On Friday, January 15th we headed out of Carlsbad heading to Benson Arizona to Kartchner Cavern’s State Park. We decided to carry on north on Highway 285 to Artesia and then take Highway 82 to Alamogordo and then 70 to Las Cruces which would bring us back to Interstate 10 heading into Arizona and Benson. We thought this would be the short route back to Interstate 10. We did not realize that we would be traveling through Lincoln National Forest, which was beautiful but we would be gradually travelling up Alamo Peak with elevations of 9,260 ft. We passed through many seasons and in Cloudcroft, a lovely little town, they were skiing with lots of snow!! We did have to take a break and Steve replaced a part on our truck on the side of the road. One of the benefits with travelling with a mechanic!! We knew the next 16 miles were going to be slow a we travelled downhill into Alamogordo. The engine breaks on our truck worked very well!!!! We passed White Sands National Park and saw the sand dunes and continued on Interstate 10 to Benson and Kartchner Cavern’s State Park. We stayed for one night but did not visit the living caverns at Kartchners.
We read in a blog about a one week $50.00 stay at SKG Co Op for non Escapes members in Benson and that is where we headed and stayed there for one week. It was beautiful with friendly people and an amazing surrounding area to explore.
We took Highway 80 into historic Tombstone which is a western city, that I absolutely loved. It had cowboys, the OK Coral Saloon, saloon girls and horse pulled wagon’s. You could pay extra to see a gun fight at the OK Corral and it’s museum.
From Tombstone we headed into Bisbee. A lovely town set on the side of Dragoon Mountains and rated the number one place to live in the USA. It is a free-spirited place with a thriving arts/music/hospitality scene’s with many antique and art shops. In it’s glory days it was a thriving silver and copper mining town.
We had a selection of their beer at the Old Bisbee Brewing Company which is a micro brewery on Review Alley. it was wonderful and the staff where very helpful in filling us in on the different brews. From Bisbee we went East to Highway 191 looking for these amazing rocks we had seen from Interstate 10 on our way into Bisbee. We found them near Dragoon at another reproduction of a Western Saloon which was also a camp ground.
The next day we went back to Bisbee and took the Queen’s Mine Tour outfitted in hard hat’s, miner’s headlamp and yellow slicker, the Queen’s Mine was known as the richest copper mine in history. The best part was our tour, was our guide who was 82 years old and a former employee of the mine, actually the last employee to leave the mine. He was wonderful and answered every question with first hand knowledge, it was so interesting and the bonus was the train ride into the mine.
On Wednesday we took a drive into Tucson and visited downtown Tuscson again sampling beer at a local Brewery called “Thunder Canyon Brewery” It was awesome and the service was great. We were able to walk out with a souvenir beer glass. We toured 4th Street down to the museum of art into the Presidio district. Were we saw some old spanish architecture. From there was travelled by the aircraft boneyard to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. It was eerily beautiful with it’s miles and miles of airplanes, but so sad that all those planes, and all the money put into these planes, looking at their final resting place. We spent hours in the Pima Air and Space Museum with A10’s flying over our heads. We met up with Peter and Patricia the next day and made plans to head to Quartsite on Friday.
Pima Air and Space Museum