Had a chance to take a road trip with the wife and kids last week. Headed to Dodge City Kansas, the one-time home of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, Wild Bill Hickcock and many others. Been on the trail of Earp for some time now, also tracked him to Deadwood and Tombstone. Will always wonder what he was doing in Tombstone. Following the money? Hired gun? May never know.
I understand the western town isn’t for everyone. But if you like this kind of stuff, old west stuff, all three towns, Dodge, Deadwood and Tombstone, all offer a really unique experience.
Dodge is still a very viable railroad town, so the old-west heritage is packaged into a small part of the city, “Boot Hill.” But they know what they have in terms of history and do a very nice job of highlighting it. There are also statues and memorials throughout town that widen the spectrum a bit.
Deadwood is also still thriving in part because of gaming and casinos, but it’s a very well kept town that also celebrates it’s old-west roots, while offering people who could care less about Earp and friends other options. Dodge has a good museum but Deadwood’s is better.
Finally Tombstone. There’s nothing like Tombstone. It’s still the town it was, “Too tough to die.” The town people dress in 1800’s garb and act the part too. It’s a living museum, It’s incredible. The shoot-out at the OK Corral is just that, ok. Shootout in Dodge is superior. Tombstone though offers a unique feeling of what it might have felt like 140 years ago, because it is largely still the same. Even today it feels odd to be in such a remote part of the country, much less back then. Long way from no-where eh.
At this point my kids still really enjoy these places. They brought their cowboy boots and jeans to Dodge, and as soon as we arrived they changed into costume. Love that. No this ain’t Disney Land, really trying to avoid that societal trap. But Dodge etc. is doing a great job presenting the ‘old west.’ If these places weren’t doing such a good job, my kids wouldn’t but into it. But they do, and they love it.
Last thought. This is my 16th year in the desert. I remember when I was growing up in Minnesota, the summer solstice never meant much. ‘Oh the first day of summer… it’s been warm since the end of May, who cares?’ Long summer days were welcomed in the North. In the desert however, “Solstice” means the beginning of shorter days. When it’s 110 and the sun is still shinning at 8 pm, it can be tiring. Really for me, once I started working in and out of my truck I became keenly aware of the date. So here we are a week post solstice and we have actually gained 3 minutes of darkness, unfortunately it has been in the morning; as sunrise has gone from 4:14 to 4:17. I’m thinking most of us are missing that? Attached link below to sunrise and sunset times. We don’t actually gain a minute of nigh-time darkness until the 30th of June. Will be celebrating.