E SC A P E . EX P LOR E . EX P E R I ENCE
Writer Craig Childs Goes in
Search of Prehistoric Life
Where to Get the Best Slice of
Apple Pie in Yavapai County
Maryal Miller Interviews
Ernest Hemingway … Sort of
+Brooke Burke in Arizona Highways? Yep!
Writer J.P.S. Brown on Booze, Books & Bad Luck
A Trip of a Lifetime Into Monument Valley
2 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 1
2 EDITOR’S LETTER 3 CONTRIBUTORS4
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
5 THE JOURNAL
People, places and things from around the state, including
a Phoenix barber who looks a lot like Ernest Hemingway, a
Q&A with supermodel Brooke Burke and a rural restaurant
that serves the best apple pie in Yavapai County.
52 SCENIC DRIVE
Mescal Road: Located to the east of Tucson, this
scenic drive offers a bonanza of sights, from an
old movie set to several creek crossings.
54 HIKE OF THE MONTH
West Clear Creek: Water is a rarity on most hikes in
Arizona. That’s why this scenic beauty is so special.
56 WHERE IS THIS?
14 WEEKEND GETAWAYS
Catch a glimpse of an endangered species. Check. Ride the
rails on a route that was defunct for 50 years. Check. Eat
some of the rarest chocolate in the United States. Check.
Arizona has a lot to experience — places to go, things to
see. This month, we’ll tell you about 22 of our favorite
BY AMANDA FRUZYNSKI & KELLY KRAMER
28 IT WAS A DARK NIGHT ...
Frank Zullo has a flair for the dramatic. He’s a photogra-pher
by trade, which is pretty normal. But otherwise, he’s
out there — a cross between Galileo and Indiana Jones. As
you’ll see, Zullo is fascinated with prehistoric petroglyphs
and spectacular star formations, the combination of which
is masterfully connected in this month’s portfolio.
A PORTFOLIO BY FRANK ZULLO
38 NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE
J.P.S. Brown is a fifth-generation Arizonan. He’s been a
boxer, Marine, journalist, cattle trader, rancher, prospec-tor,
movie wrangler, whiskey smuggler, fiction writer and
lifelong victim of bad luck, most of which came about
because of his love for booze. Like so many great writers,
Joe was an alcoholic, but not anymore. These days, he’s
sober; he’s living on a ranch in Patagonia; and he’s deter-mined
to write at least 30 more books before he dies. By
the way, he’s 79 years old.
BY KATHY MCCRAINE PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOEL GRIMES
42 IN THE HOLE WORLD
At a glance, they might look like nothing more than pud-dles
— just a splash of water — but in the arid Southwest,
water holes are the difference between life, dormancy and
death. Stare at these tinajas, as they’re known in Southern
Arizona, long enough and you’ll detect a slow haze of
motion inside — a microscopic world that’s home to
thousands and thousands of fascinating creatures.
BY CRAIG CHILDS
48 TRIP OF A LIFETIME
Monument Valley is a mystical place that has attracted
artists, Hollywood directors, family vacationers and other
vagabonds for years. It also attracted a science teacher in
1946. Equipped with a camera and a 1941 Chevy, Cal Crook
began an unforgettable journey into the heart of Navajo
civilization. The experience changed his life. Six decades
later, his children retraced his footsteps. The car and the
camera were different, but the effect was much the same.
BY JANET CROOK PIERSON PHOTOGRAPHS BY CAL CROOK
◗ A solemn sky provides a stunning backdrop for the red-rock
monoliths that surround Sedona.
PHOTOGRAPH BY GEORGE STOCKING
FRONT COVER Brookelynn Carroll enjoys a horseback ride
along Cherry Creek in the spectacular and historic landscape
of Central Arizona.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN BECKETT
BACK COVER Sculpted sandstone walls rim a pool in Northern
Arizona’s Paria Canyon.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JACK DYKINGA
West Clear Creek
• POINTS OF INTEREST IN THIS ISSUE
Photographic Prints Available Prints of some photographs in this issue are available for purchase. To view options, visit www.arizonahighwaysprints.com. For more information, call 866-962-1191.
GET MORE ONLINE:
In this month’s cover story, we feature 22
of our favorite weekend getaways. For more
getaways, as well as the best bets for hiking,
lodging, dining and so much more, visit our
Vote for your favorite entries in our
second-annual online photography contest.
Curious about how we looked 50, 60, 70
years ago? Visit our cover archive in “Online
FOR EVEN MORE:
2 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 3
For writer Craig Childs, his piece on life-giving desert water holes was inspired by neces-sity
(see In the Hole World, page 42). “While traveling in the backcountry, I have often
relied on these water holes for drink-ing.
I gravitate toward them naturally,
both for their enigmatic beauty and
for their survival value,” Childs says.
“The challenge in researching them,
on the ground at least, is just finding
them. You get an eye for where water
is going to be, the shape of the land
that holds it. In some places you are
right, and in others all you find is dry
ground. What draws me to them
more than anything, though, is the
sense of mystery they convey. They
are like other worlds fallen to the
surface of the Earth.” In addition to
Arizona Highways, Childs is a com-mentator
for National Public Radio’s
Morning Edition. He also writes for
Men’s Journal, Outside and The New
JOHN BECKETT & JULIE KOETH
The dynamic duo of photographer John Beckett and stylist
Julie Koeth has been working together for more than 10
years, shooting dozens of magazine covers and innumer-able
national ad campaigns. That said, when it came to
shooting the cover for this month’s issue, the team got
excited for what it considered a “very special assignment.”
“Shooting magazine covers isn’t anything new for us,”
Beckett says, “but being asked to shoot one for Arizona
Highways put us in a small and select group of photogra-phers.
It was an honor.” Koeth agrees: “It was exciting to shoot this cover because it’ll be
seen all around the world and will showcase our state. That makes it very special to us,
both personally and professionally.” The duo also photographed the Cherry Creek Lodge
for this month’s cover story (see Weekend Getaways, page 14).
Photographer Frank Zullo’s work first appeared in Arizona Highways in 1985, but his inter-est
in Native American rock art began much earlier. However, it wasn’t until he moved
to the base of South Mountain eight years ago that he began to explore what he calls
“some world-class” petroglyph sites within easy walking
distance of his home. “That drew me into the world of
prehistoric rock art,” Zullo says. “Being a longtime sky-watcher,
I’d get excited whenever I came across a glyph
that seemed to pertain to the sky.” Thus, this month’s
portfolio was born (see It Was a Dark Night ... , page 28).
“The great thing was that I didn’t really have to go far,” he
says. “Between South Mountain, the Picacho Mountains,
Agua Fria National Monument and the many areas along
the lower Gila River, starting with Painted Rock Petroglyph
Site, I was able to get most of the images.”
“do you want to go kayaking with Robin?” That’s what Keri Rhinehart asked me
a few months ago. Keri’s the production supervisor for Arizona Highways Televi-sion,
and she wanted to know if I’d be interested in tag-teaming on a story about kaya-king
the Verde River. Robin and her crew would be there filming it for television; I
could be there with a photographer doing a piece for the magazine. A few things went
through my head as I thought about her question: Has anybody ever said NO to Keri? Is this
a good story for the magazine? Which photographer should I bless with the assignment?
The answers, respectively, were no, yes and Jeff Kida. Beyond that, there was the
obvious: Kayaking with Robin Sewell is good work if you can get it. As host and
executive producer of Arizona Highways Television, Robin knows a great travel story
when she sees it. Plus, she’s smart, she’s captivating and I couldn’t pass up a chance
to see her flip a kayak.
Turns out, she’s actually pretty good on the water. We didn’t encounter any Class
VI rapids, but still, she held her own. You can see the video on our Web site (go to
www.arizonahighways.com and click the YouTube link). For the print version, look
inside. Our river trip is one of several weekend getaways in this month’s cover story.
In all, we’ll tell you about 22 of the state’s best adventures, including an oppor-tunity
to witness the release of an endangered species, a historic railroad that’s
been resurrected in Globe, and a chocolate shop in Bisbee that’s one of only 10 in the
United States that makes chocolate directly from cacao beans. If you didn’t know,
most chocolatiers buy their supplies from large manufacturers, but not the owners
of Chocoláte. They go through the process of roasting, cracking, grinding, tempering
and barring the chocolate themselves. Even if you’re not an aficionado, you can taste
the difference. But don’t take our word for it. Hit the road and experience it for your-self.
That’s what Janet Crook Pierson did.
Well, she hit the road, anyway. Not for chocolate, though. Her trip was bigger
than that. She was on a mission to retrace her father’s footsteps in Monument Valley.
Cal Crook, a photographer, first visited Northern Arizona in 1946. In Trip of a Lifetime,
Pierson recounts her father’s arrival: “Sand and rock shimmer beneath a frybread
sun as Cal Crook locks up his ’41 Chevy and trailer and climbs onto a pack mule,
embarking on an unforgettable journey into the heart of Navajo civilization. With
If you like what you see in this magazine every month, check out Arizona Highways Tele-vision,
an Emmy Award-winning program hosted by former news anchor Robin Sewell.
Now in its sixth season, the show does with audio and video what we do with ink and
paper — it showcases the people, places and things of the Grand Canyon State, from
the spectacular landscapes and colorful history to the fascinating culture and endless
adventure. And that’s just the beginning. “For me, the show is about more than just
the destinations,” Robin says. “It’s about the people behind the scenes. It’s their stories
that make the destinations so interesting.” Indeed, there’s a reason this show wins so many awards — it’s
second-to-none, and we’re proud to have our name on it. Take a look. For broadcast times, visit our Web
site, www.arizonahighways.com, and click the Arizona Highways Television link on our home page.
ROBERT STIEVE, editor
special permission and escort from Navajo guide
Albert Bradley, he secures his gear, including his
trusty Exakta single-lens-reflex camera.”
Six decades after that trip, Pierson made her
own trek to Monument Valley, hoping for even
a fraction of the life-changing experience her
father had. As you’ll see, the car and the camera
were different, but the effect of that spectacular
place was much the same. And that’s not unusual.
There’s something special about Monument
Valley. There’s something special about Joseph
In a state with a long history of mavericks,
Brown, a fifth-generation Arizonan, is one of
the most madcap individualists you’ll ever meet.
Although his name may not ring a bell, you might
be familiar with his work. When he wasn’t busy
being a boxer, Marine, cattle trader, rancher,
prospector and whiskey smuggler, Brown was
writing books, including Jim Kane, which was
made into the movie Pocket Money, starring Paul
Newman. Tucson author Chuck Bowden, one of
the best writers in America, says The Forests of the
Night, another one of Brown’s books, “is without a
doubt the finest novel ever written in our region.”
As glamorous as all of that might sound,
life’s been rough for the 79-year-old. As Kathy
McCraine writes in Not Your Average Joe: “These
days, he often speaks softly, with a humility born
of hard knocks, in contrast to his rowdy years
when he could drink anybody under the table.”
Like so many great writers, Brown was an alco-holic
and paid a price, but he’s sober now, and
he’s determined to write at least 30 more books
before he dies.
When you read our story, you’re going to want
to buy his books. And you should. According to
Bowden, they’re classics. They’re also perfect
companions for a weekend getaway ... the next
best thing to kayaking with Robin Sewell.
JA N UA R Y 2 0 1 0 V O L . 8 6 , N O. 1
Arizona Highways® (ISSN 0004-1521) is published
monthly by the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Subscription price: $24 a year in the U.S., $44 outside the
U.S. Single copy: $3.99 U.S. Call 800-543-5432. Subscrip-tion
and change of address information:
Arizona Highways, P.O. Box 653, Mount Morris, IL 61054-
0653. Periodical postage paid at Phoenix, AZ, and at ad-ditional
mailing office. CANADA POST INTERNATIONAL
PUBLICATIONS MAIL PRODUCT (CANADIAN
SALES AGREEMENT NO. 41220511. SEND RETURNS
TO QUEBECOR WORLD, P.O. BOX 875, WINDSOR, ON
N9A 6P2. POSTMASTER:
Send address changes to Ari-zona
Highways, P.O. Box 653, Mount Morris, IL 61054-
© 2010 by the Arizona
in whole or in part without
permission is prohibited. The magazine does not accept
and is not responsible for unsolicited
PRODUCED IN THE USA
BARBARA GLYNN DENNEY
Deputy Art Director
SONDA ANDERSSON PAPPAN
Design Production Assistant
VICTORI A J. SNOW
Director of Sales & Marketing
CINDY BORMANI S
Corporate or Trade Sales
Sponsorship Sales Representation
EMM MEDIA SERVICES LLC
Letters to the Editor
2039 W. Lewis Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85009
JANICE K. BREWER
Director, Department of Transportation
JOHN S. HALIKOWSKI
Arizona Transportation Board
ROBERT M. MONTOYA
FELIPE ANDRES ZUBIA
WILLIAM J. FELDMEIER
BARBARA ANN LUNDSTROM
VICTOR M. FLORES
STEPHEN W. CHRISTY
4 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 5
letters people > dining > lodging > photography > history > nature > things to do > > > > THE JOURNAL
My wife, my grandkids and I recently
visited Arizona. We enjoyed the
beauty of the Petrified Forest, the
Painted Desert and the Grand
Canyon. And we got our kicks on old
Route 66, especially in Seligman. We
got yummy chocolate malts at the
Snow Cap Drive-In, where I fell prey
to the fake mustard bottle trick. We
met Angel Delgadillo, the driving
force behind restoring Route 66. He
showed us his visitors’ scrapbook —
what a delightful gentleman. Later,
we stopped at the quirky Hackberry
General Store. We also spent time in
Tucson, where we got to experience
the beauty of the desert. I’m glad we
got to show our grandkids the beauty
and fun of Arizona.
