Bisbee, Part 2

We had one more day in Bisbee and decided to spend it going for a ride and hike. We heard about the Chiricahua National Monument, “A wonderland of Rocks.” According to the National Parks Service website. After a night at the Grand Saloon going for a hike seemed like a good idea. We started the day having coffee with Destiny, a motorcycle friend, who recently moved to Bisbee from the Seattle area. It was fun to take time to hang out and hear her take on living in Bisbee.

On our way back to the hotel Destiny suggested we try the breakfast burritos at a small restaurant on our way. We had noticed the place but it was only open Thursday – Sunday. The burrito was great and good fuel for the day.

The 73 mile ride to the National Monument was pretty but uneventful. Like a lot of the riding in the area there were long stretches of two lane road with little traffic. With no reason to go slow we made it there in record time.

We had a short briefing by the park ranger and headed out with our packs on a 4 mile loop.

The trail wound through a huge section of rock formations called hoodoos.

It’s tricky riding with all our gear and then having to change into hiking attire. We’re trying out leaving everything with the bikes and covering the bikes with our lightweight covers so nobody can see what is there. Not sure how that will work in Mexico but it seemed to work ok in Arizona.

It was awesome walking around and through the rock formations.

We hiked through an awesome slot canyon.

What’s this? Rocks on the trail?

I’m not very good at selfies…

According to my Gaia app, we hiked an astounding 3.6 miles in 2 and a half hours and gained 520 feet in elevation. It was a nice day and easy walk.

We decided to take the long way home to check out a place a couple of people recommended, Rattlesnake Ranch in Dragoon, AZ. The following is in Roadside America:

This appears to be someone’s home rather than an official attraction. Metal statues of dinosaurs line the driveway (arrived 2019). Outdoor displays of helmets and meat grinders. Be careful where you walk; remember what this place is named.

Yes it is someone’s home. There is a huge welcome sign by the gate so we rode in and parked near the house. A couple of big dogs barked a threatening greeting as we dismounted the bikes. Soon an older gentleman came out to call off the dogs and looked at us warily. He seemed nice enough after talking for a bit but I was cautious after noticing all the “Premises Protected by Smith and Wesson” signs.

We noticed the metal sculptures along the driveway and asked about them. He looked at us for a minute before continuing that he purchased them for his wife who he “lost to Alzheimer’s recently and had to put her in a home.” Amazing. A truly humble double wide in the middle of nowhere down a long dirt road and he acquired this huge collection of metal art for his wife.

It was a nice stop, not a typical tourist trap but interesting. The sculptures were very well done and fun to check out.

As we rode back to Bisbee the breakfast burritos were long since digested and we were wondering we would find any food. The Mexican restaurant was closed, the place with breakfast burritos was only open for breakfast, the pizza place never did open as far as we could tell. Hungry, we walked from the hotel once again towards the downtown section. We heard there was a dive bar that had one item, bratwurst. Hmm, we both did grow up in Wisconsin so that might work but Deby wasn’t too convinced.

We walked pas the scene of the crime the previous night, the Grand Saloon. I seemed to remember they had a kitchen but didn’t see anyone eating. I saw this sign in the window.

Then this next one….

Huh? We looked in and saw a table with what looked like the same crowd from the night before. Getting ready to make crafts? It seemed weird but normal in a Bisbee sort of way. We kept walking. Finally we came to Bisbee’s Table, online it says “comfort food and old school character.” Ok, burgers, we could do that. Yes, we could get a table if we could wait 45 minutes. Whatever, we waited for about 20 minutes and the squeezed us in for a rather decent meal. We splurged for some nice wine to really live it up.

We overheard the couple in the table next to us say they were from Wisconsin, geesh, they’re everywhere! We didn’t say anything but on the way out we ran into them outside the restaurant and struck up a conversation. It turns out we both graduated from Milwaukee School of Engineering although he graduated some years earlier. We laughed about engineering and Milwaukee when he suddenly looked very serious and said, “It’s our 55th wedding anniversary and we need to get to the hotel!” The grin on his face told us what I didn’t want to suspect. Cheeseheads!

Ok, just one more stop before Mexico!

Friday morning we had another breakfast at the Bisbee Breakfast Club before detouring north to Silver City, New Mexico. Our memories of quirky Bisbee would be with us for awhile. Our tourist visas and motorcycle import permits wouldn’t valid until Monday so we needed to kill a few more days. We wanted to stop and visit a gallery in Silver City run by some friends of friends, Anamalia Gallery. We had been collecting some the art from the proprietors, Todd and Karen and wanted to pick up a couple more things to ship home. We had a great visit and it was nice to finally meet them in person.

We spent the weekend hanging out and took a day to ride up to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. The dwellings were cool but the road to get there was awesome. According to the NPS website:

You need time to drive to the Monument. The 44-mile trip from Silver City will take at least 1-1/2 hours and up to 2 hours due to the mountainous and winding nature of the road.

Perfect, we left early and had almost no traffic and made it there in an hour! The road twisted and turned with elevations between 6,000 and 7,000 feet and spectacular views.

Not the type of environment we expected in New Mexico.

I had never visited any of the cliff dwellings in the US before, it was pretty cool.

The approved trail took us inside some of the dwellings.

Soon we were heading back to Silver City making good time on the mountain road. Deby and I both had to remember to keep out toes lifted up on the pegs to keep them from scraping on the blacktop.

Our accommodations were at the Bear Mountain Lodge on the edge of town. We learned that the lodge was involved with a project called One Million Bones. Click HERE to learn more.

On June 8, 2013, approximately 2,500 volunteers from across the United States gathered on the National Mall to lay out 1,018,260 handcrafted bones as a visible petition against on-going genocide and mass atrocities. The installation of the bones was the highlight of a three-day event that included speakers from across the anti-genocide movement, a candlelight vigil, educational activities and an advocacy day.

The project is continuing on the property of the lodge. The bones were shipped to the property in boxes and now people are encouraged to take a bone and hike up a hill to place them in patterns in a designated open area.

We grabbed a couple of bones and started the hike up the hillside.

The path was lined with bones and was a sobering reminder of the project. We passed a couple walking a dog and it occurred to me that a dog might get rather excited being around so many bones. Nope, the owners told us that with just one sniff the dog knew they were ceramic and lost all interest. Probably a good thing.

At the top of the hill there was a HUGE area full of bone patterns. A million bones is really a lot. We made our small contribution of three bones by arranging them under a tree on a rock. Simple.

That’s it. We spent the next few days hiking and exploring a place called “The big ditch.” Hopefully the next post will be from Mexico! If they let us in….

Thanks for following,

Donn and Deby

6 thoughts on “Bisbee, Part 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *