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Visitors Guide

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2016 | summer visitors guide | 3

Welcome to our slice of heaven

Green Valley Lake in Payson is one of Rim Country’s special places.

Alexis Bechman

Peter Aleshire

There goes God: Overdoing again. That often happens to me here in Rim Country, I sit, contented and amazed amid the music and the where I’ve rooted after a long, tumbleweed roll through mysteries. I am perched upon a water-smooth granite my life. I never planned to end up in a small town at a sculpture, light rock veined with a great ribbon of blue- weekly newspaper — but after bouncing off all the bumblack. The East Verde River splashes through a series of pers, I came to rest here. Funny how life works out. I agree pools just in front of me. with John Lennon, who observed: “Life is what happens Overhead, a summer monsoon is gathering — work- to you when you’re busy making other plans.” ing itself up to something spectacular. The stripped elecSo here I sit to receive the Blessing of the Elk, just trons have not quite built up sufficiently in the roiling before the storm. Looking for a shelter, I stumbled onto clouds to begin the lightning display. the place I’d been searching for all my life, not knowing it. In the pool in front of me, trout have begun to rise So, I thought I would share the blessing a little, in the experimentally — testing the floating flies and the darting form of this year’s Rim Country Summer Visitors Guide. larva of one of the Southwest’s best little streams — spring- We all got together to offer an insider’s view of a place fed and undammed. The moment is perfect. I’m in heav- we love. en, high on the negative ions wafting up from the little So enjoy the recommendations — and please help us waterfalls. take care of the place. That’s especially true when it comes At just this moment, a big elk emerges from the thick to fire, which could so easily destroy everything we love screen of trees upstream. He pauses, sniffing the air. Then here — and want to share with you in this issue. he turns his ponderous antlered head toward me and As for me, I’m ready to put the visitors guide to bed. regards me with wary disdain. Then I can go reclaim my spot on the banks of the river, I just shake my head. to watch the monsoons roll in. roundup editor

Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce

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100 W. Main Street P.O. Box 1380 Payson, AZ 85547 928.474.4515/800.672.9766

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Publisher’s Note: Despite our best editing, the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Information is current as of May 2016. Photos and stories copyright Payson Roundup.

4 | summer visitors guide | 2016

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Rim Country Places Tonto Natural Bridge State Park offers lesson in the power of time – and life Peter Aleshire

living landscape — proof that rocks have family trees and souls. Limestone is made of calcium carbonate manuSitting in one of my favorite places in the world, I lisfactured by long-dead sea creatures, mostly corals or ten to the dim, cool drip of life — the maker of worlds, the foraminifera. The calcium carmerger of geology and biology. bonate in their skeletons settles I’m sitting deep in the heart of to the bottom in shallow seas, the vast cavern of Tonto Natural mixes with other debris, then Bridge State Park, on a boulder of sinks beneath its own mounting flood-slickened travertine, watchweight. Eventually, the mounting ing water drip through the roof heat and pressure fuse the sea of the top of the cave-like tunnel bottom layers. 180 feet overhead into a crystal Limestone dominates the clear pool. topography of Rim Country, The world’s largest travertine including the Mogollon Rim arch offers a startling lesson in itself. geology — and the way in which Limestone has some pretty living things shape the world as remarkable properties, besides the surely as the world shapes them. neat trick of recycling coral reefs The cavern that forms the bridge into the Mogollon Rim. Harder is 400 feet long, 150 feet wide and than almost any other sedimena soaring 180 feet tall. tary rock, limestone nonetheless The Natural Bridge remains dissolves readily in acidic soluthe best-known tourist attraction tions. That means things like in Rim Country. Last year, it drew acidic groundwater — and acid some 90,000 visitors. rain — can readily sculpt limeThe bridge remains one of stone into strange formations. the places I go when I want to Most of the great underslow down and recalibrate. The ground caverns in the world steady drip of water loaded with form when groundwater dissolves dissolved limestone has created buried, fractured limestone. the formations on the inside of Dissolved limestone turns into the tunnel-like cavern at the heart travertine carried by streams, of Tonto Natural Bridge State which have created both the travPark. The same process forms staPeter Aleshire ertine dams of Fossil Creek and lactites in limestone caves. Tonto Natural Bridge is the world’s largest travertine arch the soaring arch of Tonto Natural For one thing, the great trav- — 180 feet high and 400 feet wide. Bridge State Park. ertine arch that formed from an Take a certain quality of limestone, bury it again, unlikely series of events remains one place where I can appreciate the creative brilliance of limestone. Comprising reheat it, let it cool — and you’ve got marble suitable for 10 percent of all sedimentary rocks, limestone creates a carving the Pieta. roundup editor

6 | summer visitors guide | 2016

R i m o t C e o m u o n c t l r e y! W


Visit us and see how we can help you find your way and enjoy your stay! RIM COUNTRY REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE P.O. Box 1380, Payson, AZ 85547 Phone: 928-474-4515 2016 | summer visitors guide | 7


Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

The cavern dissolved in a wall of travertine reveals ages of the earth and the power of life to shape even rocks.

Clever people going back thousands of years have also discovered that limestone can make a paste good for sealing boats, enhancing ground corn and making cement, soil conditioners, glass, iron ore, toothpaste, livestock feed, medicines and cosmetics. Most of the great cathedrals of Europe are made of limestone blocks as are the great pyramids of Egypt. But right now, sitting in the cool, dim cavern, I’m mostly marveling at the intricate chain of events necessary to produce such a natural wonder. It went something like this, as explained by a wonderful illustration on the bridge’s website. Way, way back a volcanic outburst laid down a layer of volcanic rhyolite you can see on the west side of Pine Creek. The restless earth uplifted, tilted, fractured and eroded this layer of volcanic rock. Next, a shallow inland sea covered this volcanic layer, laying down thick layers of mud, rich with lime and calcium carbonate, covering the tilted layer of rhyolite. Next, another period of volcanic activity covered this sea bottom, with its layered rock made of the remains of living things. You can still see this layer of basalt on the top of the hill before you hike down into the cavern. In the next stage, erosion and earthquake faults fractured this basalt layer forming the narrow Pine Creek Canyon. Pine Creek went to work cutting the canyon. About 5,000 years ago, rainfall that fell on the top 8 | summer visitors guide | 2016

of the canyon seeped through the limestone layers on the east side of the canyon, emerging in a network of small springs. These springs had large concentrations of dissolved calcium carbonate — limestone — picked up as the water seeped through the rock. Under great pressure while in the rock, the calcium carbonate precipitated out of solution. This formed of travertine. Eventually, the springs formed a travertine dam across the canyon. Pine Creek dissolved a bore hole through the face of the dam. For me, this great cavern remains a lesson in the power of time — and of life. First life created the limestone layers, then it shaped the creation of this surreal cavern — with roots creating the fissures and guiding the deposits of travertine — which coat the roots and moss and tendrils of life to assume fantastic shapes. Finally, we living things wander back into the cavern 300 million years in the making — seeking a new sense of time. Sitting on these marble-smooth boulders, watching the steady drip of water into these magical pools, always makes me feel both tiny and hopeful. When I need solace concerning the headlong, fleeting problems of my little bit of life — I can return to the cavern and just sit. Seas come and go. Volcanoes inflict catastrophe then melt away. But life persists, evolving and adapting through it all. And now, on a brilliant summer day, comes to sit and marvel at life itself.




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Tonto National Monument Tom Brossart

The upper ruins of Tonto National Monument are opened to visitors periodically. The Salado built these ruins in around 1300, but abandoned them 150 years later for still mysterious reasons.

Michele NelsoN

roundup staff reporter

Just a short trip from Payson and next door to Tonto Basin, visitors can slip into the ancient past at Tonto National Monument. Two sets of cliff dwellings remain from the Salado culture that flourished in the area from the 12th through the 14th century. They created a unique style of pottery and weaving traders spread Tonto National throughout the Southwest. The Salado culture built Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. their cliff dwellings around Entrance Fee: $5 1300, but vanished from the area by 1450. Getting there: Archaeologists still From Payson take debate exactly why the Highway 87 south. Salado exerted so much Turn left onto the effort to build the apartHighway 188. Continue ments in a cave of the cliff. past Tonto Basin and Some suggest warfare others across the Roosevelt think it just got too crowded Bridge. The turnoff to on the valley floor which the park will be to the Roosevelt Lake now covers. right. The ruins have an upper 10 | summer visitors guide | 2016

and lower set of cliff dwellings. The lower dwellings had about 20 rooms and the upper about 40. Because the trail to the Upper Dwellings requires a guide and more effort, it is only open to visitors between November and April. The Lower Dwellings are open year-round and are accessible via a paved and gently elevated pathway. Fences keep visitors out to protect the ruins that early settlers raided and ruined by tromping around inside the rooms. Monument A national park ranger station at the parking lot has numerous programs throughout the summer to educate and entertain visitors. Events include astronomy nights, native plant and animal education seminars and cultural events. Check out the national park’s website to find out about upcoming events: planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm

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The Mogollon Rim

The Mogollon Rim forms the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau and stretches more than 200 miles along the middle of Arizona.

Peter Aleshire

Peter Aleshire

450 million years ago and the first vertebrates developed 525 million years ago. By the time the Kaibab limestone started to form, This great, 1,200-foot-tall escarpment of sea bottom limestone bears mute witness to the brave, futile strug- life had evolved into a riot of forms. The jostling of the gle of life. The cliff face includes a 300-foot-thick layer earth’s tectonic plates had gathered all the continents of of cream-colored Kaibab limestone, made mostly of the the world into a single land mass. Shelled creatures like squished and mineralized remains of sea sponges that mollusks, squids, ammonoids and trilobites dominated the oceans. Towering, drifted to the floor of fern-like trees formed a shallow sea between forests across the 240 million and 260 vast lowlands. Giant million years ago, cockroaches scuttled during perhaps the through the shrubmost terrifying and bery, dragonflies with mysterious period in 28-inch wingspans life’s long history on buzzed and hovered. the planet. On the land dwelled Some 252 milhuge dimetrodons lion years ago, the sporting enormous, world ended for most spiny sails on their living things. At that backs and in their vorageologic moment, cious shadow scuttled the most convulsive mass extinction in the Peter Aleshire the tiny ancestors of The 1,500-foot-tall layers of sandstone and limestone in the face of the Mogollon Rim the still humble dinoknown fossil record bear witness to at least two mass extinctions. saurs and creatures wiped out 96 percent of all ocean-dwelling species and 70 percent of all the that would one day give rise to mammals. land-dwellers. Then something happened. No one knows what happened. In a geologic eye blink, this vast world of living things Life for billions of years had flourished and diver- died in a cataclysm unmatched before or since. Scientists sified. The ancestors of bacteria and algae emerged have labored for decades to understand the “Great mysteriously from the oceans 3.5 billion years ago and Dying.” Maybe it stemmed from a still mysterious surge proceeded to remodel the planet. Their offspring filled in volcanic activity, which covered nearly a million square the atmosphere with the oxygen. The first cells emerged miles with lava. The volcanoes alone would have doubled 1.8 billion years ago, the first plants colonized the land the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, causing an roundup editor

12 | summer visitors guide | 2016

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estimated 8-degree rise in global temperatures. In the end, the battered survivors persisted, although it took 15 million to 30 million years for life to make a painfully slow comeback. All that triumph and disaster lies coded in the layered limestone of the Mogollon Rim. We all cling to that edge, to our lives, roots, tree trunks, quivering aspen, mottled lichen of ancient lineage, with the blood whispering in our ears. Even so, I find some unspeakable comfort on

this cliff edge, studying the Kaibab limestone and the Coconino sandstone and the hermit shale and the Supai sandstone. The cliff remembers 300 million years of death and rebirth and the stubborn persistence of life — neatly stacked. In all the vast, shuffling, roaring, crawling crowd of species who have risen up and fallen down and passed so irretrievably away, only we have imagined extinction. We alone can see it coming. And continue, nonetheless.

Things to do atop the Mogollon Rim The Mogollon Rim tops out 30 miles from Payson at more than 7,000 feet. Summer temperatures are usually 20 or 30 degrees less than the Valley. Rim Lakes Fish, paddleboard, canoe or just listen to the water lap on the shores of Willow Springs, Bear Canyon, Woods Canyon, Knoll or Chevelon lakes. Great fishing all summer. Woods Canyon has a little store and boat rentals. Knoll and Chevelon lakes are harder to get to — therefore less trafficked. Camping The Forest Service has some wonderful campgrounds — including developed sites at Woods Canyon and Willow Springs lakes and informal sites on several loop roads off Forest Road 300, with terrific views. Forest Road 300 This dirt road runs from Woods Canyon Lake about 14 | summer visitors guide | 2016

40 miles to Highway 260 just above Pine. It can take most of the day to meander along it, with frequent stops to marvel at the scenery. Great escape on a historic road, originally developed to move troops and supplies from the Verde Valley to the White Mountains during the Apache Wars. Rim Vista Trail This level trail runs for miles along the Rim between Highway 87 and Woods Canyon Lake. It’s paved along most of its length, which makes it great for mountain bikes, strollers, whatever. Surely has the best views of any trail its length in America.

Photo courtesy of DJ Craig

Wildlife viewing Woods Canyon Lake has a pair of nesting bald eagles, which spend the summer chasing ospreys and fishing in the Rim lakes. You can also usually see elk, deer and other wildlife around the lakes.

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Peter Aleshire

Forest Road 300 winds along the edge of the Mogollon Rim, offering a daylong adventure. The route served as a crucial supply line during the Apache wars of the 1800s.

Forest Road 300: General Crook Trail Peter Aleshire

with snow, offers a fascinating glimpse of the ecology of a ponderosa pine forest, especially if you head toward Pine The view off the meandering Forest Road 300 stretch- through the scar of the Dude Fire. When Crook arrived es for 100 miles and 100 years, following the wagon road to make war on the Apaches in the 1870s, these ponderoGeneral George Crook blazed in the wrenching war with sa pine forests were dominated by gigantic, widely-spaced, the Apache Indians. The well-graded Forest Service road 400-year-old trees and tall grass. Low intensity ground offers some of the most sweeping vistas in the state, les- fires burned through every five to seven years, clearing out sons in ecology, and a journey through time. Just outside the dead wood and seedlings. After a century of grazing and fire suppression, the of Payson where Highway 260 tops out on the Mogollon forest is now thick and fire prone, which means campers Rim, you can connect with the 250-mile-long General Crook Trail, which links Fort Apache in the White must take special care with fire. When fires do get loose, Mountains with Camp Verde in the Verde Valley and they have a devastating effect — as the Dude Fire demonFort Whipple near Prescott. Forest Road 300, a well-grad- strated. The result is a haunted forest along one stretch of ed dirt road that hugs the Mogollon Rim, covers a rough- Forest Road 300, dominated by the towering, blackened ly 70-mile, dirt-road chunk of the wagon road General skeletons of the trees scourged by the Dude Fire. But Forest Road 300 also offers a route through Crook used to connect the chain of military posts in the history, threading through the heart of a terrain that 1870s and 1880s. Forest Road 300 offers a wonderful summer drive. the Apache defended against all odds for three centuries At the point the well-graded gravel road crosses Highway before falling to Crook’s war of attrition in the 1870s. Ironically, Crook relied heavily on Apache scouts, the 260 you can head west toward Pine where the dirt road reconnects to paved Highway 87. The route takes you past only ones who could hold to the faint trail of a band of trout-stocked, high-country lakes and vista points offering fleeing warriors. The Crook Trail played a crucial strategic a panoramic view from the edge of the Rim, the abrupt role, as it supplied the network of forts from which Crook leading edge of the Colorado Plateau made famous by the dispatched roving patrols of soldiers and Indian scouts that could remain on patrol for months at a time. This expansive storytelling of writers like Zane Grey. The well-maintained road, which even a passenger war of attrition eventually broke their resistance, thanks car can handle so long as the road isn’t wet or frosted largely to the logistics of the Crook Trail. roundup editor

16 | summer visitors guide | 2016

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What an Relocating excellent choice! to Gila County? Be sure to visit Board of Supervisors — 928-474-7100 Tommie C. Martin, District 1 Michael A. Pastor, District 2 John Marcanti, District 3 Building Permits — 928-474-9276 (for unincorporated areas only) Planning & Zoning — 928-474-9276 Septic Permits — 928-474-9276 Cooperative Extension — 928-474-4160 Voter Registration — 928-472-5340 ext 8733 Health & Emergency Services — 928-474-1210 Dog Licenses — 928-474-1210 Library District — 928-472-5340 ext 8768 Buckhead Landfill — 928-476-3350 Sheriff — 928-474-2208 Non Emergency 2016 | summer visitors guide | 17


Shoofly and Goat Camp Ruins Michele Nelson

Now it only runs seasonally. The very first inhabitants built pit houses, shallowly dug out pits surrounded by rock and covered by logs with It’s hard to believe, but Payson has been a popular brush covered in mud. place to live for more than 1,000 years. These simple pit houses, as with every settlement in The ruins offer a great day trip for the visitor to expethe ancient Southwest, rience where ancient gave way to the more people decided to complicated stone and build apartment commortar complexes. plexes. Shoofly offers the Archaeologists say visitor the chance to that starting around wander in and amongst the year 1000, ancient the ruins, unlike other peoples related to ancient settlements the Hohokam from that sit behind gates. Phoenix moved into There is no cost to the area. One group visit the Shoofly Ruins. set up shop five miles There are places to northeast of Payson enjoy a picnic under on Houston Mesa a covered table with Road. Archaeologists restrooms nearby. call this settlement the Goat Camp Shoofly Ruins. Peter Aleshire This set of ruins Another group set forces visitors to seek up shop on top of a hill Volunteers have partially it out. off of Tyler Parkway. restored Goat Currently the local Locals call this Goat Camp Ruins off Tyler Parkway Archaeological Society Camp because of its (above). Low has taken on the proximity to a former walls mark the remains of an responsibility of excagoat farm located in ancient settleMesa del Caballo. ment off Houston vating and restoring Mesa Road (left). the ruins. Since restoShoofly Ruins ration efforts are still This 3.75-acre site in progress, the group has 79 visible rooms has not made a big deal about the entrance to the area off surrounded by a masonry wall. Archaeologists have not yet started to dig at these of Tyler Parkway, so finding it for the first time requires ruins, but the outlines of the pit houses and larger a good eye. A short hike up a hill on a well defined path multi-story stone complex make for an interesting visit leads to this village on a hillside. The people who inhabited this hill also came to the into the past. The habitation served up to a hundred people or area around A.D. 1000, probably from the Hohokam more, archaeologists surmise. They planted corn, squash culture. The Goat Camp site sits between the East Verde and and beans. The Shoofly people supplemented their crops by hunting and harvesting local plants and animals such Tonto Creek watersheds. Numerous springs dot the area. The hilly area allowed for the people to build a teras deer, fish, pinyon nuts, agave and acorns. The nearby Shoofly Wash used to have a year-round raced garden plot on the side of the hill that served to water source that served the needs of the community. capture water from rain. roundup staff reporter

18 | summer visitors guide | 2016

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Tonto National Forest

2016 | summer visitors guide | 19

Outdoor Adventures in Rim Country Mountain biking trails offer tough challenges, spectacular rewards Alexis Bechman

roundup staff reporter

I used to think mountain biking in Rim Country was challenging, but doable. Then I went to the Valley and Tucson and realized the trails around Payson area are just plain hard. With a granite base, we don’t have long swooping trails built on compact dirt. Instead, trail builders have to work very hard to smooth out a base and even then, things are pretty rocky and technical. But if you can mountain bike in Rim Country, you can pretty much mountain bike anywhere in the state. I once invited several family members who mountain bike regularly in Tucson and the Valley and took them out on one of the easier trails that I know of, the Bearfoot Trail in Pine, and looked back to find both walking their bikes most of the way. It was then that I realized these trails not only put your skills, but your nerve to the test. Local riders are working hard to get more beginner and intermediate trails built, but until then, most of the trails verge on intermediate to advanced. I don’t have a great bike and my skills are sketchy, but if you have a love of the outdoors and hitting the trails, I encourage you to try these trails, even if you end up 20 | summer visitors guide | 2016

walking most of the way. It still makes for a great day in the forest.

PINE The area with the most trail building activity in recent years has been Pine-Strawberry. Volunteers with the Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction Inc. have not only put on a mountain bike race, Fire on the Rim, since 2012, attracting more and more riders every year, they are building singletrack. The trails are not only to attract visitors and boost the economy, but to act as a fuel break to protect the community from wildfires.

Bearfoot Trail In March, the group built a 60-foot-long bridge across Pine Creek, north of Camp Lo Mia, that unites the Bearfoot Trail with the Pine Canyon Trail system. Crews are still working on straightening out the Pine Canyon Trail and once complete, you will be able to ride to the Pine Trailhead from the Bearfoot Trailhead. Volunteers built the 5.6-mile Bearfoot Trail several years ago. It follows the ridgeline above the town and then ducks back into a canyon, passing a neighborhood before ending behind Camp Lo Mia. Pass over the bridge and connect with the Pine Canyon Trail for a truly epic

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES IN RIM COUNTRY day or cut through the camp and make your way back to State Route 87 on Pine Creek Canyon Drive. It is best to leave a vehicle at the trailhead and then one at either the entrance to Pine Creek Canyon Drive or the Pine Trailhead since riding along the highway is narrow and scary. Where: From Payson, go 20 miles north on State Route 87 to the trailhead at mile marker 270 on the right. Park in a small pull out.

for adventurous beginners and experts looking to crank. The trail passes through a creek twice and then levels out above Pine, providing some great views before it dips back down to the trailhead. Where: From Payson, head north on State Route 87 to the Pine Trailhead, located just before entering Pine, on the right. Plenty of parking in the paved lot. Alexis Bechman

The Bearfoot Trail in Pine doubles as a firebreak to protect the community. Rim Country has a wealth of mountain bike trails, many of them technical and rocky.

ON OR BELOW THE RIM Carr Lake Trail system

There are three loop options from the Carr Lake Trailhead, all of which start At the Pine Trailhead, head north through the from the Aspen Trailhead. Local bike shop owner Mick entrance gate for the Arizona Trail and bike one of the Wolf said the Carr Lake Trail system is the best riding on newest trails in Rim Country. So new, it still does not the Mogollon Rim. The Mogollon Masher mountain bike race was once even held here. A good mix of singletrack have a name. The trail forms a three-mile loop that is doable and old logging roads, there are plenty of ways to loop the

Pine Trailhead unnamed loop

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Alexis Bechman

Rim Country mountain bike trails are mostly for intermediate to expert riders, but offer great views and technical challenges and temperatures 20 degrees cooler than the Valley.

trails together. The shortest loop is the Boulder Hop Trail at 3.6 miles. Start on Aspen Trail No. 411 and then take the General Crook Trail No. 140, back on the Aspen Trail No. 411 for a short stint, then the Boulder Hop Trail No. 413, which connects back with the Aspen Trail No. 411. The middle loop is Aspen Trail, which is 5.8 miles. It combines Aspen Trail No. 411, Carr Lake Trail No. 412, General Crook Trail No. 140 and back on Aspen Trail No. 411. The longest loop, which runs along the perimeter, is the Carr Lake loop at 8.8 miles. Again, start from the Aspen Trail No. 411 and then take the General Crook Trail No. 140 for 3 miles to the Carr Lake Trail No. 412. Stay on that 3.4 miles until you hit the Aspen Trail No. 411 and take it back to the trailhead in 1.3 miles. Where: From Payson, head east on State Route 260 to the Forest Road 300/Rim Road turnoff on the left. Go 5.2 miles and turn left at the Carr Trailhead sign to the trailhead.

Horton Creek A favorite among hikers and bikers alike, Horton Creek is the jewel of Rim Country. With a creek that runs alongside most of the trail, the photo opportunities abound on this ride. At 6.5 miles out and back, it makes for a nice day ride. Going up is all uphill with about 1,250 feet of elevation gain. That just means the downhill is 22 | summer visitors guide | 2016

quite fun. Where: From Payson, head east on State Route 260 to Forest Road 289. Turn left and follow it to the trailhead near the Upper Tonto Creek Campground.

Boulders Trail If you are looking for a moderately difficult trail in Payson, check out the Boulders Loop. I like to access it from the bottom of East Phoenix Street. The trail is mostly doable, but there are a few sections that are rather technical and always force me off my bike. Where: Take East Phoenix Street until it dead ends at a cul-de-sac. Follow the signs for the Payson Area Trail System.

Trail 200 If you want to be thrown off your bike, but still walk away with a smile on your face, then consider Trail 200. Built by local riders, Trail 200 is a series of interconnected, technical loops. The trails bend around large granite monoliths, snake up the hillside then dip back over the creek, spitting you out breathless, sweaty and probably a little beat up. For advanced riders, this is the place to get lost for a few hours. Where: Drive to the end of East Phoenix Street. Park in the cul-de-sac. There is signage for the Boulder Loop Trail, which heads to the east. Trail 200 is not marked, but there are obvious singletrack trails that head south.


Abandoned campfires pose danger to region Peter Aleshire

and windy conditions to have a large, devastating wildfire,” said Don Muise, fire staff officer for the Coconino Abandoned campfires continue to pose a hazard National Forest. to forested communities, despite the region’s El Niño The lack of fire restrictions this year might be playing winter, which produced the first nearly normal rainfall a role in the alarming rise in abandoned campfires. The in years. region enjoyed above average snowfall early in the winter, Forest Service rangers each year report finding hun- but the snowpack disappeared quickly. The year produced dreds of campfires abandoned in Rim Country before enough rain to grow a crop of weeds, which have now they’ve grown cool to the touch — after a thorough dous- dried out — increasing the danger that a carelessly set fire ing with water. could spread quickly. Every year, campfires get out of control — often when Check the Tonto, Coconino and Apache-Sitgreaves the wind fans the embers long after the campers have left websites and ranger stations to find out if the Forest the site. Service has imposed fire restrictions. The Forest Service Campfires must be extinguished by drowning with often limits campfires to developed campsites as condiwater, stirring with a shovel, and repeating that process tions dry out before the monsoons, which typically start in until the campfire is cold to the touch. A campfire is still July. Sometimes, the Forest Service bans dispersed campa danger if it has any trace of heat, and must not be left or ing. Fireworks are always illegal on Forest Service land. abandoned. Wildfires can begin by abandoned campfires The careless use of fire by visitors remains the single that rebuild heat on windy days and then blowing embers greatest threat to the communities of Rim Country, given ignite surrounding grasses and brush. the overgrown and drought-plagued condition of the “All it takes is one abandoned campfire in hot, dry forest. roundup editor


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Camping – wild and scenic The Mogollon Rim — at a cool 7,200 feet with 100-mile views — has some of the best dispersed camping in the state.

Alexis BechMAN

roundup staff reporter

Camping in Rim Country is like trying to get through all of Zane Grey’s western novels, the library is vast and varied and full of surprises. The world-famous novelist called Rim Country home in a white cabin tucked up under the Rim. It’s where he penned a few of his books. In “Under the Tonto Rim,” he wrote: “Westward along the Rim vast capes jutted out, differing in shape and length, all ragged, sharp, fringed, reaching darkly for the gold and purple glory of the sunset. Shafts and rays of light streamed from the rifts in the clouds, blazing upon the bold rock faces of the wall. Eastward the Rim zigzagged endlessly into pale cold purple. Southward a vast green hollow ran like a river of the sea, to empty, it seemed, into space. Beyond that rose dim spectral shapes of mountains, remote and detached. To the north the great wall shut out what might lie beyond.” The Rim Country’s entire library of campsites is vast. When you find your favorite, return to it and try find new details in the character of the land. For the anglers, there are sites nestled off the banks of creeks; panoramic sites from the Mogollon Rim for photographers; quiet spots tucked back into the woods and bustling campgrounds for those with a social aptitude. With so many sites to choose from, you don’t need much help finding a great campsite below or on the Mogollon Rim. But during the holiday weekends, spaces are at a premium. Arrive as early as you can, preferably 24 | summer visitors guide | 2016

Peter Aleshire

before noon, to get a good spot. After falling asleep beneath a canopy of stars, awaken to the trill of birds, the crisp scent of pine trees and if you are lucky, a herd of elk grazing in a meadow or a flock of wild turkeys. Note that even in the summertime, temperatures on the Rim fall at night and it is wise to pack a sweater and a warm sleeping bag. While there are more than 40 campgrounds available to choose from in the three national forests of the Rim Country, Forest Road 9350, with 50 free campsites, and Forest Road 171, with 20, offer the most stunning panoramic views of the forest. But if you arrive late and find all of these titles taken, there are hundreds of other sites to choose from. But remember, you must leave most in 14 days.

RIM COUNTRY CAMPING SITES ... with a view • Forest Road 9350 and Forest Road 171 — Numbered sites off both roads, most with a fire ring and picnic table. From Payson, head east on Highway 260 to Forest Road 300. Head east past the Mogollon Rim Visitor Center to reach FR 171 and west on FR 300 for FR 9350; free. • Rim Campground — 26 campsites with access to drinking water; fee. • Mogollon Campground — 26 sites; fee.

... near water • Sink Hole Campground — 26 sites, boat ramp


Campsites abound - if you get there early access to Willow Springs Lake; fee. • Forest Road 9354 — 50 dispersed sites, no facilities, free. • Sharp Creek Campground — 23 miles northeast of Payson, 1.5 miles south of Highway 260, camping is allowed along Forest Roads 171, 181, 9512E and 79. Watch for signs describing where you can camp.

808 E. Highway 260 has a pool and is open year-round; fee. • Ponderosa Campground — 15 miles east of Payson off Highway 260. 61 units with tables, grills, drinking water, vault toilets, nature trail and amphitheater. Open yearround. Hosts available. • Christopher Creek — 28 units with tables, grills, drinking water, vault toilets. ... with easy access • Aspen Campground — 136 • Crook Campground — 26 sites, at Woods Canyon Lake; fee. Largest campground in the area. sites off Forest Road 300; fee. • Spillway Campground — 26 • Canyon Point Campground — sites, near Woods Canyon Lake; fee. 117 sites, fee. • Houston Mesa Campground Very popular. • Forest Roads 84, 89 and 9018 — two miles north of Payson off Houston Mesa Road. Picnic tables, — free dispersed camping sites near Bear Canyon Lake. rest rooms and showers; fee. • Flowing Springs — several • Payson Campground — in-town developed campground at miles north of town off Flowing

Springs Road. Free dispersed camping, vault toilets. • Knoll Lake Campground — 30 sites, boat ramp; $14 a night. • Christopher Creek Camp­ ground — 21 miles east of Payson on Highway 260; 43 campsites with tables, firepits, grills, handicapped accessible toilet and vault toilets; drinking water and trash collection; fee. Creek runs through the campground.

... in the woods • Forest Road 195 — 20 dispersed sites, no facilities; free. Tucked behind Woods Canyon Lake. • Forest Road 237 — 20 dispersed sites, no facilities; free. For more information, visit or

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Take a hike!

The Fossil Creek Trail drops 1,500 feet in four miles, but a soothing reward awaits. This year, you need reservations and a $5 permit.

Michele NelsoN

Peter Aleshire

The girls and I have planned well. We each carry at least two or more liters of water and plenty of snacks. We The water, so crystal clear. have towels and lots of sunscreen. The landscape, lush, tropical, green and so full of life. Arriving at the creek, we find a sheltered shore and Am I in the tropics? No, I’ve arrived at Fossil Creek, dive into the water that has a pretty consistent 72-degree a perpetually gushing calcium carbonate infused creek at temperature. the bottom of a four-mile hike. But it’s the otherworldly travertine pools that hold I’m here with my daughter Crystal and her friends to our attention. enjoy a day of hiking and swimming on a creek so beauThe springs gush out of fissures in the limestone that tiful, the U.S. Forest Service has filter out impurities, but infuse the designated it a National Wild and water with calcium carbonate and a Scenic treasure. turquoise-colored shimmer. Before 2008, however, most of Native fish such as the headwathe creek’s flow had been divertter chub, roundtail chub, speckled ed by Arizona Public Service. The dace, longfin dace, Sonora sucker power company had harnessed its and desert sucker dart here and flow to power two power plants. Peter Aleshire there unable to hide because of the The energy generated originally Rim Country monsoons require hikers to take the clarity of the water. weather into account in July and August. went to the mines in Jerome and Rare birds such as the the Bradshaw Mountains and then powered Phoenix. Southwestern willow flycatcher can now and then swoop But by 2004, other sources generated more power, out of the lush landscape of trees and bushes. so APS decided to restore the flow of the creek. With “Mom! Watch me!” said Crystal as she and her the flow of water returned and a concerted effort by the friends slid down rocks slick with algae. Forest Service to return the stream to its natural riparian After a quick dip, I decided to stretch out on the habitat, visitors have flooded the area often overtaxing its shore, content to watch the young ones use up their capacity. energy, while I saved mine for the intense hike back up Except at the headwaters of the creek where the Fossil the canyon. Springs Trail plunges 1,200 feet down a canyon, the difThe trailhead for the Fossil Creek hike lies at the ficulty of the hike weeds out many who can’t make the end of a rutted dirt road at the end of Fossil Creek Road hike. Still, the Tonto Rim Search and Rescue team spends in Strawberry. Make a left hand turn (if coming from most of its time saving people from this trail because they Payson) onto Fossil Creek Road. Continue until the fail to recognize the dangers of heat exhaustion or the pavement ends. Follow the signs to the parking area. Plan intense climb at the end of the day. on three hours. roundup staff reporter

26 | summer visitors guide | 2016


Three Great Hikes Horton Creek Trail – Moderate Trailhead: Upper Tonto Creek Campground Length: Seven miles round trip Directions: From Payson, drive east on Highway 260 for 16 miles. Just past Kohl’s Ranch, turn left onto the Tonto Creek Hatchery road. One mile up this road, park in the trailhead parking on the west side. The trail begins across the road in the campground.

Highline Trail – Moderate Trailhead: At either the Pine Trailhead near Pine, or at the 260 Trailhead off of Highway 260 below the Rim lakes Length: 51 miles Directions to Pine Trailhead: From Payson, go north 14 miles to the Pine Trailhead. The

trailhead is well marked on the east side of Highway 87. The trailhead is accessible without four-wheel drive. Directions to 260 Trailhead: From Payson, go east 23 miles to the 260 Trailhead. The trailhead is well marked on the north side of Highway 260. Access does not require four-wheel drive.

See Canyon Trail – Difficult Trailhead: Christopher Creek Length: Seven miles round trip Directions: From Payson, head east on Highway 260 to Christopher Creek (mile marker 274). Drive past the fire station and make a left onto Forest Road 284. Take the gravel road for about two miles where it ends at a parking lot and the See Canyon trailhead. An off-road vehicle is not necessary to reach the trailhead. each way.

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detailed the results of sequencing the genes of 48 bird detailed the results ofevery sequencing genes of 48 species, representing branch the of the family treebird of roundup editor species, representing every branch of the family tree of The egret stands motionless among the reeds in modern birds — including egrets and great blue herons TheValley egret Lake, standswaiting motionless among patience the reeds birds birds — including egrets their and business great blueevery herons Green with infinite forina modern and the other that go about day Green Valley Lake, waiting with infinite patience for a and the other birds that go about their business every day reckless trout to swim within range of its dagger beak. in the Green Valley lakes. reckless trout to swim within range of its dagger beak. in the Green Valley lakes. I watch at a distance, breathless with memory. Then The scientists determined that the dinosaur/bird I watch at a distance, breathless with memory. Then The scientists determined that the dinosaur/bird I close my eyes, breathancestors underwent a Iing close my eyes, breathancestors underwent in the smell of the startling burst of evo-a ing in the the startling burst evowater, the smell reeds,of the lution into new of species water, the reeds, the lution into new species sun in the shallows. soon after the mass sun Iincan the shallows. soon afterevent. the They mass almost hear extinction I can almost hear extinction event. They the shallow breathing quickly spread into all the shallow breathing quickly into all of my father, after the of the spread environmental of my father, after the of the environmental chemotherapy sessions. niches vacated by the chemotherapy sessions. niches vacated by the After each treatment, vanished dinosaurs. After each treatment, vanished dinosaurs. we went down to the The speed of their we went down to the The speed of their lake to watch the birds adaptation dwarfed lake to watch the birds adaptation dwarfed in the long light at even the proliferation in the long light at even the proliferation the end of the day. I of mammals. the end of the day. I of mammals. remember the last time The birds have remember the last time birdshalfhave he had the strength to onlyThe about as he had the strength to only about as go out to the water. many genes half as the go out to to thethewater. many genes as most the He shuffled spot mammals — and He shuffled to the spot mammals — and most where I unfolded the of the reptiles. Many where I unfolded the of the reptiles. beach chair. On that of their existing Many genes beach chair. On that of their existing genes last day, we watched apparently shut down, last day, we ofwatched apparently shutenabled down, an exultation egrets, which actually an exultation of egrets, which actually enabled which is what you call them to more quickly which is what you call them quickly a flock of the blindingadapt to to more the dramataly flock of the blindingadapt to the dramatwhite birds. They ically changed condily white birds. They ically shone in the light of tions. changed condishone in the light of tions. the setting sun, glowing Moreover, the Photo courtesy of Craig Miller the setting sun, glowing Moreover, like angels. birds devote about the 10 Snowy egrets and a host of other water birds frequent Green Valley Park in Payson. like My angels. devote about 10 father sat in The brilliant white birds were nearly exterminated when their plumes became all the birds percent of their genes rage for ladies hats. My peace. fatherThey sat could in stand in perfect stillness, not to song recognition — and those genes percent theirrelated genes perfect are of closely perfect peace. They could stand in perfect stillness, not to song recognition — and those genes are closely related wanting to alarm the foolish fish. I think he came to love to the genes in humans that allow us to talk. The researchwanting foolishhefish. think hethat came to love genesthat in humans allowhave us to atalk. The researchthe birdstosoalarm muchthe because hadIlearned same still- to ersthe found birds likethat parrots huge number of the birds so much because he had learned that same stillers found that birds like parrots have a huge number ness from the cancer, after a life of energy and purpose. genes devoted to songs, including a curious song withinofa ness a life of energy purpose. genes devoted songs, including a curious songcan within In thefrom end,the hiscancer, chief joyafter came down to theseand moments. song system — to which perhaps explains why they learna In the end, his chief joy came down to these moments. song system — which perhaps explains why they can learn I stood behind his chair, heartbroken and grateful for to talk to humans. I stood his and chair, and with grateful forI to talk to humans. the light andbehind the egret myheartbroken dwindling time him. I thought of life’s strange turns and my father, watchthe light and the egret and my dwindling time with him. I I thought strange my father, watchstood behind him so he would not see the tears that made ing the egrets of in life’s Green Valleyturns Park.and Whenever I need to stood behind him so he would not see the tears that made ing the egrets in Green Valley Park. Whenever I need to their way down my cheeks, salty as the ocean. think of him, I can take my folding chair to the park. theirSeveral way down salty as the ocean.about birds think of him, I can myIfolding chairthe to the park. sets my of cheeks, astonishing discoveries I shall sit on thetake grass. shall watch egrets. I will Several sets of astonishing discoveries about birds I shall sit on the grass. I shall watch the egrets. I will have dramatically deepened our knowledge of evolution, look for the dinosaur in them, in their alert, pitiless eyes. have dramatically deepened our knowledge of evolution, look for the dinosaur in them, in their alert, pitiless eyes. the means by which creation’s miracles proliferate. All But I will see also the light in them. I shall go down to the the meansalive by today whichevolved creation’s proliferate. All But will see also the once light in them. shall go down to the the birds frommiracles a handful of feathered, lake,I needing to see again theI exultation of egrets. the birds alive today evolved from a handful of feathered, lake, needing to see once again the exultation of egrets. warm-blooded dinosaur offshoots who survived the mass Then I will close my eyes and listen for the breath of my warm-blooded who survived the years mass Then close with my eyes listen for the breath of my extinction that dinosaur wiped outoffshoots the dinosaurs 65 million father I—will hushed the and beauty of the world, so still in extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years father — hushed with the beauty of the world, so still in ago. One set of papers published in the journal, Science, the shallows. ago. One set of papers published in the journal, Science, the shallows. 28 | summer visitors guide | 2016 28 | summer visitors guide | 2016


