Sunday, January 9, 2011
The one thing Jeff wanted to do on this trip was go into a mine... so we were up and out of Tuscon before the sun heading down Highway 80 to Tombstone.
You reach Boothill Graveyard before you reach the town - its free to walk through the graveyard but you are forced through a gift shop on your way in and out. In the graveyard head to the left for some old tombs with great rhyming epitaphs. Unfortunately, we were in such a hurry we forgot to charge the camera the night before - so no pictures of the "We're open! We know your dying to get in" sign on the gift shop door. This stop will take you 10min tops - it took us 5min because who wants to be wandering in a graveyard when its freezing.
Just down the road is Tombstone. The night before my friend told us about its cute and touristy attractions - unfortunately we arrived before anything was open. We parked and walked down the boardwalk, snapped a picture of the OK Corral with the cell phone and got back in the car and headed toward Bisbee.
We arrived in Bisbee just in time to make the 9am Queen Mine Tour. As it was the first week of January, we were the only people on the tour. So after being outfitted in hats, slickers and mining lights we were taken by train down into the mine. You stop a few times and get a chance to explore, with your guide, parts of the mine. Our tour guide was fantastic - a former mine worker himself he was able to tell us stories of both the Queen Mine and the open pit Lavender Mine located right next door. The tour lasts about an hour and is appropriate for all ages as long as they can make it up 40 or so stairs. Five tours are given daily and in the summer reservations are recommended and it costs $13.
After the tour head over to The Copper Queen Hotel for breakfast. Don't search around town for something else, because in the winter you won't find anyone else serving breakfast and if you look around for too long you'll miss breakfast time! The Bisbee breakfast is the real winner - eggs, hasbrowns, toast and bacon or ham. Keep a menu and read about the three ghosts that have taken up residence in the hotel while your breakfast is prepared.
As you leave town pull into the Lavender Pit Mine "scenic view" to take in the vastness of the Lavender Pit mine. Luckily we were able to charge the camera in the car - because you don't want to miss capturing the memories of your family donned in parkas looking for the surface!