March 12, 2018
We hadn’t really planned to make a trip through Tombstone, but our drive from Yuma to our next stop in New Mexico was about 8 hours, and that’s just more than we like to do in one day. We found an RV Coop at almost exactly the half-way point on our route with cheap dry camping available. It was also only about 20 minutes away from Tombstone, so it seemed like a perfect place for a quick one-night stop over.
I did that thing I always do, where I tell Brad that I have no expectations of the place…no pressure; I just want to drive through the town. But then I picked up a brochure at the campground advertising the daily shoot-out reenactments and the final one for the day was in 30 minutes. Suddenly I wanted nothing more in my life than to make it to that show.
We quickly dropped trailer, and headed full steam ahead toward the tourist destination. It was one of those comedy-of-error moments that can only be perfectly orchestrated when you’re rushing around and making bad decisions…but I dropped Brad & the girls off near the show to try to rush in for tickets while I found a place to park. But it turned out that I dropped them in the wrong place, so they spent a long time wondering around, losing precious minutes before the final tickets sales.
It was already 1 minute past starting time for the performance when we lined up, breathless, at the gift shop counter for tickets. A crowd of tourists was buying souvenirs from 2 employees running registers, and a few other people with wide eyes and eager postures, were like us – hoping to squeeze into the show last minute. One register was being run by a grumpy man who told us we were too late. But the sweet woman running the other register told people they could still get in, but we may have missed the beginning. All of us with the same frantic look in our eyes moved to her line. When it was my turn to pay I handed her my card. “Oh no!!! The computer just rebooted!” She moaned, exasperated. “It’s just going to take it a couple of minutes to start up again.” I looked at her desperately. How could she understand that my entire life had been building to this very moment, and that I would do anything to see this performance? I would only be here once…this was my only chance…and this, THIS was the thing I had always hoped I would get the chance to do in Tombstone, AZ.
“If I promise you…” I begged, “that I will come back and pay at the end of the show…will you PLEASE let us go on in?”
She considered this for a moment. She glanced at the man at the other register who rolled his eyes at her. “This is why I don’t tell people they can buy tickets after it’s already started,” he huffed.
She turned back to us. “Sure, “she decided resolutely, perhaps just to annoy her unpleasant co-worker. “Just be sure to come right back when it’s over.” I thanked her with a huge smile, and she began handing out tickets to us and all the relived people in line behind us.
I asked the actor playing Doc Holiday (far left in photo) if people told him constantly that he looked like Paul Dano. “Who’s that?” He asked. My current theory is that it was actually him…
Sarah, Brad, Sunny and Coral,
It was the BEST to meet you along your journey at both Walnut Canyon and Lowell Observatory and near the end of our adventure. Myself, Cathy, McKenzie and Doug could not stop talking about you, your adventure and the joy of our brief connection on that May 9 afternoon.
So FINALLY, I have reached your site and cried profusely looking at your photos, stories and the energy of all of you that jumps to life by just being on a computer. First time for THAT experience!
Thank you for the energy you have and continue to pour into this life experience and what it takes to provide a meaningful trail of recording it. ALL of it, and long into the future will be part of your memory banks. I am grateful to know that in some way, myself, McKenzie, Cathy and Uncle Dougie get to be one sliver slice in your memories! I just wish we could have had more opportunity to connect.
Sunny and Coral, This part is especially for you. When your Dad was holding Coral, I said that what your parents are doing for you through this experience is just magical! As you grow into women you will appreciate it more and more! Both of you girls have AMAZING parents. EVERYTHING you do in your life will be influenced by the special experiences you are having everyday with them.
I hope the magic continues, even on days when it is hot or cold, sweaty and stinky or goosey bumps cold, joyful or feeling a bit of grumpies (and that happens to everyone at one time or another!).
Hope your spring is going great. The summer solstice is coming soon!
Thank you for finding our blog and for the sweet comment! It was WONDERFUL to meet the 4 of you in Flagstaff. We still mention you guys often…especially what fun it was to connect with someone else who loves walruses as much as Coral does! You definitely made your mark on our travel story – you guys already appear in Coral’s travel journal! I’m grateful to have met you all – especially on such a difficult day when your enthusiasm and friendship was such a much-needed boost!
I sincerely hope that we cross paths again!
this whole story makes me laugh. you have such a great talent at making stories come alive.