The home of Karchtner Cavern State Park

Benson Travel Blog

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The Saturday following thanksgiving day, my Canadian Travbuddy friend Mike decided he wanted to go touring Tombstone instead of Mount Lemon which in comparison was incredibly cold. Mike is one of those snow birds who leave their dwelling in the winter in search for warmer climate in places like Arizona. Mike owns a fifth wheel that he travels and lives in: on this occasion however Mike had come down to Tucson leaving his fifth wheel at a body shop following an accident he had had three weeks earlier.

We left Tucson at a little after 10:00 a.m. making a quick coffee stop at the Starbucks outlet at the intersection of Kolb and 22ndstreet. Mike ordered a plain black coffee and I an Earl Grey tea (both grandee).

We headed south on Kolb and then east on interstate 10. The drive was smooth and easy because Mike decidedly kept 10 miles below the speed limit (the speed limit was 75 and he kept it at 65).We went through the town of Benson where I had traveled before but never made a stop nor paid attention. This time however I decided to pay more attention to the small town.

Benson is the home of Kartchner Cavern State Park: The City of Benson is located at the intersection of Interstate 10 and the Arizona State Route 90 about a little over fifty miles from Tucson. It is located on the beautiful San Pedro River across from the Union Pacific Railroads main line. Benson has a population of less than five thousand inhabitants. The town was named after Judge William B.

Benson, a friend of the president of the railroad.

This town grew from the earlier boom of the Copper and Silver minerals in the early 1900s. San Pedro valley was the location of the mines and then these metals were shipped to Benson for processing including melting and final distribution via the Union Pacific Railroad then known as the Southern Pacific Railroad. None of those minerals are present today in the town of Benson, however the town serves as an important stop for travelers who use the interstate 10 and is a gateway to Kartchner Carvens State Park and to Tombstone.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain. 

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photo by: row-zzzzz