An Exultation Of Egrets


Birding hot spots in Rim Country Green Valley Park

the bridge or anywhere along The chain of lakes Flowing Springs in the park draw a great Road. You can variety of water birds, in also head up addition to many differHouston Mesa ent songbirds. Several bald Road for about eagles hang out at the park 12 miles to all summer long — so do where the bridge osprey. The lake also draws crosses the East snowy egrets, black-crowned Verde and work Photographer Craig Miller took night herons, green herons, this picture of an Ibis in Green upstream. killdeer and other species. Valley Park. Look for East Verde River several species of hummingbirds, Take your bird book and binoc- scarlet tanagers, black headed grosulars to anyplace with cottonwoods, beaks, an array of warblers, orioles, willows and sycamores. That makes lazuli buntings, cardinals and an array of colorful songbirds. Every the East Verde prime territory. You can get easy access in the summer, emerald green swifts and East Verde Estates parking lot by cliff swallows.

Tonto Creek About 600 feet higher than Payson, ponderosa pines border the stream, which makes for a completely different set of birds than you’ll find along the East Verde. Look for the acorn woodpeckers, flickers, creepers and other forest species.

Tonto Creek at Roosevelt Tonto Creek comes out of the Hellsgate Wilderness in Rye and makes its way down to Roosevelt Lake. The lower elevation and the proximity of the lake draws a different cast of feathered characters — including desert species like the vermilion flycatcher. Rare birds include the Southwestern willow flycatcher.

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The Perfect Fishing Hole

The East Verde River gets a fresh stocking of trout every week. This pool is near Whispering Pine. The release of 30 cubic feet per second into the creek from the C.C. Cragin Reservoir has made the stream great for trout fishing.

Peter Aleshire

and campers. He shows me where he caught the monster, which I’d put him off for months, pleading business. He is barely a pool at all at this flow. He urges me to make always forgives, saying “I know, you’re busy. Heck. I used some little wrist flick casts to see if there’s anything hiding to be busy like that. Seems like I just never got it done.” under the log. Nothing. So I finally promised I’d meet him on the banks But I don’t care. Even at this flow, the stream’s gurgle of the East Verde River in Whispering Pines. Isn’t that — a happy limerick for the ear. The wind’s telling secrets why I moved here — for a balanced life? So here it is, to the pine needles overhead, although they keep shsssshWednesday, and I’m late. ing it. The air’s freshly washed, full of “Hey,” he says, as I scramble out damp forest smells. of the car. So Jack leads on to his favorite “Sorry I’m late.” pool, the one he saves as a special gift. He shrugs and smiles. “But we got He ushers me to his favorite, like a a problem,” he says. “They turned off maître d’ presenting the window seat the river.” with the view of the Champs-Élysées. The Salt River Project puts water I cast and get two definite bites on from the C.C. Cragin Reservoir into the recovery. On the third cast, I pull the East Verde up by Washington in a fish — nice little rainbow. Park all summer long as they run about 11,000 acre-feet Jack’s standing back, a delighted and generous grin down the East Verde to reservoirs on the Verde near fixed on his elfin face. I know his type, taking more pleaPhoenix. sure in others’ pleasure than in his own. “What do we do?” I ask. Thus began the best hour of fishing ever. I caught “Don’t know,” he says, looking down at the trickle of eight trout — and had another 30 bites. I kept three, as I water passing under the Control Road bridge. have been eager to make use of a ripe mango and some “Might as well look since we’re here,” I say. garden herbs on a foil-wrapped trout on the grill. He grins. “Let’s do it.” Now, here’s the funny thing about the day: I cannot So I change into my fishing gear, feeling already now remember a single one of the neglected tasks that lighter. We leave my car and meander up on the thready so nearly convinced me to cancel. But I never will forget dirt track that leads along the river. We park in his accus- the golden hour when the fish were hitting everything I tomed spot and pick up some trash left by careless hikers offered and Jack was grinning like a largemouth. roundup editor

East Verde, Tonto Creek, Rim Lakes – take your pick

30 | summer visitors guide | 2016

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


CUSTOMER APPRECIATION DAY! Pete’s favorite fishing holes

Tonto Creek

creek up toward Whispering Pines and Verde Glen. Any of the deeper pools on the way up to the The road gets pretty marginal, but that doesn’t stop the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery. Turn off by Kohl’s Ranch stocking truck. Work the deeper pools. I’ve had the best and drive past the little bridge, then work your way luck with white, curly tailed grubs — which combine upstream. The water’s crystal clear except after a rain visibility and motion in the often silty water. and heavily stocked. All the streams offer a great expeGreen Valley Park Lakes rience for fly fishermen. Tonto Creek has more streamTry the trout-stocked lakes in Payson’s Green Valley side vegetation, but also consistently clear water. Park. You’ll need an urban fishing stamp. They stop East Verde River (Houston Mesa) stocking trout when the water warms in the summer, Turn off Highway 87 on Houston Mesa Road and but the crappies, bluegill and bass still provide lots of drive about 14 miles to the first bridge over the East fishing action. Verde. Game and Fish stocks the creek weekly all the way upstream wherever the road passes by one of the Rim Lakes The Woods Canyon Lake store sells more fishing deeper pools. The stretch from Water Wheel up to licenses than any outlet in Arizona. It’s a lot of fun to the waterfalls is especially fun. Lots of opportunities to fly-fish, but most people use lures on spin casters or watch the osprey and the bald eagles catch fish, but can be hard on a fisherman’s ego. Lots of anglers love Bear PowerBait with a bobber. Canyon and Willow Springs lakes as well. East Verde River (Whispering Pines) Chevelon Lake requires a longer drive and a serious Get on the dirt road near the junction of Houston hike down into the canyon, but you can savor the soliMesa Road and the Control Road, which follows the tude and the bigger hold-over trout.

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A paradise for trout on the East Verde Peter Aleshire

The local Trout Unlimited chapter, whose members mostly belong to the Payson Flycasters Club, has effectiveLocal fish lovers want to turn the East Verde River ly adopted the East Verde River. Members several times into one of the state’s great trout streams. That would be a year lead volunteer cleanup efforts. Now, the group is raising money to help finance good for the fish — and great a master plan for the East for Rim Country’s economy Verde, which Game and Fish to boot. would implement. So now the Gila Chapter The group hopes to repof Trout Unlimited has licate the success of a similar, embarked on a fundraising $100,000 project that created drive to help the Arizona a carefully considered series of Game and Fish Department create a chain of trout-friendly Peter Aleshire fishing holes on Tonto Creek, East Verde’s healthy stands of cottonwoods and willows make it using logs, rocks and other pools along a spring-fed stream one of the most diverse and productive riparian areas in the state. natural materials to create the that’s already one of the most popular destinations in Rim Country for hikers, fisher- deep pools with ample cover trout so dearly love. The East Verde River has gained considerably in men and just-general-splashers. “It’s an exciting project. We want to give nature a appeal for anglers since the Salt River Project overhauled helping hand in restoring itself,” said Game and Fish its C.C. Cragin pipeline to put about 11,000 acre-feet fisheries branch manager Kirk Young of the East Verde annually into the East Verde at Washington Park. The stream then runs through Whispering Pines, along project. roundup editor

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OUTDOOR ADVENTURES IN RIM COUNTRY Houston Mesa Road, past Flowing Springs, through East fires and silt have, over time, filled in many pools and Verde Estates and all the way down to its junction with backwaters — especially after forest fires. the Verde River. The Water Wheel Fire several years ago prompted the The East Verde once ran reliably year-round, fed by U.S. Forest Service to bar camping from areas along the springs and runoff from off the face of the Mogollon creek, but also to provide parking and toilets for a chain Rim. But in recent decades water diversions and thick- of day-use areas along that stretch of the creek. Moreover, ets of trees have reduced the the waterfall and plunge pools flow of springs off the face of near Water Wheel have long the Rim, causing portions of made the East Verde one of the East Verde to disappear Rim Country’s most popular underground in the dry sumswimming holes. mer months. Now, advocates for the Now, the C.C. Cragin water stream hope to dramaticalhas dramatically increased the ly improve the fishing — and flow of the East Verde during therefore the draw for visitors certain times of the year. The and residents alike. Peter Aleshire 30 or 40 cubic feet per second Cold water from the C.C. Cragin Reservoir has made the East Young said the process Verde a much better trout stream. added to the stream increases of rehabilitating a stream has the natural flow 10-fold on average. The gush of clear, grown much more precise and scientific. That’s why cold water off the bottom of the C.C. Cragin Reservoir Trout Unlimited and Game and Fish want to create a has made the East Verde a far better trout stream through master plan, that will take into account the rock types, the summer months, both because it keeps the pools qualities of the river bed, slope of the stream and natural filled and because it lowers the water temperature. features to design a series of pools, riffles and other strucHowever, like many Rim Country streams, floods, tures that suit the natural hydrology of the stream.


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Elusive ‘Spanish Ruins’ pose mystery Peter Aleshire

Ranch Road. We climbed up out of the canyon and along a ridge line, a steep rise offering ever more impressive I huffed along behind Roy Sandoval, sweating freely views. We finally hit the ridgeline and detoured to a limeunder the intense afternoon sun. He paused on the steep stone outcropping with a dramatic view of the meanders road to let me catch up. of the East Verde. As I He insists that a great caught my breath on that mystery lies atop this limeridgeline, Roy offered, stone cliff face. He calls “We’re almost there.” it the Spanish Ruins. I’m I blinked away the figuring he’s just playing drying salt, trying to another of his little deaddecide if he was mocking pan pranks. me. “Hey. This is impresI’d already canceled sive,” I said, sounding as twice when some faux oxygenated as possible. emergency came up at the He turned and led office. the way back to the road But Roy’s one of those and up into the brush Peter Aleshire Was this unmortared wall overlooking the East Verde River built by Native pleasantly persistent peoon a thread of a trail ple with a deep affection Americans, the Spanish or someone else? following a barbed wire for ruins and hikes, so he cajoled me up the mountain. fence line. We went boulder hopping up the slope to The journey to the Spanish Ruins starts off Doll Baby the base of a wall of limestone covered with lichen, all roundup editor



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OUTDOOR ADVENTURES IN RIM COUNTRY fissured and layered. Roy said he’d heard that the Spanish built it — perhaps Roy led onward along the top of the limestone cliff sometime in the 1500s or 1600s. The strangeness of the through scattered bristling, blooming agave. site had me in a state of continual exclamation. Here was At length Roy stopped and said with a flourish: what looked like a drainage hole at the base of the wall — “There.” except it seemed like no water “It’s huge,” I said. would go through it, given Roy smiled smugly. “Wait the topography. Here was a ’til you see,” he said. curious little outward bubble The massive stone wall built into the wall — like a turlacked the delicacy and stoneret. Roy said it looked like the work of an intact Mogollon little extension would provide cliffhouse ruin. But the stones a way for someone to shoot had been carefully stacked. down the front of the wall. Maybe three or four feet wide Then he led me to a at the base, the wall tapered to remarkable feature: A masa foot thick at five or six feet sive piece of sandstone maybe Peter Aleshire tall. The wall we’d encoun- Layered limestone foundations provided the flat stone to build the eight feet long and three feet extensive ruins. tered was the outer wall of a wide set upright, with a base complex, with a massive outer perimeter enclosing what of fitted stones that looked like an altar. Then, he pointlooked like three rectangular compounds. ed out another strange feature. Someone had built an The huge rectangles enclosed by the stones had no S-shaped entrance into the compound — like you’d see in trace of hearths, roofs or other habitation. I’d never seen the entrance to a corral. anything like it: The ruins offered my favorite thing — a Finally, he led me beyond the Spanish Ruins to a complete mystery. sandy spot with a splendid view with the scattering of

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OUTDOOR ADVENTURES IN RIM COUNTRY stones I’d come to recognize as the remains of a 600-year- site. The ruins also have features suggestive of an astroold Mogollon structure. Not far away, he led me to a nomical site, with alignments of walls and nitches and slab of rock with four grinding holes worn deeply into its notches designed to capture the rays of the rising or setsurface. Here, 500 years ago, generations of women had ting sun on the longest and shortest days of the year. The ground corn and mesquite beans while watching their giant slab of sandstone seems irresistibly altar-like. The evidence suggests no one children play on the slopes below. lived in the ruins themselves — or After returning from that ever put on a roof. That might hike, I sought clues to the mystery. account for the remarkable state Tonto Forest archaeologist Scott of preservation. Roofs require Wood said he’s sure the Spanish wooden support beams — and did not build it. Archaeologists they eventually collapse. This believe that although the Spanish turns the whole structure into a explored the region, they didn’t great mound of stone. But the build any settlements or forts Peter Aleshire lack of mud mortar resulted in north of the San Pedro River in Pictoglyphs etched into the surface of the stone remain these massive walls and the cliffSoutheast Arizona. precious — and mysterious. Don’t harm them in any way. edge location prevented erosion He said very early settlers reported finding the site — already so old that the lichen or burial under dust. But frankly, said Wood, that’s all guesswork. The had grown on the rocks in place. None of the early ruins remain a mystery. accounts by settlers provide any clues to its origins. So Roy and I lingered until the light grew long, savorThe ruins remain unique — although they share some features with other hilltop ruins complexes found scat- ing our ignorance and the long views. Sitting with my legs dangling off the 200-foot cliff tered throughout the region. Wood’s best guess is that the Mogollon or some other with the 500-year-old mystery at my back, I made firm group built it sometime before the 1400s as a ceremonial decision: I really got to get out of the office more.


