After a few days of stressful times, both good and bad, I felt a need to just get away for the day. Jim suggested driving to Wickenburg. The trip should have taken less than two hours, but we were slow to get away and had to stop for lunch. Then after we got back on our way we realized we’d made a wrong turn somewhere. We had to consult the GPS. It did get us to Wickenburg eventually, but we had to back track. As a result, it was 3:30 when we parked in front of the Desert Caballeros Western Museum, only to find that it closed at 4:00. When we got inside we knew that we wouldn’t have time to see all that was there, but they didn’t charge us for admission. We did a quick tour, taking lots of pictures, and vowed that we would return another day.
The main floor, in the main building, is divided into art exhibits that are on permanent display on one side, and art exhibits that are on loan on the other. We took in some of this.
Then we went downstairs to see the exhibit that depicts life in Wickenburg during the early 1900s.
The museum staff was waiting for us when we climbed back up the stairs. They told us that there is another whole building yet to explore!
All of the buildings that make up Historic Downtown Wickenburg, no matter what business they hold, have been restored to match the original old western town that it was in the early 1800s.
We strolled around the town, stopping to take pictures and captured the the historic first train to arrive in Wickenburg on January 26, 1895, just as a modern locomotive streaked by on the modern track.
We stopped to watch some flamingo dancers performing for a gathering in a Mexican church courtyard.
Unfortunately, most of the interesting-looking shops and buildings had also closed at 4:00, but we did get into a few antique/second-hand stores where we saw many things that we wouldn’t see in similar shops back home.
One shop in particular had textured tin ceilings and bold ornate wallpaper and plush floral carpet on the stairs to the second floor that contained several small rooms. We were told that the building had originally been a hotel, but it had become in such bad repair that all but the original room walls upstairs, which made up the hotel bedrooms, had been completely gutted and the foundation replaced. The tin ceilings and beautiful old wallpaper was all new! We never would have guessed.
There were no crowds. I think we were the only tourists about, which made it very relaxing – just the medicine I needed.
By the time we got back to the car daylight was nearly gone and pretty Christmas lights shone on the lampposts and the train.
As we were leaving we saw this lit sign indicating an Arizona Cowboy Christmas Town that might have been interesting to explore.
Next time we go, we will leave home earlier and use the GPS from the start!