The Town Too Tough To Die is the decription that Tombstone gives to itself and given our location and having a bit of time between our last ride at Tombstone Monument Ranch and our first ride at our final ranch, it was worth a short visit. Tombstone itself is a proper town that people live in, and then there is the tourist area that consists of the main street, some museums, tours, shows, shops and bars. The highstreet has been wonderfully maintained and a number of buildings are clearly still the original, if not most of them. We stopped for a drink and meal in Big Nose Kates (she was Doc Holliday’s companion) and then had a quick stroll up and down the road. The merchandise wasn’t quite my cup of tea, but I’m glad to have been and seen some elements of what the wild west really was like.
While at Tombstone Monument Ranch there has been the opportunity to do some archery. This is something I have done before, as a child, but it has been a few years. I wasn’t missing out on a ride and given the short time I’d be there I wanted to do as much as possible. What I wasn’t expecting was to be firing at Zombie targets. I will be honest in that I missed more than I hit, but then I was also aiming for the head shot, what with them being zombies and all that. So just call me Daryl from now on.
Today hasn’t been a great day. Moving on from Rancho De La Osa to our next ranch, Tombstone Monument Ranch, near Tombstone unsurprisngly, I’ve had some sort of allergic reaction. I suspect that it has come as a result of the downpour a couple of days earlier that has suddenly put a load of plants in bloom all at the same time. My eyes have been stinging to the point that it’s been difficult to keep them open and even closed they have been weeping and are red from having to be regularly wiped clean. Thankfully there was a supermarket en route and I was able to pick up some medicines (eye bath and antihistamine) and that seems to have started to solve things. By tomorrow I should be back to normal based on progress so far. Thankfully although there has been discomfort it hasn’t stopped me taking part in the horse riding I came here for.
One of the activities at Rancho De La Osa is rifle and shotgun shooting. Being from the UK I’ve never used anything stronger than an air-rifle so this was a new experience. The rifle came first and I was more successful with this, hitting a number of targets once I had got the hang of how the sighting worked. The shotgun was a different matter and I now have a much bigger appreciation for the skill demonstrated by professional in competition. It wasn’t until my very last shot, the second shot of the final two cartridges that I managed to hit the skeet that had been launched. It was more of a clipping than a centred shot, but I did at least find the target. I should point out that this activity was carefully controlled to ensure that safety was the priority.
This ranch trip is a 3 ranch trip in one and the first ranch is a very old one with some buildings dating back to about 1720. It’s called Rancho De La Osa and it has had celebrity guests in the past including John Wayne, Zane Gray and the Rooservelts. My rooms was apparently used by Cesar Romero who I remember from the Batman TV series. The ranch is very near the border with Mexico and the border can be seen from the ranch grounds. One of the rides took us up to the border. There are various crossing points (as can been seen in the distance if you look carefully), though it is a relatively small town on the border with a populus reported to be less than 20. This part of the border is regularly patrolled. We saw several border patrol vechiles while out on horseback but none were an issue and we were free to continue riding. I suspect with this ranch reopening horseback riding in the area will increase.