Tombstone!

As a girl growing up in New Jersey I was intrigued by stories of the “wild west.” I wondered what it would be like to walk through the desert and step into old mining towns. I read books and watched TV shows and movies that featured the mysterious landscape of saguaros and rattlesnakes.

Those young imaginings certainly played a part in getting me to Tucson many years later. I’m still intrigued and captivated by all the desert has to offer.

It’s no wonder then that I couldn’t wait to make a day trip to Tombstone and learn about the history of the OK Corral and the storied gunfight that took place there.

I’d been warned that Tombstone was “touristy” and sort of old-fashioned. However the people warning me had no idea it sounded like my perfect jaunt. I’m all for modern technology and new ways of learning, but there is always a part of me that yearns for the simplicity of my childhood. Soul-searching requires a bit of the new mixed in with nostalgia and memories, right?

My honey and I took off for Tombstone from Tucson on a recent Saturday and I was practically bouncing in my seat the whole way there. It was a pretty drive, through some wide open spaces and I spent some time imagining what it was like before modern roads and cars. What would it have been like to travel by horse or foot that distance? What would encourage a person to venture their way out to the dry and dusty town of Tombstone?

Upon arrival we picked up a tourist map and plotted our day. I couldn’t wait to participate in the theatrical re-enactment of the famous gunfight. ¬†We bought our tickets to the show and got to see the amazing Historama in the theater in the middle of town.

Let me tell you – do NOT miss this! If you’re into nostalgia, like to learn about history and have a great sense of humor, you will love this brief tour of the history of Tombstone, narrated by none other than Vincent Price. I’m not gonna lie, this was possibly my favorite part of the day. (and not just because the theater was air conditioned and it was a brutally hot and somewhat humid day)

The audience was full of energy and willing to participate in the outdoor show re-enacting the 30 second shootout between the Lawmen and the Cowboys – made famous in movies starring the likes of Val Kilmer and Sam Elliott.

ok corral gunfight With our tickets we also were able to visit the photo shop of C.S. Fly and read about the history of the town, with photographs of the people in and around town, and visit the stables and other buildings with facts and information about the time period.

Not only that – but we got a free copy of the Tombstone Epitaph Newspaper with the reports from the gunfight. (super cool, especially for this journalism junkie!)

Overall this was a great day trip and one I’d highly recommend to out-of-towners and locals alike. In fact, I can’t wait to head back there soon!

Want to plan your trip to Tombstone? Check out the OK Corral Website here.