Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.
Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Bisbee, Arizona: Quite the Place! - Saturday, April 30, 2022

Friday afternoon, April 29: After our half-day in Tombstone yesterday, we drove to Bisbee, Arizona for our next adventure. Rick and Jan suggested touring the Queen Mine, doing Bisbee's 1,000-step Great Stair Climb walk, and eating at some very good restaurants during our three days here. Bob and I also wanted to do the Old Bisbee 10k Volksmarch.

We stayed at the Queen Mine RV Park which is within easy walking distance to Old Bisbee AND right next door to the mine we're going to tour on Tuesday. Our RV sites had a view of the town below us and the mountains next to us. If we walked a short distance to another fence at the RV park, we could look down into the old open pit mine. Wow! That's one big hole in the ground!! At night, we had a great view of Bisbee all lit up. 

The view of one of the mountains
from our RV site.

Rick & Jan with their Forester.

Me and Bob with our HR Presidential.

Saturday, April 30: This morning, we got an early start because it's supposed to be hot this afternoon. However, it seems we were a bit too early. Our Volksmarch start point was the Copper Queen Hotel. It was locked up tight when we arrived. Thankfully, Rick and Jan had a copy of the walk instructions. We were able to do the walk and signed in later.

Bisbee is one hilly city. Immediately, we started uphill past some historic buildings. It turns out, there's a lot to see between the architecture, the murals, art, flowers, colorful homes, and the steps of the hill climb. 

It was a little chilly when we started, but it wasn't long until our windbreakers were wrapped around our waists.

Covenant Presbyterian Church,
established 1900.

YWCA, 1904.

Central School (1905), now owned by
an artists' co-op and contains studios.

Now we're going to start seeing murals. Many of the murals were painted by Muck Rock.

A Muck Rock mural on a 

This may be pink valerian.

All the stairways on the Great Stair Climb are numbered and tell you how many stairs that section has. Tomorrow, we will walk the whole set of nine staircases!

Staircase #5, 151 steps. We 
will climb these tomorrow.

Bisbee High School.

We lost our way at this point and ended up going through town instead of turning on Clawson. We added at least another kilometer to our walk, but we did eventually find where we were supposed to be. Here are photos I took when we were lost...

Gettin' my butterfly on.

Rick was checking out the guitars.

The Post Office & Copper Queen Library.

Unfortunately, they were closed
early in the morning.

Old Bisbee - Letson Block.

The window of an art

I like the "Classic Rock Couture" 
window dressing.

Advertising murals.

Old Bisbee.

Old Bisbee business district.

We got back on our Volksmarch at the Copper Miner "Iron Man statue. This statue was conceived by WPA artist Phillip Sanderson in 1935. The statue is in front of the Cochise County Courthouse.

A vineyard mural to the right
of "Iron Man."

Copper Miner "Iron Man"

"Iron Man" as seen from
another angle.

From "Iron Man" we headed up Tombstone Canyon Ave., then Garden Ave., to Mayer Ave. It is here that we did our first set of stairs on the Volksmarch. This is staircase #6 with 130 stairs.

Staircase #6, 130 stairs.

Jan & Rick on staircase #6. 

We passed by the Dragonview
Mountain Retreat. This dragon
is the gatekeeper.

Oops, I'm getting behind.

Once we got to the top of this staircase, we were on Laundry Hill. We wound our way along a hillside to reach Moon Canyon. We saw more murals as we headed to staircase #7 back on Tombstone Canyon Rd. 

Look at the huge paddles on this cactus!

Walking along the hillside on Adams Ave.

Mural on Moon Canyon.

Mural by Sophia (2018).

Mural by Muck Rock. (Sign says "No
Parking Ever!")

Another mural by Muck Rock.

These look like poppies.

Bisbee Fire Department No. 2 (1914).

A sunflower mural by
Muck Rock.

A beautiful pointillism mural. (That
means it's painted with a lot of dots.)

From Moon Canyon, we took Tombstone Canyon to Wood Canyon. I love how the Volksmarch took us past all kinds of art! Bisbee is filled to the brim with artwork.

