Sunday, March 9, 2014

Day 3 and a ride through the Arizona old west...ra

Dear Family & Friends,

Today was an easy ride day.. I got up and rode about 1 1/2 hours to Tombstone AZ where I met up with a friend from the SLO area,Ron Spicer. A fellow motorcycling enthusiast that rides at least as much as me if not more!
We had breakfast in an old saloon in Tombstone and walked a round a bit... Tombstone is a very famous old Arizona town that started as a mining town but about 120+ years a go there was a famous gun fight at the OK Coral with Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp .. That one gun fight has kept the town going long after mining died out. Tombstone is a major tourist attractions with most of downtown preserved as it existed in the 1800s. They also have men walking around town in traditional "Cowboy" outfits and 4 or 5 times a day they have a "Gun Fight" for the entertainment of the tourists.. Other than the occasional gun play it is mainly a big old west museum and arts and crafts gallery..
From Tombstone we rode about 45 mins. to Bisbee, AZ..
Bisbee used to be a BIG copper mining town. In the early 70s the mine closed down the the town population dropped from 9000 to 2000... Then just about when the town was about to die out the artists and "hippies" found the town.. Now it is beautifully restored and is arts and crafts galleries from one end to the other..
We went into a couple of galleries and the women running them were more than friendly... They seemed either bored or lonely but they talked are ears off! We almost had to back out the doors while they were talking... Although I do have to admit they were very interesting. One women who I would guess was in her late 70s was actually from England and was a direct descendant of Scottish Royalty! ( at least that is what she told us) She was a classically trained actress and according to her came to Hollywood and NY to make her career. She said had a career that was taking off and decided fame was not for he. So she left and traveled the world. She had the looks and presence of an actress. She was an artist and writer and was quite interesting.
The next gallery we went to was run by a women again I would guess in her early 70s. She was originally from San Francisco and moved the Bisbee in the early 70s.. I am guessing a bay area "hippy" looking for an alternate life style. She also new the history of Bisbee and told us so much. About how Hollywood often came to Bisbee to make western movies. She told us about John Wayne's favorite hang out and lot about the local lore. She did seem very happy with her life's choices.. She also mentioned about 5 years ago a new company bought the local copper mine and opened it back up. It has brought some jobs back but today mining is very automated so no big boom to employment..
As we rode out of town we passed by the mine. WOW!! What a big hole in the ground!! It looks like over the last 100 years they have virtually removed an entire mountain.. 
From there it was a short ride to Douglas, AZ. A small boarder town. Again it looks like at one time this was a very prosperous town but not anymore. The hotel we are staying in has an amazingly grand  entrance.  The hotel was over 100 years old and very elegant. The elevator was so old it required a trained operator (we were not allowed to go alone) and required quite a few "Adjustments" to get the elevator aligned with the floor it stopped at.
Tonight we have a welcoming party to meet all the other riders and our guides. We are only a few blocks from the Mexican boarder so tomorrow it is off on an another adventure.
 For my friends in Europe you will really enjoy seeing what the Old West used to look like!
Signing off for now until whenever I have internet service again!


 This is where we had breakfast in Tombstone....
 The rush hour in downtown Tombstone..
 How the Old West really looked 125 years ago.
 A real "Cowboy"

 This was a local sign in Tombstone. Who ever this is, it is very clear he is not well respected around town..
 I can only imagine what a "Vape Den" is......;)
 The original Tombstone silver mine.

 The town that gunfights made..

 I was sorry I could not get inside this store to take a photo of the windows from the inside out. They were beautiful stained glass windows everywhere..

 The famous OK Coral..

 A local "Gunfighter"
Welcome to Bisbee, Az.

 Is child abuse really that big of a problem in Bisbee? There are certainly LOTS of motorcyclist in AZ.
 What do you think they sell here? Well it is not from outer space.....They sell tea saucers...
 Some stores are just desperate for something to sell..

 This place is ready for business, no fooling around.

 A great little Bisbee courtyard.

 Bonnie, look at these... $250 each and not half as nice as yours!!!

 This was the lady that claimed Scottish royalty. She did have the looks and presence of an actor.

 A very nice lady from San Fransisco.. She really knew Bisbee and it's history.

 When is the last time you say a Nesbitts sign? I know I am getting old because more and more "Antique" stores are just full of junk I grew up with... :(
 The entry way into the hotel we are staying at tonight.

 Just because I ride a motorcycle doesn't mean I have to rough it....

 You can tell the old "Hippies" have taken over Bisbee.. :)
Our group ready to roll out tomorrow into Mexico.

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