Monthly Archives: May 2009

Arizona vacation ideas at Arizona Highways travel show

Are you one of those people who have lived in Arizona but haven’t explored our great state? Now you can go to one single location and find out about the whole state!

Head down to the Phoenix Convention Center for the Arizona Highways Travel Show.

It’s 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, May 20 & 31 in downtown Phoenix. The link above has information and coupons for $2 off admission to the show.

Cochise County will have a booth with info and a few giveaways. Stop by to learn more about Benson, Bisbee, Douglas, Sierra Vista, Tombstone and Willcox!


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The gift of imagination in the Dragoon Mountains

Have your kids ever searched for a mysterious burial ground?

Take them camping in the Dragoon mountains this summer, and maybe they can find where the great Chiricahua Apache leader, Cochise, is buried.

In his column, Mike Doyle, of the Rockford Register Star, remembers the days that his imagination captivated him. He and his friend spent hours searching and exploring for Cochise. Doyle really believed he’d find him.

Odds are, your kids won’t find Cochise’s burial spot. Men and women have searched for it for years, after all.

But wouldn’t you like your children to make their own memories searching?

Cochise Stronghold in the east side of the Dragoon Mountains

Cochise Stronghold in the east side of the Dragoon Mountains

Cochise Stronghold is part of the Coronado National Forest. There are bed and breakfasts in the area if you’re not into “roughing it.” The Cochise Stronghold Bed & Breakfast inn is nearby.  Another bed & breakfast inn is the Strawbale Manor, which has a view of Cochise Stronghold.

You can find other nearby accommodations at Cochise County’s website or at any of the nearby communities’ websites. Willcox and Benson are the closest communities to Cochise Stronghold. Other communities in Cochise County are Douglas, Bisbee, Sierra Vista and Tombstone.

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Traveling to Mexico after June 1

New rules that will be effective on June 1, 2009 will change what you need to cross the U.S./Mexico border at Cochise County‘s two ports of entry.

Make sure you have the required documentation before you travel!

The two ports of entry in the county are in Naco, near Bisbee, and Agua Prieta, next to Douglas.

Before entering Mexico, make sure everyone traveling with you has an active passport or a passport card. If you are staying for more than 72 hours (3 days) or travel more than 21 kilometers (about 7 miles) into Mexico, you and everyone in your party must obtain a tourist card. You must also get Mexican auto insurance and a permit for the automobile.
To acquire a permit, you must submit evidence of citizenship, title for the car, car registration certificate, a driver’s license and credit card in the name of the driver, to the Banjercito branch located at the Mexican Customs office at the Agua Prieta port of entry and pay a processing fee. Naco does not have the capacity to issue car permits.
When returning to the U.S., make sure you have proof of citizenship. As of June 1, 2009, the only accepted proof is a passport or passport card.
For more information about traveling to Mexico, log onto the U.S. State Department’s website. It is recommended you know the current laws on purchasing medication or alcoholic beverages. You can spend U.S. dollars in Mexico’s border towns, but you can also purchase pesos at banks or exchange houses.

There are two Nacos: one in the United States and the other just across the border into Mexico. Naco, Arizona, is about a 15-minute drive from Bisbee, and you can easily walk across the border. Park on the U.S. side and cross directly into the center of Naco, Mexico. There are several good places to eat and some stores. 
Agua Prieta

Agua Prieta is in Mexico, adjacent to Douglas, Arizona. A community of approximately 125,000 people, you have a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Beautiful Mexican floor and wall tiles are available in Agua Prieta. When entering Agua Prieta from Douglas, it’s easy to park your car in Douglas at the secure pay parking lot and walk across. Take Pan American Highway from Highway 80 and turn left on J Avenue (also known as Customs Avenue) just before the border.
South of the Border

If you’re looking for a more adventurous trip south of the border, you might want to take a short trip from either Naco or Agua Prieta can take you to the historic mining community of Cananea, Father Kino’s missions or through the beautiful Rio Sonoran valley.

For more information on traveling to Mexico, talk with the staff at the Douglas or Bisbee Visitor Centers or visit

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Soldiers from Civil War and Indian Wars to be reburied with full military honors

On May 16, 58 soldiers will be reburied at the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery. They served in the U.S. Army in Arizona from 1862 to 1881.

The soldiers  will be buried in a 19th Century-style military cemetery. The plot was built especially for the remains of these soldiers that were found in Tucson. It is surrounded by a stone and iron wall similar to Fort Huachuca’s cemetery.

Event: Reburial of Historic Soldiers

When: 10 a.m., Saturday, May 16, 2009

Where: Southern Arizona Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery, 1300 Buffalo Soldier Trail, Sierra Vista

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is providing period headstones for the troopers, and cemetery officials plan to erect a monument describing the soldiers’ lives during the Indian Wars. The troopers will be laid to rest with full military honors a stone’s throw away from the oldest operating Army post in Arizona.

The soldiers’ remains were found a couple of years ago in Tucson during an excavation. Originally, the soldiers were buried in a military cemetery that served Fort Lowell in Tucson during the Civil and Indian Wars.

