“Mayberry on Acid” reads the sign in one of the many tourist shops that climb the main street of Bisbee, AZ. The town sits eight miles from the border of Mexico and I visited in February because of a recommendation of a man sitting next to me on a bar stool in Tuscon.
“You should go!” So I did.
The town’s elevation attracts tourists because it is about 10 degrees cooler here than in Tuscon. You might need a burro to climb the main street or reach one of the guest houses. Many of these accommodations feature fabulous views, streets that would put San Francisco’s crooked street to shame and stairs, stairs and more stairs.
We stayed in the Copper Queen. You can’t miss it. This is the biggest building in town. I was built when the Copper Mine opened, then a hard-rock mine. It remained there for the famous, the working class and the working-girls.
Two plaques drew my attention. President Teddy Roosevelt stayed here, of course, and actor John Wayne, also of course. The names of other plaques were not familiar but I discovered they are former working girls and one is a resident ghost. They still rent his room, though.
Entering the lobby and looking at the safe tucked behind the counter and the old room keys, I really felt I should ask for a brandy and a cigar.
There are many artists in Bisbee and creative folks. This is a fence made of old metal headboards that I found really creative.
900 feet deep scar sits south of Bisbee – the Lavender Pit is named for the man who founded the mine, not for the color of the stone.
I sat at the bar in this popular Mexican restaurant and watched the bartender making Margaritas like a Margarita-making machine. They are the most popular drink there, he said. I watched a petite woman finish hers and weave out the door with her date who looked none too steady on his feet. Seems like a one-and-done drink.