Road Trip Day 5: Making Dad’s Dreams Come True in Tombstone – Part II

Too many people spend too much time planning their lives, and not living their lives…. Our own mortality, and that of our loved ones, is enough to snap anyone out of the planning phase and into the “Let’s Do It” stage of life.

Some of my father’s childhood dreams came true yesterday, as we stepped back in time during our visit to Tombstone, Arizona. On Day 5 of our cross-country road trip we made a pit-stop in the historic Western boom town with plans of seeing the O.K. Corral, the home of the Earp brothers and adventuring around the old mining town, which once was one of the largest towns in America.

We arrived into town early Thursday morning with plans to stay the day until about 3:00 pm, to see the 2:00 pm re-enactment of the shoot out at the OK Corral. After slathering on a lot of sunblock in preparation for a scorching day in the Arizona desert, high of 104 degrees, my dad proudly placed his massive hat on his head (my father has his sombrero/ umbrella ). Not to be out done, I found my large floppy hat, and together, with our VERY large head gear, we took on Tombstone….

Our first stop during the day was the visitor center where the nicest man provided us with all the information needed to plan out our day. We chit-chatted and I told him about the cross-country trip with my dad, and why I was moving and he told me he was a fellow Republican. We then started talking Presidential politics for a moment. He is a big Palin fan…. What I realized during the trip, is that Tombstone, Arizona is a town deeply rooted in politics… even the fight at the OK Corral was part of a Republican versus Democrat struggle. MORE

Thanks to advice at the visitor center, our Tombstone visit included trips to the Birdcage Theater, the Tombstone Court House, the Epitaph Newspaper, Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, the cemetery, The O.K. Corral and a trolley visit around town.


My father could not have been happier in Tombstone. He would stop in shops and look at the artifacts with care, as to take in each and every moment and internalize it in his memory. He really must have been in good spirits because when we made a stop at Big Nose Kate’s Saloon my father ordered a beer, a real beer, instead of his usual O’Dules non-alcoholic beer. Though his doctor told him it was ok to

drink occasionally, my dad prefers not to, just in case, but today, TODAY, was a special occasion. Sitting at the bar, he with his beer, and me with a Sarsaparilla, we made a toast to our day.

Lunch at Big Nose Kate’s was an experience. Performers played country music while staff danced and walked around in period costumes. A man dressed like an Old West Saloon manager greeted us to the establishment. He and the bartender chatted us up and made us feel right at home. Before I knew it, he was sitting me on top of the bar and posing me for pictures!!

My father got plenty of attention himself, due to the sombero/ umbrella…The hat’s very large brim stood out among the traditional cowboy hats worn my the locals. A few times people complemented his sombrero, that is, when he wasn’t chasing after it because a gust of wind had flung it off his head. Yet, he would occasionally look over at me and say the hat was a “sensación,” as he gleefully walked down the covered wooden boardwalk of old town Tombstone.


At 1:40 we we made our way to the OK Corral for the reenactment.

The show was interesting but long … Lots of monolog that I could have done without. I did learn a lot of Tombstone history.





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