Research showed that many of the soldiers were part of the California Column. This was a 2,300-man brigade that marched into the territory from California in the spring of 1862. Their mission was to confront and drive out Confederate troops who controlled the southern part of what is now Arizona and New Mexico. Troops from the California Column occupied Tucson on 20 May 1862. Various California units were stationed there until April 1866. Other remains represent the 1st, 3rd and 6th U.S. Cavalry regiments, as well as the 8th, 21st and 32nd U.S. Infantry who served at Fort Lowell during the late 1860s to the 1880s.Two of the soldiers were U.S. Army Indian Scouts, and one was a “Buffalo Soldier.”

Among the remains are:

  • Sergeant John C. McQuade, Company B, 2nd California Cavalry, who enlisted in the volunteers in San Francisco on September 14, 1861. He died in Tucson on July 12, 1862.
  • Private Peter Bus, Company K, 21st U.S. Infantry, who was a 20-25 year old sailor from Delfshaven, Holland. He enlisted in the Army in San Francisco on March 7, 1871 and died in Tucson of an accidental gunshot wound to the right arm on February 19, 1872.
  • Corporal John English, Company A, 32nd U.S. Infantry, who was a shoemaker from Ireland, aged 20-25. He enlisted in Boston on July 16, 1865 and died on February 6, 1867.


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May events in Cochise County

Memorial Day is just around the corner. If you’re looking for something to do for the holiday or the following weekend, check out these events in Cochise County.

May 22-24, Bisbee Gem and Mineral Show, Bisbee

Gems and minerals from many regions will be on display. If you’re a rock hound, this event is for you.

Details: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Queen Mine Tour. Admission is free. For more info, call 520-432-2071 or see event information on Bisbee’s website.

May 23, Pedal the Paths, Sierra Vista

Grab your bike and head down to Sierra Vista! Take one of four routes that start and end at Veterans’ Memorial Park. Routes vary from 10 to 31 miles long.  The no-cost rides are on some or all of Sierra Vista’s 19 miles of multi-use paths. Portions of the routes between the paths will be on bike lanes and low-traffic streets.

Details: Ride start times are between 7:30 and 9 a.m. and begin near the Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway entrance to Veterans’ Park. Riders under 18 years old must wear bicycling helmets, as required by City Ordinance. Route maps and information are available at the Parks & Leisure Services Office in the Oscar Yrun Center, the Sierra Vista Library, M&M Cycling and Sun ‘N Spokes bike shops, and Fort Huachuca’s Barnes Field House and Eifler Fitness Center.

For more info, call 520-458-7922.

May 23-25, Wyatt Earp Days, Tombstone

Gunfight reenactments fill the streets, along with a chili cook-off, hangings, street entertainment, look-alike contests and an 1880’s fashion show.

Details: The events begin at 10 a.m. Saturday through Monday in historic downtown Tombstone. Admission is free. For more info, call 520-457-3511.

May 30 & 31, Willcox Rod & Classic Car Show, Willcox

The 3rd annual car show will be held in the Willcox Historic District on Railroad Ave. For information contact the Willcox Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture at 520-384-2272 or the Rex Allen Museum at 520-384-4583 or

Visit each community’s website for information on traveling to Bisbee, Sierra Vista, Tombstone and Willcox.

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Bisbee Copper Kings to host vintage baseball May 9

Ever wonder if time travel is possible? It seems it is if you ask a few passionate baseball players in Arizona. They make a regular journey back in time when they play Vintage Base Ball.

They are members of the Bisbee Bees and the Phoenix Senators. They’ll play at Bisbee’s historic Warren Ballpark on Saturday May 9, 2009.

Players who play vintage base ball use old-time gloves and play with rules from the 1860s to the 1890s. Here’s an excerpt about the game from a March 2008 article in the Arizona Republic by Dave Vest.

“The bats they used were heavier than those used today, and the fielders’ gloves were tiny, more like gardening gloves than baseball gloves. The pitcher stood on the same level as the batter about 50 feet away and tossed the ball underhanded. The uniforms they wore screamed 19th century, and each time a player scored a run that player rang a bell behind home plate to make it official. And – hold on to your pillbox cap for this one – manners not only were celebrated but required.

‘We really value good sportsmanship,’ said Tenney, a 32-year-old machinist from north Phoenix. ‘In our league, you cheer for your opponent and congratulate each other on a nice catch or a good hit. It’s something you don’t really see nowadays. These guys (in the major leagues) are paid dump trucks full of money to play a game, and yet they act like spoiled children. . . . I’m a big baseball fan, and it kind of bothers me that competition is so intense now.’

That last sentence sums up precisely why Tenney founded the Valley’s version of Vintage Base Ball.

Tired of playing in adult baseball/softball leagues with win-at-all-costs mind-sets, Tenney began searching the Internet for alternatives two years ago and stumbled onto a Vintage Base Ball site from back east.

If you’re a person who thinks baseball needs to be played this way, you might want to head to Bisbee for the weekend.

The Copper Kings will host the double header beginning at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 9 at the historic Warren Ballpark. Built in 1909, Warren Ballpark is the oldest park of its kind in the United States.

Details: Saturday, May 9 at 2 p.m. at the Warren Ball Park. Admission to the game is only $5. Find out more about the ballpark at the Warren Ballpark website.

Bisbee, Arizona is 90 miles southeast of Tucson. You can also find accommodations, other attractions and dining at Bisbee’s official tourism website, which is located in Cochise County.

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