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.
We headed up High Road to pick up Debra, then off we went.
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.
Out 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.
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.
We parked amid old mesquite trees and wandered up the road to the little fair.
We spent the next several hours wandering the twenty-five or so booths.
And having some great soup – the kitchen offered seven or eight kinds and also had hamburgers.
And visiting inside the first house constructed in Cascabel community when it was revived in 1970.
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!
And a walk through the (currently) dry San Pedro River.
The canyon walls of the river are about twelve feet high. 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.
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).
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.
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.
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,