Tourists in Tombstone
Tombstone Through a Tourist's Eyes
If you are looking for a page full of facts figures and history then this is not the page for you and there are plenty of other sites on the web already that can give you that.
As someone who has been a tourist in America many times this hub will give you a typical tourist’s view of a visit to Tombstone as seen through the eyes of someone that comes from another country.
Our holidays in the States have always been of the fly drive variety, this is where we fly into somewhere pick up our hire car and then take off on our holiday.
The only motels that we have booked is for our first night in America and our last and this leaves us free in between to go where we like and to stay as long as we like.
Of course like most of my generation I learned the names of places in America before I learned those of my own country because on our weekly visits to the cinema.
Every week there was at least one cowboy film and so we grew up hearing the names of towns such as Dodge, Silver City, and Tucson to name but a few.
Many of the cowboys that we saw on television series and in the films were actually based on real people and some of the story lines had been based on real events.
Gunfight at the OK Corral
Shootout at the OK Corral
When we saw Tombstone on the map it conjured up all sorts of images and just about every kid of my generation in England knew of the fight at the OK Corral.
We knew of the Earp Brothers and Doc Holliday and so of course we jumped at the chance to go and see the actual OK Corral and Tombstone for ourselves.
Tombstone is in our top ten places to visit in the States, it was so good that we went back for another visit and we enjoyed that second visit every bit as much the first.
Many people say that some of the shows are too unrealistic and touristy but take it from a tourist ignore these comments just judge for yourself.
I think that you will have a real good time watching this excellent show that actually portrays realistically the actual distances involved in the shootout at the OK Corral.
I thought that the action would be more spread out and I was very surprised how close together they all were when the shooting was going on.
Most of the gunfights that I had seen on the TV and in cowboy films had the gunfighters facing each other off at distances of fifteen to twenty feet.
Seeing those involved in the gunfight standing facing each other at such close quarters was quite an eye opener for me.
The actors of course used blanks in the gunfight but before they started the show they showed us the effect that a blank had on a can of soda pop.
Seeing how the blank made a mess of the can when it was fired from close range was another surprise I had no idea that a blank could do any damage.
Posing or Posers?
The actors and actresses put on a fine show and we all got to see how the Earps and Doc Holliday killed Billy Clanton and Frank and Tom McLaury in Tombstone on the 26th of October 1881.
After the show you could pose for a photo with the actors and actresses that had taken part in the show and of course being tourists we couldn’t pass up that opportunity could we?
Posing or Posers?
Big Nose Kate
Mary Katherine Horony also known as Big Nose Kate was the was the girlfriend of Doc Holiday and it was rumoured that she ran a bordello in Tombstone but there is no evidence to support this but there is a Saloon in Tombstone named ‘Big Nose Kate’
We went into Big Nose Kate’s Saloon where we had a bite to eat and something to drink and while we were there a woman country and western singer played the guitar and sang.
The singer had a very nice voice and it was a very pleasant atmosphere to sit in and it felt like a Saloon bar.
The Saloon itself and the staff all worked hard to keep the feel of a wild west Saloon but of course the tourists like us made it hard for this illusion to be kept up.
Big Nose Kate's Saloon
The Bird Cage
One of the most interesting places in Tombstone is the Bird Cage it has a reputation of being one of the meanest and wildest places in Tombstone and from the number of bullet holes that you can still see in the walls its reputation is well justified.
The Bird Cage
Another Shootout Show
After a spot of lunch we went to see another western type shootout show, I know they are a bit corny and not very realistic but when you are a tourist on holiday they can be fun to watch and very entertaining and this was certainly both.
The actors interacted well with the audience and this made the show a very enjoyable experience.
One thing to keep in mind is that most of these shows take place outdoors and you sit in bleachers, these are not uncomfortable but in the hotter months it is a good idea to make sure you have with you sunscreen, a hat and a bottle of water.
Can't resist posing
Needs Killing Law
One of the shops we went into sold among many other things guns and my husband spoke to the shopkeeper for ages about Tombstone, guns and the law concerning buying guns.
The shopkeeper told my husband about a law in Arizona only recently taken off the books called the ‘Needs Killing’ law.
This is where if you could get twelve people to agree that someone needed killing then you could go out and kill them with the backing of the law.
Now I don’t know how true this is or if the shopkeeper was having a bit of fun with the gullible tourists but he seemed very convincing at the time and in Arizona it is still legal to walk about wearing loaded guns in plain sight.
I am glad that the Needs Killing Law has been taken off the books with so many guns about you wouldn't have to upset many people to put yourself in the line of fire would you?
The Gun Shop
We saw and enjoyed many things in Tombstone but the final place we went to really was for some their final place and of course you’ve guessed no trip to Tombstone is complete without a visit to the famous Boot Hill graveyard.
I was a little confused as to which Boot Hill was the famous one as there is a Boot Hill in Dodge too though it is probably a name commonly given to burial places in the Old Wild West.
Is Tombstone worth a visit?
Is Tombstone worth visiting?
Is it good value for money?
Is there lots to see and do?
To all these questions I would have to say a resounding yes if we are ever in that part of America again we would certainly go visit Tombstone again and my little ‘A tourist’s guide to Tombstone’ only just scratched the surface of what we saw and did in Tombstone.
Take some time out and see some of the other places we have been to. If you have never been to Spain then check out the Guadalest and Villajoyosa hubs you will be in for a real treat the photographs give you a real taste of Spain.
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My Other Travel Hubs
If you have enjoyed this hub you might enjoy some of the other places I have visited and written about.