frontpage350road Weekly Update
Greetings Riders,
I hope those of you in the Phoenix area took advantage of the beautiful weather that we had this past weekend. With the Barrett Jackson auction in town it was all motorsports all the time. We went out there on Friday for a while to see the awesome collection of cars assembled this year and they were amazing to say the least. Barrett Jackson had a record amount of cars, record crowds and record sales this year.
There were 10 cars that sold for over 1 million dollars and of course you probably heard that the Batmobile sold for $4.62 million including fees. (Photos) But, believe it or not, that was not the highest price car in town. There was a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder at the Gooding & Co. auction that sold for $8.25 million and a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta “Competizione” that sold for a mere $8.1 million at the RM Auctions. So much for a bad economy huh? At least those with a lot of money are spending it again.
In an effort to find new destinations to bring to all of you, last Sunday Mrs. C. and I checked another one off the list. I’m sure a lot of you have been to Bisbee, AZ several times. We had too, but in the past, it was usually a ride through or a destination for the night, and a quick walk around the town. What we hadn’t stopped to see was the amazing history Bisbee has that was staring at us every time we rode through. Always with time constraints, we just didn’t take the time to enjoy it. This time, we made it a point to see what brought Bisbee into existence well over 100 years ago.
The community was founded in 1880 and named after Judge DeWitt Bisbee, a financial backer of the Copper Queen Mine. Once known as “the Queen of the Copper Camps”, this Old West mining camp proved to be one of the richest mineral sites in the world, producing nearly three million ounces of gold and more than eight billion pounds of copper, not to mention the silver, lead and zinc that came from the Mule Mountains.
By the early 1900’s, the Bisbee community was the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco. Bisbee, with a population of over 20,000 people in the early 1900’s, had become one of the most cultured cities in the Southwest. Despite its culture, however, the rough edges of the mining camps could be found in notorious Brewery Gulch, with its saloons and shady ladies. Brewery Gulch, which in its heyday boasted upwards of 47 saloons and was considered the "liveliest spot between El Paso and San Francisco". (See for more information.)
This time we made it a point to see what started it all and went down to take the Queen Mine Tour. The mine is located literally across the street and within walking distance from Old Town Bisbee. Once you pay your $13 to take the tour, you are outfitted in a hard hat, miner’s headlamp with battery pack and a yellow slicker before boarding a small train for your ascent 1500 feet into the belly of Mule Mountain for a trip back in time. Tour guides, who are retired Phelps Dodge Employees, lead the group deep into the mine where it is 47 degrees to give you history of mining techniques, dangers, and what it was like in the day of a miner complete with a demonstration of how they did the insertion of dynamite and how to light the fuses. Our guide named Joe was very interesting as he shared his 10 years of mining experience with us.
There were lots of questions from people on the tour, but one that I found interesting was, “Since you are stuck inside this mine for 8-10 hours per day, where do you go to the bathroom?” The answer happened to be sitting right next to him. It was a 2 hole cast iron portable toilet (see photo). He said you really tried not to have to use it since it was 47 degrees in the mine, and that cast iron was very cold to sit on.
Mining history, as well as all history fascinates me. I think about the very first person that ever picked up a rock laying on the ground and saw copper in it. How in the world did they ever know that it could be extracted and used for what would be the best metal to be used to carry electricity? The industrial revolution with all of the innovation still baffles and fascinates me. The history and innovation at the Queen Mine is also very intriguing. The following is an excerpt from the Queen Mine web page.
Early Bisbee Mining History
The story of Bisbee mining began in the late 1870’s when Lt. Dunn, in charge of a cavalry detail from the frontier Army post of Fort Huachuca, was on a scouting mission against the Apache Indians. Lt. Dunn and his men headed for a spring in the Mule Mountains to camp for the night. The party camped on a spot of fairly flat ground in the canyon below the spring—a site now occupied by Old Bisbee, only several hundred yards from the beginning of today’s Mine Tour.
On a walk after dinner, Lt. Dunn picked up an interesting rock. He found a few more pieces along the slope of the south wall of the canyon. Unable to do anything about it because of military duties, Dunn took a prospector by the name of George Warren into his confidence and struck up a deal by which Warren would locate claims and work the property with Dunn as a partner. But on his way to the site, prospector Warren stopped to visit some friends and enjoy his favorite pastime—whiskey drinking. He soon has new partners and they staked a new group of claims and left Dunn out of the deal. When Dunn came along later to check, he was on the outside looking in.
Copper production began on a limited basis around 1880. Individuals and then companies with capital gradually became involved and took over individual claims and brought them into production. Phelps Dodge Corporation, through a subsidiary the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company, became the dominant force and eventually the sole operator of the mining district. Building on its base in Bisbee, Phelps Dodge had long been one of the largest copper producers in the United States.
In almost 100 years of continuous production before the Bisbee mines closed in 1975, the local mines produced metals valued at $6.1 billion (at 1975 price) one of the largest production valuations of all the mining districts in the world. This staggering amount of wealth came from the estimated production of 8,032,352,000 lbs of copper, 2,871,786 ounces of gold, 77,162,986 ounces of silver, 304,627,600 lbs of lead and 371,945,900 lbs of zinc!
If you have never taken the time to do a tour of the Queen Mine, I would highly recommend it. This will definitely give you an insight as to what it takes to extract the ore that we use every day, not giving it a thought of where it came from and what it took to get it. Bisbee, AZ is located on Hwy. 80 just 220 miles SE of Phoenix, 95 miles SE of Tucson, 23 miles S. of Tombstone and 15 miles N. of the Mexico border. There are plenty of arts, crafts and shopping to fill an entire day in Bisbee. There are also lodging opportunities including B&B’s, the historic Copper Queen Hotel and the eclectic Shady Dell. With the elevation at 5500 feet, Bisbee has desirable weather and is a good destination to beat the heat in the summertime.
See my Day Ride feature that I did on a ride to Bisbee/Tombstone a few years ago. Click Here.
Click Here for photos of the Queen Mine tour and other photos of the day.
Queen Mine Tour website.