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Wildfires pose growing danger to the region Peter Aleshire

strictly observing all Forest Service restrictions. Only such determined caution will protect the forests Rim Country will likely see a big increase in megafires in the face of a rising threat. in coming decades, thanks to the inexorable warming of The climate models almost all agree the Southwest the planet. Recent compilations will suffer worse wildfires due to of 16 different computerized an inexorable warming trend most climate models predict a sharp scientists attribute to a steep rise in rise in major wildfires in the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. American Southwest in the next The last time carbon dioxide 30 years, according to the study levels hit 400 parts per million was published in Ecosphere. some 80,000 years ago. In that case, Studies have already shown scientist think an outpouring of that since 1970, the number of volcanic activity accounted for the Peter Aleshire wildfires in the Southwest has Controlled burns like this one have created a buffer spike. increased four-fold and the acre- zone around Payson but campfires left by careless The International Energy campers still pose a danger to the whole region. age burned has increased six-fold. Agency this year said global carbon That makes it crucial that summer visitors to the region’s dioxide emissions from fossil fuels hit a record 34.8 bilforests take extraordinary care with fire, whether it’s mak- lion tons in 2011, up 3.2 percent from the previous year. ing certain every fire is drenched and cold to the touch But however you explain the increase in average tembefore you leave it, not bringing firecrackers, not driving peratures and severe droughts, there’s no arguing with the an off-road vehicle with a hot muffler through the grass or critical need for visitors to the forest to take care with fire. roundup editor

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Woods Canyon Lake eagles make a comeback

Woods Canyon Lake atop the Mogollon Rim is one of the most popular fishing spots in the state — for both humans and bald eagles.

Peter Aleshire roundup editor

Like hardy pioneers, the pair of bald eagles nesting at Woods Canyon Lake seem likely to produce enough offspring to one day colonize the Rim Country, according to eagle biologists. In addition, a pair of bald eagles has been casing Fossil Creek and Chevelon Lake, perhaps with an eye toward establishing a new territory. The trend could one day turn Rim Country lakes and streams like Fossil and Tonto creeks and the East Verde River into staging grounds for a rare wildlife comeback story. Despite the loss of the federal listing, Arizona continues to operate its nest watch program designed to boost the child-rearing success of the state’s eagles, many of which live in high-traffic areas like Woods Canyon Lake.

During the spring nesting season, nest watchers keep people away from the nests and call in biologists if a chick gets into trouble — like getting tangled in fishing line accidentally brought back to the nest by the parents. The nest watch program has boosted chick survival by 20 percent. Bald eagles generally mate for life and return to the same nest year after year, usually on a cliff face or atop a tall dead snag — most often cottonwoods. Their young hang around for the next several months after they first take flight — usually in about May, depending on the elevation. Once they’re strong enough, the young head north. They generally find their way to certain summer feeding grounds — like rivers on which salmon or other fish spawn. The young spend the next 3 to 5 years moving back and forth, waiting until the growth of their distinctive white

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OUTDOOR ADVENTURES IN RIM COUNTRY head and tail feathers signals they’re old enough to breed. and a nearby lake or stream with riffles in which they About 75 percent of the eagles die before they ever can spot fish — generally within about 30 miles of their reach breeding age, although once they establish a good birthplace. That makes the Woods Canyon eagles and three territory, they typically live for 15 or 20 years. The Woods Canyon pair in 2008 took over the pairs of eagles nesting along Tonto Creek pioneers whose laboriously constructed nest of two, huge resident osprey, young will likely spread to a host of Rim Country lakes and streams. white-breasted rapBald eagles have tors only a bit smallestablished breeding terer than eagles who ritories thickly set along also make their livthe Verde River and the ing plucking fish out Salt River, providing of the water. another flush of fledgOsprey and lings likely to move into bald eagles remain Rim Country in coming ancient rivals for years. their streamside The desert nesthabitats. Eagles ing eagles had regularoften steal the ly proved more flexosprey’s catch and ible than biologists sometimes kill their expected, for instance chicks — but osprey creating about twice have the satisfaction as many breeding terof a higher reproritories along the Salt ductive rate and and Verde as biologists worldwide distribuPhoto courtesy of DJ Craig expected. The lower Salt tion. The osprey pair Bald eagles make the most of Rim Country’s plentiful supply of lakes, water and fish. Some nest here, others migrate through. and Verde rivers are the Woods Canyon Lake eagles displaced remain in the area, with the two packed in now with one breeding pair every three miles. sets of raptors often cursing one another out through the The upper Salt and Verde rivers boast only one pair for each 12 miles of river front, suggesting many more eagles still afternoons. Both osprey and eagles at Woods Canyon live mostly could squeeze into those areas. The lawsuits filed by environmental groups like the on the trout stocked so copiously in the lake, including the fish that escaped fishermen only to die and float to Centers for Biological Diversity maintain that the desert shore — sometimes trailing fishing line. Moreover, careless nesting eagles still need extra protection, since they don’t and uncaring anglers often leave tangles of fishing line seem to breed with the large number of other eagles that on the shore, where it poses a grave danger to all sorts of migrate through Arizona every year. They point out that studies suggest populations smaller than several thouwildlife — including the eagles. After about four years of wandering around, the sands of almost any species remain vulnerable to sudden young eagles will seek out an unoccupied breeding territo- shifts and may die out easily as a result of things like disry — someplace with big trees or cliffs suitable for nesting ease and drought.

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Fossil Creek now requires reservations Peter Aleshire

Springs Trailhead, the only route down to the creek from Rim Country. It will also include Waterfall Trailhead, The Forest Service this summer requires a reservation Irving, Tonto Bench, Fossil Creek Bridge, Homestead, and payment of a $6 entrance fee to visit Fossil Creek in Sally May, Purple Mountain and Mazatzal, all accessed an effort to protect the pristine waters of the creek and a from the Camp Verde side of the creek. “An increase in use and overhost of threatened and endangered crowded conditions at the Fossil species there from the impact of a Creek and Fossil Springs area during tidal wave of visitors. summer months created traffic probThe Coconino and Tonto lems and safety issues for visitors to national forests put the reservation the area, which is why this reservasystem into place, in hopes it will tion system is necessary,” said Nicole reduce the frustration caused by Branton, district ranger for the Red simply closing the road into the Rock Ranger District. “Reservations creek from Camp Verde when the will serve the public better because number of cars exceeds the limited they will know if the area is full to parking along the creek. capacity by whether or not there The new permit system includes are permits available online. This the Fossil Springs Trail just outside means they won’t have to spend of Strawberry as a way to limit the time driving long distances to get to impact of heavy visitation by the Fossil Creek, only to be turned away visitors who hike down the steep, because the area is full.” strenuous, four-mile-long trail, that Peter Aleshire During the summer of 2015, descends 1,500 feet into the canA waterfall in the middle stretch of Fossil Creek the Fossil Creek area had reached yon. remains popular, but this year you need a reservafull capacity by 7 a.m. on most weekVisitors can access the reserva- tion and a $6 permit to visit the creek from May to October. ends, and the Forest Service turned tion system online at The $6 permit provides a single-day parking away hundreds of people each day. Many of the visitors pass. Visitors can also make a reservation by calling 877- had driven more than two hours to reach Fossil Creek and expressed strong support for a reservation system that 444-6777. Visitors will need a pass from May 1 to Oct. 1 in 2016 would guarantee entrance to the creek upon arrival. and from April 1 to Oct. 1 in the following years. No perIndividuals who are 18 years or older can make resermit is required during the rest of the year. vations to visit Fossil Creek up to six months in advance The 148 designated parking spaces within the permit and may only park in the parking lot assigned on their area generally allow for about 740 visitors per day within parking pass for the day reserved. Only six reservations the permit area. Parking locations will include Fossil per year are allowed per person.


roundup editor


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42 | summer visitors guide | 2016

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Tonto Basin: Always more to do Alexis Bechman

roundup staff reporter

Roosevelt Lake is a destination you can return to repeatedly and always find something new to see or do. From fishing for tournament quality bass, water skiing across the glassy surface, paddleboarding under a full moon night, kayaking to a secret cove, hiking to nearby ruins or camping on its shores, Roosevelt Lake beckons to be discovered again and again. The lake, at 11,180 surface acres, is bigger than any other lake in central Arizona, although much smaller than Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Today, the lake is about 50 percent

Alexis Bechman

Roosevelt Lake lies just 30 miles south of Payson, but it’s 1,000 feet lower and surrounded by saguaros rather than ponderosa pines.

full, after years of drought. There are several public boat launch ramps, a marina and ample parking in both maintained campgrounds and dispersed, free sites. The lake was formed in 1911 when the Salt River was dammed on the northern end of the Apache Trail. On the other side of the Roosevelt Dam is Apache Lake. Beyond that, over the course of 40 miles leading

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to the Valley, sits Canyon Lake and then Saguaro Lake. Most people choose to pull into one of the many coves along the lake to enjoy a day on the lake. The most popular is the 1.5-mile Bermuda Flat or sometimes called Horse Pasture Recreation Area. It is one of the first major parking areas coming from Payson. The site has great views of the Sierra Ancha Mountains and

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Roosevelt Lake not only supplies the Valley with water, it also offers visitors a deliciously wet playground for boating, fishing and camping.

Four Peaks Wilderness and sandy shoreline. The Forest Service says the gently sloping shoreline makes for a wonderful water recreation area. You can swim from the not too rocky shores, fish or head out on a kayak or paddleboard. During the weekends, especially holiday weekends, this is a very popular place for RVs. If you want to stay in a campground, Cholla is the largest and each site has its own covered picnic table and usually a great view of the lake since it sits on a mesa. There are full hookups and camp-only sites. Camp free along unpaved roads on the south side of the highway. If you want to have a picnic, check out Vineyard Canyon, a day-use area. And if you want to hike, the Vineyard Trail provides the best views of the lake, but you’ll have to huff up quite a hill. Park in a pullout just west of Theodore Roosevelt Dam and begin climbing. The trail weaves up a prickly pear cactus-covered hill. Look back and take in the bridge and lake. Continue on, and you’ll be greeted with views of Apache Lake. Fishing-wise, the lake boasts largemouth bass, bluegill, striper bass, white bass, catfish, crappie, sunfish and carp.

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44 | summer visitors guide | 2016

Alexis Bechman

At the marina, rent a ski boat, pontoon, speedboat, wakeboards, water skis or tubes. The Roosevelt Lake Marina office and store are open seven days a week with the hours dependent on the season. During the summer, from May 1 to Sept. 15, hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit A $6 Tonto Daily Pass is required per vehicle.

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Rim Country Communities Find peace and quiet in Kohl’s Ranch and Christopher Creek Peter Aleshire roundup editor

Nestled in the pines close by three trout-stocked streams, Kohl’s Ranch and Christopher Creek have provided a refuge for decades. Halfway between Payson at 5,000 feet and the top of the Rim at 7,000 feet, these communities have a relative handful of year-round residents. However, come summer the population swells as a result of cabin rentals, campgrounds, day-trippers and people who have discovered Kohl’s Ranch fronting on Tonto Creek. Kohl’s Ranch, a historic lodge and restaurant that

Susan G. Keown, PC Associate Broker

offers summer rentals — and time shares lies on Tonto Creek. A road hugging the stream is lined with more expensive, custom homes with an access to the creek almost unique in the state. Camp Tontozona is nearby, site of spring training camp for the Arizona State University football team. The little community of Christopher Creek lies tucked in among the ponderosa pines about 17 miles east of Payson, near the base of the 1,500-foot-tall ramparts of the Rim. Upstream the creek harbors popular camping areas along Christopher Creek, which the Arizona Game and Fish Department stocks throughout the summer.

