At 7:40 am yesterday I headed north to Bisbee to meet friends for an outing to Cascabel. In our usually arid climate, I was surprised I had to do things to my car because of the dew.


When I got to Cinda’s, she had to deal with dew too since she was the day’s driver.

Cinda dew

We headed up High Road to pick up Debra, then off we went.

View into
View into Mexico from High Road, Bisbee. It was extremely overcast or you’d see Mexico.

Why would the three of us drive nearly two hours to Cascabel? After all, Wikipedia calls it a ghost town. But that would be a surprise to Lisa, a Cascabel firefighter who says there are probably between 125 and maybe 250 residents, depending on the season (some flee the hot summers).

Cascabel has a delightful little holiday community fair each year. Cinda and I have gone several times, but this was Debra’s first visit.

Tombstone signOut of Bisbee we went, then through the town of Tombstone (the Town Too Tough to Die).

Immediately out of town, traffic came to a stop. Lights flashed up ahead and we feared there’d been a horrible accident.


Nope. Just a few horse-drawn wagons carrying folks from Kansas. We never learned the reason why they were plodding down a 65 mph highway causing all kinds of backups.  Kansas

A few miles later and we got to the Customs checkpoint (yes, we were 25 miles from the border of Mexico, but apparently Customs folks don’t read maps well).


Through St. David, Benson, and Pomerene, then north on Cascabel Road where we encountered several interesting sights and many interesting signs.

sign2  and sign3  and sign4 and even sign5 and even  sign1 this!

And finally this. sign-encouraging

The last five miles of Cascabel Road were dirt, and Cinda’s blue dolphin guided us well.  dirt road

We parked amid old mesquite trees and wandered up the road to the little fair.

parking   But first things first.  toilets

We spent the next several hours wandering the twenty-five or so booths.

booths and booths2 and

Jill and Lura of Brookmoore Creations.
Jill and Lura of Brookmoore Creations.
DJ of Benson and his beautiful mesquite creations.
DJ of Benson and his beautiful mesquite creations.
Martha is a potter with Cascabel Clayworks. She apprenticed 24 years ago and returns yearly for the festival.
Martha is a potter with Cascabel Clayworks. She apprenticed 24 years ago and returns yearly for the festival.

And having some great soup – the kitchen offered seven or eight kinds and also had hamburgers.

The kitchen kitchen and grill hamburger grill and us having lunch!  lunch

And visiting inside the first house constructed in Cascabel community when it was revived in 1970.

The main house (Barbara's) has a skylight with this fab parachute beneath it!
The main house (Barbara’s) has a skylight with this fab parachute beneath it!

Bottles are a part of the house’s eastern wall. It was hard getting photos because so many people stood in front of them taking pictures!

bottlewall1        and           bottlewall2

And a walk through the (currently) dry San Pedro River.

river cliffs and river gold, the fallen leaves  river gold of the cottonwood tree. And the sun desperately trying to come out.  river wall sun

The canyon walls of the river are about twelve feet high. riverr 2 And in a good rainy season like we had this last summer, the waters roar through the normally dry wash that deep and even spill over the banks.

In fact, this summer the river tickled the underbellies of several bridges, and roads had to be shut down.

We chatted briefly with Barbara Clark who moved to Cascabel in 1970 (she began the revival) and started Cascabel Clayworks where many potters have worked and apprenticed over the years. She says this is the thirty-fourth winter festival.

Barbara Clark who moved to the area in 1970 and began creating pottery. Thank you Barbara!
Barbara Clark who moved to the area in 1970 and began creating pottery. Thank you Barbara!

We also met Ivan who came here and built this house in 1974. He offers tours of his insanely wonderful art-filled house for $1 (self guided).

Ivan Ivan and his house. house

We finally left, climbing into Cinda’s car and looking forward to a blast of heat. The gray day had grown cooler and cooler.

Back twenty-six miles or so to Benson. Next stop: Singing Winds Bookstore. You have to know where it is. Heck, you have to even know it exists. There’s no sign on the road. You have to be halfway up the long, long driveway before there’s a sign, and there’s no sign in front of the store itself which looks like a house, just a small notice on the fence that it’s open, and when you go through the gate, then you see the sign.

bok The sign reads thus:

Singing Wind Bookshop

Headquarters for books about the Southwest

The stuff of dreams make up books

Please ring bell for service

There’s also a big sign by the door warning customers not to let the cat out.

Book browsing (and purchasing) completed, we headed back to Benson for some Mexican food.1

As we sat down to eat, the sun finally emerged. The forecast would have been more accurate if it had said barely sunny instead of partly cloudy.

After dinner, an hour’s drive home watching the sky slip from blues an grays to yellows and pinks. We three (even Cinda, the driver) craned our heads every which way watching the colors change, noticing a partial rainbow in the distance, and watching the setting sun glance off the mountains to the east.

Trust me, I wanted many more photos of the sunset. Please be content with the three below. First a view to the south,

sunset1   then east    unset3east

and finally to the west.    sunset2 west

Published by Emilie

I'm a retired instructor from a community college where I taught Developmental English and Reading as well as English as a Second Language. I'm also now a published author of a bilingual children's book entitled. Luisa the Green Sea Turtle - Luisa la Tortuga Verde del Mar. It's available from me, through Amazon, and is in a few (more and more each day!) bookstores.

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  1. Loved it!!! Thanks for sharing this lovely and very interesting adventure, Emilie.


  2. Beautiful post and beautiful photos, Emilie! And, what a wonderful adventure to Cascabel!! Thank you!

  3. The desert has so much to offer if only you know where to look! Those sunset pictures are beautiful, I can understand your dilemma. Thanks.

  4. i SO enjoyed this road trip!

    even though i’ve had a wonderful respite at home on the river – withoujt power and without internet, it was heaven. i went to sleep with the birds and awakened with the birds and did not miss being connected to the grid at all!

    now in town for an internet session, i am reminded why i enjoy the beauty of wordpress and the friends i’ve met here. although i was happy w/the birds, i was also really happy to look over your shoulder and meet like-minded people!

    yes, great sunset as well! thanks for sharing from dew-drop morning until sunset evening!

    thank you!

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