Hey friends, welcome back to GrandAdventure! I'm your host Marc Guido, and in thisepisode we're going to explore the historic mining-town-turned-tourist-townof Bisbee, down in the far southeastern corner of Arizona, and we're also goingto go explore the Dragoon Mountains up behind camp.
So stay tuned! For our visit to Bisbee we're stillboondocking away from everyone else along Forest Road 687 within Arizona'sCoronado National Forest, at the foot of the Dragoon Mountains just north ofTombstone.
If you'd like more information about camping along Forest Road 687watch our previous episode number 143 on Tombstone which, we'll link to right hereon the screen.
Bisbee is located about 24 miles south ofTombstone, and the drive across the floor of the Sonoran Desert and up into theMule Mountains is incredibly scenic.
Less than eight miles from the Mexicanborder, Bisbee was founded as a copper, gold and silver mining town in 1880.
It wasnamed in honor of Judge DeWitt Bisbee, one of the financial backers of theadjacent Copper Queen Mine.
Because its plan was laid out to a pedestrian scale, before the automobile, Old Bisbee is compact and walkable, but not a place todrive your RV.
The town's hilly terrain is exemplified by the old four-storyhigh school — each floor has a ground-level entrance.
Mining in the MuleMountains proved quite successful.
In the early 20th century the population ofBisbee soared to more than 9, 000.
In 1917, open-pit mining was successfullyintroduced to meet the copper demand during World War I.
Mining operationsin Bisbee ceased in 1975, and heritage tourism replaced mining as Bisbee'seconomic driver.
Artist Steven Hutchison and his wife Marcia purchased the CopperQueen Hotel, as well as other buildings in the downtown area.
Actor John Waynewas a frequent visitor to Bisbee and the Copper Queen.
He befriended Hutchison andeventually partnered with developer Ed Smart in his real estate ventures.
Bisbeebecame a haven for artists and hippies fleeing the larger cities of Arizona andCalifornia.
Today, the historic city of Bisbee is known as “Old Bisbee” and ishome to a thriving downtown cultural scene.
It's fascinating that in some parts oftown they've merely paved over the wash to build a street, with houses and otherbuildings constructed right up to the edge of what was once the wash.
Now for the few days that we've beencamped here, I've got to be honest with you, the Dragoon Mountains behind me haveleft me absolutely fascinated.
Not only is this western slope of the Dragoonsvisually striking, but according to my topo maps it looks like there was a lotof mining activity that took place in those mountains years ago.
So I want tohead up there and do a little bit of off-roading and see if we can find someremnants of those old mines.
We're continuing up Middlemarch Roadpast camp up towards Middlemarch Pass, where we're already spotting tailingspiles and other evidence of past mining activity throughout the DragoonMountains.
At the bottom of the east side of thepass, we'll fork left into Middlemarch Canyon, and drive up the wash to try tofind some ruins on our topo map.
The trail, however, is quickly deteriorating.
The rough trail, however, has paid off bydelivering us to some ruins of what looks to have been a small millingoperation for ore from the numerous nearby mines.
So we're really hope that you've enjoyedcoming along with us to check out Bisbee and the Dragoon Mountains ofsoutheastern Arizona.
We're about ready to get packed up andhead off to the southwest side of Tucson, where we're going to meet up with afellow YouTuber and prepare for your next week's episode of Grand Adventure.
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