A short drive with a long history

A short drive with a long history

This story was originally published in the March 2015 issue of the Greenlee Clarion newsletter.

By Ákos Kovach
Greenlee County

There are many ways to describe Greenlee County; truly this is the land of opportunity. Many who look at a map before they travel to this bastion of native beauty wonder what they will see, and the best way to 'get there'. To that end we are furiously working with several entities on projects related to map and brochure creation.

One such map/brochure is our Hike-Bike-Ride Trails handout, high gloss, full color with amazing detail that brings to life places to see, where to camp, parks, riparian areas, hot springs, year around running rivers, paths and trails.

Regardless of your interest: birding, rock hounding, climbing, cross country skiing, biking, you name it — we have it.

But more than all the natural wonders the enormous economic engine known as the Morenci Mine is constantly attracting new employees, new sub-contractors and guests to the area. They need homes, apartments or places to stay for a day — a week — a month, but they also need retail outlets to furnish their shopping needs.

The 1,100 big rigs that make their way 'up the hill' each week to the mine need a truck stop, since the closest one is over 100 miles away. The 1,000+ cars that travel the same route every day are packed with passengers that crave fast food, want an ice cream cone; they are looking for home supplies, restaurants and other convenience items.

So remember, if you are a home builder, we need you. Retailer? Don't miss this opportunity. Ready to make a difference? We need a hotel and a truck stop. Just think, instead of that constant worry about finding the 'right location', our dynamic is unique — everyone travels the same routes to and from the mine.

Look at our map. You can enter Greenlee County on major highways just south of Alpine on SR 191; from New Mexico on SR 78 or SR 70 and from Graham County on SR 191. And guess what? 75, 78 and 191 intersect at the same place – a place called "3-Way" where a drive-in theatre once entertained families for many years. Look at the map, look at Google Earth and then make a plan to take the beautiful drive to experience a long history.