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Bisbee, Arizona

sunny 10 °C

I had no plans to stop at Bisbee, had no idea it existed even: my mind was set on heading south and staying in a grand old hotel in Douglas for the New Year.

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But I drove down through a ravine and saw a collection of well-maintained brick buildings, somewhat like those in Butte Montana, and had to explore.

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Now I want to live in Bisbee. My first impressions of the good folk of Bisbee were not that great: I was gingerly making my way down some iced up steps when I was accosted by a heavily made up woman of a certain age, who was looking for a cigarette. No sooner had I hit firm ground and some fellow is wanting me to give him money. But then I got talking to a taxi driver, trying to find out what it might cost to stay in the nearby Bisbee Inn, and she very kindly got out her smartphone and started checking places out. Another fellow saw my camera and suggested some good places to get some shots: from him I learnt that Bisbee had just had the heaviest snowfall since they started keeping records.

Like Butte, and like Globe and Miami, Bisbee is a mining town: unlike any of those places, when the mining stopped brining in money and a reason to live in Bisbee, the place was taken over by artists and musicians, which means it has good places to get coffee, a local brewery and good places to eat. Geography also helped to make Bisbee interesting: imagine paper which has been screwed up, leaving all sorts of ridges and canyons, and you get a sense of the Bisbee landscape. It provided certain challenges for getting roads around the place

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It also meant that the town operated on various levels

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and used various passages and steps to allow its citizens to get around (they actually have an annual race called the Bisbee 1000 which requires participants to run up a defined group of steps adding up to 1000 steps - not for me!)

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Those last steps take you into the library, a space I loved

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That's it at the bottom of the main street. Here are some other views of the main street

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As I wandered around town, I was impressed at the bright colours used by some residents

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There were also some things that struck me as just a bit odd, including a Smart Car with a trailer!

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One of the problems with the change in population is that Bisbee has very few school age children, meaning that first one school was closed and reborn as a County office and then a second one was turned into a community art space

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I stayed in the Bisbee Inn, mainly because there was a wee sign inviting me to go in and wander about, which I did: it has very traditional bedrooms, wonderful bathrooms, a dining and social area out the back and beautiful wood panelling, with a brick exterior

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There were lots of other good looking places to stay, such as the Copper Queen, the Bisbee Grand and the old jail

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but I mentioned there was a brewery: it was not a million miles from the Bisbee Inn and had very good beer (I managed two visits)

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I spent some of the morning checking out the museum, which was largely about the mining history of the area, and the extravagant means they used to obtain financial backing from New York investors

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My last pictures are just of a couple of different streets and of the way the town lives on the edge of the hills

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Posted by NZBarry 19:03 Archived in USA

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