I am, of course, at a loss for words. This is not an unusual state for me, I find myself in it often enough. But today is a bad one. You see, I am sitting here trying to summon up some interesting anecdote or wondrous piece of adventure to capture the essence of the day.
I can only think of one... Boredom. Yes, the 4th day on the road is when that particular emotion manifests itself. Especially when it is the second full day of what might be called the lower desert. That isn't the usual name for it, the usual name would be The Great Southwest. But that is a euphemism for totally and utterly boring. There is nothing of any consequence to see, just sand and rocks and sagebrush. As far as the eye can see. And beyond even that.
Having been deprived of our visit to Carlsbad Caverns and Roswell (maybe we'll get better weather on the return trip), and having some time to kill, we decided we'd take a side trip to Tombstone; the town too tough to die as it is called. Well, called by those who want to get you to come there. You have to want to go there. It is 20-something miles off the beaten track (meaning the interstate) and the road to it isn't exactly smooth.
It started life as a mining town; some silver and a little bit of gold, some other minerals when these panned out or the mines got flooded. But it's real claim to fame was Wyatt Earp and Ike Clanton and the infamous Shootout at the OK Corral.
First, let's clear the air and set something straight. There is no real corral. It is more like an alley behind a livery stable. And the shootout was between two rivals for control of the town. Neither side was especially good but the Earps got better press in the end.
The town is basically a nothing little place in the midst of land you wouldn't want to be buried in. Like most towns of its day, it had saloons and gambling. Today, there is no gambling and the saloons are just tourist traps. In fact, the whole town has been turned into one big tourist trap. Still, it draws enough people to give its inhabitants a living, I suppose. There is a stage coach that rides around the town while its passengers are treated to a recorded tour speech. There is a trolley that does much the same (why a trolley, I have no idea). There are two mine tours and a couple of museums (which are really shops with not all that cheap old west style merchandise for sale), and a book store (full of books on the frontier west) or two.
We spent a little under two hours there, most of which was spent waiting for some mediocre food in Big Nose Kate's Saloon. The town seems to think that Kurt Russel's movie version of Wyatt's big day at the OK Corral since that DVD was for sale all over and was being shown on the TV in Big Nose Kate's.
Not a great adventure... But it was a break in an otherwise completely non-descript day.
A Night Unremembered
2 years ago