Total Pageviews

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Saguaro Cactus and Tombstone

 Well, it took us 2 days to get here, but we are in Tucson, Arizona at the Mission View RV Resort, a 55+ community. We divided the trip from Lake Havasu City to here into 2 days since it was close to 350 miles. We spent the first night in Gila Bend, Az. at Augie's Trail RV Park, and made it here to Tucson on Monday. We had a good safe trip with no events or problems.On a positive note, we purchased diesel for $3.35/gallon here, which is the cheapest we've bought since our trip began. The park here is a senior park and has many permanent residents in park models rvs, but still has lots of space for transients, like us. The park is very nice with full hookups and is a Passport America member which means we're getting a bargain at $19/night.

Tuesday we decided to explore the Saguaro National Park. Now, for those of you who are asking what is a "saguaro", it's a tall stately cactus that only grows in certain desert elevations and climates and is widely recognized as a state symbol of Arizona. Btw, the correct pronunciation is "sah- wah -ro" or "suh- wah -ro." I have a particular fondness for the Saguaro for no particular reason, I just like the look and stature of them. There are actually two different Saguaro National Parks here in Tucson. One is on the east side of the city and the other is on the west, separated about 35 miles. The eastern park is at a slightly higher elevation and has older more diverse mature plants than the western park, which has a larger quantity of Saguaros. We went to both parks which are both awesome.

Today (Wednesday) we went to the famous old west town of Tombstone, about 60 miles southeast of Tucson. Tombstone is widely known as "the town to tough to die" and is probably the most famous old west mining town with its' colorful history of characters, gunfights, and hangings. The town was established on a mesa above the Tough Nut Mine. Within two years of its founding, although far distant from any other metropolitan city, Tombstone boasted a bowling alley, four churches, an ice house, a school, two banks, three newspapers, and an ice cream parlor, alongside 110 saloons, 14 gambling halls, and numerous dancing halls and brothels. All of these were situated among and on top of a large number of dirty, hardscrabble mines. The most famous event in Tombstone's history was the famed Gunfight at the OK Corral, which didn't actually happen at the corral, but in a vacant lot on Fremont Street. On October 26, 1881, members of the "Cowboys" had a run-in with Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp with help from Wyatt's friend Doc Holliday. 24 seconds and 30 shots later, Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury were mortally wounded. In many peoples opinion, it was this one event that has kept Tombstone alive for all these years.

Entrance to western Saguaro National Park.

Visitor's Center

View out back window of Visitor's Center.

The Seguaro's grow to be 150 to 200 years old. They usually don't grow arms until they're around 75 years old. One without any arms is called a spear.

Closeup of new arm sprout.

This one looks like rabbit ears.

Octillo Cactus. They sprout leaves within days of a rain then drop them as moisture disappears.

Masonic building in Tombstone.

Cochise County Courthouse in Tombstone.

Stage coach tours around town.

We took this tour. Very interesting and informative.

Main Street

Famous Bird Cage Theatre.

Painting on wall inside Bird Cage Theatre

Other end of Main Street. Notice anything missing?  That's right, no people!  The whole town was pretty much deserted when we were there even though all the stores were open. Guess it must be the end of the season.

Plaque at street corner

Looks the Earp brothers are back in town!

Fire station that is now senior center.

OK Corral where famous gunfight was held. There is a photo of the sign on the wall 2 photos down.

Boot Hill Graveyard.

Old Hearse

No comments:

Post a Comment