DAVID BROWN, WHEATON, MARYLAND
THE PROS AND CONS
I just loved the Photo Issue
[September 2009]. I especially
enjoyed the wildlife photo tips. As
an extreme amateur, I hope to enter
the photo contest next year. The first
thing I’m going to do is change my
name to Bev!
TONY LEWMAN, TUCSON
EDITOR’S NOTE: In our 2009 Online Photography
Contest, the first- and second-place winners were
both named Bev. Good luck Tony ... er, Bev.
I cannot express how extremely
disappointed I was with the win-ning
photograph in your photo
competition [September 2009]. For
a publication known for stunning
photos of the beauty of Arizona,
your choice of a portrait spotlight-ing
the animal abuse connected with
rodeos is disappointing to the core.
Of all the wonderful submissions
you must have received, why choose
one depicting the senseless torture
inflicted on animals at modern
rodeos? Abuse them, endanger them
and throw them away when we are
done — make money. Shame on you.
I didn’t even look at the rest of the
issue; it turned my stomach.
MARTI J. THORSON, BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN
I was flipping through your Best of
Arizona issue [August 2009] when I
had to back up a few pages and do a
double take! Cutie Roger Clyne looks
so much like my dear friend Tim
Windwalker, who is also a singer,
songwriter, guitarist, drummer and
all-around musician extraordinaire.
Cosmic twist: Tim and his wife,
Mary, are the custom moccasin-makers
at the Arizona Renaissance
Festival that Roger mentions in his
interview. Thanks for the beautiful
SHEILA DAKINI, SNOWFLAKE
My wife and I are both native
Arizonans who love to read your
magazine every month. We live in
Payson where there are no decent
places to eat. We’re the type of people
who like noncommercial restaurant
food. Each month we check out The
Journal page on dining in Arizona.
Thank you so much for the spotlight
on great restaurants around Arizona.
We look forward to trying more res-taurants
in the future.
JACK LLOYD, PAYSON
If you have
we’d love to hear
from you. We can
be reached at
by mail at 2039
W. Lewis Avenue,
85009. For more
Here Comes the Sun
Houseboat, powerboat, kayak ...
there are many ways to explore Lake
Powell, including Fiftymile Canyon,
which is accessed by a tributary of the
Escalante arm of the lake. Here, two
hikers stand at the edge of a tranquil
pool just after sunrise. Information:
928-608-6200 or www.nps.gov/glca.
U.S. Postal Service
STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT, AND CIRCULATION
Title of Publication: Arizona Highways Publisher: Win Holden
Publication No.: ISSN 0004-1521 Editor: Robert Stieve
Date of Filing: September 28, 2009 Managing Editor: Sally Benford;
Frequency of issues: Monthly Complete mailing address
Number of issues of known office of publication:
published annually: Twelve 2039 W. Lewis Ave., Phoenix,
Annual subscription price: (Maricopa) AZ 85009-2893
$24.00 U.S. one year
Owner: State of Arizona
206 S. 17th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding
1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities: None
The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt
status for federal income tax purposes has not changed during preceding 12 months.
ISSUE DATE FOR CIRCULATION DATA BELOW:
EXTENT AND NATURE OF CIRCULATION
A. Total number copies printed 172,678 167,993
B. Paid circulation
1. Outside-county, mail subscriptions 139,320 133,409
2. In-county subscriptions -- --
3. Sales through dealers, carriers,
street vendors, counter sales and
USPS paid distribution 31,508 32,160
4. Other classes mailed through the USPS -- --
C. Total paid circulation 171,016 165,569
D. Free distribution by mail
1. Outside-county 210 217
2. In-county -- --
3. Other classes mailed through the USPS -- --
4. Free distribution outside the mail -- --
E. Total free distribution 210 217
F. Total distribution 171,226 165,786
G. Copies not distributed 1,452 2,207
H. Total 172,678 167,993
I. Percent paid circulation 99.88% 99.87%
I certify that the statements made by me are correct and complete.
Win Holden, Publisher
Nov. ’08-Oct. ’09
to filing date
6 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 w w w . a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 7
Scottsdale restaurants might get most of the attention, but there are a few places in rural
Arizona where it’s possible to get surprisingly good food. Some places make sense.
Sonoita/Patagonia, for example, could be explained by the concentration of area winer-ies.
But how to explain Yarnell? Nothing about the town that stretches along 9 miles of State
Route 89 between Wickenburg and Prescott would suggest a proliferation of good restaurants.
Yet there’s hardly a bad choice.
For breakfast and lunch, The Ranch House, practically an institution, bustles with big men with
big appetites who come for hardy, housemade fare. Ladies who lunch flock to the Cornerstone
Bakery with its pretty flower garden, freshly baked goods, soups and sandwiches. Rumors Grill
also serves lunch, but for dinner, the restaurant has the town to itself. And that’s a good thing.
Siggi Gesser opened Rumors in 2005 in a single room of a former horse stable with just an
ice cream case and three or four tables. But the restaurant quickly gained a following for its
generously loaded handmade pizzas. In July 2008, Siggi took over the rest of the building, and
Rumors now seats about 30 inside, with additional seating on the comfortable patio and live
The furnishings are quirky: black metal patio tables with white
oilcloth tablecloths and pink paper placemats. Classical music plays
in the background and Picasso prints hang on the walls. The wide-ranging
menu includes a variety of pasta, steaks, fresh salmon and
Rumors Has It
Pork schnitzel, wild Idaho trout, the best apple pie in
Yavapai County ... those are just some of the delicious
menu items at this unassuming little restaurant in Yarnell.
By KATHY MONTGOMERY
TO REALLY GET A feel for who Ron Thomas is — a
68-year-old Phoenix barber whose very being hearkens
back to the days of Mayberry — throw on some
Motown and kick back with a long-neck
bottle of Coke. Good, isn’t it? A classic
always is. It’s pure and unadulterated,
recalling a time when life was a little simpler. The same
could be said of this Hemingway look-alike, who’s as
refreshing as the old familiar scent of Pinaud powder
that lingers nostalgically on his stalwart hands.
“Back at my first shop in the early ’60s, my partner and
I wore suits with houndstooth slacks — the whole getup,”
Thomas laughs. “That was pretty authentic. I’ve changed
things up a bit, but my methods are exactly the same.”
Honoring the fundamentals of yesteryear, Thomas
keeps his practice old school, as one of the last mas-ters
of the straight-razor barbering profession. At his
small shop in central Phoenix, dubbed Occam’s Edge
Haircutters (after William of Ockham), Thomas has
trimmed and shaved some of the city’s most notable
personalities. And he’s been doing so for the last four
decades, in 45-minute, full-service appointments (shoe-shine
included), free of any electric assistance, with
one of the only women allowed inside the gentleman’s
guild — his man-manicurist Betty — by his side. “Hey,
important men need good-looking hands,” she quips.
Although Thomas seldom reveals what goes down
inside the man cave, he will divulge a few juicy tidbits.
Jerry Colangelo’s a longtime client and friend (Thomas
attended his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame).
“I was right here when Jerry fired Wally [Backman],”
Thomas says of the former Diamondbacks’ manager. Terry
Goddard was at Occam’s before he was mayor. Thomas
misses Cotton Fitzsimmons “like hell,” and many of the
Phoenix 40 were regulars at the shop. Impressed yet?
If not, consider that at a time when many barbers, no
matter the style, are begging for business, Thomas has
the privilege of keeping his shop obscure, free of the clas-sic
candy-cane pole outside, working on a strict, referral-only
basis, with a robust client roster. No, he doesn’t
chase youngsters away hollering “hooligans,” but most
of his clients are older, loyal, and have visited since their
adolescence — some with weekly standing appointments.
Oh, and Ron’s also a seasoned angler, a talented
artist working on his fifth book of illustrations, a col-lector
(the walls are covered with original memorabilia
any historical museum would envy),
and he even won the famous Ernest
Hemingway Look-Alike Contest in
Key West in 2002. Kind of makes you
wonder: What have I done lately?
The Artful Barber
He looks like Ernest Hemingway, he cuts
hair like nobody’s business, and he’s an
accomplished illustrator who was friends
with Charles M. Shultz. Yep, Ron Thomas
is a total character.
By MARYAL MILLER
wild Idaho trout. Schnitzel, a house specialty,
is served two ways: hunter style, with wild
mushrooms, bacon, peppers and onions; and
Vienna style, lightly breaded and cooked in
lemon butter. The portions are ample and the
prices reasonable, from $8.50 for a burger
to $28 for a chef’s choice, five-course dinner.
The chef’s choice changes daily, Siggi says,
“depending on what I have and what I feel
like cooking.” Though, he admits, no one has
ordered one so far.
Siggi immigrated to the United States from
Germany in 1961 and has cooked in restau-rants
all over the West, including
Beverly Hills; Vail, Colorado; and
Jackson Hole, Wyoming. With
a head of white hair and matching beard, he
often wanders the dining room wearing his
kitchen apron, chatting and joking with cus-tomers,
many of whom are regulars.
Be sure to order Siggi’s signature apple pie.
It’s homemade and well worth the $5 price.
And if you want beer or wine, take your own.
Rumors is BYOB. Forget, and your choice of
beer and wine will be limited to the selection
at the nearby service station.
Rumors is located at
22720 S. State Route 89
in Yarnell. For informa-tion
THE JOURNAL > people THEJOURNAL > dining
Y A R N E L L
When you were
growing up in Tucson,
what were some of
your favorite places?
I loved to explore
Sabino Canyon, and
“A” Mountain was
always a big thing
for our family. When
I got a little older, I
liked to hit up Cactus
Moon and McGraw’s,
which was a really
If you were trying to
show off Arizona to
some of your Holly-wood
would you take them?
Definitely to a
country bar. It’s hard
to duplicate those in
other cities. I’d take
them to a rodeo and
to a place where they
could see the Tucson
sunset. That’s really
If you were making
a road trip from Tuc-son
to Sedona, how
would you like to go:
vintage convertible or
It depends on who’s
driving, but probably
a vintage convertible.
Do you find yourself
craving a certain
I’m a big fan of
Mexican food. I miss
the authenticity that
Tucson has by being
so close to the border
— that really spicy
What part of Arizona
do you miss the most?
The beauty of the
— Dave Pratt is the
author of Behind the
Mic: 30 Years in Radio
P R A T T ’ S Q&A
Occam’s Edge is
located at 4212 N.
Seventh Avenue in
Phoenix. For more
P H O E N I X
Left to right: Lou Beebe, Betty Grable, Ron Thomas
O N L I N E To watch video of Maryal’s interview, visit www.arizonahighways.com.
8 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0
FALLING IN LOVE WITH England House B&B in Flagstaff is inevitable — it’s just a question
of when. For architecture buffs, simply seeing this two-story Victorian house for the first
time might be all it takes. Master stonecutter William England (who also oversaw construc-tion
of the Coconino County Courthouse) built it in 1902, using Coconino and Moenkopi
sandstone to create a striking red-and-white-patterned exterior. It’s a lovely old place,
stately and utterly unique, situated four blocks from Flagstaff’s historic downtown.
When Richard and Laurel Dunn bought the England House in 2003, it still contained the
original pressed-tin ceilings ordered from the Sears & Roebuck catalog
so long ago, with a different mint-condition pattern found in every room.
The Dunns kept the ceilings and the original claw-foot bathtub they found,
spending a year and a half restoring virtually everything else. The result is an intimate, light-filled
space, furnished with 1870s French antiques that lend warmth and elegance to every room.
Three spacious guestrooms, each furnished differently, are located on the second floor; a tiny
fourth — called The Pantry — is tucked beneath the staircase at ground level. Although Wi-Fi is
available, the house is otherwise unplugged and blessedly quiet.
