Touring the American Old West

Dear readers

I invite you to come along as I share my travels through the American old west. I’m thrilled to be one of the new fillies here at Petticoats & Pistols and I can’t wait to share my love of the Old West with you.

About me: Along with writing contemporary western romances I also write contemporary romantic women’s fiction.  You’ll find that all of my books are set in small towns and usually include a few quirky characters. My stories incorporate the themes of home, family and redemption. This September I will publish my 40th project for Harlequin Books and my current series is called, Cowboys of Stampede, Texas. I also write small-town romances for Tule Publishing’s Montana Born line and Sweet Home Cowboy is my latest release.






And I’m a member of the Tall Poppy Writers. You  can find out more about my small-town romantic women’s fiction novels as well as my western books on my Website.


If you follow me on social media then you know I love junk. My friends call me vintage Marin because I love flea markets so much. If you haven’t heard of Junk in the Trunk you should check it out!

I don’t know why, but I’ve always been comfortable around old stuff. I find ideas for my stories and characters when I browse through people’s castoffs. My love of antiques goes right along with my love of history and the old west. One of my hobbies is researching ghost tours and haunted old west towns. Sadly I’ve never experienced an encounter with a ghost but I love taking tours that share the history of the haunted locations.  Hubby and I currently live in Phoenix and we’re recent empty nesters so we’re using our newfound freedom to travel the beautiful Grande Canyon State.

This past July my husband and I ventured out on Route 66 in northern Arizona. You can find all of my travel photos on my Instagram page.


Winslow, Arizona

Route 66 Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona has been on my bucket list for years.

For those of you who are confused this video Take it Easy by the Eagles band will explain it and reveal my age, lol!

Drift Inn Saloon

After Winslow we got off Route 66 and stopped at the copper mining town of Globe, Arizona and had lunch at the haunted Drift Inn Saloon—one of oldest continuously operating saloons in the state, opening its doors in 1902. The Drift Inn Saloon has been named one of the top five biker-destination bars in the state by the Arizona Republic newspaper and one of the “Magnificent 7” saloons by Arizona Highways Magazine. The second floor was originally opened as a boarding house for miners then turned into a brothel a few years later.


The bar is a living icon of the Old West, with its original tin ceiling. A Frank Olsen mural of Monument Valley is painted along one wall and hanging above the image are vintage portraits of soiled doves, which pay homage to the ladies who once worked in the brothel above the bar.

When I learned the bartender Eileen, was one of the owners of the bar, I bombarded her with questions about the history of the building. She and her partner had lived on the second floor for several years while they renovated the bar. She claimed the building was haunted and then asked if I’d like to go upstairs and look around. Of course I said YES!

Eileen told stories about the building that the local old-timers had shared with her after she bought the place. Several mediums have walked through the building and confirmed that spirits inhabit the premises. One of the rooms is said to be full of trapped souls unable to escape. And room 18 is said to be a very dark, evil room. A young woman stands in the shower and watches people in the bathroom. And of course there’s the nasty spirit of a man who wanders the upstairs. The medium couldn’t tell the owners for sure who he was but they believe he may be either Joseph Ludwig, a local miner who was murdered in one of the upstairs rooms in 1906 or the man who murdered him.


As a writer we romanticize cowboys and the old west in our stories… because who wants to read about smelly, bowlegged men who bathe once a month and are missing half their teeth? But that afternoon in Globe as I walked past the twenty-five rooms on the second floor of the Drift Inn Saloon, I had to acknowledge that life in the old west could be cruel, harsh and deadly.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my experience at the Drift Inn Saloon. I can’t wait to share with you the other Route66 places and towns in Arizona. And since this is my first blog as an official P&P filly, let’s do a giveaway!



Tell me if you’ve ever had a paranormal experience or taken a ghost tour and your name will be entered into a drawing to receive a digital copy of my sweet western novella, The Bull Rider’s Pledge. I’ll reveal the winner’s name in the comment section of this blog post on Saturday August 12th.

Until next time…Happy Trails!



P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giant birthday bash giveaway (separate from this daily giveaway). You can find all the details along with the entry form HERE.


