Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Tombstone, Arizona and The OK Corral

Tombstone, Arizona is hilarious. This is an entrance to the church; they have a great sense of humor about themselves and have turned a American cowboy legend into a cash cow:

00ChurchDoorInTombstone

There are all kinds of characters, pretending to be old-timey people, and stagecoaches. If you’ve any knowledge of Cowboy lore, you will know that stagecoaches carried mail and payrolls, as well as passengers, and were natural targets for robberies.

00TombstoneStagecoach

As we walk into town, we come to a group of cowboys telling people the big gun fight re-enactments will start shortly, and to buy our tickets at Wyatt’s coffee shop and go next door to the ‘saloon.’ At this point, we hear a volley of gunshots, loud bangs that go on for about 22 seconds (LOL) and so we ask “What was that?”

“Oh, that was some other gunfight. It’s over now. This one is the real one.”

We bought tickets for this ‘real’ one, and as soon as it starts, we almost groan. Really, it’s just three guys and a room, and while they act out several saloon gunfights – gun fights that really happened – they are total hams. And Tombstone is famous for the gunfight at the OK Corral, which must have been what ‘that other gunfight’ must have been.

One one hand, I applaud their creativity, creating an attraction out of next to nothing, making some money and providing some entertainment. On the other hand, by the third gunfight, it all seemed very repetitive, especially since the same actors were doing all the parts. We were rolling our eyes, but most of the audience seemed to enjoy it.

00GunfightReEnactment

00Gunfight2

00Gunfight3

This is where you buy your tickets.

00WyattsCoffeeHouseGunfight

This is where the Gunfight at the OK Corral took place:

00OKCorralGunfightSite

On our way out, we stopped again in Benson to have soft ice cream, and I had pomegranate ice cream.

00BensonIceCreamStop

I can’t imagine we will ever go back to Tombstone; it is fun, but once is enough. Unless, of course, our grandchildren want to go. There are a lot of people who are living there in trailer villages, maybe for the climate and because they can do part time odd jobs in this tourist attraction town. If it weren’t for the tourists, this town wouldn’t exist.

Advertisements

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Adventure, Community, Cultural, Generational, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Road Trips, Travel | , | Leave a comment

Benson, AZ and the Horseshoe Cafe

Sometimes your schedule doesn’t work out exactly. We had planned on lunch in Tombstone, but when we leave the interstate at Benson, we are too hungry to drive the additional miles and look for a place in Benson. There are a lot of cars and motorbikes parked at the Horseshoe Cafe, so we decide to give it a try. We have to wait about 20 minutes for a table; it’s Sunday morning and everyone in Benson has come from church to have breakfast.

HorseShoeCafeBenson

Once we got inside, we could see that this was a really popular place. People just kept coming.

00HorseshoeCafeInterior

I think I had a Reuben, which was just average. AdventureMan had a breakfast – portions are huge! They served some of the biggest biscuits I have ever seen! We were already conspicuous by being “not-from-around-here” and I didn’t want to draw more attention to ourselves by photographing the meals. Sometimes I can get away with it but everyone was seated too closely together, and our table was to central.

Some places attract bikers like a magnet. Tombstone is one of them. There were a whole group of bikers parked in front; my impression was that they take temporary jobs around Tombstone as cowboy-actors.

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Adventure, Eating Out, Food, Living Conditions, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Navajoland Diocese

Today the church prays for the Navajolands Diocese:

Screen shot 2015-04-17 at 7.10.42 AM

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Cross Cultural, Geography / Maps, Lectionary Readings, Relationships | | Leave a comment

A New Day, New Mexico, Tombstone and Tucson, AZ

The sky is blue and the air is sparkling clean as day dawns in El Paso, TX, which we made a stop on our journey in honor of a series we are totally addicted to called The Bridge. I understand it has been cancelled, but it’s premise was that there was a lot of horrible crime in Juarez because law enforcement authorities on both sides had given incentives to keep the ugliest crimes on the Mexican side of The Bridge, and US drug enforcement personnel at the highest levels protected drug flow into our country through tunnels and trucking. Fascinating, although in truth, sometimes AdventureMan and I looked at each other and asked “What just happened?”

We have a short driving day today, but a stop at Tombstone, the site of the shoot-out at the OK Corral. Well, not really the OK Corral but the alley next to it. We read Mary Doria Russel’s book Doc, about Doc Holliday, and then Epitaph, her book about Wyatt Earp, and they made it so real, we wanted to visit just to pay tribute to Mary Doria Russel’s research and wonderfully readable books, which take legendary characters and makes them fully human.

Up early, to catch the sunrise reflecting off the windows of El Paso:

00SunRisingOverElPaso

We feel so safe, the parking lot is full of Homeland Security personnel vehicles. Although it is a Sunday morning, many are eating breakfast and heading out to guard the border:
00HomelandSecurityFieldOperations

It is a totally different day from the rainy mess we drove through all day from San Antonio to El Paso. The sky is so blue and the air is so clear and we are thoroughly enjoying this day:

00DifferentMorningFromDayBefore

As we leave Texas, AdventureMan points out that the underside of the overpasses are painted in Southwestern colors, and there are graphic designs on the pillars. The Highways are beautiful! Someone put a little extra thought into making them memorable.

00NMHighwayArt

00PaintedUnderpass

There is a cross gleaming high on a bare mountain, and I am trying to imagine how they got it up there, and how they engineered it so it would be stable and stay there:

00CrossOnMountain

Welcome to New Mexico!

00WelcomeNMLandOfEnchantment

As we are paralleling the border, there is another security stop:

00InspectionStation

We really wanted to buy something at this shop, but the baskets were all made in Pakistan! We have Pakistani baskets! I finally left with just a CD of new-age sort of Indian mystical music, soulful flutes, shaking bones, you know the kind, to put us in the Southwest frame of mind. It’s one of the few things we bought for ourselves on the trip.

00AkilaFlatsSouvenierStore

Screen shot 2015-04-16 at 9.24.33 AM

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Bureaucracy, Cultural, Geography / Maps, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Road Trips, Spiritual, Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments