Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tombstone and Tucson, Arizona

On Thursday it was my mom's birthday, the reason we traveled to Arizona in February. We had a nice breakfast together with people from my parents' church, and then hit the road to Tombstone, Arizona.

Once we found the "down town" this was the first thing we saw. The town was very touristy, but with a basis of fact, and we had a very interesting visit. Behind the donkeys was a quilt exhibit! My mom and I had fun looking at that.


Another interesting thing about the town was that there were people wandering around wearing outfits that could have been warn in the 1880s in Tombstone. (This gentleman was holding a plastic bag in his hand, but he was very careful to hide it for pictures.)


My mom asked for a stagecoach ride for her birthday present, so we all went along. The coach was pulled by Percheron horses. We had a leisurely ride around town, and had many historical houses pointed out to us. It was sobering to realize that in a stage coach like this it would have taken 3 hot dusty days to cover the distance to Tucson, that took us about an hour in our comfortable, air conditioned ride. Here are my parents, DH and me.


We saw more people pretending. We did not attend the shooting at the O.K. Corral; DH thought it would be too fake. We did go to the old court-house, and saw some real history. Tombstone was a very rough town.


We stopped at Boot Hill after seeing the down-town area. I was surprised by how moved I was by the cemetary there.


There were a few famous graves there, but most of the graves were marked "Unknown." There were two graves of children, 3 months, and 11 months, and a couple of "Mrs." Other than that, the graves were marked, "murdered," "shot," or "hanged."


We spent Thursday night in Tucson, and the Gem and Bead Show was going on, but I will share that in another post. On Friday we went to the Pima Air and Space Museum, and that was another fascinating day. DH has always been interested in airplanes, and we saw plenty of them.

There are over 70 acres of land, with hundreds of airplanes parked out in the desert. We opted to take the tram tour around the grounds, it was a very wise choice. We saw "Freedom 1," an early Air Force One, several MiGs and B-17s, and all sorts of helicopters. The first hangar we went through was filled with experimental and new air planes, but what interested us were the 2 hangers filled with WWII aircraft.

My late father-in-law was a waist gunner in a B-25 bomber in the Pacific theater during WWII. This is a waist gunner, but not in a B-25, they did not have figures in the B-25, which was directly behind me when I was taking this picture.


Those airplanes were not pressurized during the bombing runs, it was a very cold, difficult job. The life on the ground, between flights, was difficult as well. My FIL did not talk about it too often, but it was an important part of his life.

This is a B-29. It is huge! This is the type of airplane that delivered the atomic bomb to Japan, but even without that it changed the face of the war. It could carry 4 times as much weight of bombs as airplanes could at the beginning of the war, and it was pressurized so it was much more manageable for the crews.


We had planned on doing a couple of things on Friday, but this museum was so fascinating (and huge) that we were all worn out by the time we got done. We just headed back to "the valley of the sun" and home.


Debi said...

Hi Jane,

Your run about Arizona sounds like what we did for my Dad's birthday two summers ago. Tombstone is always fun to visit. We did one of the old silver mine tours while we were there and also went to Boot Hill.

We also went to the Pima Air and Space Museum with my dad who regaled us all with stories about the various planes he knew from his time in the Army. There is a lot of history in that place.

From the pics it looks like you are having fabulous weather. Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

Laura B said...

The picture in the stagecoach is wonderful, hope your Dad liked the ride!

Happy trails!!