When guests arrive, Richard greets them at the door, offering an informal tour of the house
before leading them to their rooms. Later, guests sometimes gather for a glass of wine in the
parlor, encouraged by the Dunns to help themselves any time of the day or night to the wine,
beer and soft drinks stocked in the fridge, as well as to the freshly
baked cookies and candies left on the counter.
Clearly, the heart of the house is the gorgeously remodeled coun-try
kitchen, where Richard and Laurel can be found making breakfast
every morning. It’s not uncommon for guests to wander in and pour
Solid as the Rock
Built with local sandstone in 1902, England House B&B is a lovely old place,
stately and utterly unique, just four blocks from downtown Flagstaff.
By NIKKI BUCHANAN
themselves a cup of coffee, wearing the plush
bathrobes hung behind their bathroom doors.
While the Dunns whip up something yummy
— maybe bacon, cheese- and apple-stuffed
croissants, Victorian eggs or french toast
soufflé — guests wisely take advantage of
the opportunity to ask them for dining recom-mendations
and travel tips before tucking into
a chemical-free, mostly organic breakfast on
the cheery sun-porch behind the kitchen.
Although fancy soaps and fresh flowers
are telling details, it’s the friendly, mi-casa-es-
su-casa Dunns who make England House
so homey. Well, they and their freshly baked
England House B&B is
located at 614 W. Santa
Fe Avenue in Flagstaff.
For more information, call
877-214-7350 or visit www.
SO MANY PLACES …
... so little time. Ari-zona
is blessed with
an amazing array of
you decide on a good
place for your next
Instead of throwing
darts at a map,
The lower deserts
sit quietly in their
the colors of fall
have long since been
scattered; and spring
flowers are a distant
possibility. Try using
the low angle of the
sun at this time of year
to bring out nature’s
natural textures. The
red rocks of Sedona
are perfect candidates.
Warm earth tones
against winter’s azure
skies — plus the
potential for snow —
have an ethereal qual-ity.
If that’s not enough,
the ancient ruins of
Palatki and Honanki
ruins are beautifully
illuminated by winter
EDITOR’S NOTE: Look for
Arizona Highways Pho-tography
at bookstores and www.
Q&A: Jack Dykinga
If you’re a longtime reader of Arizona Highways, you’re well-acquainted
with the work of Jack Dykinga. He’s one of the
best, and he’s always looking for ways to get even better.
By JEFF KIDA, photo editor Jack Dykinga has had quite a career as a photog-rapher.
He started at the Chicago Sun Times, where
he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1971. He then moved
to Arizona, traded in his 35 mm for a 4x5 view camera,
and shifted his concentration from people to landscapes.
He’s had nine books published, including Images: Jack
Dykinga’s Grand Canyon (Arizona Highways Books, 2008),
and he’s produced dozens of portfolios for this magazine.
Through it all, he has never used Photoshop or a digital
camera. In fact, according to the photo blogosphere
and numerous betting sites in Las Vegas, Jack was never
going to give up his chrome. Well, over the last year,
things have changed at “Dykinga Central Command.”
Is it really true? Have you finally moved into the
world of digital photography?
Yes. I consider photography to be a continuum, where
engineering anchors one end of the spectrum and art
the opposite. In my world, there’s always a balance
between technology and the aesthetic. In the past
couple of years, two things got my attention: Camera
manufacturers started making digital cameras that
have full-frame sensors with incredible light-gathering
capacity. Then, they added an array of tilt-shift lenses
that would allow me to control depth of field in much
the same way I do with a 4x5.
It almost sounds as if you had something in mind, and
were just waiting to pull the trigger.
I was out photographing and camping with my friend
Jeff Foott some years ago. One evening, long after sun-set,
we were commenting on how beautiful the desert
flowers looked in the moonlight. With slower-speed
films, using a view camera, you’d have to make very
long exposures, and any sort of wind would blur the
flowers. I enjoyed the moment, but kept that image in
my head for quite some time. About 18 months ago, I
had the opportunity to test-drive Nikon’s D3 with a
24 mm tilt-shift lens. I’d heard that this camera was
capable of producing amazing results, even at high
ISOs. In other words, making images that had very
little noise because of a faster shutter speed.
What do you think after the test drive?
I think it’s great. In this case, digital technology has
extended image-making possibilities. If you have the
ability or can learn to previsualize, the new cameras
and software make it much easier to get to where you
want to be. Let’s be honest, it’s very easy to become
static or complacent no matter what you do. Now
there’s really no excuse.
THE JOURNAL > lodging THEJOURNAL > photography
O N L I N E
For more photography
tips and other informa-tion,
highways.com and click
F L A G S T A F F
JEFF KIDA JEFF KIDA
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 9
In California's Inyo National Forest, a digital-camera exposure gath-ered
the full moonlight on this bristlecone pine and rocky surround-ing,
plus a sky full of stars.
10 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 11
THE SEVEN SISTERS OF St. Joseph bid adieu to their fellow nuns in
relatively tame Carondelet, Missouri, on April 20, 1870. They were
headed for the rugged Arizona Territory, and they
understood that it would be a long and treacherous
journey, as well as a permanent assignment. But that
didn’t matter as they traveled through harsh terrain and the threat
of Indian attacks to help civilize Tucson and “rid the town of its
wicked ways.” They believed they were on a mission from God.
After three weeks of crossing the country by train, covered
wagon and boat, the sisters reached Fort Yuma on the Colorado
River. There, they quickly learned about life in the Wild West.
According to Sister Monica Corrigan’s diary of the trip, Trek of
It’s the stuff that movies are made of: Seven nuns
leave Missouri on a mission to the Wild West,
where they build a legacy and break a few hearts
along the way.
By SALLY BENFORD
the Seven Sisters, the group nearly drowned,
suffered from heat and fatigue, and saw
the graves of many settlers who had been
killed by Indians, including the Oatman
family. Once they arrived in Arizona —
the most dangerous segment of the trip
— the sisters accepted the hospitality of
ranchers, but nothing more.
“There were several ranch-men there from the neighboring
stations, but no women,” Sister Corrigan wrote. “There are few
women in this country. After dinner, they became very sociable.
Some of them proposed marriage to us, saying we would do better
by accepting the offer than by going to Tucson, for we would be
massacred by the Indians.”
More amused than insulted, the sisters continued on their jour-ney,
past the Gila River, where soldiers escorted them for the final
75 miles, including a harrowing ride through the mountain pass
at Picacho Peak. On May 26, 1870 (Ascension Thursday), the seven
sisters arrived in Tucson, where 3,000 citizens greeted them with
a grand reception.
It didn’t take long for them to make their mark on the Old
Pueblo. Within a few days, the nuns had opened the doors of St.
Joseph’s Academy, which was immediately filled to capacity with
eager students. When they weren’t teaching, the sisters walked
the dusty streets of Tucson, carrying medicine and supplies for the
poor and sick. In 1880, they opened St. Mary’s Hospital, the first
hospital in Arizona.
Today, the legacy of the seven sisters of St. Joseph lives on. In all,
the Tucson diocese is home to 26 schools, three hospitals and more
than 60 parishes and missions.
If you’re like many Arizona travel-ers,
this might be a familiar sce-nario:
You’re driving through the
forest when someone yells, “Deer!”
You pull over so everyone can ooh
and aah, then inquire, “Is it a mule
deer?” “I think it’s an elk,” someone
says. “It might be a white-tailed,”
another ventures. And everyone
nods silently, because you’re all
agreeable, and no one wants to
admit they couldn’t tell an Odocoi-leus
hemionus from an Odocoileus vir-ginianus
and wouldn’t know a Cervus
canadensis if it introduced itself.
Fortunately, Arizona is home to
only three species of deer, and they
really are quite distinct, once you
know what to look for.
First, consider your location. If
you’re in the far north, it’s probably
a mule deer, which ranges through-out
Arizona and the Western United
States. White-tailed and Coues (a
white-tailed subspecies) roam the
southern half of the state, and elk, a
swath that sweeps through the cen-ter
toward New Mexico.
Second, evaluate its size. Mule
deer are middleweights, weighing in
at 150 to 440 pounds; white-tailed
are lightweights, at 125 to 300
pounds (Coues white-taileds are
even smaller); and elk, the biggest
species of deer aside from moose,
are heavyweights, tipping the scales
at 700 to more than 1,000 pounds.
Clearly, there is overlap in both
heft and habitat, so you can’t be
sure until you inspect the tail. Mule
deer have black-tipped white tails
that they keep down while running.
White-tailed tails are brown-topped
and often flip up while they run,
revealing the white underneath. Elk
have tiny brown tails and large beige
Once you’re certain it’s a mule
deer, you can impress your compan-ions
not only with your identification
skills, but also with nature show-like
factoids: “Note the large, mule-like
ears that give the deer its name.
And the gray-brown hide, compared
with the white-tailed’s and elk’s
warmer, tan color. Though I must
admit it was the dark, V-shaped
patch between the eyes that told me
definitively we were in the presence
of Odocoileus hemionus. Observe the
large feet, which allow it to dig as
deep as 2 feet to find water.”
If the deer runs away, you can
take the opportunity to wow your
mates again: “Mule deer have an
unusual, stiff-legged gait called stot-ting,
wherein they land on all fours.
They can reach speeds of up to 45
mph. It helps them escape preda-tors
in rough terrain, see above
bushes, and even make a U-turn in
a single bound. It reminds me of the
Thomson’s gazelle of the Serengeti.”
Settle down there, Marty Stouffer.
It’s just a deer.
Deer Prudence There are three species of deer in
Arizona — mule, white-tailed and elk. Although they’re distinct, they can
be confused, so read this piece to avoid sounding like a tenderfoot
the next time you’re in the woods. By KERIDWEN CORNELIUS
THEJOURNAL > nature
T U C S O N
■ Responding to
recent attack, a
group of trappers
that included James
O. Pattie and Ewing
against 200 Mari-copa
more than 100 of the
tribe’s warriors in
■ On January 11,
1900, the Jerome
Reporter ran a
story that Maricopa
a total of $60 for
during the month of
■ A record low
temperature of -30
degrees was re-corded
on January 22, 1937.
In January 1960, we visited the Sea of Cortes
off Baja, California, to photograph the region’s
tropical fish and coral reefs. We also featured
Phoenix’s Little Theatre — one of the oldest arts
institutions in the state — and showcased a vein
of natural, glowing, phosphorescent rocks in
Arizona that had mystified researchers for years.
50 years ago
I N A R I Z O N A H I G H W A Y S
THEJOURNAL > history
might rhyme with
pigeon, these feath-ered
fowl are actu-ally
members of the
duck family. Known
for having steep
foreheads that are
best described as
bulbous, wigeons —
both American and
hybrids — are com-mon
in Arizona in
the winter months.
you’ll find them
in urban ponds,
fluffing their gray-orange
and whistling whee-
BRUCE D. TAUBERT
Mule deer Elk White-tailed deer
Clockwise from top left: Sister Emmerentia Bonnefoy, Sister Euphrasia Suchet, Sister Monica Corrigan,
Sister Hyacinthe Blanc, Sister Maxime Croissat, Sister Martha Peters, Sister Ambrosia Arnichaud.
ARIZONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, TUCSON
12 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 13
THEJOURNAL > things to do
JANUA RY 1 6 - 1 8 GR AN D CAN YON
Take advantage of the slower pace of winter at the Grand Canyon. It’s
the perfect season to capture the drama of the Canyon as the cool,
crisp air provides crystalline light and the lower angle of the sun pro-vides
longer hours of that sweet light photographers crave. Join Peter
Ensenberger for this two-day Arizona Highways Photo Workshop.
Information: 888-790-7042 or www.friendsofazhighways.com.
JA N UA RY 1 8 -24 SCOT T SDA L E
Automobile enthusiasts from all over the world will congregate this month for the 2010 World’s
Greatest Car Collector Event. During this weeklong auction, some of the world’s most desired
and collectible vehicles, including a 1956 Chrysler Phantom Custom Wagon (pictured), will go
to the highest bidder. Along with the main event, this year’s auction includes live demonstra-tions,
gourmet food, entertainment ... and if that isn’t enough, chances are there’ll be a celebrity
or two in the crowd. Information: 480-421-6694 or www.barrett-jackson.com.
Old West Roundup
JANUA RY 2 2-24 TUCSON
If you collect Old West memorabilia, you’ll
want to head to the Pima County Fair-grounds
this month. Cowboy and Indian
collectibles such as boots, hats, spurs, art,
blankets, leather goods, beaded and sil-ver
jewelry, and one-of-a-kind pieces will
be offered during this show and auction,
lauded by American Cowboy magazine as one of its best Western
events. Information: 406-834-3603 or www.roundupproductionsllc.com.
