Thursday, February 03, 2011

February 3, 2011, Thursday, Benson, Arizona

We have been in Benson for a week now and what changes in the weather.  When we first arrived the sunny temperatures were about normal for this area at this time of the year- upper 60’s during the day dropping into the 30’s at night.  Then we had a brutal change.   On Monday dark clouds rolled in and rain showers with occasional hail occurred.  Tuesday was a chilly day with temps not getting out of the 40’s.  But early Wednesday morning the bottom fell out and the temps dropped into the upper teens until morning and during the day stayed in the 30’s.  This morning at 6:30am it is 12 degrees, these temperatures have been unheard of in this part of the country.  We do have bright sunshine which helps to keep us warm.   Needless to say, we unhook our water and use our on board reserve during the night.   According to the weather forecast the temperatures should return to near normal this weekend.

We have been keeping busy here.  A park such as this has planned activities plus there are groups of people that plan things on their own.  We have a friend in the campground, Marti, that has included us in some outside activities.  Last Thursday evening we went to a country club restaurant for “tacos”, apparently this is a regular Thursday night event for many residents of the campground.  Later Thursday evening there was a couple that had an “Opry” show at the campground clubhouse.  This husband and wife duo had many costume changes to appear as different singers.  Saturday at lunchtime burgers were served at the clubhouse which seemed to be quite a hit with most folks.   Saturday evening another couple entertained with music for dancing.  Sunday morning Tom and I along with Marti went to a local Methodist church for church services.  Many campgrounds have church services but not this one so the campground folks go to a local church if they so desire. 

Tuesday Tom and I drove south to the town of Bisbee, 40 plus miles away. Bisbee, Arizona

Copper mining was the way of life in this town.  At one time Bisbee was the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco, even had its own stock exchange.  We first toured the Queen mine.

 Entering the Mine, We have a Green Light

Outfitted with hardhats, battery packs with lights and yellow coats we boarded a tram that took us hundreds of feet into the mine.

Dressed for the Mine Tour 

Our tour guide was a former employee of the working mine that not only gave us information about how the mining was done but also had many stories about the miners.  We had a nice lunch at the Bisbee Grille and then we went to the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum.

Bisbee Museum 

This museum had nice displays and information about the mining industry.  Copper was real important to this community- at one time even the high school diplomas were printed on copper.

Wednesday, Tom and I went north to the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson.SR-71 Blackbird

We took the hour long bus tour of  Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Bone Yard.  Planes, mostly military, of most every description were pointed out and described by the tour guide.  There are 2 areas in this Bone Yard, one is a storage area for planes not currently being used which includes planes  from other countries and the other area is planes that are being broken down for parts.  This area of Arizona with its low humidity is an ideal storage area.  After lunch at the museum rather costly restaurant we toured the museum.  Military planes and helicopters were on display.  Docents, many ex-military, were throughout the museum often adding their stories to the aircraft.

F-16 Fighters