La Carrera Camino de Cobre

Destination — Tubac AZ, 22nd Annual Collector Car Show, presented by Santa Cruz Valley Car Nuts

The Copper-Highway Run was held 28-31 January.  Present at the start were Ed T., Nathan and Kathleen, Bridgette, and the RallyMeister.  David and Veronica were also going on the rally but could not meet up with us until Friday in Tombstone.  We started at the Mesilla Town Hall and followed the old Carrera Frontera route for the first part of the journey — Santa Teresa - Columbus - Hachita - Animas.  After refueling and natural breaks in Animas, we headed west to NM Hwy 80 and then drove to Douglas, AZ for our next stop at the town’s visitor center where we ate our sack lunches and participated in impromptu theatrical performances

After lunch, we continued to Bisbee where we checked into the historic Copper Queen hotel and soon after began our customary Road-Trip Happy Hour.  In case you don’t know, this is where the rallyists bring appetizers and beverages for all to enjoy —a very popular event during our rallies.  We then went to dinner at Cafe Roka and enjoyed a very nice meal.

On Friday morning we took a tour of the historic Copper Queen Mine which is an easy walk from the hotel.  This is an underground mine where the principal mineral of economic interest was copper.  The mine closed in 1975 but has been operated by former employees as a tourist attraction.

We then headed north to Tombstone where we met David and Veronica for lunch at the Longhorn Restaurant.  After lunch,we headed west on Hwy 82 through Patagonia and continued toward Nogales before turning north to follow the back roads up to the Tubac Golf Resort where Kathleen’s sister Annette and her husband Randy joined us after driving down from Phoenix.  After checking into our rooms (which are very nice indeed!), it was time for another hospitality affair in the Dickerson/Cordova complex followed by a barbecue dinner hosted by the Santa Cruz Valley Car Nuts.

After breakfast on Saturday morning we began lining up for the car show.  This is a wonderful show with 400+ cars in attendance and the weather was perfect.  The RallyMeister’s personal favorite was a 1954 Kaiser Darrin 161 with its sliding doors.

After the show we headed back to Tombstone for the night and another happy hour in Nathan and Kathleen’s room.  Now this was a rather raucous affair right up until the local Police, Sheriff, and Border Patrol shut us down.  So, to continue the raucousness, we had beer and dinner at Big Nose Kate’s Saloon.  Kate was a working girl back in the day and as you can imagine her saloon is a rabble-rousing place.  But the food was good and nobody got shot.  After dinner, Kathleen, Annette, Nathan, and Randy all dressed in period costumes and had a photo shoot a few doors down from Kate’s place.  Randy was Wyatt Earp and Nathan was Morgan Earp.  Not sure who Annette and Kathleen were supposed to be other than perhaps……….well, you know.  Then Kathleen suggested we all go to church to apologize for our raucous rabble-rousing at Kate’s.  After Church we went on a tour of the historic Bird Cage Theatre which included an attempt to communicate, in the dark, with the local ghosts.  One of the visitors put an ohmmeter on the table to detect the electrical-energy pulsations that, you know, were obviously eminating from these ghosts.  This visitor’s abnormal behaviour is proof that having more than a few stray electrons in random orbits inside your cabeza can affect your thought process.

On Sunday morning we drove to Bisbee to eat a mighty fine meal at the Bisbee Breakfast Club.  We then headed toward Douglas via an attempted alternate route where the RallyMeister’s sole intent was to give the rallyists real-life experience on how to handle a situation where the pavement……….ends.  They all thought this was very educational.  We finally made it to Douglas and after the requisite natural break we continued on to Las Cruces to end a very enjoyable four-day run.

Thanks to the rally participants for making La Carrera Camino de Cobre a memorable event.