Saturday, September 10, 2011

Weekend in Tucson, Part III

My second and final morning in Arizona, Todd and I took advantage of the rental car and went on a bit of a road trip. While I didn't think Tucson itself was very attractive, the surrounding countryside is actually quite pretty in a rugged, deserted sort of way:

As you can see, I was practicing taking photos from the car (I wasn't driving, obviously!). I'm actually pretty pleased with how these turned out.

Our first stop: Tombstone, home of the infamous Gunfight at the OK Corral.

Also home to such tourist traps as the world's largest rosebush, Old West reenactments, horse and buggy trolleys complete with (in all likelihood) gun-slinging cowboys:

Plenty of stores selling of endearingly Old Western frontier-style kitsch, disguised with a 'rough-and-tumble' cowboy attitude:

And weapons. Of course.

We skipped the guns in favor of some fairly mediocre fudge, in peanut butter and mint chocolate flavors.

This was the first thing I ate today, hehe.

After Tombstone, it was on to Bisbee, a mining town in the hills that, besides a giant copper mine, also has a bunch of antique shops, art galleries, restaurants and B&Bs housed in quaint old buildings. 

When we arrived around midday there was a small festival going on, with stands selling various arts and crafts and a stage with live music. There was also a few food stands, one of which caught our eye because they were selling...

Fry bread! I first had this Navajo treat at the Four Corners on vacation with my family years ago. The people selling this fry bread didn't look like Navajo, but the bread was good, leaving no trace of grease on the paper plate despite its bath in hot oil. You could get it with cheese, but we went sweet with cinnamon and powdered sugar, which we proceeded to get all over ourselves. So yeah, this was the second thing I ate, also dessert. I guess I could have gone for the roasted corn to get some nutrients, but, ya know...

Not that it didn't look yummy! But we decided to save our cash for a souvenir purchase, which we found at a store up the hillside:

That's right, honey made by killer bees! The store was run by this slightly grizzled, slow-talking cowboy figure who you could tell was really proud of his product, encouraging us to try all the different flavors (things like raspberry, cinnamon, and some other products like honey mustard). Not cheap at $6 a jar, but it was really tasty, I am a sucker for artisanally produced goods.

After Bisbee, we hopped back in the car and took off for Mexico! Actually just the border:

We turned around right there! Back north through Arizona's "wine" country, past lots of ranches, and a minor thunderstorm, finally back to Tucson in time for my afternoon flight. 

And that pretty much wraps up my two days in sunny (and Arizona. Would it be wrong to say I was very eager to get back to LA? Only to arrive in the middle of a heatwave, heh. Thank you again, Kei and Martha, for letting me crash at your place and use your pool (and for the margaritas!), and of course to Todd for driving me all over the place!

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