Tombstone

The OK CorralTombstone AZ 1When you grow up in Orange County, CA, if you’re in a building that’s more than 50 years old, that’s “historic”. Huntington Beach High School is 100 Years old (most of the buildings aren’t anywhere near that old) so that’s about as historic as it gets around here….

 Maybe it’s why I like to travel. I’m a total geek when I travel (OK, MORE than normal…). I hear about people going on vacation and laying around for a week! For me, no way! Yes, it’s nice to slow the pace, get a little rest, but for me vacation is a chance to do new things and see stuff that’s more interesting than the HB Pier (not that there’s anything wrong with the pier…but…)

There’s nothing like standing in front of stuff that really did shape our history, and certainly a collective part of the American Psyche.. (sorry if this is rambling, but it’s my blog and I can do what I want…)

 I LOVE American Stuff!! This year I was able to take the family to Tombstone Arizona. Talk about cool! Walk on the same street where Virgil Earp walked, where Morgan Gambled, where the “whole thing went down” in the very place where the shoot out took place. The world thinks we’re all cowboys, maybe we are, but it took guts to live and operate in one of these settlements in the 1800’s.

Most of Tombstone has been recreated to sell stuff to tourists. (The town burnt down more than once, so yeah, the old buildings in many cases aren’t there anymore). What is there?

OK Corral has been modified but it’s a museum of sorts and shows you details you just wouldn’t see otherwise.

Another thing there that is mostly original except for some museum pieces is the old courthouse. It no longer operates but it’s all there. And in the back they even rebuilt the gallows (that were used so much less than people realize…really they weren’t hanging people right and left like they did in the movies!)

But maybe the coolest place was the most run-down…the Bird Cage Theatre is still there. Original parts. It’s the seedy side of town but just as important in many ways as the courthouse. And yes, there really are bullet holes in the stage where the Cowboys got drunk and shot at the actors. (talk about a rough gig).

Another thing many don’t know is that Tombstone is in the high desert. VERY HIGH. So, when its 110 in Tuscon, it’s 78 in Tombstone. It got COLD and is even cold in the summer with rain, thunderstorms, and cloud cover. In the winter, it snows and gets COLD. So those long coats were not just shown in the movie because Kurt Russel looks cool when he pretends to be Wyatt Earp when wearing a trenchcoat. That was Authentic garb for the local yocals. Self defense from the cold and the wind and the rain.

 Anyway, Tombstone feels like the middle of nowhere when you drive there (because it really kinda’ is) but man, is it fun road-trip that is rewarded with an AWESOME experience if you have any interest in westerns and the “real” old-west (I’m SURE it didn’t feel old to the people there!)

I posted a couple pics so you can see it. The photos suck (I can’t find the pics we took with the good camera) but they show you what it kinda’ looks like. If you go, do everything! Cemetery to the courthouse to ok corral to the Bird Cage. Take a stagecoach ride, enjoy the view. And take the time to read everything. You’ll be amazed at how much information is there, how must history happened right there in a 10 year period, and I think you might also be amazed at how enthusiastic and fun the locals are. It is a GREAT family destination. Just watch Tombstone before you go! (I’m your hackle-bearer…yes Doc Holiday said Hackle bearer, not Huckleberry in the movie Tombstone… but I digress…)

We’ve got 50 states in the GREAT nation. Go see them. There’s intersting history and remarkable people in every state in this great nation. It’s my plan to see as many of them as possible. Oh, and take a plane with you because there’s so many COOL places to fly!!!!

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6 Responses to “Tombstone”

  1. Tom "Kmot" Keliher Says:

    Mike, did you ever have a chance to see Corriganville in Simi Valley during its heydays?

    http://faculty.oxy.edu/jerry/corrigan/corrigan.htm

  2. mikegoesflying Says:

    NO, that looks interesting!!! Need to check that out! Is it still there? The website looks a little out of date!
    Mike

  3. Tom "Kmot" Keliher Says:

    Yes, it is still there and is part of the Simi Parks and Rec. But the shows they used to do are no longer in operation. I went there when I was a youngster and saw all the good stuff, like you saw in Tombstone.

    Here is a current review of what you can see there today:

    http://www.localhikes.com/Hikes/Corriganville_4472.asp

  4. mikegoesflying Says:

    We’ll have to go check it out! Thanks.

    Hope the boat races are going well!

  5. Skyler Says:

    Hey mike, nice Blog, the pics are cool from AZ. Hope you have a Great Week!!
    Best Wishes,
    Skyler

  6. mikegoesflying Says:

    Good to see you last weekend Skyler. Thanks for the postive comments!

    Mike

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