We made arrangements to meet our Minnesota friends Kim and Kurt in Bisbee, Arizona. Our reservations were at Queen Mine RV Park and I didn’t pay attention to the name until we arrived and discovered our campground overlooked an inoperative open-pit copper mine. It was stunning.
Bisbee is a historical mining town dating back to the early 1800’s. It is built on a hillside and many of the buildings have been lovingly restored. The downtown was an easy walk from the RV park and was bustling with interesting stores, music and restaurants. We loved the small town vibe and eclectic mix of people. In 2016 Bisbee was named the “best historic small town” by USA Today. It’s worth a visit if you find yourself in southern Arizona.
Our plan was to attend an “old timers” baseball game with Kim and Kurt on Saturday morning. We were excited to see a game with players dressed in period uniforms. Unfortunately we misread the date and learned the game was scheduled for April…not March. Darn!
Instead we walked across the road to a small park with a farmers market. There were cowboys selling honey, and Mexican women with freshly rolled tortillas. We spent an hour talking to vendors, tasting the samples and learning about the area. In the center of the market we noticed some simple furniture made from recycled pallet wood for sale. I started a conversation with the two men selling the furniture and they shared their story.
John and Dave (and their wives) originally from the Pacific Northwest visited Douglas, Arizona during the winter to escape the cold. They made connections within the community and learned about the large number of young Mexican men who are left at the border when caught illegally in the United States. Often these men have no money and are stuck in border towns with no job and no way to travel home. John and Dave both have carpentry skills and an excess of carpentry tools so they took their skills and tools across the border to Agua Prieta, Mexico. With easily accessible recycled pallet wood John and Dave began teaching carpentry skills and then let the young men create.
John and Dave are not connected with any formal organization…just a desire to help. They are passionate about their work and have since sold their homes and moved permanently to Arizona. Sadly, I forgot to photograph the pallet furniture but we drove to the border and photographed the wall. It’s just a long unsightly fence.
We had a wonderful time in Arizona but it’s time to move north. I unearthed my heavy jacket and am bracing for lower temps. It it will be nice to watch spring unfold in Minnesota.