HOW TO MAKE A SWIMMING POOL IN YOUR CAMPSITE
After growing-up watching the western movies in the 50's and 60's, the Arizona towns of Tucson, Tombstone and Yuma still stand out in my mind. I think I've seen about 100 versions of the "gunfight at O.K. Corral" in Tombstone. So traveling into these towns brings on a feeling of nostalgia.
I was very excited about visiting Tombstone, Arizona due to its history with Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers, as well as the big "gunfight." It seems that between the years of 1881 and 1883 everybody shot everybody else and the survivors were hanged. The town is littered with markers indicating all the gunfights and deaths. Given the number of shooting deaths, I bet the streets must have been colored "blood red" rather than mud-brown.
Tombstone's Boot Hill, in a beautiful desert setting, was filled with over 250 bodies from untimely deaths during the 1881-1883 period.
Since Tombstone is such a huge tourist trap, we decided to go with the flow and have lunch at the touristy restaurant of "Big Nose Kate's." Not only was Big Nose Kate Doc Holliday's girlfriend but she owned a bar and house of ill repute. "Big Nose Kate's" was a blast. It seemed like a western museum with beer and food. They even provided entertainment with an amusing country/western performer. The place was well worth the price of the mediocre food.
|One of the many markers indicating the violence in Tombstone.|
|Our stagecoach driver and tour guide|
The grave marker states:
"Here lies George Johnson hanged by mistake in 1882.
He was right and we was wrong but we strung him up and now he's gone.
The result of the "gunfight at O.K. Corral."
|Big Nose Kate's|
|Big Nose Kate's|
|Even the entertainers were armed at "Big Nose Kate's."|
It turned out that our best visit was not to a real town, but rather the reconstructed "ghost town" called Gammon's Gulch. During the late 1960's and early 1970 Jay Gammon purchased a bunch of ancient western buildings, transported the buildings to his land outside of Benson, AZ, rebuilt the buildings, and stocked the town with as many antiques as possible. The place has enough authenticity that, since opening, Gammon's Gulch has been the set for tons of western movies and western TV shows. In fact, they just finished shooting a cowboy zombie movie-can't wait for the release!
Jay, the owner and tour guide, was quite a character with a constant barrage of witty quips and, at the end of the tour, entertained us by playing the piano and banjo.
Of course, we always have a little adventure everywhere we go and our latest stop was no exception. On the morning of our trip to Gammon's Gulch I looked out over our campsite to discover that our gravel lot was completely covered with water. After putting on my water-wings I ventured out into our new swimming pool. I discovered that water was shooting out of the pressure release valve on our fresh water tank. It turned out that our water switch which allows us to change our water source from the water pump to "city water" was broken and was filling our fresh water tank when it shouldn't have. This resulted in our fresh water tank overflowing and flooding the campsite. To add insult to injury, in order to determine if our water switch was truly broken I had to completely empty our 80 gallon fresh water tank adding more water to our pool. It was a good morning for ducks.
Tomorrow we leave for Tucson.
|A good place for Nancy in Gammon's Gulch.|
Tour guide, entertainer and owner
of Gammon's Gulch.