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Published: October 26th 2009
Set of at 6:00 for the 450 miles drive across the desert to Tucson in an attempt to get some of the journey completed in cool conditions. This also meant we got to see Marble Canyon and Vermilion Cliffs changing colour as the sun rose. Luckily by midday, when the temperatures were up in the 40s, we had made it into the mountains and pine forests where it was slightly cooler. After lunch, in a little village called Strawberry, we hit the real desert and just to make sure we knew we were in the desert there were large impressive cacti everywhere.
Having got to Tucson we now have 4 days of R&R while the bike is serviced. However me being me after 30 minutes of sitting round the pool I'm fidgety and off to explore the area. Edwin could have sat round the pool for longer but he thinks he is going to miss out on something exciting so decides to come along. There isn't much of old Tucson left just a few adobe houses and a little Wishing Shrine dedicated to a sinner buried on unconsecrated grounds that's surrounded by lit candles and bottles of liquor. It
a weird thing to see in a big city like Tucson, it would look more at home in a country that practices traditional spirit worship.
Having exhausted downtown Tucson we head further afield. First stop the Titan Missile Museum. This is like another fictional character coming to life (like Buffalo Bill). I grew up hearing about Titan Missiles and nuclear deterrents but now here I am standing in front of one - how cool is that. The other 53 missiles were all destroyed, this is the only one remaining in its underground bunker and they have to keep the bunker door part opened so the Russians can keep checking on it from space and confirming that it isn't ready to be launched. Have a guided tour and its just like Thunderbirds with doors that automatically side open and bits and bobs rising out of the ground.
Also explored Tombstone and the OK Corral - more cowboy film characters turning into real people. Get to stand on the spot where Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp shot down Ike Clanton and the McLaury brothers. The places still has wooden boardwalks, cobbled streets and lots of saloons. Even more fascinating were
the old black and white photos. The towns photographer, CS Fly, was present at many of the peace talks with the local indians and there were amazing pictures of Geromino and his family - yet another film character becoming real.
Have now got the bike back and are ready to head off into Mexico - a whole new adventure.
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