Bisbee

Several years ago, we read about someone’s guess as to what would be the latest, greatest, fastest growing communities in the United States. Among them was Bisbee, AZ. I don’t recall the reasons that were given for that prediction. At any rate, 15 or so years later, Bisbee is still fairly small and old Bisbee is still quaint and artsy. Copper and turquoise mines, both currently active and past, practically surround the town. When we visited there a few years back, we watched coaster racers bring their rides to an end in hay bales in front of what used to be a hotel. In this century, that building houses a coffee shop, an ice cream shop and several jewelry and gift shops, which sell mostly Arizona artists’ wares. The storefronts along the narrow streets are filled with vintage clothing, hats, antiques and jewelry.  One of the things for which the town is known is the Bisbee 1000,  a “physical fitness challenge (or friendly fitness walk)”, where participants “use any combination of walking, running and resting to traverse nine sets of steps and numerous back-roads at a mile-high altitude”. There are more than 1000 cement steps all over the community, since one street may be located 50 to 75 feet higher than the one below. The atmosphere seems similar to a Taos or Breckenridge.

As we sat outside the coffee shop drinking our cups of Mexican Chiapas coffee, I was struck by the anachronism of the building across the street. The original building was probably built in the 19th century, but it houses a very modern branch of Bank of America.

Across the street is the post office, more in tune to the age of the town.

The cafe where we ate fresh baked pies is no longer in business, but we considered eating a slice of the homemade looking apple pie in the coffee house in honor of our son who took us there in the first place.  Alas, saner minds prevailed, to the benefit of our waistlines. He’ll have to eat his own pie when he gets home from Iraq, later this month, we hope.

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