Sunset on Grayton Beach

Sunset on Grayton Beach
Sunset on Grayton Beach

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Kartchner Caverns Tour....Trip to Bisbee and Tombstone

Today was our day to do some sightseeing. We wanted to go to Bisbee and Tombstone after talking to a number of friends and other RV'ers since we got to AZ for the winter. Yesterday we did the Kartchner Caverns Rotunda/Throne Room tour. Unfortunately they DO NOT allow cameras, camcorders or cell phones on the tour so no photos. I did find some photos on the internet to give you some idea of what we saw there. The cavers that discovered the caverns kept their find a secret for 14 years before revealing it to the public. The tour begins with a ranger discussing the rules and some history of the caverns then we boarded a tram to the entrance. We were again given some instructions and then walked into a room where one door had to be closed before the other door could be opened to keep the caverns from becoming contaminated. We also went through a mister to help diminish the lint and dirt particles on our clothing. Once inside we walked down a corridor to wee numerous structures that had been created over thousand to millions of years. Here are some photos.
 
Enlarge for better viewing

                                                                   Cave Straws

Cave bacon


Largest rock column in AZ

Close up

Stalactites

Stalagmites
 
The tour lasted about 1 1/2 hours. We had a great time and marveled at the delicate structures and amazed at the size of the larger structures. The temperature in the cavern is 72 degrees with 99% humidity. Yesterday happened to be a cool windy day so the inside of the cavern was welcome however when we came out the outside temps felt cooler due to the moisture on our bodies from the humidity. Glad we spent the time.
 
Now for today. We headed out this morning about 10am and stopped in Sierra Vista at a Best Buy. We decided we needed a printer since we don't have access to one like we did in our home. We have some tax documents that need printing so we can send to our accountant. We found a great deal on an Epson 410 all in one printer. Very compact and simple enough for our use. Then we headed to Bisbee. Bisbee is about 60 south of Kartchner Cavern SP and is at about 5500 feet above sea level. We didn't think about the fact that at higher elevation the temps would be cooler. We both had on shorts however we did have warmer clothing on the top. We stopped at the visitor center which is also located at the Queen Mine. They give tours of the mine for $13 per person. We did not partake. They had a nice open fireplace with a roaring fire.
 


 
People going on the mine tour had to put on helmets with head lamps and coats to protect them as they toured the mine.
 
Bisbee was founded as a copper, gold, and silver mining town in 1880, and named in honor of Judge DeWitt Bisbee, one of the financial backers of the adjacent Copper Queen Mine. In the 1990s,  people have been attracted to Bisbee, leading it to develop such amenities as coffee shops and live theatre. the historic city of Bisbee is known as "Old Bisbee" and is home to a thriving downtown cultural scene. This area is noted for its architecture, including Victorian-style houses and an elegant Art Deco county courthouse. Because its plan was laid out to a pedestrian scale before the automobile, Old Bisbee is compact and walkable.
 
 
We got some information about a good restaurant in town called Santiago's Mexican. It's a quaint little restaurant right off Main St.
 
Santiago's

Some Mexican flare
 
I had the taco plate that had three hard shell tacos on flour tortillas and Glenda had the Chilorio plate of three soft shelled tacos on corn tortillas. We both had one beef and two chicken. We both could not eat all three so we each took one home for dinner. It was delicious.
 
Taco plate

Chilorio plate

 
We decided to take a short walk to work off the food. Just around the corner was an olive oil shop with numerous flavors along with some flavored balsamic vinegar. There were bottles available to taste. They also had some stuffed olives and I got the jalapeno stuffed olives. The owner gave us a sample and I knew I had to have a jar. We had a great time talking to the owner show had bought the shop about 3 years ago. He told us we should check out the Bisbee Brewery up the street.
 
So we walked by the Copper Queen Hotel which boasts celebrity guests in the past like John Wayne and right behind the hotel on a side street was the brewery. I wanted to check it out to see if they had bottled beers that I could bring back to my brother who is a big beer lover. Unfortunately they only had beer on tap.
 
The funny thing was we met a couple(Dave and Kim) on the street in front of the restaurant and spoke briefly then we saw them again in the olive shop and they were also at the brewery so they invited us to sit down with them. Earlier they told us they were staying at an RV resort in Benson, AZ just up the road from Kartchner. We found out they're from Montana and headed to the Phoenix area then on west. We had a great conversation about traveling, family and RV'ing and Dave and I enjoyed a sampling of beers. I like the Pilsner and he liked the Wheat Beer. They gave us their card and we gave them our names and my blog address. It was great meeting you two.
 
It was after 2:30pm and we still wanted to go to Tombstone so we didn't get to check out much more than that in Bisbee. We will be back.
 
We drove back north on Route 80 about 20 miles to Tombstone. We noticed right away it is very touristy. They have a section of the town that is blocked off with old west style buildings and western motif. There were folks dressed in the old west period clothing and stage coach rides.
 




We walked around on the main street and saw a guy playing bells, homemade instruments and dressed in colorful garb. I took Glenda's photo with him.

 
We ended up not spending too much time in Tombstone since it was mainly a tourist trap area. We did get some ice cream and sat on a bench in the park people watching. After a while we walked back to the truck and headed home. All in all it was a good day. Got to see some interesting sights and met some new friends. That's what our adventure is all about.
 
 Tomorrow we are going to attempt the Guidani Trail of about 4 miles. We walked a lower portion of the trail yesterday evening and decided we would try the ascent to the top of the foothill. I'll let you know how we do.
 


 

 
 

1 comment:

  1. We didn't make Bisbee but had the same reaction to Tombstone, way too touristy for us.

    ReplyDelete