E SC A P E . EX P LOR E . EX P E R I ENCE
Why Wonder Women
Loves Camelback Mtn.
Gary Ladd’s Lake Powell
Great Shots of a Great Lake
Hungry for a Cactus?
Visit Desert Rain Café
+GARY LADD’S LAKE POWELL: A PORTFOLIO
HIKING ARIZONA’S SECOND-LARGEST CANYON
ROAD-TRIPPING IN THE HUALAPAI MOUNTAINS
BY NIKKI BUCHANAN
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
• POINTS OF INTEREST IN THIS ISSUE
◗ A ringtail sneaks a peek at
his Turkey Creek habitat in the
PHOTOGRAPH BY BRUCE D. TAUBERT
BACK COVER Ponderosa pine trees
dominate the landscape near Pomeroy
Tanks in the Kaibab National Forest.
PHOTOGRAPH BY TOM BEAN
14 BEST RESTAURANTS 2010
From a small BYOB in Scottsdale that serves something called Death
by Elvis to a pueblo-inspired hideaway in Greer, there’s something for
everyone in our third-annual collection of the state’s best places to
fuel up when you hit the road.
BY NIKKI BUCHANAN PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL MARKOW
26 A GREAT TAKE ON A GREAT LAKE
There are some things in Arizona that every landscape photographer
shoots: the Grand Canyon, Sedona, the saguaros. Lake Powell gets a
lot of attention, too, and we see some beautiful photography. No one,
however, has mastered the subject like Gary Ladd. No one.
A PORTFOLIO BY GARY LADD
36 ON THE ROADS
Twenty thousand miles. By sundown on April 14, that’s the distance
the Copperstate 1000 will have covered
in the past two decades. The vintage-car
road rally follows a 1,000-mile
course that takes participants around
the state on some of the most beauti-ful
byways in the world. Because we have
“Highways” in our name, we sent one of our
writers along for the ride.
BY NIKKI BUCHANAN PHOTOGRAPHS BY JEFF KIDA
40 WRITING ON THE WALLS
Animal tracks, stick figures, lizard-men, handprints, footprints,
geometric forms ... petroglyphs are the main storyline at V-Bar-V
Heritage Site in Central Arizona. Not only is it the largest known
petroglyph site in the Verde Valley, most of the rock art has remained
virtually undisturbed for thousands of years.
BY RUTH RUDNER PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAVID MUENCH
2 EDITOR’S LETTER
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
5 THE JOURNAL
People, places and things from around the state, including a
café in Southern Arizona where mesquite meal and cholla buds
are standard fare, a motor lodge in Prescott that obliterates all
stereotypes, and a Flagstaff distillery that’s going green.
44 SCENIC DRIVE
Hualapai Mountain Road: Kingman is known to Arizonans as the last
“big city” along the road to Vegas, but just outside the city, there’s
an unexpected mountain retreat that begs to be explored.
46 HIKE OF THE MONTH
Sycamore Rim Trail: Spectacular views of Arizona’s second-largest canyon
and remnants of frontier history highlight this hike near Williams.
48 WHERE IS THIS?
GET MORE ONLINE:
Get inside scoops, bonus cover-age
and other great information
from our new blog. This month,
check out our Q&A with food critic
Nikki Buchanan. Look for the link
in Online Extras.
For more great restaurants, as
well as weekend getaways, hikes
and more, visit our home page.
Get details on some of this
month’s biggest events, including
the Tempe Music Festival, in the
FOR EVEN MORE, FRIEND US
ON FACEBOOK AND FOLLOW
US ON TWITTER:
2 a p r i l 2 0 1 0
In this issue, Phoenix-based writer Nikki Buchanan covered her
usual beat — restaurants (see Best Restaurants 2010, page 14) —
but she was also eager to cover the annual Copperstate 1000
(see On the Roads, page 36). “I love a good road trip,” she says,
adding that she assumed covering the rally would be more vaca-tion
and car show than serious work assignment. What she didn’t
count on, among other things, was the knowledge she’d gain
about rare cars and the people who collect and care for them
with unswerving devotion. “The Copperstate allowed me a peek into another world,
one I can imagine being part of if I had ... say, a hundred grand to spare.” Buchanan is an
award-winning writer and a member of the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame.
Photography is in David Muench’s blood. His father was
Josef Muench, one of America’s greatest photographers,
and together they traveled across the United States to
capture some of the country’s most stunning landscapes.
