Bisbee, AZ

This weekend, I took an epic journey to southern Arizona to the small town of Bisbee. There I met Tyson Hugie from drivetofive and his friend, Josh. I was filled with excitement to see this area of Arizona I’ve never been to before. I’ve lived in northern Arizona before and was enchanted with its scenery. I also was anxious to finally see Tyson’s Acura Legend Coupe which has achieved nearly 520,000 miles on original powertrain components. His Acura has generated quite a bit of interest on the car forums and blogs across the internet as well as Acura headquarters. For those of you not familiar with what I’m referring to, this video pretty much sums it up:  http://www.dcacurablog.com/acura-helps-tyson-hugie-celebrate-his-500000-milestone-in-his-1994-acura-legend/

Bisbee was founded as a mining town in about 1880. An old TV series called, Sheriff of Cochise was filmed here. The population has remained a pretty steady 6,000. Getting to Bisbee from my home is about 245 miles. Driving there was part of what made the trip so memorable. The weather was perfect. Light rain (us desert-rats cherish what little rain we see), easy-going temps and smooth roads nearly the whole way. Here’s an idea of the route:

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Some photos of the drive there…

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When I turned off of I-10, I didn’t meet another car for about 70miles. It was great, and some of the views were breathtaking.

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Here’s some shots after arriving in Bisbee. Main St. is littered with several little souvenir shops and restaurants for the many tourists that stop by.

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Tyson, Josh and I had lunch in a neat little Mexican restaurant, Santiago‘s. It’s located in the old San Roman Hotel. (Thanks to Tyson for the photo; Pictured: Me, Tyson, Josh)

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Full stomachs, now we are ready for some photoshoots!

Tyson had a great idea of recreating this photo from Arizona Highways Magazines. (November 2012) This photo was taken in 1940.

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Here is Tyson debating where the photo should be taken to match up as close as possible to the 1940 version.

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Tyson and I “armed up” (got in our cars) and drove up main st. while his friend Josh took the shots. They came out great! (Again thanks to both of them for the usage/production of the photos)

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And here’s the side-by-side which was put together by Tyson’s aunt. Looks perfect…I think I’ll frame it! (We’ll contact AZ Highways later on…)

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And then we continued on exploring the rest of the town.

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Ribbons of numerous small roads line the hills of Bisbee. A lot are only wide enough for one car at a time.

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Tyson next to his Legend and me next to the Accord.

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Here we are overlooking the Copper Queen Mine in the background. It’s no longer in use but it’s a great place for tours.

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According to Tyson’s blog, “Bisbee had the highest population of any town located between St. Louis and San Francisco.” Our last stop was the Shady Dell RV Park which is just outside of Bisbee by a few miles.  If the 19050s were your cup of tea, then this is the place for you to visit and spend a night. Old trailers have been restored to their original state and the owners went to great lengths to create that 1950s atmosphere in this park. It’s like you stepped back in time. Forget about bringing your laptops for internet because it isn’t offered… “It hasn’t been invented yet!”

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And while we were there I had to get some shots of the interior of Tyson’s Acura Legend. It sure doesn’t look like it had been used for over 500,000 miles. This Legend is one supreme specimen. Tyson let me drive it from the Copper Queen Mine to the RV park and it was a treat. Even with the aforementioned mileage, it still drove like any other good-running car on the road. No weird sounds, smells, smoke or lack of power.

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Bisbee will be one of those places I’ll never forget. On my way home I decided that instead of backtracking the whole way, I’d add on about 100 miles and head up Highway 191 North which goes through Wilcox, AZ. I figured I’d see some different scenery this route. I did, but nothing to write home about…or pull over to take pictures of. I did stop by Steins, a small ghost town about 5 miles from the New Mexico boarder. This is a place I always wanted to see but never remembered to stop.

Steins was established in 1880 as a Southern Pacific Railroad settlement. Steins unfortunately didn’t have any source of water and had to rely on it being brought in by train. In 1905 a rock-crushing quarry was built for track ballasts for the railroad. 1910 census shows that this town had close to 1,300 people. By 1944, the railway ceased operations and that caused people to slowly leave, eventually leaving the town abandoned. Some of Steins burned down, but a main section remains which tourists visit frequently.

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1800s town in the background, my Accord in the foreground. Amazing to think how far mankind has advanced in what we create.

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I actually missed the exit to Steins and had to backtrack a few miles. No biggie. I did manage to grab a really neat shot of the clouds as the sun was settling down in the west.

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4 Hours later, I was arriving in Las Cruces. Even though it was at night, I just had to try to catch an illuminated city shot from the top of the hill.

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3 thoughts on “Bisbee, AZ

  1. tysonhugie says:

    Jason, it was great meeting you and thanks for the exclusive ride in your Accord coupe. These are some great pictures you’ve got! I’m so jealous that you stopped in Steins – it’s been on my list of places to see. Is it pretty much fenced off or are you able to explore the buildings? By the way, I have a few places in NM that I’m hoping to visit – among them: White Sands National Monument, and Roswell. Would you have interest in meeting for either? Bisbee was a blast.

  2. pawela says:

    Thanks, Tyson and you are very welcome. Next time you’ll have to have a little more time behind the wheel. Steins is really neat. At the time I stopped by it was fenced off and the gates were closed. Probably because it was after 6pm. It would have been neat to see the buildings up close. Yes definitely we should meet up sometime to explore those places you want to see. Carlsbad caverns is a must too if you’re in southeastern NM. Just let me know when you’re thinking on seeing this area.

  3. […] are quite similar and the Accord doesn’t look too aged. The first time I met Tyson was in Bisbee, AZ and he was driving his 500,000+miles Acura Legend Coupe LS 6-speed. Hope to see that car […]

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