Following my relaxing stay outside Elgin, AZ, I started east toward Tombstone, AZ. The morning air was cool, blown on a brisk wind from the east that kept my speed around 30mph. I had time on my hands though and stopped a few times to make coffee, have a snack and fuel up. Just as I crossed the San Pedro River, a small selection of buildings caught my attention. I pulled in to the ghost town of Fairbank, AZ. The parking lot was full of vehicles but there was not a soul around. It was deathly quiet as I wandered through the dusty streets. Most visitors must have walked down to the mill or along the river trail.
I imagine the bustle of the small town, once a thriving rail depot in the 1880's. The rhythmic clack of iron wheels, the horses hooves grinding into dusty soil, the gleeful screams of children playing at the one-room schoolhouse, all are silenced now by the hush of time.
That familiar feeling like I'm being watched overcomes me and I glance to my right. Sure enough, hiding in the bushes is a white SUV with a green slash along the side "CUSTOMS AND BORDER PATROL". Those guys are everywhere down here! I'd like to think that it makes me safer but I can't help but feel the Orwellian tug of a police state closing in around me.
My friend Laura was free to meet for lunch at Big Nose Kate's , a famous establishment on the historic street. I hadn't seen her since highschool when I left for university and she went into the military as an officer. Stationed at Fort Huachuca, the quick 30 minute drive was close enough to bring her friend Anne along. We walked in the wooden saloon doors to the sound of country music and not an empty table in the whole place! Three stools at the bar called our name and we made our way over for some delicious reuben sandwiches and great conversation.