Friday, January 7, 2011

Tombstone Two

Another day "hanging" with the gun-slingers and common folk of Tombstone, Arizona. First up- a tour of the Good Enough Silver Mine- the reason that Tombstone became Tombstone in the first place. There are still some fine examples of high grade silver ore in the mine. It was fun to see and we couldn't help but feel like grabbing the drills and going to work blasting some of that "good enough" ore from the shaft and carrying it out to daylight. Each mine we visit offers us something new that we have not seen before. This was our first silver mine. It was the first time we have ever seen a train track based porta-potty made of iron (the forerunner of RV-ing???). Once again we are teamed up with Jules and Stonewall, Carol and Wayne for this tour and Gene climbed "all aboard" and did a demo of the piece of equipment (well- sorta).

Then off to the Tombstone Courthouse which has been converted into a museum. A jail cell and the gallows for the town are located in the courtyard of the museum. The nooses, with their 13 coils each, were intriguing to see against the the bright sky of the desert. The trap door used to activate the gallows during a hanging went all the way across the platform. There were five eye bolts to accommodate up to five hangings at a time. Group rates!

Then down to Fremont Street by actual horse drawn stage coach, where the Gunfight at the OK Corral took place. The Earp brothers did a number on the Clantons and McLaurys. A dramatic reenactment provided a look at how the gunfight played out, without a slant to say who was right and who was wrong. But as history goes, Wyatt Earp and his brothers are all famous, or infamous, depending on you point of view; Clantons and McLaurys who? With the ladies in the audience, Doc Holliday was numero uno.

A visit at Boot Hill, the famous cemetery on the fringe of town, coincided with the last rays of sunlight and the sunset. It was perhaps the perfect time to be there. The stories of each person buried there is told on a small cross (and the small brochure that you get with the price of a two dollar donation to help maintain the cemetery). It was the perfect punctuation to our Tombstone visit. Like other cemeteries before it, and maybe even more so...this was a moving experience.

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