My mother-in-law is in town from Germany so what else do you do but take her to a ghost town? Right. Well, I’ve been wanting to go here for a while to play around with some photography (still trying to get the hang of it) and thought this was a good excuse.
We’ve been here before and it’s one of my more recommended touristy stops in Phoenix. Rawhide is probably more popular but I prefer this one. One main reason is because it’s a real ghost town and the epitome of the Wild West — sort of. I don’t think there were any real shoot-outs here, but there was real gold mining and that counts, right?
Of course, when we get there we walked right into a gun battle. (Fake, of course) You know how much those Europeans understand our love of guns… Yeah, she didn’t stick around. But, bugger got a big ol’ kick out of it – especially when I jumped at the first sound of the gun shot. Hey… it was much louder than I expected!
Also, when the Sheriff asked him where the bank robber was hiding, Jackson didn’t snitch. My good ol’ Western Cowboy he is. We don’t rat out people here in the Wild Wild West.
It made for pretty cool picture taking, too. After the shoot out we got a package ticket deal where you save $3 off per person and can try all 3 of the attractions. The first stop was the mine tour and it’s probably pretty cool if you’ve never been inside of a mine, but living on the west side of the country, there are plenty of mines and plenty of tours. After a while, they all start to feel the same. My favorite mine tour is the one in Bisby. But this is local and if you’re in Phoenix it’s worth the short trip.
I was a bit obsessed with the lanterns, as you can see. They sort of reminded me of something that would be in one of my books. They had a really cool creepy vibe. Warning, if you’re claustrophobic, you might want to skip this tour. I get the rare case of claustrophobia under extreme conditions and could feel it dancing around the edges for me. So if you’re sensitive to confined spaces, you’ll definitely feel it. You’re not really that far underground, but the mind has a lovely way of playing tricks on us.
Ok… moving on. The Mystery House is seriously cool. It has that extreme funhouse effect and as you can see, my mother-in-law loved it.
No? You can’t see it? Ok – she wasn’t very thrilled. Between the gun fight and the Mystery House you can tell we were winning on this trip. But don’t let that get to you – this really is a fun spot and if you have kids around my son’s age, they’ll love it. I can’t really describe how trippy walking around in this little house is. It’s at an extreme angle but it’s built in a way where it doesn’t look like it’s at an extreme angle. Don’t trust your eyes in here! You really need to hang onto the railings or you’ll go sailing across the room. My husband sort of did that and almost face planted into the far wall. Of course, we got a kick out of that.
They ask for volunteers to demonstrate some weird angle stuff which makes it even cooler. If you’re there with a small group, chance are you’ll get to really try out the entire thing. Well worth it.
While we were waiting for our tours, the boys goofed off and I took advantage of the great backgrounds. Apparently I’m not the only one as this is listed as one of the top 10 photography spots in Metro Phoenix. We were pretty short on time so didn’t get to explore as much as we would’ve liked to. I could’ve easily have spent all day looking for fun new spots for taking pictures. There’s several old west type stores, a restaurant/saloon, a train tour around town, and even a zip line. (Which we did squeeze in and have to say it’s a blast!) Don’t do it if you’re afraid of heights because you do climb to over 100 feet.
Typical to Arizona, everyone that works there is very friendly and you’ll really enjoy this old ghost town. Leave some comments and let me know if you’ve ever visited and what your favorite spot is. If you haven’t, let me know what you think of the photos!