desert photography from our southwest deserts, USA.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Payson, Arizona ~Arizona trip~ Part 1
I've decided to do some posts here about our Arizona trip, even though we were up in the mountains of central and eastern Arizona. While that area isn't desert, it IS part of the desert southwest. Hubby and I spent 6 days up on the Mogollon Rim. For those of you not familiar with Arizona, the Mogollon Rim is in Arizona's "high" country. No saguaros there, nope! This area was once below sea level and if you go hiking, you can find fossils of shellfish! Now, it sits over 7,000 feet and looks out onto ponderosa forests. This is the area of the White Mountain Apache. They still have land in this area and, if you see it, you can understand why they fought so hard to keep it. I admire them for that. It IS beautiful land, from the pinyons to the ponderosa forests, to the grassy plateaus. We some some beautiful lakes and forests here. We also saw complete devastation from the 2002 Rodeo-Chedisky fire and this summer's Wallow fire. But, enough depressing talk! We began our journey to "the rim" from Scottsdale, where we spent 3 nights. We drove out Highway 87, past Fort McDowell, past the Bush Highway, to Payson. That was about a 2 hour drive. Payson sits at the base of highway 260, which runs along the top of the rim. There are many campgrounds along this highway and several ranger stations. We like to stop at this one, which is outside Payson, about 10 miles. It has a wonderful view of the rim and we stop here each trip. There was a Bloodhound inside the station when we arrived. He was pathetically thin and dehydrated. Turns out, hubby had a bloodhound as a child, and went right over to him. Apparently he got loose from his owners while they were camping. The rangers called the number on his tag (yes, he had a tag), but there was no answer. He must have been loose, they assumed, for over a WEEK! The poor thing was skin and bones and the bottoms of his feet were raw. How he survived out there for over a week (with bears and mountain lions) was beyond their belief. They were going to give him some water and take him to a vet for a thorough exam. Poor thing!!! From the ranger station, we continued our climb up the rim highway. One reason we so enjoy going to this part of Arizona is that, in August, it has daily thunderstorms. It can be clear in the morning, but usually by 1:00 or 2:00 p.m., the thunderheads have built up and BOOM! The lightning and thunder starts. ... to be continued