J A N UA R Y 1 - 3 1
F L AGS TA F F
The woodlands of
Flagstaff become a
at Little America
Hotel during this
displays more than
a million colorful,
435-2493 or www.
J ANUA RY 2 5 PHOENI X
Learn what it takes to follow inclement
weather during a lecture by photographer
and storm-chaser Warren Faidley. Sponsored
by Arizona Highways and Desert Botanical
Garden, the event features Faidley’s storm-chasing
adventures throughout Arizona and
the United States, as well as his photographs
of Mother Nature’s fury. Information: 480-
941-1225 or www.dbg.org.
Hi Jolly Daze
JA N UA RY 3 QUA RT Z S I T E
Each year this quirky Western Arizona town
honors one of its most famous citizens, Haji
Ali (nicknamed “Hi Jolly”), a Syrian camel
herder who worked with the United States
Camel Corps in the 1850s. Fittingly, the Hi
Jolly Daze festivities at Town Park include a
camel parade, live entertainment, a fiddler’s
contest and a gemstone scoop. Information:
928-927-6159 or www.quartzsitetourism.us.
Arizona has been well rep-resented
in the nation’s
capital this holiday sea-son.
All because of an 85-foot blue
spruce. The tree, which came from
the Apache-Sitgreaves National
Forests, has been on display in
front of the U.S. Capitol for several
weeks. Here are a few facts about
this very special spruce:
• Twenty-one other states have sup-plied
Christmas trees to the U.S.
• Arizona’s Carl T. Hayden, who
served in Congress for a record 56
years, lit the first Capitol Christ-mas
tree on December 18, 1964.
• Renowned conservationist Aldo
Leopold started his Forest Ser-vice
career in Arizona’s Apache
National Forest in 1909, when the
tree was just a sapling.
• The tree is approximately 125
years old — older than the state
• Arizona students used eco-friendly
materials to create 5,000
handcrafted ornaments to deco-rate
• The ornaments filled a full-sized
semi-trailer, which transported
them to Washington, D.C.
• Federal officials escorted the tree
during a three-week tour of the
• Arizona culture, including cow-boy
poetry and Native American
dance, was highlighted during the
official lighting ceremony.
• The tree was scheduled to be lit
every night from dusk to 11 p.m.
through January 1, 2010.
All Spruced Up
The U.S. Capitol has looked
especially spiffy this holiday
season, thanks to Arizona’s
homegrown gift to the nation
— a stunning 85-foot-tall blue
By SALLY BENFORD
THEJOURNAL > nature
WEEKEND GETAWAYS Catch a glimpse of an endangered species. Check. Ride the rails on a route
that was defunct for 50 years. Check. Eat some of the rarest chocolate in the
United States. Check. Arizona has a lot to experience — places to go, things to
see. In the next 12 pages, we’ll tell you about 22 of our favorite adventures.
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 15
BY AMANDA FRUZYNSKI & KELLY KRAMER
sedona mago retreat center
Not all visitors who gaze at Sedona’s red rocks can fully compre-hend
their magical properties, but the staff at Sedona Mago Retreat
Center is ready to share its wisdom of the rocks’ hidden wonders.
Located not far from Sedona’s main drag, on a red dirt road between
Sedona and Cottonwood, the retreat gives visitors a different per-spective
on the area. There is a variety of retreat packages and well-ness
programs available, as well as meditation, an organic garden
tour, exercise classes, and even a free tour that focuses on Sedona’s
unique geology and vortexes. In addition to all of the greenery out-side,
Mago is pretty green inside. The center uses water conservation
techniques, creates compost for its organic garden, serves vegetar-ian
food in the dining hall, and
plans to change its linens to
those made of recycled fibers.
Information: 800-875-2256 or www.
park of the canals
It might sound a little sur-prising
that 34 acres of ancient
Hohokam canals sit rather
inconspicuously in the midst of
a longtime neighborhood park
in Mesa. Park of the Canals,
which also provides visitors
a playground and picnic tables,
houses the ruins. The park went
through a period of downtime,
but efforts are under way to
raise funds for new playground equipment. Meanwhile, visitors can
still make use of the historic park, which is on the National Register of
Historic Places. When you’re there, check out Brinton Desert Botani-cal
Gardens, which is also located on the grounds. Information: www.
copper spike railroad
Formerly known as the Arizona Eastern Railway, the new Copper
Spike Railroad is officially riding the rails — 50 years after its pre-decessor’s
last trip. Almost a century ago, travelers passing between
New Orleans and Los Angeles hopped this railroad route to experi-ence
the Apache Trail. Today, passengers take the Copper Spike to the
Apache Gold Casino & Resort. The train features 1950s-era domed rail
cars with glass roofs, as well as restored 1950s Pullman railcars that
were originally built for the Long Island Railroad. The train departs
from the original historic railway depot on Broad Street in Globe, and
tours run four times daily between November and May. Information:
928-645-6996 or www.copperspike.com.
central arizona g
mark your calendar
wickenburg gold rush days
Although most of the gold was
plucked from the hills 100 years
ago, there are still plenty of ways to
catch gold fever during Wickenburg’s
celebration of the town’s early days.
Would-be prospectors can take their
time and enjoy gunfights, an old-fashioned
melodrama, one of Arizona’s
largest parades and even some good
old-fashioned gold panning. This year’s
celebration takes place February 11-14.
Information: 928-684-5479 or www.
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 17
PRECEDING PANEL: Young cowboy Colton Carroll is unfazed by the bellows of
cattle and the swirl of dust at the Tilting H Ranch near Young, home to the
Cherry Creek Lodge. PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN BECKETT
ABOVE: A major restoration project may have revitalized Globe’s Broad Street
railroad station, but it certainly hasn’t detracted from its historic charm. The
Copper Spike Railroad departs from the station four times a day, headed for
the Apache Gold Casino & Resort. PHOTOGRAPH BY NICK BEREZENKO
OPPOSITE PAGE: A wan full moon peeks between the terra-cotta spires of
Sedona’s Cathedral Rock. PHOTOGRAPH BY DEREK VON BRIESEN
18 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 19
WWaylon Jennings never sang about the Gra-hams
and the Tewksburys. When it comes
to feuding families in this country, the Hat-fields
and the McCoys get most of the atten-tion,
as they did in Luckenbach, Texas, Waylon’s
hit from 1977. Here in Arizona, however,
bragging rights — if there is such a thing —
go to the Grahams and the Tewksburys. No
one knows for sure what started what is now
known as the Pleasant Valley War, but accu-sations
of rustling, bloody gunfights, lynch-ings
and multiple courtroom dramas were
certainly part of the equation, and in the end,
anywhere from 17 to 28 people were killed,
depending on which account you read.
Today, the war is over and the Tewksbury
land is part of the Tilting H Ranch, which is
home to the Cherry Creek Lodge. Not only
can you visit the property without fear of
being lynched, you’ll drive away with a good
understanding of why somebody might risk
his or her life for this piece of land. The set-ting
is spectacular, and the accommodations
at the lodge are equally impressive. In fact,
whatever preconceived notions you might
have about the word “lodge” should be left in
Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles or wherever
else you might be coming from.
Cherry Creek Lodge is indeed a lodge, but
owners Sharon and Michael Lechter operate
it more like a B&B, which means some meals
— the most delicious food you’ll ever eat —
are included and guests are invited to make
themselves at home. Come to think of it,
you should probably set aside your thoughts
about B&B’s, too. Cherry Creek is unlike any
bed and breakfast you’ve ever experienced.
As you’ll see, this B&B/lodge/ranch/histori-cal
site will forever change your impression
of “roughing it.” And it all begins in the main
lodge, known as “the commons.”
Inside there are five rooms that sleep
16 people — the adjacent bunkhouse can
accommodate even more. The Owner’s Hide-away
is the most spacious room in the big
house, and you’ll want to reserve it if you can.
It features a king-size bed, French double
doors that lead to a private redwood deck,
a stone fireplace, a plasma-screen TV and
free Wi-Fi. Not that you’re going to feel like
surfing the Net or watching television while
you’re on the ranch. There’s too much to see
Although the Grahams and the Tewks-burys
were likely fighting over cattle or
sheep or maybe even a woman, they could
have easily been clashing over the land-scape.
The area is one of the most beautiful
and least-visited places in Arizona. The clos-est
town is Young, and that’s barely a town
— certainly nothing that’ll ruin the effect
of getting away. The ranch is a few miles
down the road, and it’s surrounded by roll-ing
grasslands, ponderosa pines, rocky val-leys
and endless open sky. There’s a gorgeous
creek, too. Naturally, this kind of environ-ment
attracts a wide variety of wildlife: elk,
mule deer, mountain lions, black bears, tur-keys
and javelinas. There are a couple ways
to experience the Mother Nature, including
hiking and horseback riding.
Hitting the trail with your own two feet is
always a good option in Arizona, but in this
neck of the woods, considering the history of
the ranch and the open sky, you really should
saddle up. The ranch is home to several
horses, including a few suited to beginners, a
few more for intermediate riders and a couple
of feisty horses for experts. Whichever group
you’re in, the ranch hands will make sure
you’re on the right horse. These folks have
been around horses all their lives, and they
know what they’re doing. Rest assured, you’ll
be in good hands. Or, if you have your own
horse, take it along; there’s plenty of room
inside the stable.
Either way, you’ll want to pack some
warm clothes. This time of year, the daytime
highs barely hit the mid-60s, and nighttime
temperatures can dip below freezing. Not
only that, it’s not unusual to get a dusting
of snow in January and February. If it hap-pens,
consider yourself lucky. The snow only
makes an already gorgeous landscape that
much more impressive. It won’t be as blustery
as a scene from Currier & Ives, but it will
make you appreciate the warmth of the fire
in the great room of the main lodge.
It’s hard to adequately describe the cozy
grandeur of the great room, but imagine
Ralph Lauren meets Ben Cartwright with
Julia Child whipping something up in the
background. The lure of Mother Nature and
the luxurious guestrooms will be strong, but
the great room, with its plush leather fur-niture
and knotty-pine decor, will put up a
pretty good fight of its own. Once you’re set-tled
in with a good book or a good conversa-tion,
it’s hard to leave, which is exactly what
the Lechters are striving for. The minute you
walk in the door, their home becomes your
home. It’s a neighborly approach that hasn’t
always existed in these parts.
Cherry Creek Lodge is located on Forest Road
54 in Young. For more information, call 928-
462-4029 or visit www.cherrycreeklodge.com.
Luxury accommodations, gourmet food, spectacular scenery,
a stable full of horses ... that’s just the beginning. The Cherry
Creek Lodge also offers a unique dose of history — one that’s
riddled with gunfights, lynchings and cattle rustling.
by robert stieve g photographs by john beckett
ABOVE: The concept of roughing it goes
out the window when it comes to dining
at Cherry Creek Lodge, where guests
who help ranch hands brand cattle are
treated to a regal spread.
OPPOSITE PAGE: “Warm” might best de-scribe
the great room at Cherry Creek
Lodge, where co-owner Michael
Lechter’s prized elk holds court.
BELOW: Colton Carroll (right) has some
big boots to fill as he earns the right to
call himself a cowboy by learning the
ins and outs of life on Tilting H Ranch
from ranch hand Paul Westbrook.
20 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 21
historic harquahala observatory
Harquahala Mountains Wilderness
There might not be a better place to record solar activity than sun-drenched
Arizona, which is why in the 1920s, leaders in Washing-ton,
D.C., sent a group of scientists and burros to the Harquahala
Peak Smithsonian Observatory. For many years, the scientists lived
on Harquahala Peak, gathering data and sending it back east to be
used in weather forecasting. Of course, it wasn’t easy getting there.
After an hour’s drive from Wenden, the
scientists used the burros to carry supplies
and delicate laboratory equipment during
the three-hour hike up the peak. Burros
no longer make the trip to the abandoned
observatory, but visitors can use four-wheel-
drive vehicles to see the historic site.
Kofa National Wildlife Refuge
The palms that sway in the ravines at
Kofa National Wildlife Refuge have the
distinction of being some of the only palm
trees native to Arizona. Although the tropical-looking trees seem to
line every street and backyard in the state’s desert cities, Palm Can-yon’s
are believed to be descendants of those that grew in Arizona
during the last North American ice age. To see them, you’ll have to do a
little work. After crossing a 9-mile dirt road off of U.S. Route 95, there’s
a half-mile hike to the canyon. Getting to the trees themselves involves
a more difficult climb. Be sure to take extra water — there aren’t any
services nearby. Information: 928-783-7861 or www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/
sanguinetti house museum
The history of the lower Colorado River is more than just a record
of floods. The Sanguinetti House tells the story of the river’s impact
on the Arizona Territory and life during the late 1800s. It does so
through artifacts, exhibits, photos and even the house itself. Pioneer
merchant E.F. Sanguinetti bought the home in the 1890s, 20 years after
it was built. He then expanded the adobe building into his own Ital-ian
retreat, with gardens and aviaries that are still maintained today.
