Week 163: Willcox and Tucson, AZ

Mar. 13 - 19, 2022

Sunday, we visited the Queen Mine in Bisbee, AZ.  The drive there revealed that the area around Willcox is apparently a haven for wineries, who knew!  The Queen Mine was a very valuable mine that closed in 1975 after nearly 100 years in operation. The town turned it into a tourist destination in a year and they've been conducting mine tours ever since.  Of course we did the tour.  It was pretty cool and our tour guide was a former miner. After the mine tour we drove on to Tombstone.  We missed the gunfight at the OK coral but we got to read all about it at the Courthouse Historic Site. We strolled the streets and stopped at the Four Deuces Saloon for a refreshing beverage. On the way home we stopped at the memorial to Ed Schieffelin, one of the founders of Tombstone, where we found two USGS markers. We drove past the Boothill monument on the way out of town.

Monday, we spent the day enjoying drive number 50, the Coronado Trail. Named after Francisco Vasques De Coronado who searched this area in 1540 looking for the streets paved with gold. He didn't find them but it was a beautiful mountain drive up the east side of Arizona. We did pass thru one the largest copper mine in North America and one of the largest open pit mines in the world, Freeport-McMoRan's Morenci operations. It was amazing to watch the huge dump trucks buzzing around like bees.  They created a great overlook from the bed of one of the dump trucks.  In Springerville, AZ we stopped at an old fashioned general store that had a bit of everything, including fabric, Western Drug and General Store.  On the way home we stopped for dinner at the Copper Steer Steak House. They cooked the steaks over a wood fire and they were very tasty.  Another good road-tripping day.

Tuesday, moving day! We moved on to Tucson and the Rincon Country West RV Resort. This is really a resort. There are meeting rooms, pool, volley ball, pickle ball, etc and an array of planned activities. This place is huge and has been here since the 60's. The saguaro cacti are huge here.  There is a bike trail running by the park that is park of 120 mile system that circles the city. They even have an outdoor miniature railroad system that a local club runs. We enjoyed dinner at Serial Grillers, a local hamburger joint featured on Diners Drive Inns, and Dives with a serial killer theme. The food was good and I am almost certain the meat was really beef.  On the way home we drove by the Airplane Boneyard. They are not allowing visitors at the moment dang it, but we could see tons of aircraft from the road.

Wednesday, we didn't do much more than make a grocery run and take a walk.  The model train club has created quite the outdoor railroad here. We also came across a new business idea, what do y'all think LOL.

Thursday and Friday, again we just chilled out, planning what to do while we are here and taking care of laundry.

Saturday, we got out and about for a little exploration.  We started with the Saguaro National Park east campus. This landscape is pretty but so different from the lush southeast. Next we visited the Pima Air and Space Museum. Wow this place is huge! They have 5 hangers full of craft and 80 acres of outside displays. One of the most interesting outside aircraft was a "Super Guppy" from NASA, it looks a bit like a whale. They even have 3 former Airforce Ones.  One of the hangers is dedicated to the 390th Bomb Group. They flew the B-17 Flying Fortress and were stationed in Suffolk, England. It took us several hours to explore and we didn't EVEN see it all. After wandering around in the heat we visited the Barrio Brewery.  It seems to be a very popular place and the beer was excellent.

Make Life an Adventure!