Sunday, November 20, 2005


Tucson, for me was a wash - however, I did acquire my first pair of cowboy boots in Tombstone. Did I mention in the last post that our air conditioner was broken while we were strolling through the desert? Make it a bit warmer than average and I think my skin was extra soft from the exfoliation it got while going 70 with the windows open. Civilization is good thing. Our modern form of dress, while often taken to extremes and sloppy, is a blessing in the heat.

But I get ahead of myself. We roll into Tombstone and stop for a drink at the Wagon Wheel or something like that. I'm a bit green under the gills still, so I have a soda while Mike gets a drink. We chat up the bartender and learn that she is married to "Doc Holiday" - now I would guess that his mother didn't name him that, however, we are in Tombstone and just go with it. Doc runs the farro game over at the Crystal Palace- yes, this sounds like the movie, but stay with me - and was cleaned out the day before by some bikers and so didn't have the game running on Sunday when we arrived. Michael asked the bartender what her name is and she said, "Kate" - "Big Nose Kate!?!" gasps my husband. "Just Kate, thanks" comes the retort. "Is your name really Kate?" "No. Just everyone calls me that."

The nice lady then gives us suggestions for decent motels in the 'stone and we go off and get a room at The Larian motel. Which I would highly recommend - clean, economical and we, as fate would have it, got the "Big Nose Kate" room. I settle in for a nap, as I'm still a bit weak and Michael is off and running about town... kid in a candy store. Not long after, he comes back with books and work pants and suspenders.

Our next day I am able to shower with out using the walls to hold me up - good sign and we look around for a place for breakfast. Nothing like seeing the main street of Tombstone with garbage cans to kill the Old West atmosphere. The stores were closed, as it was 9 AM and the tourists weren't going to arrive for another hour. We decide to check out and make a quick trip to Kartchner Caverns.

Now I don't find inherent humor in those with lower IQ's than average, however they do make for good stories. One of my favorite comes from a ranch my husband's friends have up in Winters. They are down 1/2 a mile on a dirt road that has a 90 degree turn before heading up a small hill and reaching the property. The wife orders a semi-truck load of shavings for the horse's stalls and is careful to have it delivered by a company that can send a 2-part trailer so that it can get around that turn. Now, this being winter, the depressed area next to the turn is filled with a seasonal pond. They see the truck coming own the road and it approaches the turn. The drive is a novice and doesn't quite do it right and the 2nd trailer starts to slip into the ditch.

Now about this time those with a brain on their head would backup up or maneuver to get the turn corrected. This brainiack goes out and unhooks the 2nd trailer. The trailer then completes its slide off the road and falls on its side in the pond. The trailer isn't sealed - as it is a canvas covered frame and the water begins to seep into the shavings. Our fine friends come down the road to see what is going on. The driver and his partner request that they start ferrying up the shavings to the house. The wife who has a solid head on her shoulders turns down this request stating that the truck is not on their property and, therefore, the company's problem.

When I arrived, there were two semi-sized tow trucks and about 7 people trying to figure out exactly how to remedy this problem. The driver was overheard saying, "Oh golly, I hope I don't have to go back to building chicken coops." evoking such a delicate mix of pity and pain - Is this how the other half live?

I think we had his cousin on our tour of the caverns. While some of us were asking about the age of the caves in relation to the limestone caves in Big Basin National Park, he was asking, "What's the deal with that rock?" and points to one that is 1.5 feet from the giant fallen shield that the guild has just spent 5 minutes reviewing in detail. I guess it was too much to surmise that it was a rock that had broken off the shield on impact 10,000 years ago. Yikes. And he had a son with him, but I was happy to note that the lad was asking smarter questions than the father. After hearing him ask the guide, "How long have you been underground?" I had to turn to see exactly how the guide was going to answer that. Maybe suggest that he uses a small corner cave as a bedroom and that he was saving-up his stalagmite so that he might, someday, afford an above ground abode?

Is this how the other half live?


M2 said...
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Meg DeLano said...

Re your boots - can a feminist be a cowgirl or should she consider herself a cowwoman?