Information: 928-782-1841 or www.arizonahistoricalsociety.org/museums.
western arizona g
A blooming ocotillo and teddy bear
chollas stand sentry at the entrance
to Palm Canyon, in the Kofa National
Wildlife Refuge. The canyon’s
namesake trees are some of the only
palms native to Arizona.
PHOTOGRAPH BY TOM DANIELSEN
mark your calendar
lake havasu rockabilly reunion
London Bridge is at its hippest when
the rockabillies come out. Circa-1950s
hair, a pre-1968 car show, pinup girl and
pinstripe contests, and a portable drive-in
transform Lake Havasu into a rocking
reunion for the weekend. This year’s
Rockabilly Reunion takes place February
12-14. Information: 928-230-6719 or
22 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 23
hashknife pony express run
It’s not too late to get mail delivered first-class by a rider on horseback. Really.
The Hashknife Pony Express makes a yearly trip from Holbrook to Scottsdale,
running 200 miles on horseback to deliver first-class mail in one of the oldest offi-cially
sanctioned Pony Express revival events in the country. In February, visitors
will have an opportunity to meet the Pony Express riders and watch as they’re
sworn in as honorary mail messengers. The highlight, however, is watching as they
begin their gallop toward Scottsdale. Information: www.hashknifeponyexpress.com.
The name might sound foreboding —
Casa Malpais translates to “House of the
Badlands” — but this is one very good
place to see the intricate and detailed
architecture of the ancient Mogollon peo-ple.
The complex includes underground
rooms, petroglyphs and basalt stair-cases,
all surrounded by volcanic rock.
The Great Kiva and the ancient astronomical observatory have led archaeologists
to believe the area was once a ceremonial center. Travelers must call ahead for
guided tours, offered Mondays through Saturdays at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Petrified Forest National Park
Celebrate the true coming of
summer and the longest day of the
year as ancient civilizations did —
by examining the solar calendar
that’s etched into the petroglyphs at
Petrified Forest National Park. The
park is home to the largest known
number of such calendars, and rang-ers
are on hand during the week
surrounding the sum-mer
solstice ( June 21)
to teach visitors about
the sun’s interaction
with the unique rock
etchings. Among other
things, visitors can learn
about how sunlight illu-minates
at Puerco Pueblo. Infor-mation:
eastern arizona g WWater, wine and one of the best hotels in Sedona.
That’s the gist of this weekend getaway — one
that can be done in the summer as a package deal,
including accommodations, or individually when-ever
you feel like it. The water, which takes center
stage, is in the form of the spectacular Verde
River; the wine comes courtesy of Alcantara
Vineyard, which has more than 13,000 vines and
features 12 different varietals; and the hotel is the
Sedona Rouge, one of that city’s most luxurious
properties. Any of the three rate as worthy week-end
getaways on their own, but the combination
is even better. Tying them all together — the cap-tain
of the cruise — is Sedona Adventure Tours, a
relatively new outfitter that’s impressing people
left and right with its expeditions in Sedona, Oak
Creek and the Verde Valley.
The Water to Wine Tour lasts about three
hours and begins with a shuttle ride from the
hotel to the river — that’s where the funyaks (a
more stable version of a kayak) are waiting. The
ride down the river takes about an hour, and
along the way you’ll see why the Verde has been
designated a National Wild & Scenic River. You
might see wildlife, too, including eagles, beavers
and maybe even bobcats.
The river portion of the tour comes to an end
at Alcantara, which is where the wine tasting
begins. And what a beginning. The Tuscan
farmhouse is the first winery on the Verde, and
it’s quickly being regarded as one of the best in
Arizona. That’s because owner Barbara Pred-more
comes from a winemaking family with vine-yards
in the Paso Robles region of California. She
knows everything there is to know about wine,
and it shows in her award-winning varietals.
From there, whether you’re staying at the hotel
or not, the shuttle will take you back to Sedona
Rouge, which is a great place to kick back, relax
and reflect on the trip. The hotel is beautiful, and
the views of the surrounding red rocks from the
observation terrace are incredible. Even better,
there’s a full-service spa, in case your muscles are
sore from all the paddling. Or the wine tasting.
The Water to Wine Tour is $129 per person, not includ-
ing hotel accommodations. For details, call Sedona
Adventure Tours at 877-673-3661 or visit www.sedona
adventuretours.com. For summer package deals including
hotel accommodations, call Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa at
866-312-4111 or visit www.sedonarouge.com. For winery
information, call Alcantara Vineyard at 888-569-0756 or
mark your calendar
Show Low Days
After the winter snows melt, the residents of Show Low
come out to celebrate. Show Low Days includes an arts
and crafts fair and the “Still Cruizin’” car show, among
other things. Show Low Days takes place June 4-6. Infor-mation:
928-537-2326 or www.showlowdays.com.
Arizona Highways Television host Robin Sewell
negotiates the swift current of the Verde River.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JEFF KIDA
Kayaking down the Verde River is noth-ing
new. Ending the trip with a wine
tasting, however, is a fresh twist — you’ll
want to get in line for this one.
hal empie studio
Hal Empie wasn’t one for
an art class, and it didn’t
really matter. You see, he was
the youngest pharmacist
ever certified in the state of
Arizona, as well as a self-taught
Western artist. He
passed away in 2002, but
before that, the 93-year-old
became famous as the
creator of Empie Kartoon
Kards, which were pub-lished
for many years in Arizona Highways. Today,
visitors to Tubac can stop by Empie’s studio and
gallery, a wonderful place that’s lovingly run by
his daughter and son-in-law. While you’re there,
peruse the artist’s spectacular paintings — yes,
he painted, too. Information: 520-398-2811 or www.
muleshoe ranch preserve
There’s nothing like slipping into a natural hot
spring after a long day of exploring riparian habi-tat.
That’s what makes Muleshoe Ranch so special.
Crisscrossing this Nature Conservancy preserve
are some of the last natural, permanently flowing
streams in Southern Arizona. A delicate ecosystem
of wildlife depends on this flowing water, as did
early Arizona pioneers. The preserve also bubbles
with hot springs, and visitors to some of the onsite
casitas have access
to the rejuvenating
waters. Check in at
the visitors center
for details, maps
520-212-4295 or www.
Bisbee is becoming a chocolate mecca, at least
in Arizona, with the addition of Chocoláte. Pro-nounced
like the Spanish word for chocolate,
the little shop is one of about 10 in the country
that makes chocolate directly from cacao beans.
While most chocolatiers buy their supplies from
large manufacturers, the owners of Chocoláte go
through the process of roasting, cracking, grind-ing,
tempering and barring the
chocolate themselves. The own-ers
swear that visitors can taste
the difference — even the region
the beans come from. The shop
is closed during the summer
because warmer temperatures
affect the chocolate-making pro-cess.
This time of year, however,
conditions are perfect and the
chocolate tastes especially good.
Information: 866-221-9722 or www.
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 25
ABOVE: Empie Kartoon Kards were published in
Arizona Highways for years, including these, which
appeared in June 1988. Today, visitors to Tubac can
explore artist Hal Empie’s studio and gallery.
OPPOSITE PAGE: Southern Arizona’s verdant
Muleshoe Ranch Preserve is more than just a sanc-tuary
for a delicate ecosystem. It’s also home to
some of the last constantly flowing natural springs
in the region. PHOTOGRAPH BY EDWARD MCCAIN
mark your calendar
arizona ranger territorial days
Arizona is known for its rough-and-tumble early
days, and it likely never would have become a state
without the order imposed by the Arizona Rangers
(see our story, Too Tough to Die, October 2009).
Celebrate their statehood efforts and their continued
volunteer law enforcement with a mounted shootout,
dancing, a model-airplane tour through the Benson
Municipal Airport, and a carnival. Donations help
support the Rangers. This year’s event takes place
February 13-14. Information: 520-586-0952.
southern arizona g
26 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 27
g northern arizona
california condor release
California condors are imposing creatures — they’re the largest flying land
birds in North America and they’re capable of gliding up to 50 mph on a good
updraft. They’re also endangered. Catching a glimpse of one of these majestic
birds in the wild is, at a minimum, extremely lucky. Watching one being released
from captivity is also something special. Since 1996, the Peregrine Fund, which is
in charge of all condor population recovery efforts in Arizona, has reintroduced
several condors into the wild near Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. The con-dors’
release, which is a public event, gives visitors an up-close look at these rare,
regal creatures. The next release
takes place in early March. Infor-mation:
208-362-3716 or www.per
flagstaff loop trail
Flagstaff is making it easier
to explore the area. After a lot
of planning and a lot of hard
work, many of the city’s major
outdoor landmarks have been
linked together in the form of
the Flagstaff Loop Trail. The
trail, which underwent initial
construction in fall 2008, is a
42-mile path that surrounds
Flagstaff and features various
access points from within the city. Whether you’re a hiker, biker or walker, the
trail provides entrée to places such as Mount Elden, Route 66 and Observatory
Mesa, as well as terrain that varies from easy to strenuous. The loop, which is
still under construction, combines Forest Service trails, abandoned roads, the
Flagstaff Urban Trail System and more to create a single multipurpose route
that’s divided into eight passages, all based on specific geography and attractions.
paria canyon adventure ranch
Hostels aren’t just for youthful adventurers on European backpacking trips
anymore. Paria Canyon Ranch melds the group atmosphere of a hostel with a true
ranch experience. Visitors can stay in the 14-bed bunkhouse hostel or do some
bonding in the group campground. Located about 30 miles from Page, the ranch
is one of the best launch points for a horseback ride into Paria Canyon. Along the
way you’ll get stunning views of the vibrantly colored Vermilion Cliffs. Informa-tion:
928-660-2674 or www.pariacampground.com.
mark your calendar
glen canyon christmas bird count
Although many birds in the northern hemisphere
lie low between December and January, Arizona
birders shouldn’t do the same — now’s the perfect
time to get moving and check out the fliers in the
northern part of the state. Each winter, teams set
out by water (Lake Powell and the Colorado River)
and by land to photograph the North American bird
scene. This year’s bird count will take place January
5, and participants will meet at the Glen Canyon
Visitors Center. Information: 928-608-6267 or
A pair of California condors preens on a
rock outcropping at Vermilion Cliffs. The
endangered birds were first reintroduced
into the wild in Arizona in 1996.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN CANCALOSI
28 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0
It Was a
Dark Night ...
Frank Zullo has a flair for
the dramatic. He’s a photographer
by trade, which is
pretty normal. But otherwise,
he’s out there — a
cross between Galileo and
Indiana Jones. As you’ll see,
Zullo is fascinated with prehistoric
spectacular star formations,
the combination of which
is masterfully connected in
this month’s portfolio.
A Portfolio By Frank Zullo
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 29
In this composite image, Hohokam
rock art is illuminated against a
Milky Way backdrop in Southern
Arizona’s Picacho Mountains. The
long swath of dots may symbolize
the universe, along with other sky
objects and serpents, which are
thought to represent prayers being
carried to the gods.
30 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0
Venus and a crescent moon set in a
sky barely touched by dawn, while
a Hohokam cross — a symbol for
Venus — illuminated with a flash-light,
brightens a rock outcropping at
South Mountain Park in Phoenix.
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 31
above: These picto-graphs,
found on a cliff
overhang at Penasco
Blanco, Chaco Culture
National Historical Park in
New Mexico, are thought
to record the supernova of
July 5, 1054.
left: This composite
image combines Comet
Hale-Bopp, as photo-graphed
on April 6, 1997,
and Hohokam petroglyphs
depicting the passage of a
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 33
34 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0
This panel, found at Sears Point along the
lower Gila River and believed to represent a
meteor shower, is combined with a sky scene
from the 2001 Leonid meteor shower. A prior
Leonid storm might have precipitated the
creation of the Sears Point petroglyphs.
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 35
36 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0
above: Halley’s Comet appears in the predawn sky of March
21, 1986. Superimposed onto the celestial scene are petro-glyphs
from a Hohokam rock art panel in Southern Arizona,
which includes a possible comet symbol (center).
left: On the winter solstice, the last rays of the setting sun
stream through a notch in the Sierra Estrella Mountains, as
viewed from a prehistoric Hohokam sun-watching shrine. The
highlighted shrine, marked by a lone lizard petroglyph, ap-pears
on a monolith at South Mountain Park in Phoenix.
