Saturday, October 25, 2008

Benson Sights

For the past two days we have been seeing the sights around Benson, Arizona. We were here the last of March for three days and have returned for a week. Yesterday we returned to Tombstone, an old silver mining town that has reinvented itself as a tourist destination. We didn't return to the Boothill Cemtery. But we enjoyed the shops with western clothes and souvenirs and Indian relics and paraphernalia. Many of the storekeepers wear period clothing—the town was founded in the 1880s.

"Soiled Doves" or dance girls out for a cigarette break.

We then drove to Bisbee, Old Bisbee and Naco. Anyone who reads the Sheriff Brady novels written by J. A. Jance will recognize these towns. In March we had been to Old Bisbee, but missed Bisbee. Naco is a small town on the Mexican border with a border crossing station.

This part of Arizona is very close to the Mexican border and the US Border Patrol is very much in evidence. As we approached Tombstone on Friday there were signs bringing the speed down from 65 to 55 to 45 to 35 to 25mph. Then we passed a Border Patrol Checkpoint. Returning the other direction later in the day, we went through the checkpoint. All they asked was, "Please state your citizenship." That seems a strange way to ask that question, but we both answered, "United States," and they sent us on our way. For obvious reasons we didn't take any pictures there.

Today we drove to Willcox, a town east on I-10 about 32 miles. There we visited the Rex Allen Museum. We both knew his name, but couldn't remember much about him. We found he had sung with the Sons of the Pioneers ensemble, made numerous movies in the 1950s and 1960s, and provided the voice for a number of Disney characters. I remember going to the movies every Saturday during my grade school years. We watched an installment of a movie serial as well as another movie. Also, after school each day I remember watching Sheriff Scotty on Denver TV. He showed western movies. I am sure Rex Allen starred in many of those movies. When we went to the museum, I expected to learn about a western singer and actor from before my time. He began making movies in 1950, when I was 7 years old, so he certainly isn't before my time.

John with Rex

We had been told there was a place near Willcox that sold apple pies and other items from their apple orchards. We stopped at a local gas station to ask for directions. Expecting a small fruit stand, we were surprised to join a long string of cars driving in the same direction. We also passed many cars leaving the area. We were very surprised to see how popular Apple Annie's is.

Just some of the cars at Apple Annie's this afternoon.

They have a u-pick orchard with several varieties of apples, as well as pears. They also have a great gift shop, a bakery that sells pies and fudge, fruit preserves and butters. We bought an apple crumb pie and several gifts. On the way out we bought a dish of ice cream. If you have never eaten homemade apple crumb ice cream, let me tell you, it is to die for.

1 comment:

  1. GoodNess! Looks like ya'll are having a Blast! We visited a place near San Antonio that served Apple Pie Ice Cream and It was Wonderful as Well!! I bought the Apple Pie syrup and have made several batches of it here at home...Happy travels sweetie!!hughugs