This month, in Writing on the Walls (page 40), Muench
took his talents to the V-Bar-V Heritage Site to explore its
ancient rock art. “The images from the people who lived
in the area were very beautiful and very quieting for me,”
Muench says. “The images on stone and the reflections on the water had a significant
spiritual impact on me.” Muench’s work has been published in virtually every great pho-tography
magazine around the world. In addition, he’s had several books published by
Arizona Highways, including David Muench’s Arizona, Vast and Intimate; and Eternal Desert. polaroid cameras? Nope. LEGOs or Silly Putty? Nope. Dairy Queen, McDonald’s,
Bob’s Big Boy? Nope. None of them are older than Arizona Highways. Neither are
Nike, Funyuns, Mrs. Butterworth, Mr. Coffee, Slinkys, Superman, Snickers bars,
Queen Elizabeth II or 8-track tapes. We’re even
older than Larry King, who won’t turn 85 until
2018. Turns out, we have seniority over all of them.
We feel much younger, but the truth is, we’re
85 — this month marks eight-and-a-half decades
for Arizona Highways.
We recognize the significance of that number,
but for us, anniversary issues aren’t any more
important than any other issue. Our goal every
month, whether it’s a milestone issue or not, is to
create an inspiring magazine filled with spectacu-lar
photography, excellent writing and beautiful
design. That’s why our March 1971 and February
1982 issues were just as important as April 1975
and April 2010. That said, we’re proud to have been around for so long, and we’re
extremely grateful for your support along the way. Your subscriptions help us help
mom-and-pops around the state. That’s our mission, and that’s what this month’s
cover story is all about.
It’s our third-annual Best Restaurants issue, and like the last couple of years, the
25 places on the list are there for various reasons: charming décor, delicious food,
friendly service, great views. Not every restaurant excels in every category, but
according to writer Nikki Buchanan, the state’s most-respected food critic, they’re
all worth a visit. One of her favorites is New Jersey Pizza Co. in Flagstaff. “Owners
Marco Agostini and Seth Sharkey turn out perfect, golden pies,” she writes, “topped
with the best ingredients these meticulous foragers can find.”
Not far from there is another excellent restaurant called Tinderbox Kitchen. Like
the Pizza Co., it’s a great place to grab a bite to eat in Flag. At the other end of the
ROBERT STIEVE, editor
state, down in Bisbee, Nikki likes Café Cornu-copia,
and in between, her hit list includes Janos
in Tucson, Fournos in Sedona and Atlas Bistro in
Scottsdale, which serves something called Death
by Elvis. It’s made with peanut butter, bacon,
bananas and chocolate. When was the last time
you saw something like that on a menu? Probably
never, but Nikki has a knack for finding the out-of-
the-ordinary. She’s a gifted writer and a great
reporter, which is one of the reasons we gave her
two assignments this month — as if a culinary
tour of the state wasn’t enough, we also sent her
on a 1,000-mile road trip to Northern Arizona.
Like Arizona Highways, the Copperstate 1000
is marking a milestone this month. It’s the 20th
anniversary of the renowned road rally, which
features some of the rarest and most expensive
collector cars in the world. On last year’s trip,
Nikki tagged along. She was “working,” but she
did get to ride shotgun in a handful of classics:
a 1970 Ford Torino Grand National stock car, a
1959 Aston Martin DB3S and a 1957 Jaguar Cozzi
Even Nikki admits that this kind of assign-ment
is good work if you can get it, but the
trip was a little grueling. As she writes in On
the Roads: “In 96 hours, we covered a dizzying
amount of territory — zooming past the hoodoos
of Canyon Diablo, climbing through ponderosa
pines to Flagstaff, barreling across parts of the
Hopi Reservation, and cruising past the hill-town
of Jerome.” One of the few places they
didn’t hit was Lake Powell. For that, we called
on Gary Ladd.
Even if you haven’t been reading us for all 85
years, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Gary’s
work — we use him all the time. As a landscape
photographer, he shoots everywhere, but his
favorite place is Lake Powell. He’s been shooting
there for more than 30 years, and as you’ll see in
this month’s portfolio, no one has mastered the
subject like Mr. Ladd. No one. The portfolio is
titled A Great Take on a Great Lake, and Lake Powell
certainly lives up to the billing. Although it’s not
as old as Arizona Highways, or even Bob’s Big Boy, it
is something special. Check it out sometime. Or,
if that’s not an option, keep reading our maga-zine.
Over the next 85 years, we’re bound to go
back. And who knows, at some point, we might
even take Larry King.