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 37
38 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0
J.P.S. Brown is a
been a boxer,
writer and lifelong
victim of bad luck,
most of which came
about because of his
love for booze. Like
so many great writers,
Joe was an alcoholic,
but not anymore.
These days, he’s so-ber;
he’s living on a
ranch in Patagonia;
and he’s determined
to write at least 30
more books before he
dies. By the way, he’s
79 years old.
By KATHY McCRAINE
Photo illustrations by JOEL GRIMES Joe Brown has done it all,
including authoring several
popular Western novels.
NotYour Joe Average
40 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0
pany jetted to Navojoa, the whole town turned
out and threw a grand fiesta. But the director
decided to shoot the movie in Zacatecas and
revised the script so it no longer conformed
to the book.
“By then I was through with them,” Brown
says. “I got really mad and told them all off
one morning in Zacatecas. I told them they
were a bunch of sorry SOBs. I made myself
unpopular with the movie people and it just
flattened my career.”
Marital problems also plagued Brown.
He barreled through three wives from 1952
to 1965. His third “wife” was actually his mis-tress,
a Zapotec Indian who’d been kidnapped
and forced to work in a Navojoa whorehouse.
Brown paid the madam 10,000 pesos for the
woman and set her up in Navojoa, to house-keep
and look after his two kids from a previ-ous
marriage. The former prostitute learned
of Brown’s plans to marry Arizona author and
journalist Jo Baeza. The mistress became furi-ous
and she tried to shoot Brown. The gun
misfired. Next, she laced Brown’s stew with
strychnine. He survived.
“She was actually a good person,” he says.
“It was just her nature, and she had a right.”
Brown’s 1965 marriage to Baeza, another
longtime Arizona Highways contributor, lasted
eight years and was equally turbulent. Dur-ing
the fervently creative period when Brown
wrote his first three books, on the rare occa-sions
that he was home, he read aloud to
Baeza. She critiqued each chapter. But after
eight years, the marriage unraveled due to
“I still love Joe. I always will,” Baeza says.
“Our marriage was great, but I just couldn’t
live with him.”
After not speaking to each other for some
30 years, Baeza and Brown began to corre-spond.
Their renewed friendship resulted
in Baeza’s editing of The World in Pancho’s Eye,
Brown’s 2007 novel based on his Southern
Arizona childhood. Of all her ex-husband’s
books, Pancho’s Eye is Baeza’s favorite.
Brown’s marriage to his fifth wife, Patsy,
has lasted 34 years.
Brown got sober in 1992, but it took his
mother’s death to bring him to his senses. He
knew his mother was dying, but he was stuck
on the border at Calexico trying to cross a
bunch of quarantined cattle.
“I could have found somebody to take care
of those cows,” he says, “but I also couldn’t get
away from that bottle. My mother died on the
same day my cattle crossed, and I came to her
Patsy told her husband: “You’ve got to grow
up. You’re going to kill yourself, or kill me, or
just drink yourself to death.”
Something finally sank in. Brown quit
drinking for good.
But drinking wasn’t his only challenge. In
1987 he suffered his first heart attack, and since
then his blocked arteries have caused six more
coronaries. Brown nearly died after a massive
heart attack in 1999. His heart stopped, and he
recalls going to a “very pleasant place.”
“I had this great feeling of immensity,” he
says. “I began to examine my conscience, but
every time I began to accuse myself, a voice
reminded me that I’d done something good to
balance the scale. Then all of a sudden it was
over and I was back in the ICU.”
Brown last suffered a heart attack in 2005,
after a 66-day writing binge that created his
latest novel, Wolves at Our Door, which brings
Jim Kane back as a 70-something borderlands
rancher who faces off against drug lords and
y the 1990s, Brown had lost
two ranches and a fine Tuc-son
home after rolling the
dice and borrowing against
movie contracts that never
materialized. In 2002, he
and Patsy retreated from Tucson to Patago-nia,
where they now live at the Rocking Chair
Ranch on Harshaw Creek.
Brown’s goal is to write 30 more books —
“If God gives me 15 more years,” he says.
“I’m going to turn my talent into another
cow ranch,” he adds, “so I can raise and trade
cattle until all the money I make from my
writing is gone again — even if it finally kills
J. P. S. Brown likes to tell stories.
And this Arizona author has many to tell, par-ticularly
about his escapades trading cattle in
Mexico. Once, he rented a plane in Tucson to
rush medicine to a herd of sick cattle he’d cor-ralled
in Navojoa, Sonora. On the return trip,
the plane’s engine quit. With only 12 seconds
to make a decision, Brown landed the plane
on the freeway below, right behind a Volkswagen.
“I was going to eat the Volkswagen,” he says,
“so I veered off the road down a sharp incline,
clipping one wing on a telephone pole. That
Volkswagen never had a clue. He just kept on
It took hours for the Mexican police to
“Why did it take you so long?” he asked.
They shrugged. “Because, you know, when-ever
we get called on a deal like this, all we ever
find is chicharrón [fried pork rind].”
Brown escaped without a scratch, one more
close call in a lifetime of risky exploits.
The Mexican people of the Sierra Madre
call him El Mostrenco — The Unbranded One.
It’s their affectionate name for someone they’d
like to claim. In his heart, Joe Brown is as
Mexican as he is American. After a lifetime
on both sides of the border, he still sometimes
resembles a renegade maverick bull, tearing
through life with reckless abandon. But there
are many sides to Joe Brown. These days, he
often speaks softly, with a humility born of
hard knocks, in contrast to his rowdy years
when he could drink anybody under the table
and would start a fistfight “just to see things
His life has brought him some fame, but
little fortune. He calls himself “a gambler.”
He’s been a boxer, Marine, journalist, cattle
trader, rancher, prospector, movie wrangler,
whiskey smuggler and fiction writer — but,
above all, a cowboy. Brown writes mostly
about cowboys because it’s the life he knows.
“People should know about the real animals,
men and women who make their living alone
in vast country, doing work that takes risk,
instinct and courage,” he says.
His relationships with women have been
tempestuous. One of his five wives, for instance,
At 79, Brown still stands tall and straight
at 6 feet 2 inches, his chest puffed out like
a bantam rooster, and his carefully creased
Silver Belly Stetson perched on his head in a
cavalier cowboy style. For luck, he attaches a
turquoise tiepin to the front of his crisp white
shirt. Yet Brown has seen little luck in his life-time.
Like the single-engine aircraft he often
piloted in his Mexican cattle-trading days, his
life has been buffeted by updrafts and down-drafts,
as if set on autopilot for self-destruct.
Brown first became famous in 1970 when
his novel Jim Kane was published at the begin-ning
of America’s urban-cowboy craze. The
book chronicles the adventures of Brown’s
alter ego, Jim Kane, who ranched and traded
cattle in the wild Sierra Madre of Mexico. Hol-lywood
turned the book into the movie Pocket
Money, starring Paul Newman and Lee Marvin.
Brown then wrote The Outfit, about gather-ing
wild cattle on a vast Nevada ranch, and
after that, he wrote The Forests of the Night, the
story of a Mexican rancher in pursuit of a killer
Tucson author and longtime Arizona High-ways
contributor Charles Bowden first met
Brown in the early 1980s when Bowden was
editing City Magazine in Tucson. After read-ing
Brown’s first three books, Bowden made
a point of meeting Brown.
“He’s the only writer I ever sought out in
my life,” Bowden says. “I think The Forests is
without a doubt the finest novel ever written
in our region, and the botanical accuracy of it
is stunning. All three of those novels are liter-ally
classics. If he never writes another word,
he’s still created a better body of work than
anybody else in the Southwest.”
Brown has won several literary awards, but
despite the accolades and Hollywood success,
he’s been sabotaged by hard luck and his own
behavior. His publishing house went under,
the nation’s infatuation with cowboys faded,
and Brown refused to cater to either the pub-lishing
world or Hollywood.
oseph Paul Summers Brown is a
fifth-generation Arizonan. Both
sides of his family homesteaded
Southern Arizona in the 1850s. By
the time Brown was born in 1930,
his extended family owned 26
ranches and ran more than 30,000
head of cattle on both sides of the
border. The clan would eventually lose it all
due to the Depression and alcoholism, a family
curse that Brown inherited.
Brown’s father, Paul Summers, was “wild
as a wolf,” a cowboy who lived, played and
drank hard. At age 5, Brown accompanied his
dad from their Nogales, Arizona, ranch to a
cow camp in Mexico, where he got an early
start cowboying. On the trail, Summers gave
his son shots of mescal “to freshen your horse.”
When Brown was 9, his mother divorced
Summers and married another cattleman, Viv-ian
Brown, who adopted the little boy, mak-ing
him Joseph Paul Summers Brown. After
attending a Catholic boarding school, J.P.S.
Brown graduated from the University of Notre
Dame, where he found his gift for writing.
After a hitch in the U.S. Marines, Brown
returned to the borderlands to ranch and trade
cattle. “I was happiest in the Sierra Madre,”
he says. “The minute I got on my horse and
started up the trail from San Bernardo, I was
In those craggy mountains, Brown came to
know the country in much the same way as
the wild cattle and jaguars that roamed it. He
formed lasting friendships with the campesinos
or farmers. But as much as he gloried in that
country, it never rewarded him with riches.
As Brown hints in Jim Kane, dishonest traders,
drought, disease, capricious Mexican regu-lations
and problems legally crossing cattle
at the border left him frequently broke and
Brown didn’t begin writing in earnest
until 1964, when he contracted hepatitis in
Mexico and went to his grandmother’s house
in Nogales to recuperate. Unable to work, he
thought he could support himself through
writing. It took six years before these early
stories, which became Jim Kane, were pub-lished.
By then Brown was as hooked on writ-ing
as he was on whiskey.
“I’d use the whiskey to keep me going when
I was writing,” he says. “I’d get into this groove
where I didn’t stop working except to eat and
sleep. Pretty soon I wouldn’t be sleeping, and
then not eating, and then I’d just drink until
The Hollywood life and parties during the
making of Pocket Money exacerbated the alco-holism.
Paul Newman insisted that Brown
be present during the filming. Brown pushed
to have parts of the movie filmed in Navojoa,
Mexico. When Brown and the movie com-
“I’d use the whiskey to keep me going when I was writing.”
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 41
Brown finds peace on the open range at his ranch near Patagonia.
42 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0
IN THE HOLE WORLD
At a glance, they might look like nothing more than
puddles — just a splash of water — but in the arid South-west,
water holes are the difference between life, dor-mancy
and death. Stare at these tinajas, as they’re known
in Southern Arizona, long enough and you’ll detect a slow
haze of motion inside — a microscopic world that’s home to
thousands and thousands of fascinating creatures.
By Craig Childs
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 43
A weathered rimrock basin holds rainwater
along the edge of an overlook at Grand Canyon’s
Saddle Mountain. PHOTOGRAPH BY JACK DYKINGA
44 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 45
More than anything, I recall the water hole itself, an indigo circle
of evening sky shimmering in the bottom of an arroyo. That circle
inscribed itself in my mind, the serenity of water in the desert, the
night filled with life. What could possibly be more beautiful, more
strange, than a bit of water sitting still in a hot, dry land?
I grew up to become a water hunter. I walked back and forth across
the state marking water holes on maps, sometimes staking my life on
them. In the southern part of the state, where water holes are known
as tinajas, you find them hidden in the declivities of dry, thorny moun-tains.
They are situated where thunderstorm floods sometimes rage,
scouring bowls and plunge pools from the bedrock. Water collects in
these holes and slowly evaporates until weeks or months later all that
remains is a dark, bubbly film, and then finally a green parchment
of dried algae. For drinking, the earlier side of the cycle is preferred.
Looking for water in the long desert of the Cabeza Prieta National
Wildlife Refuge, I once followed bees. One by one they shot across
the desert, coming and going from somewhere in particular. Jags of
granite, bone white in the sun, stood around me, and I followed the
bees up to a crack. Bees foamed around the mouth of a shadow, and as I
leaned in close I could see a dark mirror inside, a pool hidden from the
sun. Reaching a metal cup through bees, I took just enough to soothe
my throat, like drinking baptismal water.
Stare at these pools and you will detect a slow haze of motion
inside. They are home to a wealth of tiny crustaceans: little pea-shaped
creatures known as ostracods, and clam shrimp with their soft bod-ies
tucked into their own translucent shells. Few are bigger than a
pinhead or a fingernail. In every other canyon or so, you will find fairy
shrimp, their long, ghostly bodies cruising through shafts of light
sometimes hundreds of miles from the nearest permanent water.
Some of these holes are so populated they look like zoos, and with
every gulp, you ingest 10,000 living things. How did they get there?
They blew in on the wind, or tucked in bird feathers, or were shat out
as eggs of larvae by bighorn sheep or coyotes stopping by to drink.
