Sweetwater Station

TYR 2001 Fan Reunion
Tucson Journal and Photo Gallery
by Vicki and Nell

Breathtaking scenery.  Old Tucson Studios.  Stuntmen.  Emma's house.  Mescal.  The bunkhouse.  All these and more were seen on the weekend of 
July 27-29, 2001 when the TYR fandom gathered in Tucson, Arizona for the 
3rd Annual TYR Fan Reunion.  We walked where they walked, we stood where they stood, and we discovered that there are others just as obsessed as we are!  Read on to find out what happened, and start saving your pennies to attend NEXT year!

Tucson Journal 2001

Wed. July 25, 2001 --  "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Demille" 

Vicki:  After months of anticipation and countless bouts of creative accounting with the budget, I finally landed  in Nevada and met Nell, who I’d been corresponding with for the past year.  It was only through Nell’s generous offer to meet me in Vegas that I was able to attend this year’s Reunion at all… I would’ve had to sell off all my worldly possessions to afford the airfare directly to Tucson! 

We headed straight to CALIFORNIA and Calico “ghost town”, a mostly prefabricated tourist attraction built on the site of an old mining town.  Unfortunately there had been a fire the day before; 5 buildings were destroyed, and only the fact that the fifth building was made of adobe saved the rest of the town.  Calico was the site of an extensive silver strike at the end of the 19th century.  In fact, there is still 6 million dollars worth of silver there – but it would cost 9 million dollars to mine it! 

We spent the night in BARSTOW, California… which is where it finally hit me.  I was in California.  Palm trees and warm breezes.  Yeah, I could get used to this. 

WILDLIFE ALERT!  Vicki’s Goal #1: to see as much wildlife as possible.  While exploring along the hiking trail in Calico we saw a chipmunk, but the big score was a peacock.  In case you’re wondering… yes, these DO count as wildlife! 

Nell:  Nell is shaking her head at Vicki for that comment.  But hey I'll give it to her.  She doesn't see much animal life in the city. 

Thurs. July 26, 2001 – “Thelma and Louise” 

Vicki:  Thursday morning saw Nell and I on the road bright and early, eager to get to Tucson (or, as my sister unerringly refers to it, “Buckland”.  I love my sister.)  En route we passed what the many signs assured us was the “World’s Tallest Thermometer”.  Now there was the thrill of a lifetime.  Vicki’s Goal #2:  Eat at Denny’s!  I had to find out if those commercials were true.  Denny’s was all I hoped it would be and more.  <g> 

Nell:  I was very surprised at how much Vicki liked Denny's.  Most of the time, I've had awful service at Denny's.  Of course the THREE times we ate there on this trip, we had good service.  I guess Denny's didn't want to disappoint Vicki. 

Vicki:  We also gassed up in the coolest little town in all of Arizona.  What town would that be, you ask?  The town of BUCKeye, of course!  "Cool" shades and cheezy souvenirs galore purchased at the Buckeye store! 

We finally met the rest of the TYR 2001 TYRants that night, and a crazy bunch they are.  Buckettes, don't believe Lisa if she tries to tell you that’s she’s shy and retiring!  Our meet and greet went well; Nell and I were apparently christened “Thelma and Louise” by virtue of our extended road trip.  We didn’t meet Brad Pitt.  I consider this a GOOD thing. 

Nell:  Who nicknamed us "Thelma and Louise"? 

Vicki:  Good question.  Perhaps it was Cass?  I just recall somebody sitting next to me informing me that we were Thelma and Louise (and interchangeable at that.. I want to be Susan Sarandon, by the way), and going through the list of nicknames for everybody else.  Considering at this point I could barely remember my OWN name... 

Friday July 27, 2001 – “Mescal”

Vicki:  Yee-Haw!  For the first time in years, the western set in Mescal where TYR filmed was opened to the public.  Several of the girls (in this case, Aimee, Kirsten and Lisa) dressed in 1860’s garb in honour of the occasion, prompting one of the locals to ask me if they were filming on the set!  What an experience. For one and a half hours were got to wander the set and lose ourselves in the 1860’s.  Among the locations were got to see were Emma’s house ... 

Nell:  ... and the BUCKHOUSE -- oops,  I mean BUNKHOUSE

Vicki:  (Oh.  Ahem.  Yes, that’s “the bunkhouse”.)  Insert a self-satisfied sigh here.  As Buck would say: “I can still feel it”. 

WILDLIFE ALERT!  Emma’s place has sure gone to pot since she and Sam got married.  I saw a LIZARD at Emma’s, and his buddy hanging around further down the way. 

Later that night, we gathered at Kirsten’s for pizza, pop, and fanfic.  But first, Jess and Rhiannon treated us to some nifty dance moves.  I’m presuming the girls won’t be quitting their day jobs for Dance Fever.  <g> The big fanfic hits of the night were Nell’s Express Bakery and Lori’s Painless – check them out, plus tons more great fanfic! 

