Bisbee, AZ


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Bisbee is a mining town that's about an hour southeast of Tombstone. It's kind of touristy and new-age-y, but it sounded like fun. After I dropped Jim and Jo Nell off at the airport, and stocked up on groceries, I drove down there for the day.
It's tucked away in the mountains, and the old part of Bisbee was built in a canyon, so the town is on terraces and slopes, and looks pretty cool. The new part of Bisbee is just flat ordinary small desert town.
After you pass through Bisbee (which I did, then went back to the town itself) you see this sign for a 'scenic view'...on the right is the view, it's the copper mine that made Bisbee a town. Interesting, certainly, but scenic? maybe not so much...
This is the road on the way back into Bisbee...again, maybe not scenic, but interesting, and pretty colors.
And this is what the downtown looks like, basically two streets of shops. Fun to hang around in for a couple of hours! It was noon, and I had a reservation for a tour at the Queen Mine in the late afternoon, so I had time to look around and enjoy myself.
This is the plaza outside the Mineral and Mining museum, which was recommended by my Lonely Planet Arizona guidebook as an excellent museum, and they were right!
"Or anything weird"...I don't even want to think about it. Mining stock certificates, very pretty. The mineral faults around the town A picture of old Bisbee. Brewery Gulch is now a paved street with parking, and lots of music, restaurants and brewpubs.
Interesting! I love stuff like this. Two pics of the original mine office as it was in the day. An old cash register.

Not just copper...

So I talked to a bunch of people about Bisbee turquoise...there's a kind called 'Bisbee blue' that is extremely pricey. The jewelers I spoke to said, it was discovered in a mine near here, there was only one big chunk of it, and that's all there is, and that's why it's expensive. The woman at the Queen mine whom I asked about it said, nah, doesn't exist. She said that any minerologist can look at turquoise and figure out where it's from, so there is Bisbee turquoise, in that it came from the Bisbee area; Bisbee Blue is just a marketing thing, there is no way to know if turquoise came from one mine or another. I had thought that might be true, nice to have it confirmed...!

On the right, I just liked the ginormous tire with small toy trucks inside it.

Pictures around downtown, including the charmingly named Bisbee Bicycle Brothel, wiith the lady riding a bike in her altogether. Doesn't look comfortable...
The Royale is a movie theater that shows indy movies and also has bands. I loved the decorations! The remnants of a HUGE swarm of something that I drove through on my way south. Ew. The Queen mine, where I had reserved a tour in the late afternoon.
I had some time to kill in the gift shop and also looking at the great displays of mining stuff and the mine dioramas.
The tram we all got to ride, about 1300 feet down in the mine. Whee! Dress-up! The mine entrance... And we're all loaded up and ready to go!
This is how narrow the tunnel was that the tram went down... Bob, the tour guide, who used to work in this mine. An example of the wooden beam supports they used A drawing of how the sections of supports fitted together.
Two months later, I have no idea what this picture is. Sorry. Bob talking about the different carts, the days when there were mules underground, and also right by him is a bicycle that runs on the mine cart tracks. An example of how they dynamited sections of rock. Ever wonder how miners stay underground all day without a bathroom? This is what they used...
when everyone else got off, I went slow to get a pic of the tram with nobody on it...an extremely drunk and kind of annoying guy also stayed behind and insisted on taking my picture. I let him to get rid of him, but I have to say, he took a pretty good picture! The rest of these and the next row are just pictures around town...I drove up and down some of the (narrow steep and twisty) streets just to check it out.

Not a kind of praise you see every day...!