365 Days on the Road

April 27, 2014 we headed out on our grand adventure to see the country. We sold the majority of our belongings: minus the books, photo albums, and home videos, those went to storage, and moved our family of six into our 35 ft Zinger.

 

Getting Rid of our Belongings

 

Since that time we have lived in four different states and added to our Band of Travelers a new member, Lucy Valentina, born February 14 in New Mexico.

Lucy Valentina

 

In Texas we saw our first rodeo and climbed Enchanted Rock.Llano, TX Rodeo

Enchanted Rock TX

From there we moved on to Cloudcroft, New Mexico where we lived at an elevation of over 9000 ft with a glorious daytime temperature of 70 degrees. I saw my first herd of elk and the wild horses of the Mescalero Apache Reservation.

Cloudcroft, New Mexico

And the children had the time of their lives sledding in summer at the White Sands National Monument.

White Sands National Monument

Not finished with the Land of Enchantment we moved north to the Four Corners area where we visited 700 + year old cliff dwellings and took a six hour train ride from Durango, CO to the old mining town of Silverton.

spruce tree dwelling

Durango Silverton Train

We stayed in New Mexico longer than intended as we waited for the birth of our precious sixth child Lucy.

As winter drug on we decided it was time to move to a warmer climate and ended up in Huachuca City, AZ. Here we learned about people like Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp. We visited Tombstone.

Oliver and Doc Holiday

Oliver and Doc Holiday

Bisbee.

Bisbee, AZ

Old Tucson.

Medicine man show

The Chiricahua National Monument.

Chiricahua National Monument

And the Saguaro National Park.

Saguaro Cacti

These are but a few of the places we have been and the sights we have seen. As a family we have learned more about our country’s Western history than either Jim or I ever learned in school and we have walked streets where some of that history was made.

As we start our second year we look forward to continuing our education as we trek across the country.

 

Back in Bisbee

Bisbee

On a recent Sunday afternoon Jim and I decided to have a little alone time. Well, almost alone, Lucy and I are pretty much inseparable right now. So we headed back to Bisbee after a brief sojourn in Tombstone… again. Jim loves Tombstone; I almost think that he would stop all our travels today if I would agree to settle down there.

But, back to Bisbee. Old town Bisbee isn’t a large town, but without super-charged children who just want to keep moving, you have a chance to leisurely experience it.

Like this lovely little shop.

Free Store

Yes, the Brewery Gulch Free Store. Everything you need in one convenient stop. A poster of Lady Gaga, a 1990’s monitor, some ribbon, a bottle of mouthwash… there’s really too much to list here. All kidding aside could you explain to me the mindset of someone who leaves a nearly empty bottle of mouthwash? Seriously, I can not imagine my mouth ever tasting so bad that I would dare raise that bottle to my lips. But, at least it’s free.

Bisbee, AZ graffiti wall

 

I’m not usually a fan of graffiti. I generally can’t see it as anything but vandalism. But there is something about this wall that I like; it just fits some how.

 

Moondragon truck

Moondragon Truck

After asking the local glass blower we found out that the owner of this ‘truck’ is a Mr. Moondragon. Being someone who lives full-time in a caravan, I totally dig this truck. I wouldn’t want to live in it, but I dig it. : )

Inn at Castle Rock

This is the lounge at the Inn at Castle Rock. After a day of exploring Bisbee, I would love to curl up in one of these chairs and read for hours. And, from perusing a few entries in the Ghost Encounter journal, written by the hotel guests, I might even have company.

When we say goodbye to Arizona, I’ll miss Bisbee the most.

Tombstone, AZ

 

Tombstone Tombstone, “The town too tough to die”, though I think it’s tourism rather than toughness keeping it alive today. According to Wikipedia Tombstone receives approximately 450,000 tourists each year; and this year seven of those were Foxworthys.

Tombstone found its beginning with a silver strike, bringing everyone from business men, lawyers, miners, and prostitutes to settle in this dry, dusty town. At one time the population was between 15,000 to 20,000 people.

When you walk the dusty streets of Tombstone today you’ll see actors portraying Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, some ‘shady ladies’, and more.

Oliver and Doc Holiday

Oliver and Doc Holiday

 

And of course there are plenty of shops and restaurants as well. You can watch a reenactment of the famous killings at the O.K. Corral, learn about the history of Tombstone by watching a short documentary narrated by Vincent Price or take one of many guided tours.

At the height of Tombstone’s glory days there were 100 bars open 24/7, over 2000 prostitutes, also open 24/7, and two theaters. One of those theaters was The Birdcage. You can take a self-guided tour of the original building, but I would suggest not bringing your young children along. The longest running poker game, being played continuously 24 hours and day for eight years, five months, and three days was played in the basement of the theater. This is the actual table at which that game was played.

Longest running poker game.

Longest running poker game.

In these boxes the ‘working women’ of The Birdcage plied their trade.

Bird Cages

 

Birdcage Tombstone

Birdcage Tombstone

I took the below picture to show that you did not have to be a prostitute to get by in Tombstone. Miss Nella Yaple owned the first drugstore in 1890 and was a Western Union telegraph operator. You go Nella!!

Miss Nella Yapie

Miss Nella Yaple