Monthly Archives: September 2008

Air show in Douglas, AZ!

Wednesday’s air show in Douglas  should be pretty cool! If you’re an aviator or just love airplanes, I hope you’ll join the fun. You can see the precision air acrobatics of Canada’s Snowbirds.

These snow birds are different from what Arizonans usually call “snow birds.” Instead of people (usually retirees) who come from cold climates to enjoy Arizona’s mild, sunny winter weather, these snowbirds are pilots who perform precision feats in the air. They are similar to Blue Angels (the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration team).

They have a small museum at the airport that gives visitors information about Douglas’s history and fascination with airplanes and flying. I’ll bet it will be open during the air show for aviation enthusiasts who want to explore the aviation connection in Cochise County a bit more.

I’ve recently come across a blog that shows the passion aviators have for their planes. Ryan Keough writes it. Check out his post!

If you go to the show, tell us about it. Just leave a comment below.

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Southeastern Arizona has its own astronomy hot spots posted a story by Travel + Leisure on the world’s top 10 stargazing destinations. They mentioned places all around the world.. from Chile to China. What? can’t manage a trip to one of those far flung locales?

In southeastern Arizona, Cochise County has some really cool spots to stargaze:

Unfortunately, the Astronomer’s Inn recently closed. Please check back later for updates. Vega-Bray Observatory and Astronomer’s Inn near Benson – Founded in 1990, this privately owned observatory is dedicated to public education. It houses eight major telescopes, including some by renowned Phoenix optician, Max Bray and boasts an electrically controlled 14-foot Ash viewing dome. Unique to Vega-Bray is the Astronomer’s Inn, a bed and breakfast adjacent to the observatory that overlooks the San Pedro River Valley-a perfect place for amateur or professional astronomers to rest their heads after a stargazing night. Vega-Bray also houses a science museum, classroom and planetarium.

Huachuca Astronomy Club’s Observatories in Sierra Vista – With 15 local observatories owned by amateur skywatchers, members of this astronomy club in Cochise County enjoys sharing the boundless skies with groups and visitors. They hold monthly open-to-the public star parties that educate newcomers to planetary and astral wonders.

In 2005, Cochise County’s lawmakers updated their light codes to help reduce light pollution and keep the skies dark for better stargazing. With our wide open spaces, Cochise County is a great place to stargaze! Find out more on Cochise County’s site and book your trip today!

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Cochise County Cycling Classic

Cyclists in the Cochise County Cycling Classic. Photo courtesy of Mary White.

Cyclists in the Cochise County Cycling Classic. Photo courtesy of Mary White.


When’s the last time you rode a bicycle for 252 miles in one day?

At 2 a.m. on Oct. 11, 2008, intrepid “ultra cyclists” will start their journeys around Cochise County. The annual Cochise County Cycling Classic has races that range from 45-252 miles. The cyclists will complete them in just that one day!

They’ll start in Douglas and make loops around the county. That’s some serious bicycling!

If you’re in shape (and I mean really good shape), there’s still time to sign up. Just be aware that you have to have your own support team. Don’t go into this lightly. They’ll have another event next year and they have other events in Arizona and the U.S. Check out the Perimeter Bicycling Association’s Web site if you can’t get in shape for this one. Maybe the next ride will help you; it’s always good to have a goal! 😉

Speaking of scenic roads and recreation, Cochise County has many areas that are perfect to go on for a ride. Explore Cochise County to find out. You can make your home base in any of Cochise County’s communities: Benson, Bisbee, Douglas, Sierra Vista, Tombstone or Willcox. If you’re looking for solitude, you can stay at a bed and breakfast, ranch or inn in Cochise County’s other areas.

Good luck to all the Cochise County cyclists. Enjoy!

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Event marks 150th anniversary of Butterfield Overland Stage

In the 1800s, the Butterfield Overland Stage ran for about 3 years. The route was designed to pass through the southern portion of the United States and carry news from the East Coast to the Western frontier. It did the job.

Mark Twain wrote about the Butterfield Stage in his book, Roughing It. I’m sure it was a tough journey, and I’m sure Twain’s account is colorful. Stagecoach rides were especially susceptible to robbing… think 3:10 to Yuma-style with bandits hiding behind the boulders of the desert. The stage was later replaced by the railroad.

To commemorate the Pony Express days, Benson puts on the Butterfield Overland Stage Days. The U.S. Postal Service makes a special cancellation every year for stamp collectors who want to commemorate the event. This year they are having a ton of events. The 23rd Annual Butterfield Overland Stage Days event is being held October 10-12, 2008.

This is good family fun. Friday Night starts it off with dinner and Movies in the Park, featuring a family favorite, Charlotte’s Web starring Dakota Fanning. Throughout the weekend, they’ll have a quilt show, a fun run, a paradem a pancake breakfast and more!

