February 10--14, 2014
Sierra Vista, Arizona
(Special thanks to Lisa Dryer, Michele Onsoien & Don Plumb for sharing
their photos & Carl Pate for writing a recap of the events)
As snow covered the middle and eastern United States, over 100 members of the Horseless Carriage Club of America with over 30 early Brass Era vehicles (2, 4 and 6 cylinder vehicles ranged from 1905 to 1915) began to arrive at the Holiday Inn Express in Sierra Vista, Arizona for tours throughout the Cochise County Santa Cruz County and further points west.
Though the temperatures got cool at night and in the early morning, by the late morning temperatures warmed up and by the afternoon the temperature reached into the high 70’s. Not a drop of rain in sight.
Sunday (2/11/2014) -- On this day trailers and cars rolled in and an impromptu cook out was put together for Sunday night to give the attendees a casual time to Meet-n-Greet. Hamburgers, hotdogs, salad, chips, snacks, and cupcakes were provided. Everyone had a great time eating outdoors in the warm night. All pitched in for the cleanup.
Monday (2/10/2014) - Following a drivers meeting the group all headed out to Fairbank, a ghost town near the San Pedro River. After the short visit we headed out to a stop at the side of the road (in the middle of no-where) where 5 local gunfighters and the HCCA tour leader shot it out in a staged altercation. After a few donuts, all participants recovered. The group then came to a US Border Patrol check point and none of the riders where held for questions. Off to Benson, a large rail terminal for the area and then on to Kartchner Caverns State Park (2.4 miles of passages that were discovered in 1974 by local cavers. At night there was an opening banquet.
Tuesday (2/11/2014) - Following a drivers meeting, the tour vehicles pulled out and headed to Camp Naco - and got to shake hands with the Mexico Border (no one crossed or saw any people sneaking across the border). Camp Naco was constructed in 1917 as part of the Mexican Border Project. Then it was off to Bisbee, known as one of the “quirkiest towns in the US; it has a population of just over 6,000 and the county seat of Cochise County. There was a mine tour, shopping, restaurants and houses and buildings clinging to the high steep hills. At night, the HCCA Board of Directors held meetings and a large number of the tour members attended. The new 2014 Directors were installed and new officers were elected.
Wednesday (2/12/2014) - After the drivers meeting the group headed out to the famous town of Tombstone that was founded in 1879 by Ed Schieffelin. We were met by our original posse who lead us on foot to the original town center. Though the town was known for the Gunfight at the OK Corral and the high mortality rate at the center of town (seems that all arguments were settled) and one parlor had a poker game that lasted longer than 8 years and 5 months. There was great food, plenty of shopping, things to see, rides on the stagecoaches and pictures of the cars by the courthouse. After returning back to the hotel, seminars were held to discuss all that the HCCA Website had to offer and a presentation by the Horseless Carriage Foundation, Inc. by Mac McPherson to describe their service and what they have to offer.
Thursday (2/13/2014) - Since this was a long day drive the drivers meeting was held earlier and the parade headed out to various towns ... Sonita (population 800); Patagonia (Population 900); Nogales (population 21,000); Rio Rico (Population 18,000); and Tubac (population 1,200). The terrain varied from flat to short and long hills and then the center of importing produce from Mexico.
Friday (2/14/2014) - This day was different than any other and made a big impact on the local community. For the tour members there were options -
The exposure to the public was high and a lot of the families that visited were very appreciative.
The closing banquet was held Friday night and all were ready to prepare for leaving the next day.