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2007: RV Vacation to Southern Arizona
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Bisbee, Arizona Main commercial street
Click the photo to enlarge
December 16, 2007: Today we traveled south to Bisbee, Arizona. We found many speciality shops with unique items. I'd like to return to spend more time looking at the shops and the alley-ways. On the top of our list was to take the Queen Mine Tour. The queen mine has 39 levels (3,900 vertical feet) and 2,500 miles of tunnels. The tour takes tourists 1,500 feet into the first level and shows the tools and equipment used to bring copper ore from this huge mine.
Neto is our guide. He worked this mine for 25 years before it closed in 1974
The battery powered tow car pulls us into the Queen Mine entrance Gwen and Neto walk toward the ore cars, each car holds 1/4 ton
This is the pedal car the boss road Neto shows a shute which pours into an ore car. Each level is 100 feet apart so the next higher level is 100 feet above this level
The potty wagon is moved around on the rails A dozen holes are drilled 8 feet into the rock then loaded with dynamite
Communication to the surface by telephone Click to read the bell signals for the 39 levels, that's 3900 feet of elevator shaft
Click the above photo to enlarge
The loader rolls to the ore on rails and scoops the ore into ore cars behind it The battery powered tow car
We had to wear hard hats and slickers Neto points to a shaft where a pocket of copper ore was found
Live music at Big Nose Kate's Saloon Big Nose Kate's Saloon in Tombstone
Returning from Bisbee, we stopped in Tombstone at Big Nose Kate's Saloon for dinner. Big Nose Kate was Doc Holiday's girlfriend. We enjoyed live country music from a performer who reminded us of Kenny Rogers. The meal was barbeque beef sandwich for me and a tasty hamburger for Gwen.
December 17, 2007: We hiked Chiricahua National Monument which is about 70 miles to the southeast of Benson, Arizona. There is excellent hiking and views of strangely formed and balancing rock formations. Dogs are not allowed on the trails so we had to leave Morgan at the RV park. We had planned to do a seven mile hike but arrived late so chose a 3.5 mile hike instead. We were pretty tired at the end of the hike so glad we chose the shorter route. Click any of the photos to enlarge. We were so impressed with the scenery and hiking that we are anxious to return again another year.
The photo with the two of us on the large rock is our lunch location. Gwen really liked the Agave plants, the large plant and tree like branch in the center. We were also surprised to find water and ice in this desert location.

December 18, 2007: Today was a day to get caught up with duties. We washed the truck and trailer and did another load of laundry. I also visited with a number of Saguaro residents to learn more about leasehold membership.

Gwen and I took a hike later in the day with Morgan from the Saguaro RV park. There is a wonderful desert trail from the park along the ridges of the desert hills. Some previous hikes have stacked rock arches along the path.

Here is a perfect rock arch
Exploring rock arches Gwen and I tried to restore a rock arch that had fallen over but we finally gave up and posed next to another rock arch.
December 19, 2007: Arizona has the most southern ski area located in the United States. It's just north of Tucson on Mt. Lemmon. The ski area is at an elevation of 9,000 feet. Our goal today is to reach the ski area and see the views of Tucson from 7,000 feet above the city. At the base of the mountain is a forest of Suguaro Cactus. We actually started seeing snow at about 5,000 feet and even found a stream for Morgan to play. Click any of the photos to enlarge.
We found the ski area closed for the day but it will be open for the rest of the holiday season. It has two lifts with about a dozen runs. The ski area was advertising for help. Once I retire from the college, this might make a fun winter job.
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