Destination Southern Arizona
So many stories from this past week for Two Gals and a Dog (AND two grandsons). We visited the Pioneer Living History Museum, Biosphere 2, The Queen Mine Tour in Bisbee, Bisbee itself, the fantastic campground we stayed at (where people come and don't leave!) and Tombstone! There is also a human interest story we learned about from a native that I'm eager to write about - 'human coyotes'. We've got great photographs and footage from our gal Laurie Church. If you'd like a sneak peek at some of the photos, check out our Facebook page!
There will be more on many of the places mentioned above, both as articles and potentially as Rollin' On TV show video!
Why did we choose this area of Arizona to explore at this time? Two years ago, Laurie and I spent a bit of time in Bisbee, AZ. It made such an impression we promised each other we'd come back and really explore it. Fast forward to now. We own a travel trailer, our two grandsons are here for the week. Guess where we are? YUP, in the Bisbee area of Arizona. You can't get much closer to Mexico than this section of Arizona. Beautiful winter weather, usually!
As fate would have it, it's been raining for 3 days. Yes, I said rain! I'm writing this Feb 22nd, 2018 and we're told it hasn't rained since August 17th in these parts and it was now pouring! The desert was basking in the wetness! From a photographer's point of view, it was spectacular with sun peeking out, rain pouring down, shadows and light playing on the many surrounding hills, mountains and desert vegetation!
Did the rain put a damper on two young man, ages 11 and 12, and their two grammies! Heck no!
Pioneer Living History Museum
As we left our starting point of Prescott Valley heading to Bisbee, we stopped at the Pioneer Living History Museum in Phoenix. Interesting to Laurie and I, but not stimulating enough for the boys. Here are a few of Laurie's photos. Perhaps if we'd seen a docent to make history come alive it would have been different. There were no guides in period costume to show guests through the authentic turn-of-the-century Arizona village. It's interesting to we 'New Englanders' how a bit of rain stops so many things here!
We certainly see how this tourist attraction could grow, much like the Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA which we are familiar with. But to boys who've grown up with electronics, this one didn't really pass muster, at least on this particular day. There really are some interesting buildings there. Here is an audio piece and article for more on that.
Onward to the KOA Apache Junction for the night. The boys enjoyed the heated pool and hot tub in the rain! They also played a few games of pool in the activity room.
Sleeping Arrangements Turned Squishy but Fine!
The original plan was for the boys to sleep in a small tent just outside of our RV, under the awning. We bought the tent, an inflatable queen sized air mattress and two sleeping bags to give them more 'space'. Because of the wetness, they boys opted to sleep on our dinette/turned into bed. We can't believe it worked! These are not small boys but they managed just fine sleeping inside our 16' Lance trailer! To be honest, we did hear 'Don't touch me!' and 'Your feet stink!' and lots of giggling but, after 4 nights of this, they were happy to get back to Prescott Valley and a couple of big beds!
Interesting observation. When we made the reservation we explained the small tent that would fit under the RV awning, the footprint size of a queen size mattress. There was some back and forth and mention of an extra $40 tent fee and putting the little tent in a different area. With the rain and all, we decided to keep the boys inside. BUT, I wonder, with the growing popularity of the Carefree of Colorado RV Awning Annex room, let's see how management deals with the loss of tent fees 😉
The next morning, we headed to our Bisbee destination, 3.5 hours away. To break up the trip, we looked for a place to have an adventure. And there was the SIGN! Biosphere 2! When I showed the boys a picture of it, their eyes lit up, YES!! It was stimulating, educational, 'dry', We got some great footage of Biosphere 2 which could end up on the Rollin' On TV show and special pages here on our website.
What I found most inspiring is that Biosphere 2 is used for real experiments that can change our world. For example, did you know just one of thousands of research studies conducted here, is trying to combine a coral that will withstand both warmer temperatures and acidic water? If successful, many places where coral has disappeared in our oceans can be revived. And we learned about aquaponics and how a few fish can 'feed' a garden in a small space creating a lush vegetable garden. This is predicted to be very popular in the future.
Bisbee is almost as South as you can get and still be in Arizona. You can see into Mexico and the weather in the winter is just about perfect! Like many towns in this state, Bisbee was created because of the copper mines. Today you'll find it targeting tourists in trendy, low-key ways, no chain restaurants here (except the Burger King in the Safeway grocery store place which is in the commercial section of Bisbee)! Lots of businesses run by locals. When I asked Paul from Desert Oasis RV Campground, 'What is the magic of Bisbee?' he answered, 'No one judges anyone!' I thought that was a very nice answer! Read out story and video of the Desert Oasis RV Campground here.
If you're visiting this part of the state, it's almost mandatory to check out Tombstone with its rich western history. As luck would have it, the day we visited was Vigilante Days. Tons of things going on. On our to-do list was gourmet ice cream and a stage coach ride. Oh, and Landry giving a donation to the historical society!
Be prepared for lots of 'salesmanship' tactics to get you to part with your tourist dollars!
Watch for more on each of these areas from Two Gals and a Dog soon!