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48 thoughts on “Touring the American Old West”

  1. Yes, I’ve had a paranormal experience…just last weekend. We went to the Studebaker Mansion in Elkhardt, IN. They allowed us to take a self guided tour after dinner. Our waiter told us the three specific rooms that ghosts had been seen before. One was the master bedroom. All the rooms are now set up for dining. We entered the Master Bedroom and then walked through to the sitting room/nursery. When we exited into the hall and started towards the stairs, in my peripheral vision I saw a woman dressed in a pale green dress out of the turn of the century and grey hair. I stopped and and took a step back to look again but she was gone.

    Happy Birthday and welcome to P & P Marin.

    Cindy W.
    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  2. When I was around 10 I saw my grandfather who had been dead for 5 years. He seemed to be trying to warn my cousin and myself of something.

    • Hi Sherry! Something similar happened to my younger cousin. He woke up and saw our deceased grandfather standing at the foot of the bed but he didn’t look have a happy look on his face and my cousin is still bothered by that memory today.

  3. I enjoy going to haunted spots but I’ve yet to experience seeing a ghost at any of the places I’ve been. I do believe in ghosts though.

  4. I have been on several different ghost tours and didn’t feel anything. I just enjoyed learning the history and about the possible ghosts. But one time my husband and I were touring Ashton Villa in Galveston and it was right before a hurricane was coming (our last look on tv said it was still a tropical storm). The guide seemed surprised that we still came for the tour saying all the tourists were leaving the island. While touring the home, we both felt a strong presence in the house. We didn’t see anything, but we both had the feeling that there was someone else in the home. Turns out, one of the former inhabitants rescued some people as they floated by in the flood waters from the Great Storm of 1900. Over 6000 people died in that hurricane. We took the warning and left the island right after the tour. Other history was the home was used as a hospital during the Civil War.

    • Janine-Galveston is filled with ghosts and history! Terrible stories about the great flood down there over a century ago and one that sticks in my mind if the orphanage that lost so many children. Glad you left the Island, when you did and nothing bad happened!

    • LOL, Quilt Lady! As a writer I’m drawn to the idea of ghosts because I feel they have a story to tell and they’re trying to get someone to listen to that story 🙂

  5. I have gone to places and have felt a chill or sometimes a warmth. I never explored it until I was in an older home on Long Island, and felt a chill and wasn’t comfortable being even in the house. Was told later that something bad had happened in the house, but I never did find out what. Not sure I really wanted to know.
    Your trip on Route 66, is something I have always wanted to do, just never had the money or time. Now have the time, but no money.
    Have enjoyed your books from Harlequin for several years. And since I was born in Montana, spent summers since that is where all the family lived. I love books that are set there.

    • Hi Veda! I’m thrilled you’ve enjoyed my books <3! I don't blame you for not wanting to know what had happened in that older home on Long Island. I prefer happy ghosts to sad or mean ghosts, lol!

  6. My family and I actually lived in a haunted house. We didn’t know it when we rented it at the time. I was young probably like 6 or 7. Some rooms had different feelings. Our playroom always felt safe and I can remember going in their to wish for things lol. It sounds silly but it almost always came true. It was never a huge wish considering my age limit lol but true nonetheless. Also the upstairs bathroom alaways smelled during the day!? It smelled like a man working. It wasn’t a friendly feeling in there. This house was beautiful but scary. It was a huge Victorian house. Within one week it got a little too spooky. Because it was so big we had beautiful staircases. Anyway one day as I was going down then I stopped at one of the platforms to say something to my mom who was at the bottom but then I felt someone shove me down. I fell the rest of the way. I know that sounds made up but it’s true. Thankfully I wasn’t hurt but still scary. Then that Friday my mom had us in the car and as she was pulling of the driveway she looked up at the house there was a old man standing the the bathroom window!!!!! He had on a flannel shirt with suspenders. My mom said he didn’t look friendly! Let’s just say we left very soon after that!!

    • Hi Cori !hanks for sharing your story! I would have done the same thing if I was your mom-taken off! So glad you weren’t hurt when you fell down the stairs. It would interesting to see if you could find out more history on that house. It’s fascinating how history and ghosts go hand in hand.

  7. What a great trip, Marin. I’m glad you shared and I’m glad you’re here at the Junction! I stayed in one of the haunted rooms in Nevada’s oldest hotel in Virginia City. William, my ghost, did not make an appearance. I think it’s because I used a Groupon and thus didn’t qualify for full room benefits. One night at home my husband woke me up to ask when I’d lit the candle burning in the window. I hadn’t lit that candle in over a week. That was a little spooky.

