My fall trip is over. It took six weeks. I traveled 5,256 miles in my Kia Rio which I bought new in 2001. I liked the car so well that I bought another new one in 2012. I used 149.64 gallons of gas for an average of 35.12 MPG over the entire trip. My original plan was to average 100 miles a day for a rough cost of $10 a day for fuel. In actuality my fuel cost was more like $12.50 per day. My daily cost of lodging was under $10 a day thanks to friends and fellow Couchsurfers, Evergreen Club, and Be Welcome members. Oh, yes… Let’s not forget the U.S. National Park Service and a few state campgrounds. My food costs where usually less than $10 a day. Only on some days did I splurge and go out and get a big, expensive meal. That was usually when I was dining out with other people. Granted, it was more likely to find a hat on my head that said “Street Food Fool” rather than one that said ”Gourmand” or one that implied I was someone that subscribed to Southern Living or Gourmet Magazine. I would guess my food costs were under $15 a day. This puts my basic expenses for my trip at around $37.50 per day. I’m rather pleased with that number. I’m glad I went. I got to see a lot of things I’d never seen before and meet a lot of really, really nice people. I’m glad I’m home. My favorite part of every trip is going home.
On the way back to Oklahoma from Albuquerque I stopped off at Palo Duro Canyon which is about fifteen miles south of Amarillo. I was glad I did. Palo Duro is the second largest canyon in the U.S. It cost me $5 to tour the canyon. It was worth it. Palo Duro has some spectacular views. See more of them here and here.
So I’m back in ABQ for a couple of days. The first day I do my very favorite thing to do in ABQ (actually one of my favorite things to do anywhere in the world). I go get a bus pass for ABQ I head downtown to the bus station and get on the #66 bus and ride it up and down Central Avenue for a while. You meet some really thought-provoking people there. The next picture is of me in front of the Albuquerque Art and History Museum. It’s a cool place to go. The next picture is if the lunch I had at Panera Bread. I went for a bike ride with a friend and we ended up at the new Panera Bread shop on Central Avenue. I asked what kind of soup they had and the manager brought me a sampler. I got a Asiago Cheese Bagel and a muffin and I was good-to-go. I want to personally thank the manager publicly. The soups were wonderful. The bean soup could have used just a smidgen more salt.
The point of this picture? The Wall behind me. Ranger Ron said to go to Douglas, AZ, get on G Avenue, and drive south until you come to The Wall. “What’s The Wall?” I asked him. He said “Mexico.” Hmmmmm. So I took a photo of The Wall in Douglas, AZ. It’s hardly the Iron Curtain or the Berlin Wall, or the Great Wall of China, but it’s got to make you stop and think, doesn’t it?
Tombstone, AZ bills itself as “The Town Too Tough To Die” and maybe that’s so. I decided I had to learn a little more about what the town was all about. I started at the Visitor’s Center where I was given a map of the town and some information on events. Before I go any further let me state that the town is very commercial. If you’re looking for a real Wild West experience you’re about 130 years too late. But, you can get some sense of what the Wild West was like. I got to Main Street a little early. Tombstone is not a morning town. I visited a museum, the Bird Cage Theatre, where I photographed the hearse. I also did the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral show. It was entertaining. I also visited Boot Hill, the cemetery from the old days. The last picture of the group is of a solar trash compactor, the only one I’ve ever seen. If you look closely, you’ll see it’s more than a little full of trash. If I had to sum up Tombstone in one word it would be commercial. But, it really did get me thinking. There is a lot of history in the annals of Tombstone. Tombstone is one of the more interesting places in the history of the Old West. If you take an interest, you’ll find many records of what happened in the town. Tombstone was a very active community and it is said that the mining operations of the area produced as much as $626 million of revenue in today’s dollars.