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RIM COUNTRY COMMUNITIES Residents have a church, a little store, rental cabins and a couple of restaurants — Sheila’s Creekside Steakhouse and Tavern (www. and Landmark at The Creek ( Both settlements provide easy access to a string of trout-stocked lakes atop the Rim, some of the best camping spots in the state and yearround recreation. The elevation is about the same as Pine and Strawberry, which means these communities get a lot more winter than Payson or Star Valley. Pines line the streams rather than the cottonwoods and sycamores found along the East Verde River on the outskirts of lower-elevation Payson. Besides ready access to Christopher Creek and Tonto

Creek, the communities lie close to the road to Haigler Creek. Lying at the end of a long, well-graded dirt road, Haigler has a campground but fewer people than the popular Tonto Creek. One stretch of the stream harbors wild brown trout, for the price of a short, steep walk from Fisherman’s Point. To spend more time in Christopher Creek, a variety of lodging options are available: Christopher Creek Lodge with 24 cabins on the creek; Grey Hackle Lodge cabin rentals; Creekside Mountain Cabins; Elk Haven Cabins and RV Ranch; Kohl’s Ranch Lodge; Wooden Nickel Cabins; and a few individual accommodations. Go online to or call ERA Young Realty & Investment in Christopher Creek, (928) 4784221.

Pete Aleshire

Historic Kohl’s Ranch offers cabins fronting on Tonto Creek, keeping alive the traditions and love of Rim Country celebrated in Zane Grey’s novels.

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WORLD FAMOUS, AWARD WINNING TRAIL RIDE OPERATION IN ARIZONA We offer some of the most scenic horseback riding trails in Arizona. Professional guides will take you on trails of breathtaking scenery while telling you about the abundant plant and animal life found along the way and about the colorful history of the area.

Riding among the tall pines you will see the rugged mountains and feel the call of the west. Breathe fresh mountain air and listen to the cascading waterfalls of Tonto Creek.

Come join us for a 1, 2 or 3 hour ride in the beautiful Tonto National Forest. The 2 hour ride to the waterfall is our most popular.

Call for reservations: 928-478-0030 Located just 17 miles east of Payson on E. Highway 260, Mile marker 268 Under special use permit of the Tonto National Forest

46 | summer visitors guide | 2016


Enjoy a slower pace in Pine & Strawberry Teresa McQuerrey roundup staff reporter

Make sure to plan a couple of hours or so to visit Pine and Strawberry when you come to Rim Country. There is an abundance of delightfully quirky little shops and, maybe surprisingly, lots of great eats. Gifts and antiques can be found all around town, from out on Hardscrabble Road, where Carriage House Antiques, Tymeless Antiques & Treasures and Tymeless Antiques & Treasures Too are found to all along North Highway 87 — Pine’s unofficial Main Street. If you arrive in time for breakfast or brunch, stop in at The Randall House, 3821 N. Highway 87, across from the community center complex. Open from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, The Randall House is in one of the oldest homesteads in the community. Alfred Randall built the original two-room log cabin from local pine trees in 1881, and its footprint is the current entryway of the restaurant. Since 1998, proprietors Barbara and Patrick O’Connor have continued the Randall family’s tradition of hospitality, offering breakfast and lunch every Wednesday through Sunday, all year long. Prefer to just to grab something and go — whether for a hike or more sightseeing? The Pine Deli, 6240 W. Hardscrabble Mesa Rd., a left turn off 87 as you come into the community, is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily,

Peter Aleshire

Pine and Strawberry lie at the base of the Mogollon Rim, which abounds in ferns and forest.

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2016 | summer visitors guide | 47

RIM COUNTRY COMMUNITIES Pine & Strawberry cont’d.

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Hardscrabble Road to 3691 Hall Lane Cell: 928.978.0469 Shop: 928.476.3009 Art for the home and the perfect gift

Myra’s Art Gallery Owned and Operated by Ed and Myra Kraemer

Fine art and handmade crafts featuring original paintings, prints, sculpture, photography, Indian jewelry, pottery, and greeting cards. Services include custom framing including barn wood, steel sihouette art and mirrors. www.myrasartgalleryand 3788 N Highway 87 PO Box 1586, Pine, AZ 85544 928-476-2256

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48 | summer visitors guide | 2016

Creative Quilting Award-winning Custom Machine Quilting by

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RIM COUNTRY COMMUNITIES except Tuesday. It offers great sandwiches and more. John and Joyce Bittner make and sell delicious and There are a number of other places to eat in Pine, so healthy artisan goat’s milk cheeses and fudge. maybe you need to schedule more than just one trip to The Creamery Store is open for the purchase of a the area. variety of products in addition to its Heading north out of Pine you popular fudge and cheese. will find yourself in Strawberry. Take Guests may participate in several a left on Fossil Creek Road to visit types of tours and hikes with llamas. the state’s oldest standing school, Children are welcome to play the historic Strawberry Schoolhouse. with the goats and everyone is It is actually open for guests to encouraged to experience milking a come inside from 10 a.m. to 4 goat. p.m., Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m., A tour inside the certified creamSundays from mid-May to mid-Octoery is an opportunity to hear about ber and from June 15 through Aug. the process of turning goat milk into 6, the school is also open on Fridays cheese and fudge, and everyone will and Mondays. When the building have a chance to sample the artisan is open, guests will find a docent to goat milk cheeses and creamy, delishare the school’s story. cious fudge. Travel a little farther out on The tours are offered at 11 Aleshire Fossil Creek Road to the Ranch The Ranch at Fossil Creek offers not onlyPeter a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday through goat at Fossil Creek and Fossil Creek milk fudge, but a chance for the kids to nuzzle Saturday and at 1 p.m., Sundays. baby, well, kids. Creamery. The cost is $10 per person and reserThe Ranch at Fossil Creek is a working ranch that vations are required. There is a $5 fee per person to pet raises llamas and dairy goats. At the Creamery, owners the goats. Group tours also require reservations.

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Out and About in Rim Country Night life offers live music and cold drinks Alexis Bechman

roundup staff reporter

After a long day hiking, there is nothing better than cooling off with a cold drink and listening to live music. The night life in Rim Country can be limited at times, but if you know where to look, there is a friendly place to visit with people that will make you feel like a local. In Star Valley, one of the cleanest, nicest bars to visit is the Pour House, 3870 E. Highway 260, which opened two years ago. During the day, the bar feels more like a restaurant with its wall of booths, homemade food options and outdoor patio. In Payson, there are several options to head when the sun goes down. Native Grill and Wings, 210 E. Highway 260, is a popular sports bar with 28 televisions spread out among 6,100 square feet. The sports bar opened in late 2014 and has been booming ever since with locals and visitors. The first Wednesday of every month, find local musician John Carpino performing live at Native. For more information, call 928-474-6883. A local favorite for evening fun and entertainment is the Buffalo Bar and Grill, 311 S. Beeline Highway. There is always something going on at the Buffalo, from live music every Sunday from Junction 87, bar games, pool or dancing. Every Friday night, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., there is the


Peter Aleshire

The Buffalo Bar and Grill on Sundays hosts a two-stepping jam session with Junction 87, voted the best band in Rim Country by Roundup readers.

wheel of fun, a prize wheel. And you know you are bound to find good fun with the bar winning Best of nearly every year in the Roundup’s reader poll. For more information, call 928-474-3900. In Pine, Sidewinders Tavern and Grill, 6112 W. Hardscrabble Mesa Road, is the place to be. They frequently have live music and line dancing. For information, visit 928-476-6434.

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Casino offers fun, concerts – a chance to win Teresa McQuerrey

performance for the Fourth of July weekend. The concert is at 8 p.m., Saturday, July 2. The fun at Payson’s Mazatzal Hotel & Casino comes In advance of the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo from the camaraderie. Don’t go expecting a Las Vegas the casino brings The Troubadour Experience — George type experience. Just go to have some fun and take a Strait Tribute concert to Payson at 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. chance at walking out with a little extra money. 13. This is a return engagement for the performance. Players are invited to take part in the casino’s Summer For George Strait fans and country music lovers alike, Spectacular through Sept. 5. Extra points (credits to play The Troubadour Experience is a must see. Guests will be on slots, etc.,) are awarded each Monday and then there entertained in the true fashion of George Strait and The will be two grand prize drawings. The first is for a pon- Ace in the Hole Band. toon boat July 4. A drawing for a 2016 Fiat is slated for As part of your Labor Day weekend fun, put a visit Sept. 5. to the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino on your calendar for the And even if you don’t have a hot slot or the best luck concert performance of Desperado — A Tribute to the at the table games or bingo, your fellow players will more Eagles at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 3. than likely lift your spirits. Desperado is said to be the best and most well-known Cedar Ridge Restaurant and The Grille serve up great of the Eagles tribute bands, possessing the musical talents food. Frequently on weekend evenings live entertainment of the revered group itself. is offered at the Apache Spirits Lounge too. The casino is on the east side of S.R. 87 on the south A couple of times this summer, you can also enjoy end of Payson. Go to the casino’s website to learn more some special concerts. The casino features a Rolling about the special events and the hotel: mazatzal-casino. Stones tribute band, Mick Adams and the Stones, in a com. roundup staff reporter

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928-474-4424 2016 | summer visitors guide | 51


Getting a good dose of history Teresa McQuerrey

provide a wealth of information about the area’s history and spots to visit to get a personal look at where history There are three prime places to start a history happened around the Rim Country. The gift shops at tour of the Rim Country — the the facilities in Payson and Pine little museums developed by three also have wonderful collections of different historical societies. The books on local history, flora, fauna Pine Strawberry Archaeological and more to aid in your self-guided and Historical Society operate a tours. museum in the Pine Community The Pine-Strawberry Museum Center complex along with the was opened in 1979 for the purhistoric Strawberry Schoolhouse pose of displaying artifacts related in Strawberry; the Northern Gila to the prehistory and history of County Historical Society has its Pine and its twin among the pines, museum, along with a replica of the Strawberry. Peter Aleshire Zane Grey Cabin and the pioneer The Strawberry Schoolhouse is one of the oldest The community of Pine was school buildings in the state — and the oldest survivcabin of one of the area’s many settled in 1879 by Mormon pioing building in Rim Country. Haught families in Green Valley neers, but through their determinaPark; and the Pleasant Valley Historical Society has a tion and faith, Pine survived. Much of what is displayed museum in Young. in the Pine-Strawberry Museum today is in tribute to the The volunteers serving as docents at the museums can dedication and hard work of our founding families. roundup staff reporter

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OUT AND ABOUT IN RIM COUNTRY The museum relocated to its current location in 1990 community as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day from a single room in the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Saints, or “the LDS Chapel.” Between the early 1980s Library in Pine. This larger facility allows the display and the year 1990, when the museum relocated to the of more artifacts and building, the facility was documents; especially used as a school. Today, those that pertain to the the museum is part of Native American culthe Pine Community tures that occupied our Center. Also locatarea, the first Spanish ed in the Community and Anglo pioneers to Center are the Cultural visit and settle the area, Hall, the Arts & Crafts and the peoples who Center, the Senior have remained in the Dining Room, the community since the Thrift Store, and the initial settlement. Library Auxiliary. The museum housRecent remodeling es prehistoric artifacts of the thrift store, folreplica of the cabin built for perhaps the most famous western writer of all time, found in the land area AZane lowing flooding when a Grey, is located in Green Valley Park. Grey hunted and wrote his books in of Pine and Strawberry Rim Country. frozen water pipe broke, valleys and near plarevealed some of the teaus, as well as artifacts actually brought and used by the more modern history of the area — the original walls of a earliest settlers to the communities. stone school constructed on the property after an earlier Between the years 1917 and 1981, the Main Room school. in the Pine-Strawberry Museum served the Mormon The men of Pine and Strawberry used hand-quarried

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Call 602-814-0072 1107 26 S. Arizona 928-478-8710 Beeline locations Highway *Excludes Alsosatisfied, does notthe apply earmolds or otherforaccessories. Does not30 apply to *If you areAudiochoice. not completely aidstomay be returned a full refund within days sales. If you of arefitting, not completely satisfied, the aids may be returned for a full refund within ofprior the completion in satisfactory condition. See store for details. 30 days the completion of fitting,providers. in satisfactory condition. See store for details. Only valid fromofparticipating Miracle-Ear Only valid from participating Miracle-Ear providers. Offer expires 1/31/2011.

