On Saturday we went to Old Tucson. Another full day of activities! But this time, we had leave little dog ‘Coach’ in the Coach for the day.
As I mentioned in one of my previous posts ( HERE), we made plans with fellow Alpiner’s; Tom and Marilyn Anteau, to tour Old Tucson together. We met them by chance (and good fortune) here in the Agave Gulch FamCamp where they had just returned to – after being in Anchorage, AK. for the last few months. Tom graciously offered to drive, so we piled in his car and made the circa 20 mile trip.
We were able to use another coupon from the booklet we purchased at the FamCamp office and got in for half-price. A reasonable $19 for a full day of fun and activities. Tom mentioned that it had been ~45 years since he was last here.
For those of you that didn’t know, (me included), Old Tucson Studios is a movie studio and theme park just west of Tucson, Arizona, adjacent to the Tucson Mountains and close to the western portion of Saguaro National Park. Built in 1939 for the movie Arizona, it has been used for the filming of several movies and television westerns since then, such as Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and Little House on the Prairie. It was opened to the public in 1960, and historical tours are offered about the movies filmed there, along with live cast entertainment featuring stunt shows and shootouts. (source Wikipedia)
We arrived just in time to join the first of the three guided walking tours that the park offers each day. Our guide was enthusiastic and informative. I had no idea so many films were shot in one place.
After our guided tour, we were released on our own recognizance to visit the many buildings or activities throughout the day guided only by the performance schedule brochure we received at the entrance.
The first of many skits/shows throughout the day was “Sir William Wiley’s Miracle Elixir Show”, a ~30 minute presentation that was full of bad jokes and slapstick comedy… what fun.
Tom was pulled from the audience to play a part in the little show. His 5 minutes of fame…
Here’s Tom in action. He had to bang the drum on signal… and often the performer(s) would fake him out for everyone’s amusement.
Tom received his consolation prize – an ice-cold bottle of elixir (Root Beer) and was applauded for his efforts.
We continued on to explore the many buildings until the next scheduled performance.
Do you recognize any of these street views from your favorite Old Western Movies?
Here’s Stilla posing in front of the Town Hall.
Here’s Tom and Marilyn walking up the street… probably looking for a gunfight…
No explanation needed:
In the Grand Palace Saloon, we watched “Old Tucson – A Musical History of the Silver Screen”, to live singers. Nice.
Here, “Cookie” gave us a demonstration and informative dialogue on chuck wagons and campfires.
A gunfight skit provided for lots of entertainment. One of several throughout the day.
A western town isn’t complete unless it has a Sheriff’s Office and gallows, right?
Marilyn and Stilla sauntered around town, looking for trouble no doubt. Or are they looking for me and Tom?
Now join us for a little train ride around the town…
Click HERE for more on this miniature train.
We got off the train at the station opposite the “High Chaparral” movie set. Click HERE for more on this.
And here’s probably one of the most-filmed locomotives in the world. The Reno.
Here’s a nice shot of the stagecoach coming into town.
And another well-performed skit, complete with high-flying acrobatics and lots of explosions…
Some of the buildings to visit, weren’t buildings at all…
This Saloon-Keep gave us the run-down on saloons ‘back-in-the-day’. I don’t think I would want any of the whiskey or beer they served up back then.
How did the OK Corral get here? I thought it was in Tombsone.
We paused for a few minutes to check out the Bluegrass music playing at the Arizona Theater.
And another skit; a re-enactment of the movie – “Heaven With a Gun“. Well performed.
And here’s another shot of the stagecoach leaving town…
Many of the buildings were chock-full of movie memorabilia and wardrobe items.
What a great place! Another “must-see” if you’re ever in the area. Hope you enjoyed the visit with us and the pics.
After departing the Old Tucson Studio, we took the scenic route back to the campground. We’re going to have to come back to check out the nearby Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. We hurried back to let our respective dogs out of the Coaches, where they’ve been cooped up all day.
Nice views from one of the pull-offs, eh? Once again, the pictures don’t do it justice.
Many thanks to Tom and Marilyn for taking us along with them to check out this very cool attraction. We sure enjoyed it!
Stay tuned to see what we’re up to next…
Oh, and by the way… little Coach did just fine again today all alone. We took him for an extra long walk once we got back 🙂