October 27-29, 2002 - Benson, AZ

On  October 27 we drove 239 miles from Las Cruces,NM to Benson, AZ.  We crossed the continental divide along the way, but it's not very high in elevation on Interstate 10 and is an easy pass.  We stayed at Cochise Terrace RV Park just west of Benson at the top of a hill, it was very pretty at sunset and our cell phone worked.  In Benson itself we had no cell phone service. 

The next day, the 28th, we drove to Bisbee on the way to Douglas.  Bisbee is an old mining town and is now mostly a tourist town, though it is just high enough to not get too hot in the summer.  Here we are parked on one of the narrow streets and an interesting car we saw in town:

We decided to come back to Bisbee if we had time on our way back from Douglas, but did stop and look at the open pit mine on the way south.

We didn't find Douglas that interesting, had an OK Mexican lunch and decided that we really would see more of Bisbee that day.  Bisbee is in a valley and many of the houses and businesses are on the hillside:

We even had some coffee at Bisbee Coffee Roasters:

Bisbee was fun, it had funky shops and atmosphere.  On the way back to Benson we stopped at Tombstone, which is definitely a tourist town, but decided an hour was too little time to see everything before places closed at 5PM.  We did get some nice views on the way back to Benson:

Here is our campsite at sundown:

The next day we had scheduled a morning tour of Kartchner Caverns State Park just up the road, but they did not allow cameras so we didn't take the camera.  It was a worthwhile cave to explore, very alive. 

Once done with the tour we still had the afternoon so we went to the Amerind Museum, which showcases Native Culture and Art.  They didn't allow cameras inside, here are outside pictures:

The museum was well worth the entry fee and we enjoyed it.  We did see a big grasshopper outside:

Next we drove to Cochise Stronghold, where Cochise defied the US Army with his Apache band for many years.  It is a rough gravel road to the campground and trail area, but worthwhile seeking out:

You can see the terrain is excellent for hiding out in:

We did get to see some lizards:

Here is a close-up of the lichen that colored the rocks:

Here are some of the rocks:

We even saw a tarantula, it was late in the fall for one and this one was moving slow:

The pass going back to Benson was scenic:

We decided there was more to see around Benson, we would be coming back. 

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