A P R I L 2 0 1 0 VO L . 8 6 , N O. 4
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
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© 2010 by the Arizona
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PRODUCED IN THE USA
BARBARA GLYNN DENNEY
Deputy Art Director
SONDA ANDERSSON PAPPAN
Design Production Assistant
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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
www. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c o m 3
Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/azhighways.
As a born-and-bred Arizonan, photographer Paul Markow (right) says there aren’t many
roads in the state he hasn’t traveled. But shooting this month’s cover story (see Best
Restaurants 2010, page 14) allowed him to see things in a whole new light. “I loved see-ing
how all of these small, unique and wonderful restaurants have sprouted up all over
Arizona,” Markow says. “Although I’ve never been accused of being a foodie, I really ate
up this project. From
Flagstaff to Bisbee,
I was fortunate to
meet and photograph
a really wonderful
group of passionate
individuals. I real-ized
that their pas-sion
about food is
similar to my passion
spent most of his time
traveling and shooting,
he did have time to
sit down for dinner at
Kitchen, where, he
says, the bistro steak
was “quite memo-rable.”
If you like what you see in this
magazine every month, check
out Arizona Highways Television,
an Emmy Award-winning pro-gram
hosted by former news
anchor Robin Sewell. For broad-cast
times, visit our Web site,
click the Arizona Highways Televi-sion
link on our home page.
ARIZONA HIGHWAYS TELEVISION
4 a p r i l 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
I enjoy your publication, but found an
error in your January 2010 issue. The
article Deer Prudence states that there
are “White-tailed and Coues …” in the
southern half of the state. We have
only one subspecies of white-tailed in
the state, and that’s the Coues white-tailed.
There are no others, although
some old-timers still talk about the
“Sonoran fantail,” which is the same
deer by another name.
KURT BAHTI, PATAGONIA, ARIZONA
In 1968 my family and I ventured
west to visit my brother, who was
stationed at an Air Force base in
California. Our route took us to the
Four Corners Monument. My mom,
Trudy, was immediately captured
by Arizona’s beauty and bought her
first copy of Arizona Highways from
a local Native American who was
selling issues for 75 cents. My mom
subscribed for the next 40 years.
During each of my visits to her home,
we’d sit at the dining room table and
peruse the newest copy of the maga-zine.
From 1985 until she passed in
2008, she realized her dream of living
in this beautiful state. She always
gazed upon the breathtaking sunsets
as though she was viewing them for
the first time. Your magazine was the
start of her dream!
CHAD LECKI, GLENDALE, ARIZONA
We were delighted to find the
article about diners and drive-ins
[November 2009] because we’re
always looking for new/fun places to
eat. I know that in articles like this
there are always people saying, “You
missed (blank),” and because it just
opened in October, you did miss a
great new one. We’d like your readers
to know about Bing’s Burger Station
in Cottonwood. The burgers and
fries are made with fresh ingredients
every day, and the reuse of the old gas
station is a perfect setting for this
culinary trip down memory lane.
KATE CROWLEY, WILLOW RIVER, MINNESOTA
EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks for the tip, Ms. Crowley.
Coincidentally, we’ll be featuring Bing’s in our
I spent my sophomore year as an
exchange student with my host
family, the McElvains, in Waddell,
Arizona. I’m now living in Taiwan,
which is on the other side of the
globe. Arizona Highways is a gift
from my dear Arizona host parents,
Damon and Liz. Each month when I
see your magazine, it automatically
takes me back to those “Arizona
moments” ... the hikes, the festivals,
the huge cactuses ... all that I miss.
WENDY LIN, TAIPEI, TAIWAN
TO THE LETTER
I felt that Marti Thorson’s comment
about “senseless torture inflicted on
animals ...” in the January 2010 issue
[Letters to the Editor] regarding the
winning image in your photo con-test
raised a point not regarding the
photography, but perception of rodeo
livestock. Arizona Highways is not the
venue for discussion about animal
abuse, but I believe the comment war-rants
a response. Firstly, as a photog-rapher,
I felt your selected image was
well-deserving due to the technical
difficulty of acquiring the image, as
well as the image itself. The fact that
it elicited such emotion from Thorson
illustrates the power of photography
that photographers hope to achieve. I,
personally, am not a rodeo enthusiast,
but many are, both as participants
and spectators. Rodeo livestock are
bred and raised to do what they do.
