Parque Natural Mexiquillo


Last Day

We finished detailing three houses today. All to be done now is install appliances and turn them over to their excited new owner is April.

These are very nice 1100 sq foot, 3 bedroom, two bath homes. 

The master bedroom. 

One of the other two bedrooms

What a great group of wonderful people to work with. We are the last in a long line of Care-A-Vanners that have been arriving every two weeks since September to give a hand up to deserving families.



Saturday was landscaping day. We were assisted by a half dozen STRONG young men in blue from White Sands Missile Range. They were very enthusiastic and helped move the job right along.

There is a couple of inches of sand hiding a very hard impermeable clay layer. Digging plants holes takes some motivation. 

Laying down landscaping cloth to prevent weeds. We are doing two houses today.

Linda doing what she loves best, gardening.

Completed laying the cloth at 8:55, the gravel truck is scheduled for 9. 

Nine sharp he comes rolling down the street. Perfect placement of the 3/4 inch gravel. Now all we have to do is spread it around. This is where the Air Force boys really shined. I was surprised that the dump truck did not rip the landscaping cloth. That stuff is really tough. 

Covering the front yard about 2-3 inched deep. This xeriscaping is the norm in the parched southwest. 

Mission accomplished. Done by 10:30. 

Sunday Linda and I went out for brunch at the Shed.

A very pleasing funky interior

I love this fish sculpture.

Linda and I both had Eggs Benedict, which were excellent. We passed on the red or green chile hollandaise, Mexican hollandaise for the regular hollandaise sauce. New Mexico is in love with it's chills and I have found that even the mildest variation is too spicy for my wimpy California taste buds. 


A Helping Hand

Linda and I are participating in a Habit for Humanity build in Las Cruces, NM.

We are a force of 14 putting the finishing touches on four (map) of the six houses that were built this year. The other two were already done. Six families with move into their very first home in April. 

I am working with Keith and Frank installing counter tops. 

After work we all got together for a burn your own meat social. Keith is checking his meat and Dyana did not make that apron in the 60s, she got it from Ben and Jerry's. 

Life is good

We even roast marshmallows and made s'mores. This really takes me back. 

Good food, good friends, good times. 


Bisbee, Day Two

Before there was technology that made open pit mining profitable, miners drove shafts seeking high grade ore deposits. The Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum has an excellent exhibit covering this period of hard rock mining.

Machinery used in the mines.

When a man checked in for his shift, he took his brass medallion into the mine with him. In the event of an accident, the rescue crew could tell who was still in the mine. 

In the early days, miners used a small sledgehammer and drill to make holes for blasting.

After the dynamite pulverized the rock, a mucker would shovel it up and haul it away for processing.

Shortly after 1900 powerful pneumatic drills reduced fatigue and improved output. 

This is a sample of the amazingly beautiful ore they were mining. Azurite and Malachite on Goethite or copper carbonate hydroxides on iron oxide hydroxide. 

The Copper Queen Mine

My ticket to ride.

Everyone gets a yellow slicker, hard hat and light.

All aboard

Shift boss's office

This very large cavern was created when high grade copper ore, 23% copper, was removed. Our guide told us that the miner drilling in the upper right opening has not moved in years.

Ore from upper levels was dropped through shafts to a lower level. A miner opened the gate and the ore cart was filled with 3/4 ton of ore. He then pushed it to the mine entrance, dumped it and returned for another load. His shift was 10 hours. Later the men were replaced by mules who could pull 4 ore carts at a time.

When you have to go, this is where you go

Light at the end of the tunnel.

From 1877 to 1975 the mines around Bisbee produced 8,032,352,000 lbs of copper, 304,627,600 lbs of lead, 371,945,900 lbs of zinc, 4,822,686 lbs silver, and 179,486 lbs of gold.


Bisbee, AZ

I am residing at the Queen Mine RV Park for a couple of nights.  Serenity is perched on the edge of the humongous Lavender Pit Mine.(31.43957, -109.91175)  From here it is a nice walk into old Bisbee.

Great view out the front window.

I had heard that the Bisbee Breakfast Club in Lowell is the bomb. I hopped on the Honda and rode around the mine pit to Lowell.

I like corn beef and decided to try corn beef hash for the first time. The breakfast was good, but I still prefer sausage with my eggs. The excellent biscuit was the size of my fist.

After breakfast I took a stroll down Lowell's short main street that is frozen in time. Many of the building are vacant, but the architecture is great.

This is the Sacramento Pit that was mined for copper from 1917 to 1929. New recovery techniques allowed profitiable mining of the this low grade copper ore, 2.02% or 40 lb. of copper per ton of ore. Not shown, the Lavender Pit mined from 1950s to 1970s is to the right. Even better techniques allowed the mining of this 0.6% ore, 12 lb. per ton.  The colors:  Red - Sulfide minerals that have been oxidized. This rusty red surface material is found throughout the area. Gray - Granite porphyry, which contains small amounts of copper. The gray color comes from pyrite into porphyry. Yellow - A thin layer of breccia that surrounds granite rock.

Historic Old Bisbee

Bisbee's business district was ravaged by fire in 1908. It was rebuilt and remains completely intact today. In the early 1900's, Bisbee was the most cultured city between St. Louis and San Francisco. It is a real joy to wander its streets.

The work of the many artists and hippies moved here. 

Water must be an issue here, as it is in many southwest towns. "Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over" is not a Mark Twain quote.

There are many wonderful art stores in town.

I think this must be the new kid on the block. It looks like an out of place 1950's building.