A Travellerspoint blog

Canadians take over Tombstone AZ

Met 3 other Albertan's in Tombstone while visiting...

Well, I made it to Tombstone...what a cool little town!!!

I got in about 3:00 pm driving from Sedona, through Phoenix and Tuscon. The desk agent at my motel told me that some of the people in town dress and live as though they are in 1800 Tombstone. No guns allowed though...
Tombstone is very small and has alot of the original buildings still standing. A couple of streets are closed off for pedestrians only....and horses of course.
There are actors hired who renact old west scenes throughout the day...all adlib...you can't tell if they are actors or just local folk.
I might add the "cowboys" were hot, hot, hot....yes.....
I went downtown (about 3 blocks away) just in time to catch the play at the OK Coral. It was great fun...(really bad acting, but still alot of fun)...and who cares about acting...just watching the boys was good enough for me....
The food at the saloon was great too!
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I made it an early night....
Next day I called JP Ranch to see if I could go horseback riding. JP was a great guy, albeit lacking a sense of distance. He said "Oh, sure. I'll be here all day. It's about 20 minutes from Tombstone, just take Hwy 10 to ? and turn left...we are just up the road."
"So, is there a sign that says JP Ranch?" I asked.
"No, but you won't miss it we are the only ranch out here."
I made a date to meet in a few hours.

20 minutes? NOT! Try about 90 minutes. I managed to get lost even with GPS. GPS didn't have his ranch mapped which I thought was odd since everything is programmed in her... Luckily I stopped in at a grocery store in McNeil, a small town and a cowboy helped me out. I called JP
"Hi JP. It's me. I'm in McNiel...already 20 minutes from Tombstone. I got lost. Where are you?"
"Oh, were just up the road" he chuckled.
"Where exactly?" I was getting a little preturbed.
"Drive up to Gleeson Rd and turn left"
"And then?" I asked...
"Well, then you just drive a bit, pass 14 mile marker, then the jail and then turn right"
"JP, just exactly how far is 'a bit'?'
"Oh, it's about 10 miles from where you are to Gleeson Road, then about another 5 miles to the jail, then you are pretty much here"
I then said rather snooty like, "So you're not exactly 20 minutes away huh?"
"Oh yeah we are, you just went the wrong way!"
I got off the phone and the store cowboy started laughing. He said "Yeah, I moved out here about 6 years ago. People have a tendancy to say yeah, it's just off yonder dere....just up the road.....just up the road means about a 30 minute drive." He helped me as much as he could but even he didn't what Marker 14 mile was? Turns out JP was referring to the little green markers that mark the township/range roads etc....hmmmm

I followed JP's directions and luckily he was waiting at the jail. "You Joni?" he yelled as I drove by.
"Follow me." as he hopped into his truck.

OMG....You know the gravel, country roads in Saskatchewan Canada? Well, these are nothing like that...they are worse!
Needless I finally reached his place.
It was pretty cool. It reminded me of the place that Barbara Streisand and Kris K built in the movie 'A Star is Born'.....


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JP took me out riding for about 2 hours....for 28.00 dollars. He was a sweetheart and told me stories of the old west as we rode.
It was exactly what I wanted. The weather was pretty nice too...sun was shining.

JP and his wife offer a BB with horseback riding...I would recommend it and may one day come back to stay a week or so....would be great fun.

After the ride JP showed me around his small ranch, all solar powered.

He then drove me out to the road leading to Tombstone that he was referring to. It was a dirt road, but did make the trip to Tombstone only 20 minutes away.

I got back to Tombstone in time for another comedy play in town. I met one of the acting cowboys, Jim who included me as part of their script...(theater sports )...."he kept referring to the Canadian in town.." It was very entertaining...

I also met 3 other people from Edmonton, Alberta in Tombstone!Wierd.....

Posted by ManicGypsy 08:28 Comments (4)

Satan and Jesus revealed in the same week...

Las Vegas, Sedona and the Grand Canyon.

I haven't written for a few days because I have been unclear in my emotions and my reasons for doing this road trip. It has been roughly six weeks of pure sunshine and yet I still feel wanton...
I think it was the couple of days in Vegas that I started wondering "what the hell am I doing here?"...I didn't like Vegas at all. Everything about it stirred in me a feeling of nauseau....I'm not sure why. For starters...all I could see was "gluttony, sloth, lust" to a disgusting degree. Men...bald, fat, old and grotesque walking with leashes to which young, blonde, busty, tanned women (females) were attached....Massive blocks of concrete lit up like ornamental Christmas trees...Flashing lights, sirens...noise, noise and more noise. All I could see were masses of people walking about aimlessly, robotically shaking hands with obnoxious machines that robbed them as they walked by.

