The antidote to a morning spent driving in circles through Sierra Vista, Ariz., proving once again the uselessness of Google Maps was a 20 minute stroll along the kitschy (and scorching) streets of Tombstone, where the high today is a dry and sunny 103 degrees. Tombstone is the quintessential Southwest tourist trap, complete with sasparilla root beer stands, O.K. Corral shootout reenactments, a raft of Elvis impersonators, faux whorehouses and all the Old West charm of a B-grade Fifties western. It's hard to imagine a place more cartoonishly celebratory of firearms than Tombstone.
Tombstone just happens to be on the way to other places (Bisbee, Benson, Sierra Vista, etc.) in Cochise County and the surrounding area, so I couldn't resist a few minutes wandering around. Just remember, if you're a politician visiting here, you better wipe the shit from your boots (though I'm sure Tombstonians they wouldn't say that to their local congresswoman right now):
I'll refrain from ranting, but I feel like the Border Patrol is about to say, sternly, "Papers please!" when I pass through one of these checkpoints. "Are you a U.S. citizen?" the agent asks. Only on weekdays, I think, as I reply, "Sure am." He waves me on and I head north out of Tombstone.