Douglas, Bisbee and Tombstone

Hi everyone,

I’m in San Diego now, trying to catch up on this blog, and I have a lot to report.


September 23rd & 24th, 2014

Reading: I finished Travels With Charlie long ago and am now reading The Dominguez-Escalante Journal: Their Expedition Through Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico in 1776.


I left Portal after breakfast at the Portal Café with Dirk and some of his friends and then headed for the town of Douglas, on the Mexican border.

Douglas is an interesting experience.  Here, at the south end of G Avenue, the town’s main street, we see something that many of us have heard of, the “fence”:

1-International Street

If you zoom in you can see the name of the street, “International”. It’s one thing to have heard of this fence or to simply know of its existence, but it’s something else to actually see it.


The view to the left…


…straight ahead…

3_straight ahead

…and to the right…


…with one of the now familiar (to me) Border Patrol vehicles.

I don’t want to make light of serious situation, nor to say anything demeaning or cynical. Illegal immigration is a serious problem, with vast consequences, but I can’t help remembering what a certain well-known person said in a now-famous speech, “…tear down this wall.”


Douglas is a town that makes you understand the cliché “sun-baked”.

Downtown Douglas, looking north…

6_downtown Douglas looking north

…and looking south, with Van in the foreground…

7_downtown Douglas south


In the middle there is the Hotel Gadsden that Dirk told me about:

5_the Gadsden Hotel

The name Gadsden is a reference to James Gadsden (US ambassador to Mexico) of the “Gadsden Purchase” (also known as the “Venta de la Mesilla”), the purchase by the US from Mexico of a vast territory south of the Gila River and west of the Rio Grande in 1854. You can read more about it here.

Inside, the Gadsden lobby looks like this…

9_inside Gadsden_lobby

…and this…

10_inside Gadsden_lobby bis

…and there is also this stained glass window:

11_inside Gadsden_stained glass


Above all, there is this painting:

8_inside the Gadsden_Portal Canyon

Dirk has told me about it.  Do you recognize where it is?

There are a lot more pictures of the Hotel Gadsden interior here.


I then headed northwest to Bisbee, a most interesting town near an enormous copper mine.  Dirk has told me a lot about Bisbee and I think I’ll have to go back one day.  I did take a few pictures, though. Here’s a shot of downtown Bisbee:

12_downtown Bisbee-1

The town appears to be nearly only this street…


…with houses piled up on top of each other…


…and many colorful restaurants and gift shops



And then I moved on, to the iconic town of Tombstone with its many legends.

Here’s the main street of Tombstone in the evening light…

17_downtown Tombstone evening

…and the following morning…

18_downtown, morning light

…with some well-known references…

19_and some well known references

…and the definite touristic side…

20_with its touristy side

…well-known and touristic…

21_well known and touristy

…well-designed for this day and age, a brewery…

22_in this day and age

…and a winery…

23_but nevertheless of interest

…showing the old and the new…

24_showing the old and the new

…and a significant mixture:

25_with its iconic mix_pharmacy


Of course, there is the famous Tombstone courthouse…

26_courthouse, of course,

…in the evening…

27_courthouse, evening...

…and in the morning…

28_courthouse, morning

…right next door to the idyllic Rose Cottage, a private residence:

30_right next door, Rose Garden


Another well-known reference, undoubtedly to Wyatt Earp, a town sheriff in the heyday of Tombstone:

31_Wyatt's Hotel

I looked around town for other references to historic characters. I found Doc Holladay, but no others.


Some Tombstone shops post poignant messages that are likely as valid now as they were then:

32_here and there, some poignant messages

Learn more about Tombstone here.

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