Saturday, February 7, 2015

Clifton and Morenci, AZ

Now you talk about an exciting beautiful mountain roads – well today was the day!!!  The weather was really nice and we drove Hwy 191 – not a road to take your rig on but a beautiful drive.


The major employer in both Morenci and Clifton is Freeport-McMoRan, the owner of the Morenci Mine.  This mine is the largest copper mining operation in North America and one of the largest copper mines in the world.  The mine area is a large open-pit north of the town.  Morenci is a company owned town and all the houses in the area are stilled owned by the mining company.

Clifton sits near the valley of the mining area and is the county seat.  It is an old railroad town and is full of history itself.  The original train depot still exist and is now the location of the Chamber of Commerce. 


Clifton is the birthplace of Geronimo and is built along the San Francisco River.  Gold was first discovered in the area but never really amount to much and then copper was discovered.  






The town still has a lot of it original Territorial architecture from the day of it being a wild mining boom town.  It is full of old saloons and boarding houses, some of which are still being used today. 

From Clifton, you drive up the mountain to Morenci, which is really a neat drive as it switches back and forth and you see the mining area in front of you.  The mine is one of the nations’ leading copper producers and is American second larges open pit copper  mine.  The town is one of last of the “company” type of towns left in the US and has everything one would need or want.  There is a major grocery store, shopping, movie theater, and lots of place to eat out.  The housing range from single family houses to apartments.

The mine itself is really cool looking and is an open pit.  We did not make it all the way up to be able to look down into the pit but do have plans to do that another day.  What we did see was really impressive.

Looking back down from the mine headquarters to Clifton was really some great views of Clifton and the road travelled.








Now the drive home is a story to itself and I will have to describe it in another chapter.  Fred decided to try me on this one and sat there laughing all the way home. . . . .