Over the time of our postings to the US, we have been fortunate to visit 44 States – we have driven a lot.
Road tripping across the US is an adventure from the time you begin. The majority of the main roadways are well kept, vast but with great signage and rest stops along the way – it’s a great way to see the US.
During 2014 we completed a road trip where we travelled from Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri to South Dakota, across to Seattle, down to LA, across to Texas and then back to Fort Leonard Wood. It was a massive three weeks but we loved every moment.
You tell him I’m comin’….and Hell’s comin’ with me! Wyatt Earp (Tombstone, 1993)
We have always enjoyed watching Tombstone (1993 version) so visiting Tombstone, Arizona was a must. We left our camp spot close to the Grand Canyon and began the 6+ hour drive south towards our destination. It was hot, desert and we were glad when we arrived.
Upon arrival in Tombstone we were unsure what to expect. Tombstone is enriched with history and will take you for a nostalgic walk through a true western town. Tombstone is described as the “Town Too Tough To Die”.
During a scouting expedition 1877 a gentleman named Ed Schieffelin discovered silver during one of his solo adventures. Legend has it that others in Schieffelin’s party had remarked ‘that the only stone you’ll find out there will be your tombstone’, ironically, Schieffeling was later buried in Tombstone.
By 1881 the population of Tombstone exploded to approximately 4000, all chasing the prospectors dream! The town infrastructure also increased, saloons, theatres and store fronts popped up along the main street. With the growing population, problems arose and the arrival of the Earp Bros proved a source of contention between the ‘cowboys’ (Lead by Ike Clanton)
One of the most famous stories from Tombstone is the shoot out at the OK Corral between the Earp Bros, joined by Doc Holliday and the ‘Cowboys’ The shoot out was actually not undertaken at the OK Corral but close by.
Visiting Tombstone is quiet the adventure, the main street was blocked off and as we arrived just prior to noon, we were able to watch the Earp Bros and Doc Holliday walking down the road ready for the reenactment of the shoot out at the OK Corral. It was great to see and the actors played very convincing parts. After a walk through the OK Corral and watching the shoot out take place, we strolled the old town and loved seeing the store owners and staff all dressed in period costume – it was just like being back in the 1800’s.
We completed a town tour on the stage coach, visited the museums, looked through shops, fired .45 calibre (filled with paint balls) and were greeted by the shop owner stating ‘you Aussie’s don’t like me very much’, this left us a little perplexed. He then went on to explain why – his name was Kevin Rudd (Australia’s previous Prime Minister). The shop close by also had a very fitting sign on their store front. We enjoyed being ‘gun slinger’s from the 1800’s for a while.
Big Nose Kate’s Saloon is where the Grand Hotel once stood before fire destroyed the building. Big Nose Kate was a lady of the night and also Doc Holliday’s special lady. Today, Big Nose Kate’s Saloon is home to super cold beer and amazing pizza (must do). You should absolutely visit BNK’s Saloon for a step back in time experience, you can even watch Tombstone on repeat!
There is plenty of history and adventure to be seen and found – a visit to Tombstone is a must!