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Published: October 5th 2019
Day 10 Rest Day
We picked the right place for a rest day. The historic mining town of Bisbee turned out to be quaint, very interesting & we had lucked a great historic hotel (owned by a kiwi) to take it easy. We walked the town, then did a mine tour on a small train which took us deep into one of the mines. This mine was considered one of the richest discovered, assaying at 23%!m(MISSING)ineral to ore made it very profitable. Literally billions tons of Copper, as well as Silver and some Gold was extracted from these mines since the wealth of minerals was discovered by a government scout in the 1870s who was chasing Apaches at the time. Our tour guide was a wealth of knowledge as he had worked in the mine until it was closed in the mid 1970s.
Keith & I had a massage to relieve some aching muscles, some minor bike maintenance was carried out & then we relaxed before dining at the Sceaming Banshee Pizza restaurant. The hotel we stayed in, Inn by Castle Rock is a historic hotel built in the 1880s over a well which is still in the
middle of the lobby. Owned by an ex Kiwi, also a motorcyclist whose brother from Kaiwaka is staying here. The brother has bought a boat (see photo) very cheaply which his seemingly hare-brained scheme is to tow it to a site in Mexico (not far away), half bury it & use it as a bach. As the story unfolded over the 24 hours we have been here, some seemingly insurmountable difficulties have developed regarding getting it across the border. He may have to dig a tunnel or take over one of El Chapo's, flood it & paddle it through! Day 11 Bisbee to Mammoth
Out of Bisbee we rode 30kms on the highway to get to the start of the Arizona BDR. From the start we were on a gravel winding road climbing quickly to nearly 2000m. I saw a grey coloured deer run across the road ahead of me – the first wild life I’ve seen on this ride. We reached Montezuma pass at the top then started down an equal drop to a flat area. Very noticeable how green it is here, rolling hills with trees & lush pastures – this area gets plenty of rain.
Winding gravel roads continued & we all stopped when Bryan ran over a rattlesnake. It didn’t seem to it worry too much as it just coiled itself up in middle of road & kept poking it’s tongue out at us, we were a bit nervous to get too close,but Ian took a photo. Continuing on this gravel road for some distance it eventually lead us into the small town of Sonoita via a stretch of track alongside the famous Southern border fence with Mexico. No tunnels & no sign of any Mexicans trying to get over the puny fence. Quite a few border patrol trucks were cruising around obviously on the lookout for illegal immigrants. We stopped in Sonoita for an early lunch & gassed up.
Leaving Sonoita on seal for quite a distance we eventually turned onto a single track through scrubby land with dozens of dips with flash flood warning signs. There had recently been floods through these & generally the bottom of the dip had either river rocks, sand, dried mud or a combination of all three to contend with. These conditions indicated that it had obviously rained recently as also four wheel drive ruts through
the mud which had now baked hard in sun waited to catch us out. After around 50kms of this we were out onto seal & into Benson where we had lunch two days ago on our way south to Bisbee. After Benson we were back on fast sweeping gravel roads all the way to Mammoth. This is saguaro cactus country as can be seen in the photo. These plants live for 100s of years & the “arms” are replaced every 10 years. Mammoth turns out to be a zombie town where most buildings have been abandoned with the exception of our only accommodation choice, The Lodge which is a shit hole motel – never mind quality feel the price & the availability. However the town's redeeming feature was the Mexican restaurant next door to our hotel Great food & service for dinner.Today was our 1st
day of seeing any wildlife besides squirrels. I saw a deer & Bryan had one running in front of him (we think these are Rocky Mountain Mule deer – not big & very grey) then the rattler & Ian & Keith saw a Coyote.
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