  8. Hi Jeannie~ I’m so excited to be part of the Junction! Your trip to Nevada City sounds like a Place I need to visit, too. LOL on the Groupon story 🙂 I’m sorry William didn’t make an appearance. Although your candle story is a little scary. Maybe a ghost was just passing through your home that night 🙂

  9. Hi Marin. No, I haven’t been on a ghost tour in person but the hospital where I was born is no longer in operation. It is said that if you enter the building you can hear babies crying and people who are in pain. A documentary was done there a few years ago and our library purchased a copy on DVD. It was interesting but I’m not sure if I truly believe!
    I am a collector, a saver, a preservationist also. I hesitate to use the word hoarder 🙂

    • Hi Connie! Interesting story about the hospital you were born in…I’ve watched a few ghost documentaries about places like that. I’m somewhat of collector, too, but having moved all over the country for my husband’s job I’ve been forced to purge every few years, especially after we moved into a house whith no basement or attic to store things. 🙁

  10. Hi Marin…..I’m just thrilled beyond words that you accepted our invitation to be a Filly. This is amazing and I’m happy, happy! Your blogs always fascinate me and this one has my imagination spinning. Lots of things must’ve happened in the Drift Inn Saloon. Oh the stories those walls could tell. I love visiting haunted sites. Jefferson, Texas is said to be the most haunted town in the state and I believe it. I used to visit my sister who lived there a lot and stayed in the old hotel there. Lots of strange goings on and I could a presence around me on more than one occasion. But then Jefferson is one of the oldest towns in Texas and had lots of deaths during Reconstruction following the Civil War.

    Much love and big hugs, Filly sister! I look forward to working with you.

  11. My sister has had a spirit following her from place to place for years… One time I was babysitting at her house and actually saw a shadow of the man walk by my nephew’s room… boy did my heart race! Another time before that, I was alone in her family room… she had these touch lamps… one went on by itself… I told him he was not funny and to turn it off, I did not need it on… he actually listened and turned it off….

  12. Linda, you’re so sweet! I’m thrilled to be here with the rest of you fabulous fillies 🙂 I would love to visit Jefferson, Texas one day. I have relatives in San Antonio. Maybe I can make the drive up there, but you know how BIG Texas is, lol! Driving anywhere in that state takes hours!

  13. Hey, Marin! So glad you’ve joined us here at P&P. Your trip sounds fun. I love visiting places I’ve never been before, especially ones with a lot of history. I’ve never had a paranormal experience, but the idea fascinates me. I think that’s why I’m drawn to TV shows that feature paranormal storylines.

  14. Trish, I love the ghost shows, too! I’m even fascinated by the Long Island Medium and how she can connect with people who’ve passed on. As writers I think we’re all drawn to history in different ways and because we find people so fascinating!

  15. Marin, what a great blog! We live on the old Route 66 and there’s an annual festival in the residential part where there’s tons of antique shops and places to eat. There’s a Route 66 Association that spearheads all of it. Over the years, I’ve traveled the Old 66 Route and even today when we drive to California there are areas where we can get off and drive on the old highway instead of I40. We always get off at Tucumcari and drive through the old town on 66 and eat there. Thanks for a great blog and lots of memories.

    • Hi Phyllis! Where on Route 66 do you live? Lucky you! During our travels we ran into people who had lived in small towns along the route as kids but said they couldn’t wait to grow up and move away. A few of them said they wish they could move back to their hometown but not being able to find work has kept them away. Route 66 is a super fun experience!

  16. Welcome, Welcome, Welcome to Wildflower Junction, Marin! Loved reading your blog and getting to know you a bit. I prefer to stay as far away form ghosts and spirits as I can! I don’t even watch fictional ones on TV. Too scary for me!

    I live at the other end of Route 66 near Chicago and my husband is nudging me to do a Route 66 trip. Loved hearing of yours and enjoying it vicariously.

  17. HI Kathryn! You definitely need to explore Route 66 if you get the chance. I would love to explore the start of the route one day but am hoping to see a bit of it in St. Louis when we visit my daughter in grad school over Thanksgiving. Right now St. Louis has the “Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis” exhibit at the Missouri History Museum which is free to the public and she went to see it. I’m not sure it will be there in November, but if it is, I’m going 🙂

  18. Have never taken a ghost tour, but I’ve been places and wondered if there was something unseen there. My friend went on the tour of the old penitentiary in Philadelphia, she said it was crazy–there’s no way I could go there. My grandma told me too many stories about haints.

