Tucson, AZ 1/6/08
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We have a short stop here in Tucson, and there’s a lot to see in this area.

A quick drive up the road from our campsite is Saguaro National Monument. There are a lot of the same desert plants there as were in the Organ Pipe Cactus Park (our last national monument stop) but it’s lusher here and there are more of the tall, two armed saguaro cactus variety that we northerners have learned to expect from watching Roadrunner cartoons.

For our one full day here we drove south to see a couple of the bigger landmarks. First stop was Kartchner Caverns State Park. The Caverns, discovered in 1974, didn’t become public knowledge until 1988, when the property was purchased by the Arizona State Parks system. Two different tours of the caves are given throughout the day. We took the shorter of the two- one and a half hours. This was a little bit different cave experience than we’re used to. First the entire path through the cave was a cement walkway- entirely wheelchair accessible. Second, because the caves aren’t deep underground, but inside mountain tops baked by the Arizona sun, they were hot and humid. And last, sadly, we weren’t allowed to take any photographs in the caves. When we got to the gift shop, we began to get a better idea of why, though- postcards and calendars and screensavers, etc. Cha-Ching.

Our next stop was the historic town of Tombstone- made famous due to the gunfight at the OK Corral, and the later movie starring Kevin Costner. Because it was such a famous event, many buildings and sites in the town have stayed in-tact for future generations. We visited the courthouse (now a museum), walked down the main street at high noon, ate lunch at the Crystal Palace (saloon/restaurant around since 1880) and on-site at the OK Corral, we watched the famous gunfight reenacted. Wyatt Earp, his brothers and Doc Holliday shot down the McLaury’s and Clanton’s, once again. We wondered if, just for fun, when no one is watching, they act it out so it’s the other way around.