We left the Diamond J and headed for Benson to see our friends, Sharon and Don DelRosario, but that stop would be postponed a couple of days and we turned south on I-80 toward Bisbee. We skirted Ft Huachuca , a very interesting historical town we have visited before. Col. Allen Allensworth, who founded Allensworth, CA, was a Chaplin at this Buffalo Soldier Fort before coming to California.
We had reservations at the Queen Mine RV RV park in Bisbee. Sharon DelRosario had told us to be prepared for the steep road up to the park, but she failed to warn us about the sharp U-turn approach to the road up to the park. Tom made it with inches to spare making the turn with the Jeep in tow. Maybe 45 foot rigs towing would be smart to unhook before making that turn. When we got to the top we found out why this RV park was recommended. The view was perfect. We looked down on Bisbee on one side and into the Sacramento Deep Mine Pit on the other.
We see mountains to the front and back.
We then spotted 8 Harris Hawks all flying together hunting on the mountain range in front of us. There must be a lot of food to support that many raptors.
Tuesday we explored Bisbee, a mining town built into the side of the canyon. We started by doing lunch at a quaint Wood Oven Pizza place up the canyon, Screaming Banshee Pizza. It was very good, very thin crust, a home made sauce, cheese, mushrooms on my side and sausage & onions on Tom’s side.
This was a very eclectic decorated place and when I used the restroom I found about a dozen cameras of every type, movie, still, box, & digital pointed toward the commode.
A little disconcerting to say the least.
When we left we drove out to the Lavender Deep Pit Mine. It is a lavender color, but that is not why they named it Lavender.
The founder, Harrison Lavender, was reason it is named Lavender. We went into the Bisbee Blue Turquoise Shop by the lookout over the Lavender Mine. This is a unique color for Turquoise and the name is also patented as it is only found here. Many of the miners who worked here ‘pocketed’ lots of this Turquoise; we could see why they were attracted to this beautiful deep color of gem. Of course we had to find the nearest geocache, Lavender Ore Turquoise, an easy find by Tom who was on the right side of the ore car.
We checked out the most unique motel we have run across, the Shady Dell. If you can imagine spending the night in a 1950’s aluminum travel trailer in a park with lots of other travel trailers, you have arrived at the Shady Dell.
We wanted to eat at the cute little diner, but it was closed and no information when it would open.
We drove back into Bisbee to do some more look’n and shop’n.
We did find a unique vase that would not tip over for the RV and made by the owner of the shop. All the shop keepers we met were friendly, not pushy, and really a delight to talk to. These folks just love Bisbee and want to share their experiences.
Our last day in Bisbee we went to the Bisbee Museum, a spectacular museum for such a small town.
It is associated with the Smithsonian and received help from their staff to set up the displays. We found the history of Bisbee fascinating: at one time the largest town between St Lewis and San Francisco, one of the richest mineral sites in the world, producing nearly three million ounces of gold and more than eight billion pounds of copper, not to mention the silver, lead and zinc that came from these rich Mule Mountains. The displays of mining and minerals was one of the best we’ve ever seen. Even talking to the ladies volunteering at the museum was informative. The lady at the front desk was from Santa Barbara so we traded California stories with her.
Then we walked across the street to the Bisbee Grill and shared the excellent Fish and Chips and a yummy Bread Pudding with Rum sauce.
Then on to the Queen Mine Tour. This was like a Disney ride into the cavernous tunnels of an old mine except this was the “real thing”.
Our tour guide, Mel, and all of the tour guides had been employees of the mining company and knew everything about the history of this area and the mines in particular. If you ever find yourself in Bisbee, we would recommend this tour.
The next morning we left for Benson to meet up with friends, Don and Sharon. We parked at the Bisbee I-10 RV park, a Passport America park, paying $15.30. Our membership with PA has saved us lots of $$$ over the years we have stayed at their parks at 50% off the regular price. We went to lunch at the Apple Farm restaurant down the street and found the breakfast menu was still available.
The stuffed French toast that I had and the comfort food, meatloaf and eggs that Tom had were perfect.
At 4 we drove to Cochise Terrace to the DelRosario’s and were shocked to hear that Don had just been discharged from a Tucson hospital just the day before. He had a very close call with a 1300 glucose level of Diabetes. The day we were going to visit them earlier in the week, Don had been to the doctor in Benson and when the blood tests were read, the doctor called and said he was sending an ambulance IMMEDIATELY. After a few days in ICU and lots of medication,
Don was looking like himself again and was barbequing steaks for us. He is really being very careful what he eats and takes his medication very religiously. We wish him a very long life now that the diagnosis has been made and Don and Sharon are in charge – not the diabetes.
When we were in Mesa our tech, Bill, noticed a tick, tick tick coming from the engine area. He said we should have our muffler checked. We were already hooked up and ready to leave for Bisbee so we checked when arriving at the Queen Mine RV park. Sure enough there was a tick, tick, tick when the rig was in gear, but seemed to disappear when in neutral. So before leaving we called Dennis at the Fresno Cummins facility and he gave us some diagnosing tips to insure our safety. We still decided to check with the Phoenix Area Cummins shop in Avondale and found they had an opening on Monday at 6 am. OH NO, that means we will be up at 5:30 am. But we are parked in the Cummins lot enjoying the 50 amp hook up, having dinner and company after with Cool Judy and Luke Rinehimer here in Avondale. We will be having dinner this late afternoon with my cousin, Robyn and husband, Mike at the Native New Yorker in Chandler.
So until next blog, we are On the Road Again, Caching Places That We’ve Never Been,
Tom, Barbara & Pansy Cat
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