110 saloons. Today the pop is merely a fraction of that and only a handful of saloons (not that I judge prosperity of a town based on the number of watering holes it has, but when you can’t put your finger on the local gross domestic product figure, a quick tally of the pubs is usually an acceptable replacement). Nowadays it is an extremely quiet town and very rural. The big draw is no longer the high noon dueling, but tourists whipping out their high def cameras, point, smile and shoot.

One hoss town

Allen St has been preserved in its true Wild West 1800s fashion, which I’m sure some see as a contrived tourist trap but I saw it as a magical journey back in time. Actors in costume loiter around the streets, as you walk among the miners, prospectors, gun slingers, gamblers, peace officers and soiled doves (ladies of the night) you can’t help but feel you too have wheeled in your wagon from the East Coast, fresh off the boat from Ireland, looking for gold in dem der hills.

The whole shebang

If you time your visit to be there at noon you’ll be lucky enough to catch a reenactment of the gun fight at the OK Corral. This was excellent, you become totally sucked in and feel like you’re watching it all unfold from behind your twitching curtain. A definite highlight of our trip.

Upon leaving Tombstone we were stopped by US border patrol, since the town is incredibly close to the Mexican border. Between snapping dogs, severe looking police and a general Catholic guilt complex that I’ve done something wrong, it was a nervy drive. 

But more on border patrols and a wee little issue with a missing visa when I type up my post on our visit to New Mexico. I also need to catch up on trips we took to the glorious Russian River, the buffalo in Yellowstone park and the craziest place we have every stayed -in spooky Death Valley. To name a few.

Stay tuned….

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