Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Monday, February 8 – Travel Day. Heading to Benson, AZ for a couple of days. We are heading to Texas but are trying to drag our feet and enjoy this great Arizona weather for a few more days. We're staying in Benson I-10 RV Park. We stayed here about a month ago on our way West. We hope to see some sights in Tucson. Took a drive around Benson. Founded in 1880 prior to Arizona’s mining boom, Benson developed as a stopping point for the Butterfield Overland Stage mail delivery route.  Soon thereafter, the Southern Pacific Railroad came into Benson and continued to serve the area until 1997, when the line was purchased by Union Pacific Railroad. 

We did find the Escapee SKP (Co-op) Park...Saguaro. A very nice park. I can't explain why most of the Escapee Parks we see are much nicer than Days End at Livingston, TX, the National Headquarters' Park. I really think they need to improve that park!

Tuesday, February 9 – Headed out early to see Bisbee, AZ. It is located high in the Mule Mountains about 20 miles from the Mexican border.



More pictures of our drive to Bisbee.

Bisbee, 90 miles southeast of Tucson, is the picturesque county seat of historic Cochise County. The community was founded in 1880 and named after Judge DeWitt Bisbee, a financial backer of the Copper Queen Mine.

The town was amazing. It was named by Frommer's Travel magazine as one on the “coolest small towns in America.” Bisbee is known as the “Queen of the Copper Camps.” It is a former mining town with a HUGE open pit copper mine. In the late 1800's, the mine produced 8 billion pounds of copper. The pit was so large they had to re-route the highway. The mine is no longer in production.



Many of its Victorian buildings are now homes, antique stores, galleries, fine cafe's and restaurants. We really loved walking around town and enjoying the narrow streets and homes built on the sides of the mountains.





We visited the famous Copper Queen Hotel. It is the oldest continually running Hotel in the state of Arizona. Historically registered at 105 years old. Very pretty inside.



We did drive up a VERY narrow road to see some houses....I couldn't believe it handled two-way traffic. Lucky we didn't meet an upcoming car! This was one of our favorite site seeing trips of our time on the road.


From Bisbee we headed to Tombstone. This unfortunately, was one of my biggest disappointments so far on our journey. Very commercialized! It looked very “Disneylandish” Everything had one purpose.....make money.

"The Town too Tough to Die," Tombstone was perhaps the most renowned of Arizona's old mining camps. When Ed Schieffelin came to Camp Huachuca with a party of soldiers and left the fort to prospect, his comrades told him that he'd find his tombstone rather than silver. Thus, in 1877 Schieffelin named his first claim the Tombstone, and rumors of rich strikes made a boomtown of the settlement that adopted this name.

Tombstone is the site of the famous gun fight at the OK Corral. The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a gunfight that occurred at about 3 P.M. on Wednesday, October 26, 1881, in Tombstone. Although only three men were killed during the gunfight, it is generally regarded as the most famous gunfight in the history of the Old West. The combatants were Virgil,Wyatt, Morgan Earp along with "Doc" Holliday versus Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank Mclaury, and Billy Claiborne. The shootout was essentially the culmination of a feud between the Earps who represented "law and order" in this lawless boomtown, such as it was, and the gang known as the Cowboys, a loose association of cattle rustlers, gunslingers, and other hard men. The Clantons, McLaurys, and Billy Claibourne were part of this faction. Given the nature of the town and the harshness of the Earps, there was considerable sympathy for the Cowboys. The shootout took place at point-blank range and lasted less than thirty seconds. Ike Clanton decided not to fight and left the scene, thus surviving. Billy Clanton and the McLaurys succumbed, the most damage being done by Doc Holliday's shotgun. (A shotgun is extremely lethal at short range.) Doc, Virgil, and Morgan were each shot but none hurt severely. Only Wyatt walked away unscathed.

In the 1880s, the Bird Cage Theater was not only a theater, but also served as a saloon, gambling hall and reportedly even a brothel. Legend has it that 26 people were killed in The Bird Cage during it reputed eight years as one of the wildest and meanest places in Tombstone, Arizona. Over a 120 bullet holes remain in the building . The ladies of the night, plied their trade in cribs suspended from the ceiling in the building. There  are 14 cribs which line the sides of the gambling hall in the Bird Cage Theatre, 7 on each side of the room. The ladies would close the drapes to entertain their clients.



We did enjoy Boothill. Tombstone's famous "Boothill Graveyard" was originally plotted in 1878 and was first named "The Tombstone Cemetery". There was a section for all the Chinese and another area for the Jewish. It is believed some 300 persons in all were buried here. It was common for bodies to be found in various parts in and outside of town, with no one ever being able to identify them, and they were interred with no markings, or as "unknown". This is the burial site of many gun fight losers!


OK Corral shoot out.



Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all again real soon.