Live Free in Bisbee

slow capture of the night sky as if to see the entire movement of the stars all at once

Photograph by Darren Kirby

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Hotels in Bisbee are not for the lightly loaded wallet.

It’s a simple fact that hotel owners in the area likely do very well, considering the unlikelihood of high mortgages on their properties and the almost always three digit prices that come with any given night’s stay. This is not an affront to hotel owners, we all must make our way in this world and they’re doing what they do, it is simply a statement of fact.

The best news? Bisbee is a land of opportunity. It is literally an oasis, but figuratively as well. The two closest towns, Tombstone and Sierra Vista, both wreak of modern America. Tombstone in the sense that it is completely absent of reality, a novelty town strictly for tourists. Sierra Vista in that it is a massive strip mall in the desert.

Here in the majesty of Bisbee, though, one needs only pay what he can for a place to call home for the night. More than one man has called the bed of his pickup his hotel on wheels, finding a safe place to park in or just outside of town. Caves and abandoned shanties can be found lining the hills. If a tent were erected in the middle of Bisbee’s Big B, would anyone come up to bother you at night, let alone even know you’re there? Doubtful.

We met a pack of hippies living, along with their goats, out of the back of an old rusty black Ford pickup. They merely parked it upon arriving in town, used it as a kind of wardrobe and safety deposit box, and every night lead their goats to the top of a mountain to tuck in over more than a few beers. No one is really homeless in Bisbee, because the open desert is any man’s home brave enough to call the stars their nightlight.

Photograph by Darren Kirby