Day 6. On to Benson, Arizona. 266 miles driven this day.
Rained most of the way from Las Cruces to the AZ border. We had a border patrol stop on I-10 in New Mexico. Made it into Benson around 1130 and took the road to Tombstone. Once in Tombstone we toured the old courthouse, walked the streets of Old Tombstone, and ate lunch. at the Big Kate Saloon. Afterwards we walked the rest of the town and drove to Boothill.
Somewhere along our trip back to the car I must have brushed against a jumping chollas cactus, for I had many very fine spines stuck to my shirt. These spines are very painful. Even a slight brush against this cactus can send a spat of spines into the flesh of its victim. And no, the spines don’t really jump out at a passing animal, its the brushing/touching of the cactus that causes the spines to break-off and attach themselves. This is how the cactus propagates itself.
Fascinating stories about the people buried in Boothill can be found at this link (opens in new tab): discoverboothill.com
My favorite epitaph from Boothill is “Here lies George Johnson. Hanged by mistake 1882. He was right, we was wrong but we strung him up and now he’s gone.”
Tombstone images 34 Slides Click here
Benson is home to the Kartchner Caverns and basically a doorway to Tombstone. Returning from our excursion in Tombstone, we spent the night here. After dinner at the Horseshoe Cafe, the chicken fried steak was excellent, we explored the town before sunset. Imagine my surprise to discover many of the murals and building/street art we found in the area. After touring and photographing the art, we stopped in the Old Benson Ice Cream Stop for a delicious vanilla cone, sat outside and enjoyed the cool springtime weather. Afterwards, back to the hotel we went and settled in for the night.
“Founded in 1880 prior to Arizona’s mining boom, Benson developed as a stopping point for the Butterfield Overland Stage mail delivery route. Soon thereafter, the Southern Pacific Railroad came into Benson and continued to serve the area until 1997, when the line was purchased by Union Pacific Railroad.”
Benson was named for Judge William S. Benson of California, a friend of Charles Crocker, president of the railroad. Judge Benson spent many years in the mining regions of the West.
The post office was established July 26, 1880 with John Russ serving as postmaster. The Wells Fargo Station was established In Benson in 1885.”
To learn more about the history of Benson, click this link.
Benson was also a mining town and a stopover for the Butterfield Overland Stage and mail route. As a side note, Butterfield Stage found its way to San Diego, CA
The street art of Benson provides insight into the history of the area (20 images,) Click here
In the morning we will take the one hour tour of the Kartcher caverns. Then drive to Nogales to begin our northward journey on US 89 to the Canadian/United States border. While in the Nogales area we will visit the Tumacoc0ri historical site.
Travel scenes along I-10 to Benson, AZ- seven images Click here