Friday, 19 February 2010
Wickenburg: where everyone looks like a historic character
Wickenburg, Arizona, a former gold mining town north of Phoenix, was a contrast to Chloride. A lovingly conserved town, its citizens are without exception welcoming, with many of them going further and dressing all Wild West to support tourism (or maybe that’s just their look).
There’s a self-guided tour around town, allowing visitors to visit notable buildings around town and life-size Old West figures – with these, you press a button and the character tells its own story. There’s a vaquero (cowboy), gold prospector, prostitute, African-American female entrepreneur…plus a rattlesnake and tarantula thrown in to give people a scare.
Walking around town, we almost pressed buttons on characters that turned out to be people fully bedecked in cowboy hats, turquoise-and-silver jewelry and handlebar mustaches.
I succumbed to Western Fever, happily going along with Daniel’s suggestion that I get myself some pretty rockin’ cowgirl boots. Must start selling ads on the blog! Sophia didn’t like them, until we showed her that there was some pink embroidery.
As we walked out of the shop – a really cool place specializing in hand sewed saddles – a passing cowboy said, “Wow, those are some sexy boots.”
Wickenburg also a great little museum, the Desert Caballeros Western Museum – many of these Western towns have very thoughtfully curated museums chock full of local memorabilia and history.
It’s nice to see towns that have outlasted mining booms and busts, and great when residents take such pride in where they live.
Too bad we missed its Gold Rush Days, where visitors can pan for gold, by just a few days.