Wild pigs descending someone's stairs.
This is also by Muck Rock.

Wood Canyon art.

We met the gentleman who makes
this local fauna skeleton art.

Horned toad.


Lovely mural!

A variety of yard art.

We all laughed at the rear window
bumper sticker.

It's time to head back down Tombstone Canyon Rd. I fell in love with some of the brightly painted homes!

A great front gate.

Sea serpent yard art.

One of my two favorite homes.

An old grocery store.

Really creative bird houses here.

My other favorite house. Look at
those vibrant colors!

Pretty tiles surround the
front door on this house.

Little Free Library.

St. Patrick's Catholic Church.

Inside St. Patrick's.

Inside St. Patrick's.

Inside St. Patrick's.

Inside St. Patrick's.

Art cars in front of this house.

Owl art car parked next to the 
one above.

We had a great vantage
point of Castle Rock on this

Our next set of Bisbee's steps was #8 with 127 stairs. This time we went down them, not up. (On the Great Stair Climb, you go UP all the sets of stairs.)

Another look at Castle Rock.

Jan, Bob, and Rick starting down
staircase #8.

Mural of the stair climb.

Looking up the stairs we 
just came down.

The Beatles "Help" Mural. Photo taken 
with a little HELP from my friends.

Art Deco ladies dresser set (almost mint
condition) for $295 that we saw in
an antique store window.

We walked through Old Bisbee again. I wanted to share a couple of points of interest with you. 
  1. There is a large, three-story structure at 69 Main in the Johnson Block (1907) which housed the Palace Livery. An elevator was used to hoist horses to the second-floor stables. 
  2. The Henniger-Johnson Building (1907) across Main St. from the Post Office/Library is constructed of hydraulically pressed brick. This brick is reported to be as hard and durable as granite. These bricks held up against the 1908 fire in town.
An interesting spot.

Since we were lost here this morning and you already saw those photos, let's continue to the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum. The museum is housed in what was the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company General Offices (1897). We did not take the time today to visit the museum. We will save that for another time.

Current exhibits in the 

Ore car display outside the museum.

Bob, Rick, and Jan.

Jan and Rick.

The old jail.

A view of the City Park.

A honeycomb gate complete
with bees.

This is the most gorgeous, multi-
colored rosebush that any of us has seen.

Pythian Castle (1904).

Heavy-duty gates with
pick ax handles.

Stock Exchange Saloon.

We finished our 11k walk in a little over 3-1/2 hours. That's pretty good considering all the picture taking and mural viewing!

We walked back to the RV park to take it easy for the rest of the afternoon. Tonight, we are going to dinner at Cafe Roka. 

After our rest, we walked downtown to the restaurant. Rick and Jan had made reservations and asked for us to sit on the third floor where they have live music. It was a great dinner. I had a side salad, short ribs on mashed potatoes served with steamed vegetables and a very good relish (maybe mango). This place was so fancy, they even served us an intermezzo (an icy interlude, a small dish to be consumed between courses, rejuvenating the palate and prepping it for the rest of the meal). The music was interesting. It wasn't really jazz. It was a couple who were playing two different instruments. I can't remember the names of the instruments; I think one was from China. Anyway, it was unique music for sure.

Rick & Jan at Cafe Roka in Bisbee.

Me and Bob at Cafe Roka.

At night, colored lights
come on in Old Bisbee.

When we walked back to the RV Park, we took a different route through a parking lot and found a whole wall of Bisbee-themed murals. It's awesome. I took quite a few photos of it all.
A mural of "Common Trees."

"Urban = Hike" mural.

"A Bird's Eye View of Greater Bisbee."

"Bisbee Birds (13)."

Bob showing how far his training run
will be in the morning.

Detail of the Bisbee mural.

Each staircase and the number
of steps they have.

Bob and Rick admiring the red 

More of Old Bisbee.

We had a fun-filled day of exploration, exercise, fresh air, good food, and camaderie with our friends. Thank you, Rick and Jan, for telling us all about the Great Stair Climb. Tomorrow, we'll do the whole Great Stair Climb walk!

Good night, all.