Whether a horse is bred to jump, cut
cattle, buck or run fast on a racetrack,
they are bred to be specialists in differ-ent
sports arenas. The specialty breed-ing
applies to the cattle, as well. Rodeo
livestock are well-fed, well-cared-for,
and riders often develop a fondness for
particular mounts. There is a shocking
amount of animal abuse in backyards
where livestock “pets” are poorly fed,
pens are not cleaned, vaccinations are
not current and so on. The number of
horses in overfilled rescue organiza-tions
clearly illustrates this neglect
and abuse. I applaud Arizona Highways
for not entirely focusing on the out-standing
landscape beauty that sur-rounds
us, but showing the way of life
that is part of our landscape.
NITA GULBAS, PHOENIX
THE HOLE TRUTH
What a beautiful piece of writing
[In the Hole World by Craig Childs,
January 2010]! Worth the entire year’s
subscription cost. More please.
FRANK MERCER, MESA, ARIZONA
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
Located on the Navajo Nation, Canyon
de Chelly’s desert-varnished cliffs and
grassy meadows make up one of the
oldest continuously inhabited areas in
the United States. Today, it’s a national
monument where visitors can hike,
explore ancient ruins and learn about
Navajo culture. Information: www.nps.
gov/cach or 928-674-5500.
To order a print of this photograph,
call 866-962-1191 or visit www.
6 a p r i l 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 7
Sells, Arizona, isn’t exactly on the beaten path. In fact, it’s so far from the path that the
tiny town on the Tohono O’odham reservation isn’t really “on the way” to anywhere.
That said, there’s a new place in Sells that’s ripe for enthusiasts of the road less traveled.
It’s called Desert Rain Café, and it’s open for breakfast and lunch, both of which are worth a try.
The brainchild of Tohono O’odham Community Action (TOCA), the café opened in March
2009 in an effort to combat the growing epidemic of type 2 diabetes, which afflicts the Native
American community. The plan was to reintroduce the people to “the bounty of the Sonoran
Desert and the many indigenous foods that have been used by the Tohono O’odham people
for centuries,” says Mary Paganelli, the café’s consulting chef. “Some research shows that the
move away from traditional foods and lifestyle has contributed to the epidemic … many of the
Tohono O’odham traditional foods are naturally low on the glycemic index and have blood-sugar-
Every item on the menu incorporates at least one such traditional ingredient, some of which
might seem a little adventurous to the mainstream, including mesquite meal, prickly pear,
agave syrup and the daunting cholla bud. In addition, TOCA’s own farm produces the tepary
beans and squash for the café, so they go straight from topsoil to table.
But before you succumb to sweat-inducing flashes of Bear Grylls
in some inhospitable Venezuelan jungle, downing live slugs for their
purported protein value, Paganelli encourages, “Don’t be afraid!” The
kitchen is manned by some of the most seasoned chefs on the rez.
Once prepared, the offerings aren’t at all scary. Mesquite meal is
Whether it’s mesquite meal or cholla buds, every item on the menu
at Desert Rain Café includes at least one ingredient indigenous
to the Tohono O’odham Nation. It’s good, and it’s good for you.
By MARYAL MILLER
DAVE WILLIAMSON JOINED FLAGSTAFF’S Mogollon
Brewing Co. in September 2001, wanting to make it the
No. 1 microbrewery in the state. Six
months later, it was.
Although Mogollon was outselling
all of the other microbreweries in Arizona — com-bined
— Williamson says he “damn near put the com-pany
out of business.
“I didn’t realize at the time that we were losing
money on every single case of beer we sold,” he says.
After running the numbers, Williamson realized
that there was more money to be made in reusable,
refillable kegs, rather than individual cases of beer. “If
I could have a minikeg, a retail keg, with everything
built in, that would be perfect,” he says.
Although Coors Light and Miller
Lite have similar products, Williamson
says the concept was so close, yet so far
away from being truly environmentally
sound. “Those home kegs are disposable.
You use them, throw them away and buy
more. They missed the entire point.”
Armed with his idea and a back-ground
in wholesale liquor distribution,
Williamson, whose second company,
Arizona High Spirits, distills vodka
and whiskey, built a model. It sat on the
bar at the brewery until representatives
from the city of Flagstaff came calling
for a donation of vodka for the 2008
“They asked me what the keg was
and I told them it was just an idea,” Wil-liamson
says. “I told them that the con-cept
was to save money on packaging,
but that the keg also eliminates waste.”
The representatives were intrigued.
A few weeks later, Williamson met
with students and faculty from North-ern
Arizona University, who crafted a
working prototype — a reusable 2.3-gal-lon
minikeg. When the economy tanked,
progress on the minikeg stalled.