2016 | summer visitors guide | 53

OUT AND ABOUT IN RIM COUNTRY materials to construct the Stone Building School. It was started around 1944 or 1945 and finished by the start of the 1946 school year. The Stone Building School was built to replace another school that had burned down. According to experts on the area’s history, the Stone Building School was Pine’s fourth. The first was built in 1882 and had a canvas door and a wall of canvas inside to separate the classes. It stood on property on the other side of the road that is now North Highway 87 and opposite the community center site. Workmen dismantled that first school in the 1900s and built another on the Pine Thrift Shop site. A third school was built in 1936 and it burned one winter in the early 1940s. The Pine-Strawberry group also has oversight of Arizona’s oldest standing school, the Strawberry Schoolhouse. During the summer volunteers are often available at the little log building on Fossil Creek Road in Strawberry to tell its history. The Northern Gila County Historical Society incorporated in 1976 and its board plans to celebrate the 40th anniversary of that event this summer, July 16, along with the dedication of the Haught Cabin.

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The replica of writer Zane Grey’s cabin includes furniture and possessions from the cabin that burned in the 1990 Dude Fire.

Society members were given the cabin to move to the museum site some time ago and have worked for a number of years to make it safe enough for visitors to inspect. The Haughts are one of the area’s pioneer families. The museum gift shop and offices are in an early Forest Service building, which the society acquired, along with several ancillary structures in 1986, according to the group’s president Sandy Carson. These were remodeled into a museum and historical library. Before getting the Forest Service building, the society had a lease on the Old

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54 | summer visitors guide | 2016 For reservations, call 888•315•2378 PHONE: 928•474•2283 FAX: 928•474•5448

OUT AND ABOUT IN RIM COUNTRY Jail on South exacting work, the McLane, just north cabin was opened of Historic Main in 2005. Guests may Street, but its collectour the building tions soon outgrew and see many artithe modest building, facts either actually which is now used used by the famous as a meeting place author, or close repfor the Gila County licas. Sheriff’s Posse volunThe Pleasant teer group. Valley Historical The society conSociety museum is structed a replica in the old Baptist of the old Herron Church in Young. Hotel next to the The little community main Forest Service also has several other rifle used to slay Tom Graham – the final victim of the Pleasant Valley War – shares building in 1992. The “unofficial” musespace with family photos in Young resident Frank Chapman’s tiny museum to the most vioIt houses stationary lent feud in the history of the West. ums. The museum and changing exhibiwill be in its Sunday tions and serves as the group’s meeting room and a place best for the annual Pleasant Valley Days celebration the to host lectures. third weekend in July, with lots of folks available to share The newest building in the museum complex is the the history of the area, renown for the “Pleasant Valley replica of the Zane Grey Cabin; the 1990 Dude Fire War” — a confrontation over range rights, cattle rustling destroyed the original. After years of careful research and and horse thievery.




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Pine has a brewery & an offbeat winery Alexis Bechman

roundup staff reporter

There once was a drought in Rim Country. A craft beer and homemade wine drought. Then several years ago, the area saw relief when one couple bravely decided to start THAT Brewery in Pine. A few years later, Trident Winery opened just down the street from the brewery making Pine the place for something different when you get thirsty.

THAT Brewery Steve and Tamara Morken never dreamed the would get into the beer business when they first took over the Rimside Grill and Cabins in Pine in June 2004. In 2012, the couple took Steve’s love of home brewing and converted the restaurant into a brewery and pub. The beer was so well received, in September 2014, the Morkens opened a production facility in Cottonwood with a small tasting room. Their top brews include a strawberry blonde, RoadRash

Ray Stephens has added a limited-menu, reservation-only gourmet dinner to the offerings at Trident Winery in Pine. He also makes wine from things like ocotillo blossoms.

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56 | summer visitors guide | 2016


WOODY’S Performance Motorsports

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OUT AND ABOUT IN RIM COUNTRY IPA and Arizona Trail Ale, the offiafter Stephens ran a successful cancial beer of the Arizona Trail. A porning business, Urban Survivalist, in tion of sales from Arizona Trail Ale Rim Country for years. goes toward the trail’s maintenance. Just like his canning business, While THAT used to be only which makes more than the typavailable on tap, Steve started canical tomatoes or cucumber pickning the Arizona Trail Ale and most les, Trident Winery makes wine recently, the strawberry blonde. from anything but grapes — includAnd they plan to increase proing melons, berries, apples, pears, duction at the Cottonwood facility. peaches and strawberries. THAT self distributes all of its All of the wines are organic and Peter Aleshire Guests enjoy the patio at Trident Winery — one of beer to some 75 locations around sulfate free. the attractions in the laid back little hamlet of Pine. the state. Wines include, Ethiopian chocThey host live music and events frequently and on the olate nibs infused into a concoction; cherry wine; star third Monday of every month, Brews and Brushes. The anise wine with the flavor of licorice; Blapple; Apple; $40 class includes paint, canvas, instruction, two drink Mandarin orange and chocolate wine; strawberry and tickets and several small appetizers to share. For more buckwheat mead; Valencia orange and star anise mead; information, visit blackberry and buckwheat honey; ocotillo blossom; prickly pear; apricot; peach; and apple blossom wine. Trident Winery Prices range from $20-$25 a bottle and they offer paid tastings. Trident is open Monday through Thursday by Just a hop, skip and a jump down the road from THAT, is Trident Winery and tasting room at 6261 appointment only; noon to 6 p.m. Friday and Sunday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday. Hardscrabble Road. For more information, visit Ray Stephens and Julie LaManga opened their doors BRING THIS AD FOR A 10% DISCOUNT

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PAY S O N A R T L E A G U E The Payson Art League is a nonprofit organization whose sole purpose is to promote ART in Rim Country. We provide scholarships, art materials, and workshops to students at all levels. Our monthly meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Payson Public library, beginning at 6:00 pm. Visitors whether Artists or Art lovers are welcome. We sponsor two Art Shows each year: ‘Neath the Rim Open Studio Tour in the Spring, and the Fall Fine Art and Fine Craft Show and Sale in the Fall. Our Fall Show is Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, November 11, 12, & 13, 2016, at Julia Randall Elementary School.

For more information:

2016 | summer visitors guide | 57


Swiss Village Shops: Strolling & Shopping Michele Nelson

price that won’t break the bank? Head over to Affordable Furniture. Yes, Payson has a mall — it’s just not covered and The Swiss Village also has three salons, Shear Oasis, air-conditioned. From Head to Toe Essentials and The Swiss Village, located Above and Beyond Aesthetics. on North Beeline Highway, At Artists of the Rim, browse stocks everything, including canfor paintings, pottery, jewelry and dles, fudge, clothing, jewelry, art, other unique pieces all made by antiques, flowers, food, furniture local artists. plus services from orthodontia to Pandora’s Box also has insurance. unique gifts. One of the oldest businesses La Sierra serves up Mexican at 37 years, The Payson Candle food all made from mom’s recFactory, sells locally hand-carved ipes. candles, unique food gifts, and Vintage Roost just opened in the Swiss Village Shops. It There’s also an antique offers a stand-alone option for floral arrangements of all trinkets. store in the Swiss Village types, sizes and prices. Next-door is the Country Shops — Outcast Antiques and Charm Fudge Shop. They also serve coffee. Collectibles. Vintage Roost just opened. It offers a stand-alone Need laundry or dry cleaning done? The only place to option for floral arrangements of all types, sizes and prices. get that done in Rim Country is at Payson Laundry and Looking for good quality furniture or appliances at a the Anderson Family Dry Cleaners. roundup staff reporter

You’re all

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58 | summer visitors guide | 2016

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La Sierra Mexican Restaurant in the Swiss Village Shops took home the 2016 Roundup readers’ poll award for best Mexican food in Rim Country.

Even people looking to remodel their home can find options for cabinets at Chitwood’s Cabinets and flooring at Dan Good Flooring. Need to check on your Verizon phone? Check out Payson Wireless. If your car, home or boat insurance has lapsed, Matt


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2016 | summer visitors guide | 59


Summer brims with special events teresA McQuerrey

Center Cultural Hall; the Triathlon June 18, Sprint Triathlon, The Rim Country calendar is all around Payson; the 26th filled with a variety of events throughAnnual Pine-Strawberry out the year. Some of the biggest take Fest June 18 Summer Fest, place during the summer. and 19, Pine-Strawberry Big events between June and Community Center; the September include: the Mogollon third weekend in July — July Monster Mudda and Mountain 15-17 — Young celebrates High Games at the Payson Event Pleasant Valley Days Center, June 3, 4 and 5; the community’s with a parade, team roping Fourth of July celebration at Green events, craft show, activities Valley Park, July 4; and the World’s for the whole family and Oldest Continuous Rodeo, also at re-enactments of the Pleasant Peter Aleshire the Payson Event Center, Aug. 18, 19 Valley War at a historical with a Mudda starts summer and 20. cabin and battle sites, go The Mogollon Monster splash. Other special events around Rim to the Pleasant Valley Days Country from June through September are the website for information; Payson Book Festival, July Rim Area Gardeners’ 2016 Country Garden Stroll, 23, Gila Community College campus, Payson, visit www. June 4; the Strawberry Patchers’ 20th Anniversary Quilt for details; Arizona State University Show, June 10 and 11, Pine-Strawberry Community Sun Devil Football at Camp Tontozona, Aug. 2 through roundup staff reporter

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928-474-1000 60 | summer visitors guide | 2016

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OUT AND ABOUT IN RIM COUNTRY Aug. 6, east of Payson, with an ASU Sun Devil Football Pep Rally, Aug. 5 at Green Valley Park; the Glow in the Bowl Fun Run, Green Valley Park, Aug. 6; the 60th Annual Northern Gila County Fair, Payson Event Center, Sept. 9-11; the Payson Old Time Opry, Friday, Sept. 23, Payson High School Auditorium; the Old Time Fiddlin’ Arizona State Championships, Sept. 24-25, Payson Event Center. And while it falls just outside the summer “season” the Rim Country Quilt Round Up is Oct. 14-15 at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino in Payson.

Mogollon Monster Mudda and Mountain High Games

real deal race on June 4. In conjunction with the mud run, a trio of ATV trail rides, led by experienced trail guides, is offered, June 3, 4 and 5, including an evening ride and a poker ride.

Fourth of July

Payson’s July 4 celebration draws 20,000 people a year, many from the Valley.

The Mudda, as it name implies, is a mud run that takes participants over an obstacle course built especially for the event. It opens with some fun events June 3, with the

This event is perhaps the biggest of all held in the Rim Country through the summer, as many Phoenix area residents come to the cool mountain air for this patriotic celebration. Festivities and fun are held throughout the day at Green Valley Park, with a fireworks show topping things off, weather and fire conditions permitting. Learn more at

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2016 | summer visitors guide | 61


Between the bull and the cowboy Peter Aleshire

keep the spin from ripping it off. Leaning far back as the bull went vertical, the cowboy let his free hand circle The pounding stadium music overhead in perfect form as swelled and the crowd at the Rodeo the frenzied bull tried to rid leaned forward for the single most himself of the rider and the dangerous moment in sports — the galling flank strap. foolhardy attempt to sit on top The bull cleared the of a furiously bucking, spinning, ground entirely, spun a half twisting, slobbering, kicking bull. turn in mid air, launched The 2,000-pound bull explodhimself again and spun back ed from the chute, leaped up in the opposite direction. entirely into the air, came down, That did the trick. The bull half spun, then did a hoof stand rider slid sideways. He landed — kicking his back legs up so he hard in the dirt of the arena was nearly vertical. The cowboy and the bull spun, seeking his The Pete r Wo Ales rld’ hire s Old on top clung to the bull rope, fallen foe. est Continuous Rodeo in August remains one of the region’s most pop ular events. tied beneath the beast with its It looked like death. It clanging bell. The bull rider clutched the looked like murder. leather handhold braided into the rope with his rosined But the bull clearly hadn’t factored in Luke leather glove, which was effectively tied to his hand to Kraut, in baggy pants festooned with strips of cloth, roundup editor




WelcomSeeniors! We provide meals at The Center as well as deliver Meals-on-Wheels to homebound seniors. The Center provides a wide range of activities that help you stay fit, happy and young.

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Looking for a bargain? You can find some of the Best Treasures right here at Trinkets & Treasures Thrift Store!

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62 | summer visitors guide | 2016

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OUT AND ABOUT IN RIM COUNTRY his clown makeup incongruously cheerful. The bullfight- Fourth of July fireworks. ers are the firefighters of the rodeo. When bulls spin, I love every bit of it. everyone else runs to climb the fence. But the bullfighter The team ropers, with their perfect timing and headrushes toward the bull. long teamwork. Kraut appeared from nowhere and inserted himself The barrel racers, with their flowing hair and the between the bull and the cowboy. perfect communion with their He extended a palm toward the 1,000-pound horses. The riders bull’s face, half turned to protect and horses seem like a poem of the cowboy and somehow manmotion, a cloud of dust, a turn, aged to reach out with a foot and a stretch and gallop that will push the bull’s black leg aside so bring your heart to your throat that it missed crushing the fallen and stop it. rider. Oddly enough, of all the The bull spun, Kraut shifted grace and courage and grit that again to remain between the bull went into the Rodeo, it’s an and the cowboy, now scrambling image of Kraut that comes back to his feet. The threesome exeto me — in his face paint and hire Ales r Pete cuted a strange, shifting dance, his ridiculous outfit, his courance of rotating as a unit, until the cowboy Barrel racing highlights the Thursday night perform age so routine he’s turned it in’s Rodeo. Do t gus Au the could find a trajectory that would into a shrug. intersect the safety of the fence. It makes me think maybe life’s not as hard as I’m Payson continues to brag on maintaining the World’s making it. Maybe you just show up and get a laugh and Oldest Continuous Rodeo every August. Rodeo remains then step in front of the bull when you have to. Let that the high point of the summer — rivaled only by the be enough. That’s the job. No big deal.

