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
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
www.discoverbisbee.com for more
This time we made it a point to see what started it all and went down to
take the Queen
. 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
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
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
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
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
Saturday & Sunday
Saturday: Storewide Celebrations from
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 www.buddystubbshd.com.
Saturday, January 26th
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 Cyclerides.com 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
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!
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
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
If you would like to sign up for the Cyclerides.com Weekly
Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"
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