frontpage350road Weekly Update
Greetings Riders,
Well, we are on the downhill side of August and I am looking forward to seeing September and the prospects of some cooler nights. If you missed the newsletter last week about our Jeep trip over Imogene Pass from Telluride to Ouray, Click Here to Read. This will definitely get you to cooler country at over 13,000 feet.
But if you want to stay a little closer to home, I have a ride that I have spoken about before, that all of a sudden deserves a little more urgency. Several months ago, we did the Queen Mine Tour in Bisbee which was fascinating and well worth the effort. According to the Arizona Republic, they might be shutting that tour down in the near future. The Queen Mine, a former working mine is a major tourist attraction bringing in over 43,000 visitors per year to Bisbee, and city officials are worried about the economic impact if the tours end this year after nearly 40 years.
As quoted in the Arizona Republic about the possible closing of the Queen Mine, “That possibility was on nobody’s mind in Bisbee until more than a week ago when the mine’s owner, Phoenix-based copper and gold mining company Freeport-McMoRan Corp., alerted Bisbee Mayor Adriana Badal and other officials that it had detected elevated levels of radon at the mine in June and planned to terminate the Queen Mine Tour’s lease in 60 days. The company told the city the levels would not affect tourists but tour employees with long-term exposure to elevated radon levels could be at risk from the naturally occurring radioactive gas.”
Freeport-McMoRan will be studying the matter over the next 4-6 weeks to decided if they will continue the lease with the city of Bisbee to safely operate the Queen Mine Tours. So if this tour has been on your bucket list for a while, you might want to start making some plans to get down there to see it while you can. There is certainly no guarantee that they will be able to work this out. Here is the complete article from the Republic. Bisbee explores options to save the Queen Mine Tour.
Here is my story from our trip to the Queen Mine complete with photos.
Queen Mine Tour – Bisbee
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
Month of August
Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale Hydration Station. Cool off throughout the month of August at our Hydration Station on Saturdays from 11 AM – 2 PM in the service area. Enjoy Cold Water and Sodas, Get misted, HDOS Swag, Cooldannas and even a Dunk Tank to thoroughly cool you off. HD of Scottsdale is located at 15600 N. Hayden Rd. in Scottsdale, AZ. 480-905-1903.
Saturday, August 24th
Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale Pre-Season Cardinals Ticket Giveaway and Ride. JUST ADDED! Arizona Cardinals vs San Diego Chargers. Enter for your chance to see the Arizona Cardinals vs the San Diego Chargers (Saturday, August 24th at 7:00 p.m.) using our Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale mobile app.
Here's how:
1. Download our mobile app here
2. Tap on the "Cardinals" tab
3. Enter for your chance to win tickets!
4. Visit the dealership for additional daily entries
Plus, ride with us to the game! Click here to register to ride with us to the game.  Enjoy Hawaiian BBQ and ice cold beverages before the ride plus get a ride package!
Saturday, August 24th
4:30-5:00 pm Check-in at Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale
5:30 pm Kickstands up
7:00 pm Game starts
Sunday, August 25th
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson Summer Days. Ride in and enjoy some Summer activities with Arrowhead Harley.
Come join us for:
Swap Meet: 6AM – 1PM. It is time to do some Summer cleaning of your garage. Get rid of those used parts that you are no longer using so you can get some new chrome. Used parts only. No competitive items or bike sales pleas. Space is limited, so call 623-247-5542, or email to reserve a spot.
Blood Drive: 10AM – 2PM. All presenting donors may enter into a drawing for an in-store $200 gift card.
Ladies of Harley Bake Sale: Time to load up on some good home baked delights. Starts at 8AM.
Arrowhead Harley Girls Bike Wash: 11AM – 2PM.
All of this while enjoying Live Music!
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson is located at 16130 N. Arrowhead Ftn. Ctr. Dr. in Peoria, AZ. Just South of 83rd Ave. and Bell Rd. 623-247-5542. .
Next Week
Saturday, August 31st
Buddy Stubbs Hogs & Dogs. Join Buddy Stubbs Arizona Harley-Davidson on Saturday, August 31st from 11am – 2pm, where the competition for top salsa recipe will be red hot! Mix up a batch of your best salsa and come prepared to taste the competition. Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place finishers based on majority vote! Not a salsa connoisseur? Don’t fret, enjoy FREE hot dogs and sodas, live music, museum tours with Buddy as well as a bikini bike wash! For more information, or to sign up for the salsa contest, contact Buddy Stubbs Arizona Harley-Davidson is located at 13850 N. Cave Creek Road., Phoenix AZ. Check them out online at
Mid Week Updates will be made on the Facebook. New Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to Facebook. Over 4300 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!

Here is a compilation of people doing stupid things caught on film, and lived through it. Many will make you go Ahhh! Click Here to View.

Video of the Week. When it comes to dumpster diving, this is one creative 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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