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Stagecoach by the O.K. Corral Many people had recommended we visit Tombstone on the way to Phoenix, so after a vary long day of driving, we stopped for the night at a rest stop just outside the town, and pulled in to the Wells Fargo RV Park early the next morning, directly across the street from the famous O.K. Corral. We immediately made friends with a group from Elephant Butte, NM who were there to renew their wedding vows. We all had breakfast at the O.K. Cafe before heading into town.

Tombstone is a very nice town with a rich history. It's obviously a bit commercial, with re-enactments of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral several times a day, but not obnoxiously so. The 5 blocks of the main street are well preserved, and closed to all traffic except for the stage coaches that provide narrated tours of the town. There are lots of shops selling all sorts of western artifacts, and most were surprisingly reasonable. The Bird Cage, once a famous cat-house and site of the longest continuous poker game in history (non-stop for 9 years), is now a museum to the wild-west heritage of the town.

Our friends were members of the VFW, which was 20 yards from our camper, so we had a couple of nice evenings there where the drinks and food were a bit cheaper than elsewhere in town. We also met Paul the Birdman and his mixed-breed Parrot, Caesar. We were even invited to attend the wedding ceremony, which they performed in full old-west costume at Big Nose Kate's Saloon. We had a blast!

Az Bike Week

Copper Chopper Arizona Bike Week took place at Westworld in Scottsdale, a large venue more often used for horse-related events. We arrived a few days early, so there was virtually no one there when we arrived, although there were other venues around town having pre-rally bands and vendors, etc. We took the opportunity to ride around the area a bit. One area we liked was Cave Creek, a small town north of Scottsdale. The venues there included Greasewood Flats, The Hideaway, and Harolds. Bike week itself was a lot of fun, although we were a bit disapointed that it was very commercial. The vendors we talked to felt that they were charged way too much, and that that, coupled with a high entry fee for attendees ($40 for the 4-day event, no daily fee) prevented them from offering very good prices. What made the event worthwhile was a good lineup of bands, including Heart and Buckcherry. All in all, we made a lot of friends and had a good time at the event.


Boyd at Montezuma's Castle After the rally, we headed north to the Verde Valley near Cottonwood to be more centrally located. We explored many of the areas in preparation for my daughter's arrival, including Jerome, Oak Creek Village, Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Flagstaff, and Prescott.

When the girls arrived, tha first place we went was back to Jerome, a beautiful little mining town seemingly on the face of a cliff. There we explored the King Gold Mine (a huge junkyard of old cars, trucks, and mining equipment) before heading back to town for some lunch and shopping. The girls loved it there.
We also took them to see some of the old historic sites in the area, including Montezuma's Castle, Montezuma's Well, and Tuzigoot, an ancient native village. Also took the spectacular drive through Oak Creek Village to Sedona for - what else - more shopping!

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon The highlight of their trip, however, was out two-day visit to the Grand Canyon, 150 miles to the north. On the way there we stopped in Williams to check out the brewpub and, again, to shop. The Grand Canyon was amazing! When we got there (after checking in to the hotel) we hiked down a mile and a half into the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail. Then we walked around the Rim Trail another mile or so before hopping on the shuttle to see more vista points along the rim, including a beautiful sunset at Pima Point. Went back to Tusayan for a terrible Mexican meal before passing out at the Hotel from an exhausting, but terrific day.

Day two saw us hike down the other trail into the canyon, the South Kaibob Trail. This one started out much steeper with many switchbacks before opening up into the canyon. Ooh-Ahh point, a mile or so down, provided spectacular views and a good turn-around point.

Stopped in Flagstaff on the way home (the girls slept the whole way) for some dinner (at a brewpub, of course). Got home late, packed up, and drove the girls back to the airport in Phoenix early the next morning. We sure enjoyed having them with us, and a week just seemed too short!

Route 66

Route 66 After the girls left, we spent another week in Cottonwood before heading up to Williams, where we boondocked for a night. We then drove west on Historic Route 66, Kim driving the Rig and me on the motorcycle. Made it to Kingman where we were welcomed by the Elks Club.

The next day we hopped on the bike to finish riding old Route 66. First stop was Oatman, an old mining town where the donkeys run loose in the streets. We continued on to Lake Havasu City in 105 degree heat. There we found a nice little brewpub right under London Bridge! After cooling off for a bit, we headed back to Kingman.

The last day we decided to head over the mountain to Laughlin. Beautiful ride and not nearly as hot this day. Had a nice brunch in the Colorado Belle Casino, walked along the Colorado River, and tested yet another Brewpub before heading back for another night of partying with the Elks.


Meteor Crater Leaving Kingman, we headed back east to Flagstaff, where we decided to Boondock near the Naval Observatory. Took a day going to Walnut Canyon to see the very impressive cliff dwellings, then rode up through Sunset Crater Volcano, where we also saw the Wapatki Monument.

After a few days in Flagstaff we continued east, stopping at the Meteor Crater for a night. There we met Jim and Karen who were heading to the Grand Canyon. We would see more of them later in New Mexico...

The next day we made the short drive over to the south end of the petrified forest for the night. The gift shop there was more spectacular than the park itself - the polished petrified wood they had there was very impressive (and expensive!). Drove through the park the next day, then on to New Mexico!

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