A Fun Time On Our Way to Mexico
On our way to or from Mexico, we can't resist stopping for a few days in Bisbee, AZ. We always discover new places and things to do in this historic copper mining town. This time, we decided to tackle the BISBEE 1000--THE GREAT STAIR CLIMB. The annual event happens in October, and it's quite a happening!
We were visiting in February, a less crowded time in Bisbee, so we didn't have much competition on the stairways. We drew out the map, since our printer was out of ink, and headed up Brewery Avenue in search of stairway number 1.
Every stairway entrance is painted and numbered, but somehow we missed #1 and had to backtrack, adding about a half mile to our walk. Bisbee is built up the sides of several hills, so every street is a climb, in addition to the steps. Bella, our miniature dachshund, was making the trek with us and I wondered how long it would be before I would have to carry her. We all made it up the 73 steps of stairway number #1, only huffing and puffing a little.
Bisbee's altitude is 5500 feet, and that's before you climb up steep streets and hundreds of steps. We aren't accustomed to exercising at that altitude, so we had to stop and rest every 50 steps or so. The view of the old historic buildings, quarry, and RV Park from the upper streets was amazing, especially on this day with crystal clear air.
We got lost finding Stairway #2 and #3, but asking the locals helped us find the hidden steps. Each person we asked was friendly and gave us perfect instructions on how to reach our next climb.
Part of the fun of this hike was looking for the artwork along the way. This 12-foot high rose was stationed near the top of one hill, a path worn into the grass in front of it by the many climbers who had stopped for a photo. Most homes are old miners shacks refurbished to some degree. Many had funky or creative art worked into their retaining walls, in their gardens, and decorating the walls of their homes.
We made it up the 151 steps of Stairway #5 and decided it was time to go in search of live music and dinner. First, we had to take Bella back to the motorhome at Queen Mine RV Park, then trek back to Old Town Bisbee for dinner. Bella had made it up all 583 stairs, and the 9000 steps we had taken (probably 90,000 steps for her four little legs) when we had returned to the motorhome. I asked her several times if she wanted me to hold her, but she just marched on as though to say, "I can do this myself".
By the time we returned from a wonderful dinner at "Bisbee's Table/Tavolo Pizza", our favorite Bisbee restaurant, according to my Fitbit, I had walked over 12,000 steps and climbed 30 floors of stairs. I'm sure we burned the calories from our pizza, salad and wine that day!
I'm proud we made it through 5 of the 9 stairways, both of us being over the age of 60. I can see why people have to train for this event, especially if they run it. At this altitude, it's a real workout! For more information on the BISBEE 1000 THE GREAT STAIR CLIMB, see https://www.facebook.com/Bisbee1000/ .
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