I stayed at the "HILTON" which was a level beneath the Super 6 motel I stayed at near San Francisco. No windows that opened, no coffee machine, no WiFi...filthy and stunk. I couldn't stand being in my room or out of it. Even the show I saw "LOVE" was less than I had expected. Granted, the acrobatics and music were amazing...but it was just "too much".....it somehow missed arousing a sense of awe...Perhaps it was in the interpretation of the music set to dance? I don't know....perhaps it was just my head space. I think it was just all the "ugliness" of it, in your face, all the time...loud, sleezy and just not for me. (For those that love Las Vegas, don't get me wrong. I am aware that perceptions comes from the perciever and their own concepts...obviously I have some unresolved residue from my Roman Catholic upbringing! (lol).
Not to mention that Las Vegas was relatively cold.

I left Las Vegas, not knowing foresure where I was going next. My primary motivation for this trip was simply to get away from the cold of winter and be with myself. All I knew is that I wanted to follow the sun but I was very close, relatively speaking, to Grand Canyon so thought I have to see this regardless of the weather. I also thought this would be a great opportunity to travel Route 66 and see what all the hoopla is about... So I left Vegas on Sunday, Feb 6th and headed toward the Canyon driving first to Kingman, then on Route 66 to Seligman. Saw one kind of cool little town that had 2 "Route 66" signs but that was it!...Continued on to Flagstaff and then on to Sedona. I had never even heard of Sedona but Betty, the friend I stayed with in Palm Desert had recommended it. Good Recommendation!!!!

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The exact opposite of Vegas!!!

I have to say, that over the past couple of days I have forgotten my reason for travelling. I realize I started visiting places getting more absorbed in the landscape and activities the cities offered than in what I really wanted...which is really just to enjoy heat and sunshine, write, draw...relax. The landscapes I have seen are incredible and certainly varied, but it is becoming tiring driving from one city to the next, without stopping long enough to enjoy any of them. (That's not true, I have enjoyed all except Vegas)....I think also, the reason I have become tired driving these past couple of days is because there wasn't much to see between Vegas and Sedona.....Nevada isn't a state I care to revisit...

