Friday, December 12, 2014

Of Birds, Ghost Towns and Tombstone

Traveling on down the road . . .
We hit Phoenix at rush hour and didn't even stop, instead opting to drive into Casa Grande to boondock at a Love's truck stop. Very noisey place. Think I've had my fill of staying at noisey truck stops for a while. 

Birds of Patagonia, AZ . . .
The following morning we hit the road for Patagonia, a place I had only heard of on TV documentaries as being the in place to see hummingbirds. A beautiful drive over the mountains brought us to this small quaint little town. We found a hummingbird research center where I was able to set up my camera and click away. I learned one thing for sure and that is I need more experience with photographing birds. There were four different species of hummingbirds there among other species of birds and they were all over the place, darting here and there.The center had a little courtyard set up with feeders and water displays with seating to view the little birds. Guy gets bored easily and left me there to do my picture snapping while he heads to the RV for a nap. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted! But I did enjoy my little time with the "birds". 

Tombstone RV Park . . .
We headed over toward Tombstone and found a nice RV park about 10 miles from Tombstone in a little hole in the road town called Huachuca and located right beside the abandoned town of Fairfield, AZ. I took a little hike as the sun was going down and the heat deminished and found a nice sunset to photograph. This was a beautiful park with nice people running it. A large community room, library, indoor pool, exercise equipment and pool table, I would definitely come back here. Very clean and neat, but be forewarned that the weather is hot. Definitely desert weather.
Tombstone RV Park
Sunset at Tombstone RV Park
Ghost town of Fairfield, AZ . . .
The next morning we made our way to the deserted town of Fairfield to explore some old buildings that a group of  people keeps repaired. This was the main hub of transportation for the area around Tombstone. There were three different trainlines that came into the depot. In order to get to Tombstone, you would come here by train and take a stagecoach into Tombstone. I could just imagine the many train robberies that took place. This was also the place that Tombstone miners brought their silver to have it melted and processed.
Fairfield, AZ Ghost Town
Fancy two-hole outhouse complete with limestone
An old buidling in Fairfield

Guy shows the way to the cemetery

Another old Fairfield building
Tombstone Territory . . .
Tombstone was a treat with a real stagecoach ride that was smooth as glass - very comfortable. Picked up a Tombstone hat pin. We learned that the famous gunfight at OK Corral really didn't happen at the corral, but on Fairmont St behind the corral. Silver was the main draw for the town with over 300 different mine claims in the hills behind the city. Big Nose Kate's Saloon was absolutely amazing inside. And of course it wouldn't be a proper visit without seeing Wyatt Earp house. I also learned that the Chinese also played a major part in the town. A section of the town was called "Hoptown", meaning that they had a section of tunnels that they hopped thru to take them from place to place. A leading lady named China Mary ruled the Hoptown area. If she didn't like you, then you didn't work here. I even photographed her gravesite as you will see below. 

Guy outside of The Famous Bird Cage Theatre
Our Stagecoach and Driver

Me having a relaxing ride thru Tombstone

Sign outside Big Nose Kate's Saloon

Interior of Big Nose Kate's Saloon

Guy walking to our RV showing the hills that were mined in Tombstone

John Slaughter's House

Wyatt Earp's House

Little Egypt inside the Bird Cage showing the unrepaired bullet hole in her belly
Boot Hill Cemetery

Boot Hill Graves

China Mary's Gravesite

On the road again . . .
Leaving Tombstone, we ran across a border patrol roadblock. All they do is ask if you are a US citizen. Guess they could have figured that one out just by our hick southern mountain accents and our redneck vanity tag.
Border Patrol outside of Tombstone. See the German Shepherd?

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