Bisbee, Arizona. Mayberry on Acid

I left Tucson bright and early Sunday morning and headed south for Bisbee, AZ, home of Bisbo Nian (not his real name) and his charming partner Taylor. I “met” Bisbo on Google+. Like me, he’s a J-Walk Ranger (see previous post) and lives in Bisbee, AZ, a couple of hours south of Tucson. Southern Arizona is spectacularly beautiful county. Wide, sweeping vistas punctuated with mountains that change color throughout the day.

Bisbee is a old mining town, retrofitted with aging hippies, artists and assorted free spirits. (The Wikipedia entry will give you a better feel for the place than I can.)

When I called Bisbo to let him know I’d arrived,he was at the local airport trying to get his vintage biplane — and himself– air-worthy. He’s a pilot for Southwest Airlines but hadn’t flown his biplane for a while and wanted to refresh his memory on the thing before taking me up for tour of Bisbee. Fortunately the winds were just gusty enough to keep that from happening.

Some local wag once described Bisbee as “Mayberry On Acid” which perfectly captures the charm of the place. I felt like I was with Sheriff Taylor on our walking tour. Bisbo seemed to know everyone and everyone knew him. It was all I could do not to whistle that song.

Bisbo’s Reason for Living, Taylor, joined us and we had lunch at a great vegan restaurant. After lunch Bisbo showed me one big-ass hole in the ground…
…and then we piled back into his VW microbus and headed for the border where I got to see The Fence. I won’t get all political here but I agree with Bisbo and Taylor that the wall is a stupid idea on lots of levels.
Then it was back to Bisbee for a tour of B & T’s charming home where I met their two cats, saw some of Taylor’s paintings and art, and Bisbo’s handiwork with power tools (They’re remodeling their home). Very impressive.

We finished the day back at the Copper Queen Hotel (where I was staying) for a musical jam session (Bisbo plays the banjo).

The trip back to Phoenix the next morning included a breathtaking sunrise over the mountains (a photo wouldn’t have done it justice).

I don’t usually take trips that include renting a car ’cause I’m not fond of long road trips. But the trip to Bisbee was worth it. And all the more so thanks to the hospitality of Bisbo and Taylor. Here’s a short video montage of my visit.