Saturday, January 8, 2011

Queen Of Copper

More mining on today's agenda. Off to The Queen of the Copper Camps in Bisbee, Arizona. There's an open pit mine that you can see on your own, then take the miner's train underground for the tour which goes into the mine about a thousand feet by train, with side tours that are walking and climbing shafts. As always, there were new pieces of equipment to discover that were specific to this operation. We donned real hard hats, yellow slickers and full weight battery packs and head lamps. As there are very few electric lights in the mine, having everyone in the group have their own light was excellent. This mine is cold at 47 degrees, especially compared to the 70 - 80 degree temperatures and 99 % humidity of Kartchner Caverns which we took in last week. The mine shafts we traveled were TIGHT. You could touch either wall or the ceiling at any point will riding in or out. Still, there didn't seem to be that claustrophobic feeling one might have expected given the small, cold, and dark of the experience.

Chicken Mike had suggested that if we got to Bisbee, we should look up a chocolatier in the town built into the side of the mountain. Great suggestion. As our time there was all too short, certainly too short to explore the surprisingly beautiful mountainside town to any extent, it was grand to have a reason to at least drive through the town in search of ChocolaTE- spelled this way so you can sound out the name of the business. We found it almost at the end of the main drag, on the hillside- a tiny building but large with personality and the luring aroma from the specially imported cocoa beans and the specialty chocolates being made, sampled and sold in the tiny store. Amazingly delicious! I also had a small sample mug of the "best hot chocolate in the world" - a claim that's hard to argue with! Another time, Bisbee will be right up there on the list of places to further explore.

This slide show will include both the town, the mine tour, and the chocolate shop:

1 comment:

Judy Pike said...

Hi, Greg and Marilyn!

Earl and I are friends of Joan Silagy and she gave us the URL for your blog so that we could contact you. We live here in Bisbee and would love to meet you somewhere for coffee if you have time before you leave the area!

Our email address is and our phone number is 520-432-3407.

If you are interested in seeing the historic Covenant Presbyterian Church next door to the Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee, that's where we will be in the morning. The service is at 10:30, but I'll be in the church around 9:15,

Would love to hear from you!

Judy Pike