    • Hi Denise! What is it about grandmas always having a ghost story to tell kids? 🙂 My grandma used to tell us kids we’d better behave because you never know which dead relative is watching us, lol!

  19. We went on a ghost tour in New Orleans. We really don’t need to go far for ghosts. We had ghost investigators look at the old train depot where I worked (it is now the county library). According to them there are at least 15 spirits there.

    Our house is an 1898 Victorian farm house. The first night we spent there I woke up in the wee hours of the morning with the distinct feeling that someone was in the doorway looking at us. It wasn’t threatening, more like “So you are the new owners. You’ll do.” A year or two later, one of our Boy Scout moms asked if I had seen the white lady. Her family rented the house when she was a teen. Evidently there is a lady ghost in a white gown that appears on the upstairs landing before someone dies. Not one I’d like to see. One of our children did claim to see her the day before our cat died. When our son was in 5th grade, he woke up to find a little girl standing near his bed, then she was gone. Our middle daughter had a frightening experience with an evil entity when she was house sitting for us with her infant son. She woke to find a greenish cloud forming into a man. Our lab which was sleeping near the crib and sofa noticed it at the same time. It growled, every hair was up in her back, and she headed for it. It vanished before the dog got to it at which point the dog stopped, came back, and lay back down. Luckily that was the only incident with that one.

    • Wow, Patricia! You’ve really had some will experiences! Thanks for sharing them. I’m so glad nothing bad happened to your daughter and her baby son. It would be fascinating to know more about the farmhouse and what took place on the property.

  20. We actually have a ghost that “lives” in our house. I got divorced a few years back and moved into the upper duplex apartment above my parents. The kitchen and bathroom areas needed to be redone because the bathtub was under a slanted roof and was too difficult to get into. Anyway, long story short is that my brother and my son gutted the whole kitchen/bathroom area. We would go down to eat meals with my parents and they would go back to work only to find tools that they were using before the meal missing. They would end up finding them in a totally different part of the apartment where they never would have put them. Also, I adopted a rescue dog shortly after my divorce and something kept bothering her. She would turn her head different directions and then shake all over. My mom told the ghost to stop picking on the dog and yelled “I wish I knew your name”. She then went to the kitchen for something and when she came back, there was a name written on the outside of a grocery bag that was sitting on the couch that she was recycling newspapers in. The name that was written was “Roy”. So now anytime anything comes up missing, we just ask Roy to put it back where he took it from. Eventually, it comes back. We think he was a child because my son found a picture up in the attic when he was putting insulation up there (the picture was in a frame behind a newspaper picture) and there were four little boys (tweens to early teens) sitting on a pier with an arrow pointing to one of the boys, which we think might be Roy. We have many more stories about Roy and even had a newspaper article written about our experiences with Roy.

  21. Hi Theresa–thanks for sharing your experience-it’s fascinating! That he wrote hi same on the paper sack is incredible. It makes you wonder why he’s still there. I wonder what happened to him that he’s still there. And it’s really cool that you’ve accepted him as part of your family…who knows maybe he was just looking for a place to belong. What neat story-I’m so glad you shared it here!

  22. I did get to see the town of jerome arizona about 20 years ago. Love how the town is on the side of a hill.

    • Hi Kim! Jerome is a special town. I think it would be so much fun to have a writing studio in that town…always fun to dream.
      I saw the town for the first time when I was 15 on a family vacation,which was over thirty years ago. Now there’s more touristy stuff there and places to grab lunch but it still has that ghost town feel.

  23. When I was a kid I took a field trip with my school class to tour the Whaley house in Old Town San Diego, which is reputed to be haunted. We didn’t see any ghosts though 😉

    • Hi Heidi! Two years ago hubby and I were in San Diego and took a haunted ghost tour. We didn’t go into the Whaley house but toured the cemetery next to it. One of these days I’d like to go back and do the tour…I’ve been a on a few ghost tours and have never experienced anything 🙁

  24. Happy Saturday Readers!

    I’m ready to announce the winner of my #Giveaway. First I want to thank everyone for their fabulous comments and stories about their paranormal experiences. I enjoyed reading them very much.

    Congratulations to Colleen! Colleen you’ve won a digital copy of my sweet novella The Bull Rider’s Pledge! I will be sending you an email to confirm!
    Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

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