I have had some moments this past week thinking, "Maybe I should just go home"....But then I saw the Canyon! AWE!!!....what a creation...
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Had a very interesting time in Sedona....
Was very pleased that it was a gorgeous as it is having travelled across Nevada...boring...long...sad
Arrived in Sedona around 3:00 pm on Feb 06, 2011 – very exhausted travelling from Las Vegas and still feeling down about Vegas and the drive....Nothing in Nevada....Hit Arizona and thought “I am definitely NOT a desert dweller!”....Nope, I love Southern California....(with the exception of the interstate highways)..Even in Palm Desert I noticed how much I miss waterscapes....If nothing else, I know that I want my home base to be near an ocean or a very, v ery large lake....with lot’s of trees...
But, and it’s a big but...if you have to live in the desert let it be Sedona! Very interesting little city...
I had never heard of Sedona prior to a week ago. For those that don’t know Sedona is a city of about 11,000 locals and probably 10,000 + tourists. ...It is nestled among red rock, much like the Grand Canyon but on a smaller scale...In some ways it is better than the Grand Canyon because it is much closer to you and tangible... The town itself is very,v ery cool....western store fronts with a hint of European influence...(the red rock reminds me of cobblestone)...I guess because of the vortexes it is considered a spiritual haven for many ex-hippies that are now baby boomers. Loads of new age type venues such as chakra and gem therapy, psychics, Native American Spirituality, etc, etc....of courses tons of artists and musicians....
My first day here was spent driving out to the Grand Canyon which was about a 2 hour drive. The first 30 miles is an amazing landscape road, much like the one I drove in around Big Sur. Instead of high hills and ocean you are surrounded by mountainous red rock, pine trees and cliff lined creeks. I have to tell this story, although it will scare most of you, thinking I have gone a bit over the edge.....
I left Sedona towards Grand Canyon with about ¼ tank of gas. As I was driving this road, the one I describe above, I decided I had better turn back and fill up in Sedona. I mention this because it becomes relevant in my story. On my way out I attempted to navigate the winding road at the same time as I was looking up at the extraordinary red rock formations...when suddenly I saw in the rock ....Jesus...I’m not kidding...This formation was distinctively the face of Jesus. Perhaps it was the lighting and my exact position on the road....I thought “Oh My God, it’s Jesus. Jesus is overseeing and protecting Sedona!”....You could see his facial features as well as his white loin cloth....it was amazing...(I am not a religious person, so I am not one to be looking for this sort of thing)....I wanted to stop but as usual there was a car behind me and no place to stop on the road. I thought, “Wow, if I could capture that in a picture and put it on U-tube this place will become the mecca of Arizona”...then I thought, “ah, I’ll catch it on the way back.”....
I went on to Grand Canyon and was as awe inspired as all who view it. I couldn’t get the vision of Jesus that I saw in the rocks out of my head. Naturally, as I’m sure all of us do when we view the Grand Canyon began to think about “God”, “the beginning of time”...etc., etc. ...I walked 5km around the upper rim of the canyon with a girl I met. (I knew I was out of shape, but it took me 2 million years to walk 5km)..haha...Along the canyon are markers that educate on the number of years each layer evolved.
The Canyon was the best medicine I could ask for after a visit to Las Vegas...I couldn’t help think...”Wow, I’ve witnessed the creation of Satan and God in less than a week!” (And participated in both I might add..lol)..
On my way back to Sedona, driving the same area of the road earlier I searched for the image of Jesus in the rocks but it was too dark. I thought, “I definitely will come back tomorrow around the same time as this morning and get a picture.”....
So, today, Tuesday, Feb 08th I retraced my drive from the previous day....looking for “Jesus”...He was gone!!!! I couldn’t find him!!!! Damn!!!! My thought, “There you go Joni, you drove by him once, ignored him, so now he’s gone!!”....(lol)...
I am so disappointed. It would have been a great u-tube event..It made me think of the u-tube picture I saw of the guy who saw Jesus in his “eggs”....
Anyway I spent today touring Sedona and partaking in the New Age activities....got a Chakra Body Reading followed by a Energy Healing Massage and Tarot card reading. All very interesting. The massage was great...The readings too were interesting....
Both commented on this time in my life as being a new beginning...that I was about to discover a self I have never known.....that I was about to find the self I have been searching for all my life...that I am entering a time in my life like no other...my thought..”You’re just describing life after menopause! You probably say that to all the women –my age!”
I’m being facetious...It actually was quite interesting what they had to say. Some of it quite applicable to where I am in my life..
So now, where do I go...
I had to remind myself of my motive for this trip so have decided to get through AZ and TX as fast as I can so that I can reach the sunshine and relaxation I want...Flordia of course!...(But I also want to catch New Orleans so will move in that direction)
So folks, that’s it .....I'm off to Tombstone tomorrow.... hopefully I will get in on a Dude Ranch (city slicker) experience!!
(I'm posting this without editing so that my friend in Houston and Ft. Lauderdale know where I am now. I will edit another day)

Posted by ManicGypsy 22:00 Comments (6)

Preview to life as a Senior

A week in Palm Desert

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From one extreme to the next. After a fantastic time in a child's world, Disneyland, I spent a week in a seniors world, Palm Desert. The weather was nice but not what I have been used to for the past month. Four of the Seven days were sunny and fairly warm at 70 F...nice enough to sluff at the pool....the other days were about 60 although sunny. I saw more films in a week then I have seen in my entire adult life (at movies theaters I mean)....King's Speech...boring (unless you are a Speech Therapist).....Biutiful..good but sub titles...and a bit too realistically graphic for my liking...and third.... The Fighter...I enjoyed this film even though it was a Rocky VII...but much better acting and fighting scenes...The supporting actors in this film were excellent, extremely believable and eSntertaining.

The remainder of our time was spent walking, hiking, shopping and just bathing on the deck in the sun. Also had some time to catch up on World events, catching the Egypt crisis.

I left Betty on Friday at about 9:00 am and arrived in Las Vegas around 1:30 pm.... LV sucks...within 1 hour I managed to spend over 200.00 and I hadn't got to my room yet!!!! In the Hilton I couldn't find a casual dining place that was open so had to get room service.....30.00 for a sandwich!!! I needed batteries for my mouse,,,,2 - triple AAA for 11.00.....After talking to a friend on the phone I decided to splurge and get a ticket for LOVE - Circus de la ???? (you know what I mean).....that starts in about 3 hours. I have yet to find my way around the Hilton, let alone the Monorail and then the strip!!!

