It was high noon in the desert. I leaned against a log fence, looking toward a mountain draped with rickety railroad tracks. In the distance, the quaint facades of a small mining town lined the tracks and a harmonica tune echoed off the canyon walls.
My son Weston and I were alone — at least that’s how we were supposed to feel as we waited to board the mine train. Yet the scores of tourists surrounding us and audio warning spiels — in both English and Spanish — somehow detracted from the scene’s authenticity.
If you haven’t already guessed, we were standing at the foot of Big Thunder Mountain in the Frontierland section of Disneyland Park. Our wild ride was thrilling, to be sure. But with all due respect, Walt Disney’s thoughtful Old West replica doesn’t hold a candle to the real McCoy back home.
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