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516 S. Beeline Highway in Payson • 928-363-4200 Open Mon - Sat, Closed Sundays







H BEEF H PORK H CHICKEN H RIBS Smoked fresh everyday Open Wed thru Sun 10am until sold out

928-951-3775 1103 S. BEELINE HWY. PAYSON, AZ 2016 | summer visitors guide | 65


Seasons turn, beauty remains Peter Aleshire

ly in my direction, clueless as Costello. He wags, irrepressibly The wind riffles the still happy to be back out among the surface of a side channel of the damp, rich smells of fall. Lobo crosses the now East Verde River, causing the reflected yellow dreamscape of ruined reflecting pool, emergsycamores to shimmer. Picture es and gives himself a delighted shake. Anticipating the perfect. I lean forward, compose the moment, I turn my back to prophotograph, hold my breath. tect the camera. I knew I should Lobo bounds abruptly into have worn my windbreaker. I wiped the water droplets frame — shattering the chromatic surface of the pool’s mirror from the front of my lens and and spattering my lens with waited for the water to turn back into a mirror, I could droplets. “LOOOOBO,” I holler, not but reflect on Lobo’s very sounding as peevish as Bud limited usefulness to a photogAbbott. Lobo grins wolfish- rapher. roundup editor

609 S Beeline Hwy. ♦ Payson, AZ 85541

Kim Anderson GRI, CRS, ABR Phone: (928) 978-3913 66 | summer visitors guide | 2016

Peter Aleshire

The still waters of the East Verde River offer a palate of reflected light at dawn and dusk for the photographer.

PARTING THOUGHTS Lobo does not spend much time on such imponderables. He does not seem to have a great urge toward usefulness — just life, which he savors with a headlong abandon that I envy. He bounds off down the bouldery riverbed while I wait for the water to settle. The sycamores have finally turned, with their roots sunk into the water table along the stream banks. They flare orange-gold, competing for glory with the lurid yellow of the cottonwood leaves. The leaves turn gold with the leftover compounds after the trees pull back the precious chlorophyll and seal off their increasingly vulnerable leaves. If they wait too long, they’ll suffer frost damage out to

their leaf tips — giving bacteria a chance to infect. The water has settled now. I peer through the viewfinder. It’s perfect. Lobo enters the pool from the left, once again turning the reflections into golden ripples. He grins at me as he wades through the center of the frame. I nod and wave. He wags. Come to think of it, I don’t mind waiting a little longer. I shall wait for the water to settle. I shall wait for the reflections of the sycamores to return. We shall savor one more turn of the seasons, Lobo and I — amidst all the damp earth smells even a primate can appreciate.

Peter Aleshire

The leaves turn on the cottonwoods, willows and sycamores along the East Verde in October and November — but that just signals the start of a another great season to savor Rim Country.

2016 | summer visitors guide | 67

Fire & Smoke Damage Mitigation, Removal and Restoration

Fire Damage is the most stressful type of property damage that property owners have to live through. The loss of property and valuables leaves many property owners confused and frustrated. Fire damage is more difficult, but not impossible to restore. Dry Force will work quickly to secure your property following a fire and begin the restoration process. In cases where the fire department put out the fire, Dry Force will begin with water extraction before beginning the restoration process. Smoke Damage occurs because smoke will travel and go through any opening. This allows it to move between rooms and settle into porous materials where it can remain. Our specialists will set up specialty equipment to dissolve the settle smoke particles and remove the odor.

FIRE & SMOK STO RM SMOKEE WATE R DAM AG E CLEAN UP RESTORATION RESTORATION Water & Storm Damage Mitigation, Removal and Restoration

Water and storm incursions must be quickly mitigated to prevent further damage. Carpets, walls, and furnishings are most immediately susceptible to water damage. The longer water stays in place the more destructive it can be. Protect your property and the health of your loved ones by quickly contacting Dry Force in the event of water or storm damage. Our specialists will work quickly to extract any remaining water and place drying equipment to dry out the affected areas to stop damage and prevent mold growth. HELP US HELP YOU BY TAKING THESE STEPS: • Turn off the source of the water if you can. • Remove things like lamps, tabletop items and wall mounted valuables. • If possible, lift or prop furniture away from water affected areas. • Wipe away any water left on furniture.

Fire & Smoke Damage Mitigation, Removal and Restoration

Our Satisfi Customers Fire Damage is the most stressfulTestimonials type of property damage by that property owners haveed to live through. The loss of property and valuables leaves

by Fredmany D. via property Dry Force BBB Profile confused Page by Charlie N. Dry Force BBBForce Profilewill Pagework quickly to owners and frustrated. Fire damage is more difficult, but not impossible tovia restore. Dry

From beginning to end, Dry Force personnel were very responsive, couteous, profesWork was done quickly and efficiently. Staff was very friendly and kept in contact secure following a fireaccess and tobegin theThe restoration process. In cases where the fire department put the fioffre, Force sional and willing toyour adaptproperty to my time constraints regarding the home. throughout the process. Took a lotout of stress my Dry shoulders sincewill I livebegin in a different staff explained the entireextraction process to mebefore so there were no surprises. office staff process. state than the house where the work was done. Also I appreciated their patience in with water beginning theTheir restoration shoud be commended for the professional manner in which they handle all requests. waiting for payment since I had to go through my home owner’s insurance and then Damage it to move between roomscompany. and settle intoDryporous They getSmoke an A+ in my book! occurs because smoke will travel and go through any opening. This allows get the check endorsed by my mortgage Thank you Force!

materials it can remain. settle smoke particles and remove the odor. by Renee C. via Drywhere Force BBB Profile Page Our specialists will set up specialty equipment to dissolvebythe Diane C. via Dry Force BBB Profile Page

Water & Storm Damage Mitigation, Removal and Restoration

As expected, having water damage in your house can be very stressful. Every person The technicians that were sent to my house to clean up the water loss were excellent. I came in contact with at the company was very professional and made this an easy First they went over the whole procss from beginning to end and what I could expect. process.Water They didand a great job. If incursions they were running late they call and tell me prevent further damage. Carpets, storm must be would quickly mitigated walls, arespinning mostbutimmediately suscepThere was soand muchfurnishings that it left my head the technician went over it until I They got my home back to normal very quickly and now you would never know I had understood everything. They were there on time most days and the job was completed tible to water damage. The longer water stays in place the more destructive it can be. Protect your property and the health of your loved ones water damage. Thank you for a great experience. more than satisfactory.

contacting specialists will work quickly to extract any remaining water and by Pamby C. quickly via Dry Force BBB ProfileDry PageForce in the event of water or storm damage. Our by Ronnie K. via Dry Force BBB Profile Page

Our home sustained a 60,000 gallon water to leakdry fromout a hotthe wateraffected pipe bursting under to the stop foundation. place drying equipment areas damage andI prevent mold was impressed withgrowth. how quick I was able to get someone out to look at my leaking garbage disposal. It was The damage wasUS extensive: expansion and contraction caused cracking throughout the founjust a couple of hours before someone arrived. Within several minutes Dry Force was able to diagnose how HELP HELPsoil YOU BY TAKING THESE STEPS: much water damage I had. Dry Force was able to give me a reasonable quote and a fair time frame to get dation causing ripple effects in cracked drywall and raised walls into the attic. Dry Force held our • Turn off the source of the water if you can. the cabinet dry and repaired. Within a couple of weeks we were back to normal in our kitchen. hand every step of the way: mapping out the project, working directly with geotech and structural

• Remove thingsand likethelamps, items andcontractors wall mounted valuables. by Dave R. via Dry Force BBB Profile Page engineers, pack-up personnel, multitude tabletop of attentive highly skilled to tear out and This is a letter of appreciation for the fine services you provide. Each person who came to my home was friendly rebuild our The result stronger, more beautiful We feel very proudareas. and • Ifhome. possible, liftis aorhome prop furniture away than fromever. water affected and professional. They were clear about the process and helped us in dealing with a stressful situation. extremely appreciative to Dry Force! • Wipe away any water left on furniture.

Insurance and Claims Information Testimonials byhome Our Satisfi Customers As the property owner, you have the right to decide who restores your or business. Most ofed the time Dry Force is the quickest to respond to your emergency

by Fredand D. via Dry Force Profile by Charlie viaabove Dry Force BBB Profile Page to restore your property provides theBBB utmost inPage quality workmanship and overall customer service. We pride ourselves in going over N. and industry standards

From beginning to end,condition. Dry Force personnel were very responsive, couteous, profesWork was done quickly and efficiently. Staff was very friendly and kept in contact to pre-loss sional and willing to adapt to my time constraints regarding access to the home. The throughout the process. Took a lot of stress off my shoulders since I live in a different Dry Force can work alongside your insurance provider to ensure the claims process runs smoothly and effithan ciently. We can you was file done. a claim guide you staff explained the entire process to me so there were no surprises. Their office staff state the house wherehelp the work Alsoand I appreciated theirthrough patience in this stressfulfortime. Every customer service has aalldedicated every for step of thesince way.I had They will submit your owner’s billing insurance to the and then shoud be commended the professional manner inwe which they handle requests. account representative that’s available waiting payment to go through my home They getclaims an A+ inadjuster my book! and ensure that all your questions are answered. get the check endorsed by my mortgage company. Thank you Dry Force!

by Renee via Dry Force BBBofProfile Page DryC.Force uses state the art equipment, highly trained field technicians and office staff that truly care. Together, makeBBB sureProfile yourPage property damage is restored by Diane C. viawe’ll Dry Force

As expected, having your settled house canfairly. be very stressful. Every person Theto technicians that were to my house to cleantouprequest the wateraloss quickly andwater yourdamage claimingets Many insurance policies oblige the owner to minimize the loss the property, sosent contact Dry Force freewere excellent. I came in contact with at the company was very professional and made this an easy First they went overQBE, the whole procss from beginningFarmers to end andInsurance, what I could expect. assessment. Some of the isurance providers we work with include: Allstate, American Modern, Ameriprise Financial, Chubb, Encompass, process. They did a great job. If they were running late they would call and tell me why. There was so much that it left my head spinning but the technician went over it until I Mercury Insurance, Nationwide, They gotForemost, my home back to normal very quicklyMetLife, and now you would neverStateFarm, know I had The Hartford, Travelers. understood everything. They were there on time most days and the job was completed water damage. Thank you for a great experience. more than satisfactory.

by Pam C. via Dry Force BBB Profile Page Our home sustained a 60,000 gallon water leak from a hot water pipe bursting under the foundation. The damage was extensive: soil expansion and contraction caused cracking throughout the foundation causing ripple effects in cracked drywall and raised walls into the attic. Dry Force held our hand every step of the way: mapping out the project, working directly with geotech and structural engineers, pack-up personnel, and the multitude of attentive highly skilled contractors to tear out and rebuild our home. The result is a home stronger, more beautiful than ever. We feel very proud and extremely appreciative to Dry Force!

by Ronnie K. via Dry Force BBB Profile Page I was impressed with how quick I was able to get someone out to look at my leaking garbage disposal. It was just a couple of hours before someone arrived. Within several minutes Dry Force was able to diagnose how much water damage I had. Dry Force was able to give me a reasonable quote and a fair time frame to get the cabinet dry and repaired. Within a couple of weeks we were back to normal in our kitchen.

by Dave R. via Dry Force BBB Profile Page This is a letter of appreciation for the fine services you provide. Each person who came to my home was friendly and professional. They were clear about the process and helped us in dealing with a stressful situation.

Insurance and Claims Information

(928) 474-4504

As the property owner, you have the right to decide who restores your home or business. Most of the time Dry Force is the quickest to respond to your emergency and provides the utmost in quality workmanship and overall customer service. We pride ourselves in going over and above industry standards to restore your property to pre-loss condition. Dry Force can work alongside your insurance provider to ensure the claims process runs smoothly and efficiently. We can help you file a claim and guide you through this stressful time. Every customer we service has a dedicated account representative that’s available every step of the way. They will submit your billing to the claims adjuster and ensure that all your questions are answered. Dry Force uses state of the art equipment, highly trained field technicians and office staff that truly care. Together, we’ll make sure your property damage is restored quickly and your claim gets settled fairly. Many insurance policies oblige the owner to minimize the loss to the property, so contact Dry Force to request a free assessment. Some of the isurance providers we work with include: Allstate, American Modern, Ameriprise Financial, QBE, Chubb, Encompass, Farmers Insurance, Foremost, Mercury Insurance, MetLife, Nationwide, StateFarm, The Hartford, Travelers.

Northern Arizona including Gila County

2016 Rim Country Visitors Guide  

2016 Rim Country Visitors Guide published by the Payson Roundup

2016 Rim Country Visitors Guide  

2016 Rim Country Visitors Guide published by the Payson Roundup