On Thursday we went to Wickenburg. The town's goal is to be as "Cowboy" as possible. I think they are doing a pretty good job at it.
The best part of our visit was the Desert Caballeros Western Museum. I was not too hopeful when we walked it; it looked like a very small space. But there was a history room with dioramas (including the dam break with a 40 foot wall of water), and an Indian artifact room, and a gems room; but the highlight of the main floor was the cowboy room. It was a collection of everything a cowboy needs for work: whips/lariats, spurs, guns, holsters, saddles, belts, bridles, etc, etc. and it was interesting!
There was an art gallery with a "Cowgirl Up!" show, all art by women. There were some lovely pieces, and all types of fine art: oils, pastels, bronzes, pencil, etc.
Then there was a whole downstairs! There was a Western town street, with a general store, a saloon, a church, a hotel, and a jeweler/photographer. There was a whole "town" house, completely furnished in the Victorian style, with a parlor, a dining room, kitchen, bedroom, and laundry room. (I hope to add pictures to this post later, DH took lots of pictures.) Then there was a "country" house that was much more rustic, with only two rooms, the kitchen/living area and the bedroom.
In the front of the museum there is a lovely statue.
This is called "Thank you for the Rain" and was quite moving. It is very large. Here's my dad comparing hand sizes:
And here's my mom admiring the statue in the little plaza around it.
As you can see it hasn't been hot here, but it has been very comfortable.
After the museum we shopped. DH was looking for a cowboy hat, but didn't find one that would fit. I can't afford any art this year, and every time a piece of jewelry appeals to me it is over my budget. On our way here the bracelets I was looking at were $550 to $1,000, and the bead work pouch I saw was over $600. We did pick up a few souvenirs, but I would love to have a real Navajo rug, or some real turquoise jewelry, or a real weaving, or a real Kachina doll. But I think it will all still be available next time we will be out here... and there's not a lot of sense in spending money on the fake stuff.