This Week
Saturday & Sunday
January 26-27
Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale 1 Year Anniversary Celebration. Can you believe it has already been 1 year in since Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale opened their doors? To celebrate their first year they are having a 2 day celebration to thank you for a great first year.
Saturday: Storewide Celebrations from 10am-5pm.
Bill’s Beer & Bait Truck. 11am-5pm
FREE Lunch at the Patio Grill 11am-2pm
Live Music – Hard Ride Band 11am-3pm
Fashion & Parts Show 4pm-5pm
Sunday: The Usual Suspects LEMC Unusual Scavenger Ride 10am-4pm. Live Music by Tuck Dailey 2pm-5pm.
Sunday, January 27th
Unusual Scavenger Ride at Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale. There’s nothing unusual about this ride! Riders will receive a list of very unusual items to go out and find. Such as: something green and sharp, or something that crows leave behind. There is no set ride route, it is up to the rider to decipher and go find! Commemorative Scavenger Bags will be supplied to hold your findings. Registration starts at 10am at Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale. $20 per person, $30 2-up. Includes FREE breakfast at 10am and commemorative scavenger bag. Riders must return by 2pm to HD of Scottsdale to enter their scavenger items to win. Live Music by Tuck Dailey 2pm-5pm. 1st Place $500 HDOS gift card. 2nd Place $250 HDOS gift card. Raffle Prizes, 50/50 Raffle. 100% of proceeds benefit the 2013 Devil’s Oven for Fallen Police Officers. Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale is located at 15600 N. Hayden Rd. in Scottsdale, AZ. 480-905-1903.
Saturday, January 26th
Buddy Stubbs Arizona Harley-Davidson Chili Cookoff. Buddy will once again ring in the New Year with a Chili Cook-Off! If your chili recipe is as polished as your chrome or if you simply consider yourself an expert sampler, be sure to join them on Saturday, January 26th, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., to take part in the festivities. Prizes for 1st and 2nd place, and the hottest chili will be handed out along with FREE food, drinks and museum tours with Buddy. To sign up for the chili contest or for more information contact or (602) 970-3400. Buddy Stubbs Arizona Harley-Davidson is located at 13850 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix, AZ 85022, or on the web at
Saturday, January 26th
Chandler Harley-Davidson Car Show and Swap Meet. We all have parts sitting around our garage that we need to get rid of. And there is someone out there that is looking for that exact part. Bring them to Chandler Harley-Davidson on Saturday, January 26th from 8am-2pm to sell them. Used parts and merchandise only. No motorcycle sales. If you are looking for some parts, this is your chance to get a great deal. Classic car show registration starts at 9am. Trophies awarded for car show winners beginning at 2pm. LIVE MUSIC will play from 10am-1pm. To pre-register please call 480-496-6800. Chandler HD is located at 6895 W. Chandler Blvd. in Chandler, AZ.


Mid Week Updates will be made on the Facebook. New Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to Facebook. Over 4100 FANS! Take a look at all the new photos posted on the wall. If you are not on Facebook, you can still view the page, but you will not be able to post. There will be a link there for you to sign up for Facebook if you are inclined. Click the LIKE button!

This is incredible. Watch how the Chinese erect a 30 story hotel in 15 days using modular floors. Click Here to View.

This is a funny segment from the Colbert Report. Click Here to View.

Video of the Week. This is funny. See how an eco-commercial in the mountains was interrupted by a large Grizzly bear. Click Here to View. Click on the Video of the Week graphic on the page.

If you would like to sign up for the Weekly Update Click Here.

Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To All,

Barry Caraway
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"

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