The very last stop on our epic family roadtrip / destination wedding adventure was easily one of my favorites. It’s hard to say something is your favorite when you literally just got married a few days earlier and spent a whole bunch of time with the people most important to you. So, let’s call this my favorite aside from the things that basically automatically get ‘favorite’ status. Although, one could argue an old cemetery complete with friendly livestock grazing inside automatically ranks up there as well.
This was another FindAGrave app find. Just like our previous stop, we were all hankering for a place to stretch our legs and explore. I browsed Roadside America but didn’t find anything that looked interesting on our route so I turned to my second app of choice, FindAGrave. The reason I always say it’s not the best is because of the limited information it gives on places. It’s nice for locating cemeteries but who really knows if it’s going to be worth checking out or not. I decided it was worth the gamble since it wasn’t too far off the highway in the direction we were heading.
We arrived at the address only to see it was wooded, gated, not visible from the road and presumably, up a bumpy looking dirt road. Worse than that was that, there was someone at the gate closing it up. We pulled into the large pull off area in front of the gate and asked ‘Is the cemetery up there?’ hoping if he had some sort of authority he’d say it was okay if we poked around. He cheerily responded that yeah, it was up there, the road was driveable, he was just visiting his grandparents, to make sure to close the gate behind us and to have fun!
We crept up the dirt trail in our rental cars. After going through a second gate, we entered the cemetery. I could immediately see that it was going to be a good one. Then I spotted why there were so many gates and why it was so important to keep them closed! A beautiful cow was grazing alongside the graves. I’m not sure if there were more but I was excited just to see her. It was a really beautiful sight, and of course, I’m always excited to see animals. I was also very happy we’d been dragging around the 70-200mm lens. I was able to get some nice close up without disturbing her.
After getting my shots of the seemingly random cemetery cow, I started to wander around the rest of the grounds. It seemed like everywhere I looked there was something that got me all excited. One of the things I loved most was the huge range of different grave marker types. The whole thing was the complete opposite of the uniformity most cemeteries have. There were crosses made from pipes, headstones that appeared to be stamped somehow, metal crosses, and of course, your classic granite obelisk among many other unique one of a kind things I’d have trouble even describing.
Thurber Cemetery has a ton of history, and what makes it most interesting is that they have signs scattered about with little factoids. Instead of being dry and boring, they were actually fairly humorous. Clearly written by someone with a lot of opinions – check out the one a few photos below. “idiotic cemetery restoration attempt…”
I hesitate to describe a cemetery as ‘fun’ but I’m having a hard time thinking of any other descriptor that works as well or sums up my feeling on it. There was a cow, there were cactus, a little bit of every type of grave marker you could think of, and interesting information sprinkled throughout. I loved Thurber Cemetery. I’m really glad we got off the highway to check it out!
More from this trip;
▴ just married!
▴ instant photos from our wedding week
▴ that time I got married in a ghost town
▴ Cadillac Ranch
▴ Boothill Graveyard
▴ Twin Arrows + Two Guns
▴ Steins Cemetery
▴ abandoned motel in New Mexico
Clearly, it needs updated since in the two years after hitting publish I’ve found many others I LOVE but I have a list of my top ten cemeteries!