The April 2010 edition of True West Magazine is out and has an article on the 83 must-see Old West destinations, and so I had to see how many of them I had visited, seen, been through. Here is my list:
1. Ogden, Utah - Having been born in Utah, I had relatives there that we visited on two or three occasions around the time I was 12-14 years old, which meant that I had no interest in historical buildings or artifacts or such, even if we saw them, which we didn't. So, reading that the cabin of Miles Goodyear was moved into town surprised me, since I never heard of Mr. Goodyear in school or anywhere else that I remember. In my mind at the time, Ogden was famous for the railroad stop, or something. Been through there a few times since without stopping, a nice town.
2. Prescott, AZ - Now that I've been living in AZ for the last forty years, Prescott is a nice place for a day trip from the Phoenix area. Got thrown in jail there one time during their wild Fourth of July celebration and rodeo days. Unfortunately, I didn't have any extra cash to donate to the Lions or Elks or whoever it was and spent about an hour in the clink for not donating. The jail was set up in Courthouse Square and there were plenty of passers-by to humiliate me, even though I was stone-cold sober.
3. Durango, CO - Been through there two or three times, even et dinner at one of the highway restaurants one time. A pretty place to vacation.
4. Larned, KS - On the prairies, what can I say?
5. Hays, KS. - Ditto.
6. Santa Fe, NM - Went through there one time when they were re-burying some Civil War dead, big parade, and all. My sister-in-law used to be a Harvey Girl in Emporia, KS, and we visited the La Fonda Hotel, a former Fred Harvey House, where she met one of the waitresses who also had been a Harvey Girl. I never heard so much cackling and carrying on when they got wound up about the Harvey Restaurants and so forth reliving old times.
7. Virginia City, NV - Took the tour from Reno through there one time. Interesting old place.
8. Carson City, NV - Spent an hour or two there on the same tour from Reno.
9. Kearney, NE - Traveled on the Platte River Trail, but missed all the celebrations.
10. Winnemucca, NV - My half-brother supposedly died from "Watermelon sickness" here in the early 1900's. What was he doing here? Never did find out.
11. Wichita, KS - Landed at Wichita airport several times. Was not too interested in the history of Wichita at the time. Brother-in-law retired from the Santa Fe Railroad a few years back.
12. St. Joseph, MO - First time I heard about St. Joe was during the Korean War when I was stationed with a swabby from there. Wife has relatives living there. Went through the Pony Express Museum.
13. Tombstone, AZ - Attended the Helldorado Days celebration once, been there several times, saw the shootout, the rose bush, the bars, etc. A great town to visit.
14. Tacoma, WA - Landed here once. My brother retired from the Army at Fort Lewis and was living in Olympia where I was headed.
15. Scottsdale, AZ - Nearby.
16. Deming, NM - Whizzed through there.
17. Wickenburg, AZ - Thirty miles up the road.
18. Taos, NM - Been through there once or twice.
19. The Dalles, OR - Slept in my car here after leaving Olympia, WA, late.
20. Kansas City, MO - Yup!
21. Sacramento, CA - Drove through there on my way to Chico in 1954 or '55; been back a few times.
22. Dodge City, KS - Interesting old town.
23. Elko, NV - Some people I know, including family, eloped to Elko to get married. Used to ride the Greyhound through there.
24. Amarillo, TX - The Big Texan Steakhouse, good meat.
25. Kanab, UT - Movies, movies, movies. Stayed there many times.
26. San Antonio, TX - Saw the Alamo once.
27. Pocatello, ID - Went through in high school on the way to Yellowstone as a Boy Scout in the backof a truck.
28. Florence, AZ - State Prison located here.
29. El Paso, TX - Through there at a motel on I-10.
Looks like I 've got a lot more traveling to get through or to, and has anyone visited all 83? .