Friday, May 15, 2015

2015 Tucson: Bisbee (5/15/2015)

Friday, May 15, 2015 (continued)
From Tombstone we continued south on AZ-83 into Bisbee. The town was founded in 1880 as a copper, gold, and silver  mining center, and thrived until the mid 1970s. Now it is an artist colony and retirement community.
We arrived too late for any mining tours, but managed to find Ok Street and drive up the narrow road to view the town built between the steep walls of the Tombstone Canyon, and the many stairs used to get around town.
Bisbee from Ok Street
Looking down Ok Street
Stairs (KAH)
Although narrow, Ok Street was a two-way street and I watched for traffic coming the other way. When we reached the end, there was a sign pointing to the left for Youngblood Hill Avenue, but it was an uneven cobblestoned lane that went down at a 45 degree angle! I was sure it was meant for pedestrians, and managed to turn around to return down Ok Street. Then I had to pull over for an oncoming truck, and the driver stopped to tell me that the locals used the street as a one-way uphill, and I might encounter traffic like him. You mean people drive down that steep road? All the time!
We didn't meet any more traffic and made it safely to the stop sign (for people like me!) at the end of Ok Street.
The Old Jail (1904)
Former Lyric Theatre (1917)
I dropped Karen off to shop and went to buy gas for the rental car.
More stairs
The Great Stair Climb sign
Before the Great Depression, Bisbee was covered with mule paths from the heyday of copper mining. The WPA built stairways following those paths. As the stairs began to deteriorate, a fundraiser was devised in 1990, creating a course of nine staircases connected by winding roads. Now the Great Stair Climb is a major annual event.
The Inn at Castle Rock (1895)
Castle Rock and
"The Peace Wall" by Rose Johnson
Copper Queen Hotel (1898-1902)
Karen managed to find several pairs of earrings at one of the many shops around Copper Queen Plaza.
As we drove out of Bisbee, we stopped at the Lavender Pit, a former open-pit copper mine, leaving an enormous figure-8 hole in the ground.
Lavender Pit south side
The pit is 900 feet deep
More cattle as we headed east (KAH)
Karen spotted a hare, or rather a Lepus sp/Jackrabbit.
Lepus californicus/Black-tailed Jackrabbit

Next: Chiricahua National Monument.

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