Having recently sent Tristan on a airplane ride to Pittsburgh where he’ll mingle with the grandparents and his brother for the next month or so, I struck it out on my own, departing Phoenix, Arizona for the more southerly ex-copper mining town of Bisbee, a little haven nestled away in the mountains only a few miles north of the Mexican border.
The ride was long but the day was hot, and we lazily took our time departing, followed by a stint at Best Buy where we finally got a decent radio installed. The old one had a queen’s demeanor about letting go of a CD, so we were often forced to listen to the same 16 tracks for miles at a clip when traveling in regions untouched by the hand of the modern day radio station. Our fancy new one came excellently equipped with the ability to play music straight from our iPhones, so now we’re in 1000s of songs paradise.
A quick stop for a rare find — Sushi in the middle of nowhere Arizona, a place called Tanuki, named after the legendary Japanese animal, somewhat resembling a raccoon (but with a serious case of elephantiasis and a hankering for sake) and made more famous in the USA by the Mario Bros. — and we were back en route to Bisbee.
Alas, with less than 2 miles to go, the old transmission, bane of our earliest RV days, seemed to be having a hard time climbing the great mountain between us and our upcoming home front, the Queen Mine RV Park. We immediately pulled over only to find that we were completely sapped of tranny fluid. And with no cell reception, there was little to do but venture, with fortitude and smiling faces I might add, into the mountain winter night toward town. The journey, perilous indeed, required hiking a narrow strip of shoulder along a very busy highway, headlights blazing by us as we did our best to avoid contact with the moving death that is the automobile after dark. A long tunnel with little room for humanity to pass unsheathed in and a walk down an eerily named but beautifully overgrown street by the name of Tombstone Canyon and we arrived at the Circle K, where transmission fluid aplenty waited for us. We were all set to make the three mile walk back when the kindest old man, by the name of Nito, offered us a ride and even stuck around until we’d filled the RV back up to speed with transmission fluid.
All in all, it was certainly an adventure, and our first experience with the local man — an ex-firefighter, the son of a copper miner, and the grandfather of two soap box derby racers — left me gleaming wide smiled and bushy eyed, ready for a couple of weeks in Bisbee. Night had long fallen on the town by the time we found the Queen Mine RV Park, but here we sit, safe, sound and surrounded by the sizzling sounds of sauteing salmon, under a sky stuffed with stars to make a beach’s sand seem countable, and in the shadow of a giant mountain. I suspect good things for this place, and tomorrow we’ll embark on our greatest attempt at discovering it.