July 28, 2001  -- “Old Tucson Studios”

Vicki:  I guess some people call this OTS.  I call it Nirvana.  Yes, Old Tucson Studios is a little slice of heaven.  Our gang stopped for a photo op in the desert.  That’s me, Kaye, Beth, Dayna, and Michelle in the foreground, with Nell and Lori RISKING THEIR LIVES in the background. 

Nell:  WHAT EVER!  The rock wall we were sitting on was very secure and had plenty of room!  Besides, the drop was only about 20 feet if that. 

Vicki:  Don't let her fool you, folks.  She's one brave little Buckaroo... er... Kidette. 

You can see the studios in the distance in the photo.  We reached OTS at 10am and immediately set about seeing the sites.  While some of the girls went to check out the horseback riding, Nell and I took advantage of the stagecoach rides.  Let me tell ya – these horses were going about 2 miles an hour, and we were still bouncing like Mexican jumping beans.  Spent some time wandering around the town square before the first stunt show of the day, “Terror in a small town”.  (Cue ominous music here)  The corrupt Sheriff manhandles stuntman Ace… but the Sheriff gets his comeuppance

Jimmyholics, Kidettes and Buckettes got together in the saloon afterwards for a refreshing cheese sandwich and sarsaparilla, then the rest of the afternoon flew by in a blur as we visited many locations used during the show.  Jess also got the chance to show off her dance moves during “The Rainmaker” show, while Kirsten punched out a cowboy at the stunt demo.  Favourite sites?  I’m thinking Nell’s was the graveyard where Kid and Lou got engaged.  We won’t discuss Kid dirt at this time, nor the interesting theory that Aimee has on Ty DNA.  Nell also loved the Mission set… don’t mess with HER mission! 

Nell:  Nor with MY MOUNTAINS!  The ones we always saw in the background of the episodes--AHHH. 

Vicki:  My favourite: Buck’s water tower, of course!  Though unfortunately Buck wasn’t inside… but hey, a girl can dream. 

WILDLIFE ALERT!  While investigating one of the buildings, we found this little bird.  No, not Camille, silly. 

We gathered at the OTS train, only to discover that Raye had something special planned – the stuntmen attacked our train! I wasn’t surprised; after all, his true colours had shown through when Ace tried to rob Nell!  The boys took the craziness of the gang in stride, and the stuntmen eventually came together to be serenaded by some of the girls.  Jess’ version of “Hey Big Spender” (renamed “Hey Hot Stuntmen”) was a hit. 

There was one final event that made OTS complete.  Raye provided the stunt co-ordinator with the TYR theme song, which he proceeded to blare over the PA system.  What more could a TYRant want? 

Sun July 29, 2001 – “Tombstone and THE MISSION”

Vicki:  Our time in Arizona was winding down, but we couldn’t leave without a visit to Tombstone, home of the OK Corral and Boothill graveyard.  Dayna informed Kidettes Kaye and Nell that it might be possible to find badges emblazoned “The Kid” in Tombstone, so the Kidettes were on a mission!  While they scoured every shop in town and came up empty, Dayna and I spent far too much money on western books and souvenirs.  We got back together over lunch in time to hear Aimee’s plans for Christmas.  : ) 

The weekend was more fun that I ever could have imagined.  Thanks to Raye for putting the whole thing together, and thanks to the TYRants for a brilliant time.  I’m already planning for next year! 

BUT… it wasn’t quite over for Nell and me… 

Monday July 30 – “Oatman, Arizona”

Vicki:  Oatman was a successful mining town; when the veins died, the town would have died as well, had it not been for the Oatman burros.  Released into the wild by the miners, they flourish to this day and have made the town their own, even walking into the stores!  I was in my glory – Oatman was 
one giant WILDLIFE ALERT!  The burros didn’t mind posing with me, either! 

Nell:  I also got to experience a REAL haunted hotel.  Picture may come soon -- I'm not sure if I took a picture of it or not.  The Oatman Hotel has a ghost named Oatie, but unfortunately he didn't show.  Vicki thought it was really weird that I would actually want to stay in Oatie's room.  :) 

Vicki:  I can't believe I forgot about Oatie!!  The Oatman Hotel is also where Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their honeymoon in the 30's. 

Tuesday July 31, 2001 – “Mission Accomplished” 

Vicki:  We had time for a day and a night in Vegas and, again thanks to Dayna, Nell continued the Kid badge hunt at the Fremont Street Experience.  This time she found the badges – and bought out the store!  Vicki’s Goal #3: to see Vegas Vic, the giant waving cowboy… as well as Vicki’s Goal #4: to see a Vegas Elvis impersonator.  My trip to Vegas was complete!  We risked our lives by going to the top of the Stratosphere Tower  -- that's 1, 149 feet in the sky, people!! -- to see the view of Vegas.  Well, NELL saw the view.  I cowered near the wall, whimpering.   And we took time to visit the pirate show at Treasure Island.  I relaxed by the ship… Is Nell considering joining the pirates? 

Thanks Nell for being an awesome part of an awesome trip!