Southern Arizona Road Trip Fun!

Superstition Mountains 

This gorgeous mountain range of the far east side of the Valley of the Sun in Arizona is infamous for lots of battles, Native tribe settlements, but also for the Lost Dutchmen's Mine. An old grizzled man stumbled from the hills with gold and proclaimed he had struck it rich. Since then, people have tried to search for it and the mountains have claimed many people who went missing in search of the gold. It also has atop it an ancient circle that no one is sure of its origins or how those people ascending to such a plain. There is also lots of magical talk of the mountains being the site of UFO strangeness and a portal to the Hollow Earth from which strange beings emerge from time to time. (More on this in a February posting)

Julie and I just took a trip to Tombstone, Arizona again but first, I hit Canyon Lake, Goldfield ghost town, and Tortilla Flats....

At the Superstition Mountains foothills, there is a great museum and living history type set-up just off the Apache Blvd roadway to the Lakes and Goldfield. In the chapel, there's an Elvis. You knew I had to pose.

I headed down to Goldfield which is a nice intact touristy ghost town but you can take a tour in the mines and I did a little gold panning, bought some pans for when I'm out and about, and managed to find some turquoise and garnet! 

The town is picturesque and the photo ops are outrageous! There is also horse back riding into the desert around there and a great museum! 

I liked this posting in the musem showing infamous people who went looking for the gold - this fella was found at his campfire with his head severed, his body thrown over the fire pit and his own dogs eating him!

And you have to have the western soda - sarsparilla. 

I headed a couple miles down the road to Canyon Lake - 

Headed in the 75-degree weather in January toward Tortilla Flats -

Listened to a live band outdoors and had a cold drink. This is the life!

The next day, took off for Tombstone and stopped at an abandoned house in Eloy to photograph on the way - 

We always take care to bring masks and gloves, have someone watch out while the others photograph and heed no trespassing signs. You don't know who might be inside, so throw rocks at the building to get attention. Better to face someone outside than cornered inside.

We moved on to Picacho Peak (or as later on when I tied on some beers, "Pikachu Peak")

We did see the rock formation where the Picacho Peak Battle occurred during the Civil War. 

(battle at the crop of red rocks in the distance in front of the mountains in the desert)

We kept driving into Texas Canyon, following the billboards for "The Thing!"

Since the canyon is all boulders, Julie and I couldn't resist a little Graboids "Tremors" reference!

We trekked down the road a few miles and found "THE THING!" It is probably one of the most famous of the roadside attractions. For many many miles before you get there, they have numerous billboards reminding you to see The Thing!

Exit 322 off I-10 in Dragoon Arizona. The gift shop has a counter. You pay a buck and go through the back door to the out buildings where there are numerous oddities until you hit the third building - where THE THING is housed in a glass case!

It was time to move on to Tombstone! 

We headed to Big-Nosed Kate's Saloon so we could tie on some beers and have some fun!

The bar has good food and drinks and the crowd is a crazy mix of locals, reenacting cowboys who stay in character, soiled doves, and a live band. You sit there in this very western atmosphere and feel you are part of the west in a big way! 

The next day, it was time for Birdcage Theater, stagecoach ride, Boot Hill Cemetery and lots of walking!

Our FAVORITE street entertainer, Johnny Bones - be sure to tip him nicely - guy is talented!

There's so much to do in Tombstone, it can be daunting. The stagecoach rides are nice because they drive you around the town and you learn all this obscure history. We like Birdcage Theater for a self-guided tour to look it over. We have had some interesting findings on ghost investigations there and you can feel it in the place. There is a wild west living museum that offers an interesting self-guided tour through animated almost amusement-park-like exhibits that shock and surprise and amuse. They also have old-time photos you can have done as a saloon girl or outlaw/lawman, of course. The food around town is good. Boot Hill Cemetery is a must-see and very picturesque location! We stayed at the Tombstone Grand Hotel which was about a little over a mile or so away from the town proper. They have the streets blocked off in one direction in town so that only horses, people and gunfights are allowed.

Next month - a trek to Arizona's wine country!