Tomorrow morning I am abandoning Harper and her Other Dad and hitting the open road with two friends who are similarly casting aside home and loved ones.
“Get your motor running
Head out on the highway …”
Riding ‘shotgun’ will be friend Neal, another transplanted Midwesterner, he and his partner settled in Harper’s Valley a few years ago after living for many years in Seattle.
Friend Leon is flying in from Chicago. His partner claims to be off on some kind scientific endeavor. We’ll rendezvous with him back at Casa de Harper on the weekend but by then there will be tales to tell…not that we’ll actually tell them. We pick Leon up at the Tucson airport at 11:20 AM. Then we hit the highway, looking for trouble. Life is cheap to our sort.
“Looking for adventure
And whatever comes our way….”
Our primary destination is Bisbee AZ. Bisbee, along with nearby Willcox and Benson, are the tri-cities of southeast Arizona. In the center of the triangle formed by these cities lies historic Tombstone. You know; Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral… that Tombstone. I just know there’ll be hats!
We have no real agenda for the trip. (That’s how we roll!) I plan to visit Tombstone’s famous Bird Cage Theatre. It was a theater, saloon, gambling hall and brothel in the 1880’s. (Last summer I toured Dolly’s House in Ketchikan Alaska. I do love me some pioneer brothels!) An 1882 New York Times article described The Bird Cage as; “The Wildest, Wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast .” Some claim the Bird Cage is haunted. Reports of paranormal activity have been investigated because some visitors “claim to have been touched and pushed by unseen forces.” Isn’t that what you pay for when you visit a brothel? Calling it ‘paranormal’ sounds pretty judgmental of a poor girl just trying to make a living by sharing her favors with a miner or two.
“Like a true nature’s child
We were born, born to be wild….”
Of course, a bucket of cold water splashes on my highway idylls when I remember our combined ages is about 175 and we’ve, collectively, been partnered for more than 80 years. It’s a bitter dose of reality to realize I’m starting to think of “Happy Hour” as an “Early Bird Special”.