You’ve may have seen the 1993 movie Tombstone.
Kurt Russell, Bill Paxton and Sam Elliott as the Earp brothers.
Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday.
Cowboy boots and gunfights.
Did I mention Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday?!
I always wanted to visit Tombstone and got the opportunity a few months ago. The hotel I stayed in had saloon style doors in the bathroom and murals of both the good guys as well as Johnny Ringo on the outside walls.
The old part of Tombstone had stagecoach rides, costumed performers and historical buildings mixed in with a Harley Davidson store and other modern shops . Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure Harley’s came along way after the gunfight at the OK Corral.
I met a very friendly lady who was dressed up and standing in the street to advertise the evening’s ghost tour. She and her sister had a shop nearby.
I had a drink in the Crystal Palace Saloon where Wyatt, Doc, Virgil and Morgan once did the same. I doubt they had pineapple juice and grenadine in their whiskey like I did but I also wasn’t prone to challenge anyone to a gunfight at high noon either.
I bought a Tombstone Harley Davidson sticker and poker chip because I could.
I took pictures and went to a reenactment of the shootout at the OK Corral. It all happened in a much smaller area than you can imagine. The actors involved that day were talented and funny and stuck around afterwards for pictures and questions.
The ghost tour was promising so I signed up to ride around town after dark past the town’s most haunted locations. While we didn’t see any spirits or orbs on our tour, it was informative and interesting, especially the drive up to the infamous Boot Hill Cemetary where at one time, thousands of graves dotted the landscape. A tidbit shared with us was that the cemetary used to be a lot bigger but as the town grew buildings were placed over some of the grave sites. This fact made me more scared to enter the Family Dollar than the cemetary!
I was able to see the world’s largest rose tree and even bring home some cuttings which are so far thriving on my front porch. The tree was something to behold with it’s trunk being several feet around and it’s branches raised on trellis that stretched out over about a quarter acre of backyard.
The town itself was interesting and I learned a lot on my visit but the highlights of that trip were not in the old town itself.
The first highlight was sitting outside by the hotel fire pit around 11pm each night, listening to the wind blowing ( it was February). I liked to imagine that townspeople, mine workers, banditos and lawmen alike had spent time in the area sitting by a fire and enjoying the quiet of the night just as I was doing.
The second and most amazing highlight was driving out into the desert away from all artificial light and looking up at the sky. I had heard that the view of the stars in the dark was practically indescribable and it was so true. You could see so many more stars than anywhere else I have ever been. They seemed to be almost close enough to reach up and touch them. I could’ve sat there for hours just gazing at them.
Shooting stars blazed by too, prompting me to make several wishes. Of course I can’t say what I wished for, but I assure you I’m doing everything I can to make them all come true! This blog is a small part of that and I appreciate every one of you that takes the time to read and respond.