Water-hole ecology is ruled by an array of uncanny adaptations.
Invertebrates dwelling in ephemeral pools have the ability to deter-mine
exactly how long water will last. Because they have complicated
life cycles, they have got to time it just right so that they can either get
out as a winged adult or make themselves into seed-like eggs before
the pool dries. Each pool and each storm requires distinct calibration,
some keeping water for months, and some losing it within a week.
One observer visited an Arizona stock tank for the 19 days that it
held water after a heavy summer rain. Nearly 20 species of inverte-brates
and amphibians appeared during this time, and he took note
of each. Predaceous beetles, Eretes sticticus, hatched by the thousands
from eggs laid by adults that flew in from unknown water sources.
Their development followed the stride of this slowly vanishing pool.
On the 19th day, at 10:30 in the morning, the pool came very near to
drying. En masse, the beetles, which had only recently reached their
adult phase, suddenly produced an intense, high-pitched buzzing
sound. Then, as the researcher stood watching, the entire group lifted
into a swarm and set off to the southwest, disappearing at the horizon.
Within an hour, the pond went dry.
My own adjustments are simple calculations. I trek across the desert
feeling the changing weight on my back, water supplies dwindling by
a few quarts a day. When the lightness becomes disconcerting, I start
scanning the horizon for a likely canyon or wash, any rain-catching
topography. Finally finding the place, a circle of water, I sit at the edge
and become one of the desert creatures that come out for tinajas.
hen I was a child, I went
with my family to visit a
water hole in the desert
outside Wickenburg. The lonely hole was
in a narrow, rocky arroyo, and several
of us waited in the rocks above as the
sun set. Dusk heat radiated from the
ground, and maybe we talked, or maybe
we were silent, I do not recall.
What I do remember is birdcalls closing
in around the hole — quail cooing at
each other beneath the tender whine
of phainopeplas. Black-winged bats
flitted in and out, and in the brush
animals darted, small sounds of sniffing
and moving. It seemed like a secret
life the desert had.
A tadpole and three Triops share a receding mud puddle on
the Willcox Playa (above). PHOTOGRAPH BY RANDY BABB
An early winter storm leaves behind reflecting pools in the
main section of The Wave in Vermilion Cliffs National
Monument (right). PHOTOGRAPH BY DEREK VON BRIESEN
46 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 47
I n the north of the state, water holes are very different.
They lie in beds of sandstone, and after a heavy rain it
seems as if you are walking across the sky. There are places
beneath the dome of Navajo Mountain where these holes
grow as large as swimming pools and you count them by
the hundreds. They are called waterpockets or kissing
After a summer deluge, I went to one of these places, a
terrain of sculpted rock, and in every dip there was water.
Some holes were far deeper than others, thousands of
gallons socked down into rock that looked like giant egg
crates, water in each hold. In the deeper holes were
troops of crustaceans known as Triops. These look
like small horseshoe crabs, one or two inches in length, shield-like
carapace mounted with two poppy-seed eyes, and a fleshy little rat
tail at the end. They are, indeed, prehistoric; exactly matching their
fossils of around 400 million years ago. They were sea dwellers back
then, but when bony-mouthed fish evolved, Triops vanished from the
sea and those that survived took up new lives in these far-flung water
holes where fish cannot reach.
Now Triops survive by moving from one temporary water hole to the
next, waiting out dry times in the form of eggs as parched as dust. It is a
process known as anhydrobiosis — anhydro meaning without water, biosis
meaning life. It is life without water, the only way to make it from one
dry spell to the next out there. Anhydrobiosis is an adaptation com-mon
to many water-hole creatures. It is a form of existence in which
all measurable life processes are shut down. Basically, these animals
die but can, under the right circumstances, come back to life. Many
invertebrates living in ephemeral water sources rely on anhydrobiotic
stages to bridge the long, desiccating periods between rains. In their
larval or egg form, they are able to withstand incredible pressures and
doses of radiation that would quickly kill the adult phases.
Unprotected cysts taken by a space shuttle to outer space and
exposed for prolonged periods to cosmic radiation were still able to
come to life when added to water back on Earth. Like pollen grains, the
cysts of each species are uniquely shaped, with hooks or wings that grab
onto passing animals or catch the wind in search of the next rain, the
next water hole. They are models of physical endurance and patience.
When the rains come and the holes fill, life quickly springs from (or
into) the water. The aquatic backswimmer Notonecta, a predator that the
crustaceans would rather not encounter, flies in search of water holes. It
seeks polarized ultraviolet light reflected from smooth bodies of water,
the same method used by water striders and dragonflies. Ultraviolet
sensors are located in the lower portion of its compound eyes.
Notonecta flies with its body tilted 15 degrees to the horizon, placing
these UV sensors at a level that will be struck by polarized light off a
flat surface, initiating a dive-and-plunge response. Sometimes you hear
them pinging off of your car hood at night because they think it is a
water hole. Once, sitting in the desert with a cup of water in my hand,
I was bombarded by backswimmers. Five of them made a bull’s-eye
into the cup, its mouth just 4 inches wide. I was holding their entire
water hole in my hands.
ften in the summer, the waterpockets
are dry. Sandstone becomes a bare face
burning in the sun. During such a sum-mer
day, I stopped by a hole I had used
in past years, and no matter how dry
the season had ever been, I had always
found water there. Not this time. The
land was absolutely parched.
I set a camp on a whaleback of sand-stone,
and in the evening sat with my
knees curled up watching thunderstorms
on the horizon. They rolled off the Kaibab Pla-teau
over the Grand Canyon and fanned into the surrounding desert.
Bellies flashed with lightning, each storm trailing sheets of rain. A few
lucky places were drinking, I thought. I laid back and fell asleep facing
the sky, no need for anything but a wool shawl underneath me.
In the middle of the night, I awoke to a white bolt burning into my
eyelids. I sat up in a restless wind just as the air ruptured with thunder.
Half the sky was black, a thunderhead passing overhead. Within a
minute, rain hammered the ground. I stuffed my gear into a protected
nook and sat it out. The night was plenty warm, rain a relief on my
skin, soaking through my clothes. It began to strike so hard I covered
my face, head between my knees, my back a wet shield against the sky.
When the rain let up a half-hour later, I lifted my head. Water ran
out of my hair, down my face, into my mouth. In the coming quiet, I
heard burbling and grumbling as water sheeted across bare ground,
overtopping holes, looking for places to stop. After an hour, the sound
dwindled into drips that sounded like chimes on the rock.
In the morning, I awoke to water in every hole. Deeper holes were
filled with hundreds of gallons of greenish-red fluid that would eventu-ally
settle and become clear. I knelt at one of these deeply colored pools,
cupped my hands, and drank. It tasted of everything living and dead
in the desert, the land washed clean. Drinking such freshly scoured
water was not necessarily a wise thing to do, but it seemed like such a
blessing, I could not help myself.
Life zinged in my stomach and I cramped into a knot. The pain took
a minute to pass, a jolt of pure water-hole ecology. These holes had been
waiting, floors packed with cysts silently prepared for any touch of
moisture. When the water came, life erupted and I could feel it in my
body, the sharp taste of the desert being born again.
An early morning
heads for the pet-rified
Arizona, a tinaja
water in its name-sake
ROBERT MCDONALD O
48 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0
TRIP OF A LIFETIME Monument Valley is a mystical place
that has attracted artists, Hollywood directors, family vacationers and other vagabonds for years.
It also attracted a science teacher in 1946. Equipped with a camera and a 1941 Chevy, Cal Crook
began an unforgettable journey into the heart of Navajo civilization. The experience changed his life.
Six decades later, his children retraced his footsteps. The car and the camera were different,
but the effect was much the same. BY JANET CROOK PIERSON PHOTOGRAPHS BY CAL CROOK
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 49
50 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 51
ship. The colorful rug/saddle blanket woven by the matriarch and her
family became one of his most cherished possessions.
But this photographer could only taste, touch and capture a few
moments in time in the ever-changing landscape of sandstone mono-liths.
Spreading across 30,000 acres of desert splendor, the landmark
formations resemble human or animal forms and objects: Totem Pole,
The Mittens, Spearhead, Eagle Mesa.
The Diné view this land as their sacred hogan where the Gray
Whiskers Mesa is its doorpost and The Mittens are the hands left
behind by the Holy People as a reminder that one day they will rule
again. The hogan, constructed of logs, bark and packed earth with a
dome roof, is a microcosm of their homeland and constitutes one of the
most sacred places for the members of a Navajo family, binding them
to the land of their birth.
Little did they know that the man with the camera, who walked
on the trail beside them, had worked his way out of poverty with a
broom, a mop and a dream. Born on December 25, 1904, in Zillah,
Washington, Cal Crook, the next to the eldest of five boys, spent
his earliest years riding the rails and picking fruit in the orchards of
Determined to stay in school and get an education, he worked his
way through college as a janitor, obtaining his teaching degree from
Central Washington University (then a state normal school), with
later postgraduate studies and administrative credentials from the
University of Washington. Cal became a successful teacher of science
and physical education and, later, an elementary school principal. But
photography was his first love. He served as the audiovisual director
for his school district, and took the opportunity to travel with his
camera during his summer breaks.
The newly divorced father of four returned to Monument Valley
in 1950. His two summer journeys to the plateau land of the Navajo
people remained vivid in his memory and were, perhaps, cathartic for
him, as well. For those of us who remain, the images become a legacy
left by a man who called himself the “best accidental photographer in
the West.” He retired on five acres near the Columbia River Gorge in
south-central Washington and spent his remaining 45 years walking
lively and realizing his dreams as a photographer.
oday my brother David and I are standing
together facing the Yei Bichei rocks near where
our father photographed a Navajo family more
than 60 years ago. A biting dust storm slows us
down as we search for the family’s descendants
and ponder Dad’s journey by pack mule into this land where
an enduring culture understood life and nature far better
than this sister and brother standing by the roadside.
Photographs in hand, our search for the unknown family
ends when, at last, we find some of the grandchildren: Jerry,
Genevieve and Lorraine. Lorraine Cly Black greets us from
the shelter of her Diné Trail Ride Tours stable at John Ford
Point. Clinging tightly to our photographs flapping in the
gritty wind, we talk and laugh and listen as she finds the
familiar face of her now-deceased grandmother, Happy,
and ponders some of the other family members, wondering
which aunt or cousin each might be.
“That looks like my grandfather Willie standing there
under the shadehouse,” she says, pointing to the silhou-ette
of a slender figure in a cowboy hat leaning against a timber. “And
I think that’s Aunt Mary weaving.”
She tells us that her grandparents had 11 children, some of whom
were deceased before she was born. I show her a photo of the rug my
father purchased from the family. She’s not familiar with the pattern,
but believes it resembles the “eye dazzler.” She is close. Dad gave me the
rug many years ago and it still dazzles my eyes, but also my heart. My
father is here with us at this moment in time — with us at this stable,
near these rocks, under this sky. I hold the photographs in my hand and
remember his words: “Take care of these images, Jan. One day people
will know what I have done.”
I exchange addresses with Black and promise to send some of our
father’s prints to her and her family. My photographer brother captures
images of the smiling woman against the backdrop of horses and saddles
and sand. He’s smiling, too. David’s lively steps and bright, crinkly eyes
tell me he’ll be returning with his camera. The shutter clicks and captures
one last shot of Willie and Happy Cly’s granddaughter standing with me
beneath the shelter at John Ford Point.
Can Cal Crook’s son follow in his father’s footsteps? Can I? I shield my
eyes from the dust storm and walk back to the car with my brother. Our
footprints already get lost behind us.
Footprints. Footsteps. I’m thinking about a pack mule now — a pack
mule carrying a man who held on to his dreams in spite of the storms.
MONUMENT VALLEY, JUNE 1946: Sand and rock shimmer beneath a
frybread sun as Cal Crook locks up his ’41 Chevy and trailer and climbs
onto a pack mule, embarking on an unforgettable journey into the heart
of Navajo civilization. With special permission and escort from Navajo
guide Albert Bradley, he secures his gear, including his trusty Exakta
single-lens-reflex camera, tripod and telephoto lens.
“There was no road, only a trail into this fascinating land of red
rock and sand,” he writes in a makeshift journal. “We soon came upon
some girls returning to their family after enjoying the water in a nearby
streambed.” The Navajo, or the Diné (the People), as they call them-selves,
welcomed this sojourner — a teacher on his summer break.
