Draw yer pistols, this weekend my parents and I headed to the wild, Wild West. Bisbee, AZ is famous for its copper mines, which offer tours to tourists and the like. We would have gone on a copper mine tour, but my mom doesn’t like being underground. Instead, we occupied ourselves with everything else Bisbee had to offer.
I was most enamored with the way Bisbee was constructed: homes are built into mountains and steep streets go up and down and up again. The stairs of Bisbee are the same way and many calories were burned trekking around. The first exploring we did was through Main Street in historic Bisbee; an alley filled with vintage shops, art galleries and used bookstores. My parents and I were in an antiques shop when we were enticed by the overwhelming smell of coffee. We made our way to Old Bisbee Roasters where we met Seth Appell, who roasts coffee beans from all over the world; my parents bought a sampler of flavors.
Afterwards, we visited the Copper Queen, Bisbee’s very own haunted hotel. The Copper Queen has an old style, with floral upholstered couches and creaky stairs. The Copper Queen’s guests are visited frequently by three ghosts, sure to spook you out of any sleep. I really enjoyed reading the Copper Queen’s ghost journal, where guests wrote stories of encounters: shiny quarters moved and cigar smoke smelled. In October of 2008, the same girls who accompanied me to Sedona and I went on a ghost tour of the Hotel San Carlos in downtown Phoenix. In a photo we took, a man (who clearly was not in the elevator before) appeared behind our shoulders. I tried recreating this in mirrors at the Copper Queen, but only found some misplaced hair.
Bisbee is good for a day trip, but wouldn’t take up an entire day. My parents and I ran out of things to do within two hours. We decided to head over to famed Tombstone, Arizona, as it was so close. Parts of Tombstone are like a real-life theme park, and tourists could spend a lot of money on carriage rides and staged gun fights. When my dad parked my car, we were greeted, rather crudely by a man dressed in a sheriff’s costume. My dad jokingly asked the man if he had come to arrest my mother and I, and boy oh boy did he want to! I quote “You might want to watch what your father says because I would gladly arrest you” “I would love to put you in handcuffs”. I MEAN SERIOUSLY?! COULD YOU BE ANYMORE DISGUSTING?! So let this serve as a warning – if you see a man with a thick, brown handlebar mustache dressed as a sheriff, avoid him at all costs, or punch him in the face, he wants to rape you.
Other than Creeper McCreeperson, Tombstone was a fun place to explore with a family of little kids. Unfortunately I’m not a teenager, but I still had a fun time exploring the local bar.
I really enjoyed the Boothill Graveyard, where tombstones like the one belonging to Lester Moore make it difficult to believe whether the graves are real or not. Dear old Lester took “Four slugs from a 44, no les no more.” The brochure provided with a donation to the graveyard gives details of the people who, yes, really are buried on Boothill. For those who like cheesy souvenirs, Boothill has a wide variety of Tombstone t-shirts, shot glasses and salsa.Follow @ivymorris