The Pony Express Post Office and Mail Run, Chili Cook Off, Pioneer Village, Ranger Camp and Kids Korral with Jumping Castles, face painting and games will take place on Saturday. Afternoon entertainment will feature local bands, dancers, stars from “Benson’s Got Talent” and a Quad Stunt Show. 

Ready for some home town fun in southern Arizona, heart of the Old West? Head out to Benson or other events in Cochise County!

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“Ghost Town” see the movie or experience ghosts in Cochise County

Ricky Gervais was a guest on the Daily Show Tuesday night promoting his new movie Ghost Town. I’ve been seeing the previews for this movie, and it looks pretty funny. I think Gervais is hilarious. His movie is about how his character gets the ability to see ghosts because he died while having a medical procedure done.

He is completely annoyed by the ghosts, but in Cochise County, ghosts have become somewhat of a cottage industry. There are lots of opportunities to experience ghosts.

Ghost Tours: Take a tour with a “ghost host” in Bisbee or Tombstone with the Old Bisbee Ghost Tours or Tombstone Ghost Tours.

Haunted Hotels: There are loads of hotels that are haunted in Cochise County. The Gadsden Hotel in Douglas, the Copper Queen Hotel, the Bisbee Inn and the Clawson House in Bisbee, the Aztec House, Big Nose Kate’s the Bird Cage Theatre, Nellie Cashman’s Restaurant, the O.K. Corral and the Wells Fargo building in Tombstone. Any others I missed? Please leave comment and let me know.

Ghost Towns: If you like to go off the beaten path a bit, there are ghost towns in Cochise County where you can see the towns that flourished during the settling of the Old West. The trail takes you on a few dirt roads. Along the way, you’ll see Fairbank, Courtland, Millbank, Pearce and other ghost towns. There’s a map you can find online.

P.S. back to the visit on Comedy Central for a moment… Jon Stewart says that Gervais is a “fact man,” and they go on a riff about how men love to collect little known facts. Gervais then started to spout trivia and some of the things he said were that about how cows can go up a set of stairs, but can’t go down them. He then went on to say that when bats leave a cave, they always fly to the left. (I’ll have to ask the folks at Kartchner Caverns State Park to find out if that’s true.)


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Dos Cabezas Spirit and Nature Retreat

Are you looking for an escape from the urban jungle? If so, a new bed and breakfast inn in Cochise County may be the place for you.

A view the grounds and nearby mountains

The grounds of Dos Cabezas Spirit and Nature Retreat

Guests can enjoy secluded privacy of Dos Cabezas Spirit and Nature Retreat in the Dos Cabezas mountains. Just 14 miles from Willcox, this retreat hosts one party at a time in its country guest house. The property boasts authentic, historical adobe homes from the late 1800s. At an elevation of 5,200 feet, it has ideal temperatures for year-round adventures.

Dos Cabezas Spirit and Nature Retreat can be used as a base for premier birding and nature viewing, peaceful meditation, astronomy, hiking, photography, picking fruit at local peach and apple orchards and vegetable farms, and exploring nearby ghost towns.

Owners Charmayne and John Samuelson worked with the elderhostel program for seven years. They are a wealth of knowledge about local birds and have worked as guides to Mata Ortiz in Mexico.

If you’re looking for a quiet respite from life’s hustle and bustle, call the Dos Cabezas Spirit and Nature Retreat at 520-384-6474.

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Dress the part in Tombstone

Cathy Murphy

Ladies and gents dress the part in Tombstone. Photo: Cathy Murphy











Have you ever dressed the part to experience Tombstone’s unique culture? In Tombstone, it’s fashionable to dress like the Victorian-era legends that made the town famous. If you forgot to pack your feather boa, cowboy hat or chaps, head down to Big Nose Kate’s Saloon. They’ll provide them, and you can take your picture with a real Old West back bar and sometimes some Old West costumed characters. 

Folks have the option of going to any one of the “Old Time” photo shops where they’ll dress you up and have their photos. Sadie Jo’s Photos at 109 S. 3rd Street, Madame Mustache’s on 455 E. Allen St, Tombstone Photo at 507 E. Allen St; Can-Can Old Time Photos on the corner of 4th & Allen Sts. 

To buy Victorian Era clothing, you can shop at Frontier Floral Finery on 80 N. 4th Street, Happy Jack’s Mercantile at 720 E. Fremont St, Tombstone Mercantile at 511B E. Allen St, Bronco Trading Company at 414 E. Allen St, Spur Western Wear at 509 E. Allen Street, Red Buffalo at 412 E. Allen Street and 3rd Street Antiques at 109 S. 3rd Street.

If you have dressed the part, we’d love to hear about it. If you have a web page, send us a link!


Filed under Old West, Travel