Today I did something I should have done long ago. I hiked up to the shrine high above Bisbee’s Brewery Gulch with friend Cinda. It’s a fairly long climb that starts in the Gulch, heads up some stairs, cuts briefly up a sort of road, and then moves into lots of loose shale.
I didn’t think to bring my walking stick, so for me, with poor balance due to head injury, it was a serious challenge, and I won’t do it again without a stick.
This was a repeat climb for Cinda who’s been there numerous times. She climbed up there once at night, using a flashlight, and spent the night. I am not that crazy. But she was the perfect guide since she knows the trail well.
The shrine was built in 1980 by Adolfo Vasquez. The story is he promised God he’d build a shrine if God would let him keep his sight. God did, and Adolfo did. He maintained it lovingly over the years until his death in, I believe, 2000 at the age of 84. These days it is not so well maintained.
Also, others have decided to put their own shrines both there and just downhill from the Vasquez shrine, so there’s a lot to see up on Chihuahua Hill.
Here’s today’s hike in photos.
The hike began on stairs. Shortly after I took this photo, a young man came jogging down, hopped onto the rail to the left, and slide the last 200 feet or so.
A nice datura plant.
The stairs get a little worse.
The view from about halfway up.
Now the trail really deteriorates.
One of the newer shrines below the original Vasquez shrine.
A miniature fern forest. These little ferns ranged from two to four inches tall.
The Virgin, just below the shrine.
A little memorial to Ezekiel Hernandez, shot in 1997 by Marines who were assisting the Border Patrol Ezekiel was herding his goats and carrying a rifle. Ezekiel appeared “dangerous” I suppose. He was 18 years old.
Finally, the shrine.
The button in the photo below reads We are the 99%.”
The view into Bisbee from the base of the shrine.
We stayed awhile, recouped from the hike up, and headed back down. My legs were a bit shaky, and it was rugged at times on the shale, but we both made it down intact. I encourage you all to try this hike. Worth it, for sure!