Zoe and I have enjoyed watching a ghost hunters show or ten together and decided that for our special weekend this fall we would try some ghost hunting and general ‘wild west’ fun on our own. So, where to go?
We started with a super fun horse back riding trek with Double R Guest Ranch in Benson. It was such a fun experience – the trails were out in the desert with some neato steep inclines to navigate, the horses all their own fun personality, and we could get trotting a bit.
Zoe’s horse, Cardio, wanted to be up front leading; he had a bug guard for his eyes. My horse, Catalina, wanted to keep looking back at her boyfriend; poor thing was in heat and wanted some action. It was really a real western trail ride, not a super-docile, boring tourist pony ride. We needed to pull the reigns, guide the horses, and give them a kick every now and then. I highly recommend it!
After that we drove to Bisbee a bit early to check into our hotel, so on a whim we took a tour of the Queen Mine where thousands of tonnes of copper and other metals were mined for a hundred years.
We got to wear helmets and straddle-ride a little mine cart train deep into the mine for the guided tour. Our tour guide was a retired worker from the mine! He told us all kinds of stories from back in the day – like when he got his paycheck and took the bus to Tucson to buy a brand new car outright. He was so funny and informative. We didn’t realize the miners made pretty darn good money, but it was a rough job.
In the evening, we checked into our haunted hotel – The Hotel La More / Bisbee Inn – and found our haunted room quite nice! We stayed in room 7, the Dove room, named for a “soiled dove” – a kind prostitute who haunts the place.
There is also said to be a ghost cat that wanders the second floor halls, so Zoe made a nice little cat bed out of her sweatshirt to lure it into our space. We took plenty of pictures around the halls in the evening, and even later at night, hoping to get a shot of the cats ‘eyes’ that will sometimes glow in people’s photos.
No luck catching a ghost, but the stay was still great in such an atmospheric place. Free breakfast, too!
Late in the evening we took a ghost tour of Bisbee with Old Bisbee Ghost Tour – another chance for an encounter! We walked all over the town learning history, seeing haunted locations, taking pictures, and even going inside a couple hotels (ours was one!) to hear the details inside. Our guide has been a resident since the 1960s when Bisbee was taken over by hippy’s, and he was so informative!
Zoe loved the hideaway back alleys that we didn’t realize were simply ‘roads’ in Bisbee. One went up behind our hotel where a lady in white appeared to some kids and scared them away just before a landslide would’ve killed them.
The tour was well worth the cost, and we definitely felt like it was a great history lesson whether or not you believe in ghosts.
Overnight at the haunted hotel was uneventful. No ghost kitty, no ghost prostitute, no ghost cowboy, and no ghost scares. We talked just before lights out and Zoe said she decided ghosts probably weren’t real anyway, so no worries.
In the morning we enjoyed a fun geocaching hike up around the hills south of town. Started at the Buddha cave, then made our way up to the saddle in the mountain, and all the way up at the shrines on the peak. It was a gorgeous day, and we found some super cool caches.
Sadly, the pizza place we were hoping to visit for lunch was closed for the day, so we just got some gelato and putzed out of town. On the way home we stopped into Fairbank – a BLM site where there is a real ‘ghost town’ in the sense that the town is abandoned. We hiked out to the old cemetery and found the run down graves a bit disturbing but fascinating.
I always have such a fun time with the things Zoe comes up with to do on our special weekends! She is so curious about the world and really willing to try anything. No fear from this kid about ghosts, staying in a haunted hotel; her scientific mind just logics her way out of that kind of irrational thought. Me, on the other hand, not so easy. I was a bit creeped, especially so close to Halloween!