Twenty years ago Lee was driving a truck cross country for work and he took a route that led him through Tombstone and ultimately to the site of Johnny Ringo’s grave. As with Hearst Castle, this was high on the list of things he experienced alone that he always wanted to show me and I was curious as well. I am not a Western buff by any stretch of the imagination, but I love the movie Tombstone and everyone knows about the gunfight at the OK Corral. So we jumped in two vehicles and Greg, Kelly, Bill, Lee, and myself went to Tombstone. Cori unfortunately had to work that day, but she encouraged the rest of us to go. The town is remarkably close to Kartchner State Campground (23 miles) and although Lee warned us it was on the touristy side we all wanted to see it. Tombstone is a regular town, but the old historic part of it is closed off and you can wander around, similar to Silver City. What is somewhat unique about it though was the many folks in period costume and character that wander around also. They have some shows you can see, and restaurants, and numerous shops, and there was definitely enough to keep us busy.
Although there were several show to choose from, we chose the re-creation of the Gunfight at the OK Corral. It takes place on the actual site of the OK Corral and the actors who played the parts were pretty good. Plus we had a 2 for 1 coupon from the Tuscon Entertainment book we all purchased, so it only cost $10 per couple to get in. Even better, as a bonus we got tickets to the newspaper museum (which Bill loved) and a movie about the town with it’s own spinning diorama. That was my favorite part as it was very Disney and the movie screen kept lowering and raising to show the rotating diorama behind it. Made me feel very nostalgic for my childhood and the movie was narrated by Vincent Price and actually pretty decent.
Afterwards we ate lunch at the Crystal Palace, one of the first brick buildings in town and then Kelly and I wandered in and out of some very unique shops while the guys took in the newspaper museum. On the way back to the campground we also stopped at Boot Hill Cemetery, which I really liked. Lee said the cemetery had changed the most in the 20 years since he had been there and it was free to get in with only a $3 donation for a grave map if you wanted one.
And it seemed appropriate that since Lee had bought Cactus Jack 20 years ago in Tombstone we finally replaced him with Cactus Joe. It was a sad day and hard to say goodbye, but as you can see the time had definitely come.
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