Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence
December 11, 2012
Bisbee, we had heard many times, you must visit, put it on the bucket list. So, we put it on the list and we went. It is a pretty drive from Tombstone UP to Bisbee. When we arrived we went right to the Visitors Center, which also is a departure point for mine tours. I will fess up, I am not too much for going down into the earth to see a mine. Did one in Upper Michigan that rather spooked me. There were weird noises, bats in residence, water on the floor and rotten planks to walk on. Creepy! So, I was not particularly interested in a repeat experience. Besides, it was lunch time, and well, it was lunch time!
They had a museum of sorts in the Visitors Center, so we spent a few minutes wandering around in there. There is a lot of equipment, much of which I did not have any inking of an idea of what it all did or was. Oh, yea, I knew what the dynamite was! LOL This track bender did grab my attention tho:
Outside we found a number of different looking wagons, carts, bins, etc., all set up to travel on small gauge rail tracks down into the mines.
Interesting looking stuff, have NO idea what it was for! LOL
There was this entrance, not sure if it was real, old, mock up, or what. Needless to say, we were wandering around with no clue. Our tummies were screaming "feed me" more than our curiosity was screaming "answer me".
So, friend J chatted with some locals that happened to be sitting nearby and we were told to go down the road easterly till we found the Lavender Pit, an open pit mine. It was large, very large! How large you ask?? Well, how about 4,000 feet wide north to south, 5,000 feet long and 850 feet deep! Large!
There were all kinds of interesting signs describing the processes, including reclaiming that is now going on. One sign laid out the process of mining an open pit, briefly: there are a series of 50-foot high "benches" cut into the edge of the deposit; holes are drilled into the benches and filled with explosives; detonate said explosives which of course, breaks up a layer of rock; broken rock is shoveled up and hauled away; ore goes to a crusher for additional processing, waste rock with little or no copper is hauled away.
After studying and learning a bit more, once again, our tummies ruled supreme and we headed over to Lowell (just blocks away) for lunch. I'll chat about that in another post. Eventually, we found our way into Bisbee proper and walked around, discovering the building of the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum.
Here is a mining train out in front of the museum.
As you can probably see, that looks to be one rather large museum. We all knew we could not begin to cover that amount of territory in the hours we had left in Bisbee. The museum is on my bucket list for a possible future visit. We decide to spend the rest of our day walking around the downtown area, up and down, oh, did I mention Bisbee is built in a VERY hilly area? Like I said, we walked up and down, up and down, and up and down! HAHA, actually we walked UP UP UP and then we walked DOWN DOWN DOWN and then a bit more UP UP UP. I'll show you a bit more of charming Bisbee some time soon.