Cal walked and talked with them, photographing them grinding
their corn and coffee, carding sheep and goat wool, spinning and weav-ing
on the looms against a backdrop of the Yei Bichei rocks where sky
and sand wove an even more magnificent tapestry. The family shared
food and coffee beneath the shadehouse, exchanging gifts and friend-
In 2000, at the age of 96, Cal Crook laid down his
camera and tripod forever. But he is not gone. His rich photographic
archives unravel stunning images of a people who live quietly, without
I won’t forget him. I lost touch with my father after the divorce, but
once I’d married and had children of my own, we reconnected. Gradu-ally
he began to interact with his four children, his grandchildren and,
eventually, his great-grandchildren. I shared in his final years, driv-ing
back and forth across the state so we could crawl under fences or
down creek beds to get that perfect shot.
He remained single and became a local legend, loved as a friend and
sought-after as a photographer. The striking black hair turned gray,
but his clear blue eyes still crinkled with the same light and energy
that set him apart. Summer after summer, we loaded his little blue-green
Honda Civic with his photography and traveled to area shows
and festivals. He insisted on driving. His “New York, London, Paris,
BZ Corner” bumper sticker reminded the lineup of cars behind him
to slow down, smile and enjoy the scenery.
We matted and framed photos in the simple house he built in the
Mount Adams countryside near BZ Corner. It wasn’t always easy to
find BZ Corner, but Cal’s reputation grew and people eventually found
him when they crossed the Little White Salmon River and spotted
“Crooked Lane,” marked by a handcrafted sign that was nailed to a tree.
Last summer I walked down Crooked Lane to see if his roses and
lilacs were still blooming, and if there were going to be apples in his
rundown orchard. I wondered if the deer were still coming through
to share the bounty, if the ladybugs were still nesting in his old boots.
My eyes welled up, but they were glad tears. He’d photographed them
all. He loved them.
He loved life. I can still hear his words: “Listen to your heart. It
takes more than luck to get a good photo. Sometimes you need to
leave the road and do some walking.” Even near the end of his journey,
he refused to use a cane, gripping his sturdy walking stick instead.
Crooked Lane. Monument Valley. My heart. Some footprints in the
sands of time and memory will never disappear.
In 1946, members of the
Cly family (preceding
panel) from Monument
Valley, who befriended
Cal Crook, trek across
sand dunes near Yei
Bichei and Totem Pole
Among the images
Crook captured more
than 60 years ago are
(clockwise from bottom
left): Crook’s ’41 Chevy
and its trailer; members
of the Cly family prepar-ing
fibers for weaving;
Hunts Mesa creates a
stunning backdrop as
family members follow
in each other’s footsteps;
a young boy poses with
boxes of food. Retracing
their father’s journey,
Janet Crook Pierson and
David Crook pose with
the rug the Cly family
made for their father.
Cal Crook’s adventures
weren’t limited to
Monument Valley. In 1925,
he hiked Washington’s
COURTESY JANET CROOK PIERSON
COURTESY JANET CROOK PIERSON
52 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 53
tucson is one big city — not as big as Phoenix and
nowhere near as big as L.A., but big enough. That’s
why it’s so surprising that Mescal Road, a nearly 16-mile
stretch of scenic byway, is so close to the city limits. Liter-ally,
it’s just over the creek and
through the woods.
The drive begins on Mescal
Road, about 40 miles east of
Tucson, off of Interstate 10 at Exit
297, and meanders past a few
small private properties before
opening onto fields of yucca and
fragrant creosote. After approxi-mately
2 miles, the paved road
crosses a set of railroad tracks,
and then becomes rockier as it
approaches an Old West town
after another mile. It’s not a real
town, just a replica that Old
Tucson Studios used as a set for the last few episodes of
Bonanza and for movies like The Quick and the Dead. Although
the set is closed to the public and visitors are forbidden from
approaching for a closer look, it’s easy to use your imagina-tion
and picture gunfights and sarsaparilla-slinging.
Beyond the movie set, the pavement ends, but the road
is still passable in a standard-clearance vehicle. As it con-tinues,
the creosote thins to make way for thick stands of
wild grasses, particularly as the road becomes hillier at
approximately 4.7 miles. Later, cottonwoods, sycamores
and manzanitas will become visual staples. Five miles in,
you’ll encounter your first water crossing — one of many,
as the road traverses both Ash and Paige creeks. Here, the
city seems more distant than it is and the road continues
past a cattle pen — where the cows are more than happy
to oblige a photo opportunity with moos and cud-chew-ing
— and Ash Canyon Ranch.
Past the ranch, the road is at its rockiest and, in fact, its
steepest. It tops out at mile 7 and becomes smooth again.
After another mile, it’s possible to pull into a rustic camp-site,
where a downed tree provides the perfect perch for a
picnic. Sadly, you might discover the remnants of someone
else’s party, as some visitors find this an appropriate place
to bid farewell to their garbage. On a happier note, you
might also happen upon a horse that’s wandered from the
nearby B&D Ranch. Or maybe some deer.
Just beyond the halfway point, it’s possible to be in two
places at one time. At nearly 9 miles down the road, you’ll
straddle the line between Cochise and Pima counties,
where stands of ocotillos appear along the roadside like
cryptic fingers emerging from the boulder-strewn soil.
From there, the road becomes — in parts — patchy and
occasionally turbulent, but remains passable.
After another 3 miles, the road once again climbs, this
time up a hill that provides a spectacular view of the
Little Rincon and Galiuro mountains, as well as Happy
Valley. At the bottom of the hill, the road cuts through
a grassy pasture and past several ranch properties. One-tenth
of a mile beyond the pasture, you’ll see the sign for
the Miller Creek Trailhead. The path, which is part of
the Arizona Trail, winds to the edge of Saguaro National
Park. There, the road ends, but another great picnic spot
lies just a few hundred feet from the trailhead.
ABOVE: A thicket of
ferns and manza-nitas
the edge of Miller
Paige Creek is
squeezed into a
rivulet as it flows
with Indian paint-brush.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more scenic drives, pick up a copy of our book, The Back
Roads. Now in its fifth edition, the book ($19.95) features 40 of the state’s
most scenic drives. To order a copy, call 800-543-5432 or visit www.arizona
MESCAL ROAD Located to the
east of Tucson, this scenic drive
offers a bonanza of sights, from
an old movie set to several
BY KELLY KRAMER
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JACK DYKINGA
Note: Mileages are approximate.
LENGTH: 16 miles one way (paved/dirt)
DIRECTIONS: From Tucson, head east on Interstate
10 to Mescal Road (Exit 297) and turn left
(north). After 2 miles, the road crosses railroad
tracks. Continue for 5.5 miles to the Ash Canyon
Ranch turnoff, but stay on Mescal Road and
proceed another 8 miles to the Miller Creek
VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS: Accessible to all vehicles
WARNING: Back-road travel can be hazardous, so
beware of weather and road conditions.
INFORMATION: Santa Catalina Ranger District,
520-749-8700 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado
Travelers in Arizona can visit www.az511.gov
or dial 511 to get information
on road closures,
delays, weather and more.
R I N C O N M O U N T A I N S
C O R O N A D O
N A T I O N A L F O R E S T
Mescal Movie Set
Ash Canyon Ranch
San Pedro River
S T A R T H E R E
T R A I L H E A D
54 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 55
month OF THE
the centerpiece of this hike, and the body of
water for which it’s named, is West Clear
Creek, an idyllic stream that winds for nearly 40
miles through some of the most-scenic and least-visited
terrain in Arizona. And it’s true, the creek
itself is very clear, but, ironically, some of the
directions you may have seen for the trail are not.
The Forest Service directions, for example,
suggest you begin the hike at Clear Creek Camp-ground.
Technically, that’s not wrong. In the
same way you could start the hike in Flagstaff
and traipse down Interstate 17 to the water, you
could also kick off this trek at the campground,
but you’d have to do a lot of bushwhacking, and
you don’t want to do that. Instead, begin the hike
at Bull Pen Ranch at the end of Forest Road 215.
Not only will this plan spare you a lot of cuts
and bruises, the scenic drive to the old ranch
is an added bonus. Although FR 215 is a little
rough in places, if you go slowly, a sturdy sedan
will do. Of course, high-clearance is always the
best option on back roads in Arizona. Either
way, the road offers terrific views of the canyon
into which you’ll be hiking. As you look down,
your Lewis and Clark impulses will shift into
From the trailhead, the route passes under a
canopy of impressive sycamores (you’ll also see
cottonwood, Arizona walnut, willow and ash
trees along the creek). Initially, the trail piggybacks
an old ranch road on the north bank of the
creek. Then, after about a mile, it cuts south for
the first of four stream crossings. Throughout
most of the year, other than the wet season, it’s a
simple hop, skip and a jump to other side. In fact,
if you’re even mildly agile — you don’t have to be
one of the Flying Wallendas — you can maneuver
the rocks and logs without getting wet. Be care-ful,
though, anything you step on will be slippery.
Heading east on the south side of the peren-nial
creek, the trail meanders through a lush
riparian forest and quickly comes to the second
creek crossing, followed by the official boundary
of the wilderness area. Looking around, you’ll
understand why Congress designated more than
15,000 acres as the West Clear Creek Wilder-ness
in 1984. From the soaring cliffs of Coconino
sandstone to the hanging gardens of maidenhair
fern and other vegetation, West Clear Creek is
a natural wonder that attracts not only humans,
but also bears, deer, mountain lions, badgers and
birds galore. Keep your eyes peeled.
Eventually, after 5.5 miles and a fourth creek
crossing, you’ll come to a point where the trail
veers north from the creek. This is our recom-mended
turnaround point. Just retrace your
steps. If, however, you’re in excellent condition
and you want to extend the hike, follow the trail
north through a draw that climbs 1,800 feet in
2 miles. It’s strenuous all the way to a trailhead
on Forest Road 214A. From there, it’s possible to
return to your car by following the forest road
for 1.3 miles to the upper end of the 2.5-mile
Blodgett Trail, which completes a 15-mile loop.
Whichever route you choose, in the end, you’ll be
glad you started at the ranch — that extra bush-whacking
is for the birds.
LENGTH: 11 miles round-trip (along the creek only)
ELEVATION: 3,700 to 4,100 (along the creek only)
DIFFICULTY: Easy (strenuous if you complete the
DIRECTIONS: From Interstate 17 at Camp Verde,
go southeast for 6 miles on State Route 260 to
Forest Road 618. Turn left and continue 2.2 miles
to Forest Road 215. From there, turn right and
drive approximately 3 miles to the Bull Pen Ranch
USGS MAP: Walker Mountain, Buckhorn
INFORMATION: 928-282-4119 or www.fs.fed.us/
• Plan ahead and be prepared.
• Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
• Dispose of waste properly and pack
out your trash.
• Leave what you find.
• Respect wildlife and minimize impact.
• Be considerate of others.
◗ A hike along
West Clear Creek
(left and above)
provides views of
slopes, as well as
WEST CLEAR CREEK Water
is a rarity on most hikes in
Arizona. That’s why this
scenic beauty is so special.
BY ROBERT STIEVE
PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEVE BRUNO
O N L I N E For more hikes in Arizona, visit our “Hiking Guide” at www.arizonahighways.com.
C O C O N I N O
N A T I O N A L F O R E S T
P R E S C O T T
N A T I O N A L F O R E S T
W E S T C L E A R C R E E K
W I L D E R N E S S
West Clear Creek
Bull Pen Ranch
T R A I L H E A D
T R A I L H E A D
West Clear Creek
V E R D E V A L L E Y
56 j a n u a r y 2 0 1 0
Win a collection of our most popular books! To enter, correctly identify the location featured above and e-mail your answer to
email@example.com — type “Where Is This?” in the subject line. Entries can also be sent to 2039 W. Lewis Avenue, Phoenix,
AZ 85009. Please include your name, address and phone number. One winner will be chosen in a random drawing of qualified
entries. Entries must be postmarked by January 15, 2010. Only the winner will be notified. The correct answer will be posted in our
March issue and online at www.arizonahighways.com beginning February 15.
Answer: Fort Bowie.
Congratulations to our
winner, Les Marriage
of Waitakere, New
BY KELLY KRAMER
be of much
use to a real
cowboy — it’s
too rusty to
round up cattle
or ride off into
the sunset. Not
that the horse
is looking for a
rider. It seems
an Arizona land-mark
a different kind
of cowboy, one
and canvas to a
lasso and spurs.
to our winner,
Dan Bird of Plainwell,
The moment you realize you’re part of history.
The Arizona Biltmore is a timeless treasure with a spirited soul. Host to presidents,
visionaries, the social elite and those inspired to live fully in the present. Embrace our
legacy with a $50 credit and nightly rates starting at $249, based on a two-night stay.
2400 East Missouri Phoenix, AZ 85016 800.950.0086 arizonabiltmore.com
* Use Group/Convention code HWY to make reservation. Offer based on availability. Resort credit cannot be applied to room rate. Offer valid through 4/30/2010. Resort charge and taxes not included.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.