So, three hours in Vegas and I have already spent over 400.00 dollars!!!! I haven't drank, gambled or eaten....

I won't be staying here long! Hopefully the show tonight will make it all worth while.... will let you know....

Happy Friday all!

Posted by ManicGypsy 18:37 Archived in USA Comments (2)

A Stranger Knew....

A friendly stranger sent this to me, recognizing something in me that I didn't even know!!! Thank you stranger ....

For a New Beginning

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

~ John O'Donohue ~

Posted by ManicGypsy 22:39 Comments (2)

Monet, Van Gogh and Mickey Mouse!

Getty Center, Disneyland and California

sunny 25 °C
View Travel Border USA on ManicGypsy's travel map.

After leaving Hemet I had no idea where I was going other than in the direction of Los Angeles. After a few hours of driving I decided to stay in Anaheim as I had memories of visiting it as a kid. I picked a hotel at random off the internet only to be told at check in that I was 2 blocks away from Disneyland. "Hmmm, that's interesting" I thought. I hadn't really planned on doing Disneyland...
After a good nights sleep, a morning swim and a light breakfast I headed off for the "Getty Center". For those that don't know (neither did I), the Getty Center is a museum displaying the families art collection... Wow! I was awestruck by its architecture and educational value. I had to laugh at my own ignorance. I had no idea that over the next couple of hours I would be standing, admiring original works of artists I had only heard about in my art classes at university. Van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne...like an idiot, in my excitement I shouted out "OMG, I painted that picture!!!" and ran toward the Cezanne. I couldn't believe I recognized it!.....I said to the person I had met earlier, "mine was better!" HAHA...NOT!!!!
I was so emmersed in these works of art as I imagined living in those times, imagined the artists working...I can't really describe the feelings I had...stunned....mesmerized...their talent is incomprehensible to me and my immature eyes.. After several hours of trance-like gazing I decided it was time to leave. On my way out a crowd of students with sketch pads in hand entered the room I was in.
"Notice the profiles on each of the statues. These are typical of the times; long, straight noses with disproportionately small heads" I overheard the instructor say..Naturally I stood around for a bit wishing I had brought my sketch pad and pencils.

Although I could have spent days in this place I, like any water addict, had to get in my daily fix of ocean views. I drove out to Santa Monica beach and walked the pier, noticing that Santa Monica had a lot more vendors than any of the other beaches I had seen thus far. Vendors selling food, trinkets, art work and fish bait. As I have done at each beach I visit I stopped to have dinner. This late brunch, early dinner was cut short by a most embarrassing moment. I was sitting alone at my table about to dig into my table-sized portion of nachos when suddenly I was interrupted by four or five uninvited guests....PIGEONS!!! They literally flew up on to my table top and began pecking at my nachos. Both parties on each of the two tables beside me were groups of young twenty year old "dudes". They immediately jumped up to rescue me and began shooing away my guests while the remaining patrons giggled. Needless to say, both my appetite and I left....

The ride home was horrendous, stuck on the I-10 and I-5 during rush hour. It took me 3.5 hours to travel about 40 miles... (And I though Yellowhead in Edmonton was bad!) This was an unfortunate experience for me and as such kept me close to home the following day.. (Not all bad as I spent another glorious day poolside sunning in 75 -80 temps).

Initially I was planning on getting to Universal Studios but the idea of driving those interstate hwys made me think twice. "Maybe i should go check out Disneyland?" I thought to myself.

"OH MY GOD!!! I LOVE DISNEYLAND!!!!It was the bestest, mostest, bestest, funnest day ever !!!" I have always loved rides so was estatic the entire day. (Yes, I am 50ish going on 10).... Can you believe I even started tearing up on one ride...(No it wasn't the wind...or was it?)...I was on the Soar'n California, a simulated flying ride. Because I have often had "flying" dreams I wanted to compare it...I must have done this in some past life because I remember thinking when I dreamt it "How can I possibly know the sensation of flying?" But I did and do....it is so amazing....maybe I was Amehlia??" (Relax folks, I'm kidding...I'm still here on planet Venus..I mean Earth)...The experience was exhilirating for me. So much so I went on it 3 times.

In addition to the rides I met some great people, enjoyed some Cajun style food and listened to some very talented musicians...

I still have a smile on my face.....With that Palm Desert, here I come....

(Sorry no pics....wasn't expecting to see anthing worth taking pics of ..silly, silly girl)

Posted by ManicGypsy 20:53 Archived in USA Comments (3)

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