But Williamson kept thinking, and
once again decided on a new idea: reus-able
wine bottles and refillable wine
kegs for retailers, a notion that could
translate easily to the vodka business. It could also
reduce waste and costs at one of Arizona’s biggest
assets — the Grand Canyon. Three hundred gallons of
champagne bubble in glasses at the Canyon each year,
and according to Williamson’s research, the packaging
costs for just one case of champagne is $23.44. With
minikegs, those costs would dwindle to just over $2
Although he’s still waiting on funding for the mini-kegs,
Williamson is moving forward with refillable,
returnable vodka bottles, thanks to a partnership with
Phoenix-based Hensley & Co.
“I spoke to another distributor first, and that dis-tributor
said that if I took the idea of returnable bottles
to Hensley, it wouldn’t go over.”
But Williamson got the last laugh. Hensley began
distributing the vodka in test markets throughout the
state in January.
“The consumers are ready for
it,” Williamson says. “Retailers
are ready for it. Microbrewer-ies
and wineries are ready for it.
Everybody’s ready for it.”
Spinning the Bottles
Dave Williamson first changed the law
to allow breweries and distilleries to
operate in the same building. Now, he’s
crusading for the environment — one
recyclable bottle at a time.
By KELLY KRAMER
used in baked treats like the delectable Cinna-mon
Squash Agave Muffin and the massive
Mesquite Oatmeal Cookie, adding a surpris-ingly
pleasant graham cracker-like quality. The
pico de gallo, which is prepared by Tucson’s
Canyon Ranch, uses the texturally intimidating
cholla bud to lend a smoky, citrus
flavor. It’s a recommended must-try.
So is the café’s fresh Agave
Lemonade, which is chilled on ice in a giant jar
placed on the front counter. It’s sweet, not tart.
The tepary bean — reportedly the most heat-and
drought-tolerant bean in the world — is
found in several selections, like the White
Tepary Bean and Short Rib Stew, and the Brown
Tepary Bean Quesadilla, one of Paganelli’s
But perhaps the best gift that I’itoi —
the Tohono O’odham creator god — has
bestowed upon diners at Desert Rain are the
prices. The most expensive meal on the menu
is only $7.95 (the Prickly Pear Glazed Short
Ribs), which makes up for the extra gas money
you’ll spend getting there. And if that’s not
enough to inspire you to make a trek off the
beaten path, keep in mind that all profits from
the café support TOCA’s education mission.
Desert Rain Café is lo-cated
in the Tohono Plaza
on Main Street in Sells.
For more information, call
520-383-4918 or visit
THE JOURNAL > people THEJOURNAL > dining
S E L L S
What do you miss
most about Arizona?
The sunsets, the
smell of the desert
and the smell of
the ozone before it
rains. That’s a really,
really strong smell.
You can have a clear
sky, but know that it’s
going to rain because
of that smell and
something electric in
Favorite place to visit
in the spring?
The open desert. We
lived near Camelback
Mountain, in Phoenix.
We had a little house,
about a half-mile
away, and the wild-flowers
be in bloom.
What five words
would you use to
How has Phoenix
changed in your eyes?
Well, there are
exchanges I’m not
very familiar with. I
change the city goes
What places do you
always visit when you
I always visit a Mexi-can
restaurant and I
always visit Camelback
not only where I
grew up, but it’s
also where I had my
children. I hike it and
enjoy the springtime
— Dave Pratt is the
author of Behind the
Mic: 30 Years in Radio
P R A T T ’ S Q&A
For more information
about Arizona High
Spirits, call 928-773-
8950 or visit www.
F L A G S T A F F
O N L I N E For more dining in Arizona, visit our “Dining Guide” at www.arizonahighways.com.
8 a p r i l 2 0 1 0
IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME. If you build it fun, funky and friendly, they’ll come in
droves. At least that’s how things worked out for The Motor Lodge in Prescott.
The Motor Lodge is a midcentury slice of Americana that’s been completely refurbished and
operates as distinctive boutique lodging. Originally built as summer cabins in 1910, the cabins
were purchased in 1940, then connected by a common roofline. Thus, a motor court was born.
During the ensuing decades, the little inn was dragged through other incarnations, including
a tragic stint as country cottages, dripping in doilies with stuffed bears
stacked on beds like cordwood. In 2008, Joe Livingston and Brian Spear
bought the place and created a stylish and memorable getaway.
The restored property is a striking balance of eye-pleasing nostalgia and modern comfort.
Outside, the exterior resonates with a retro vibe. A dozen units clustered in the shape of a
small horseshoe are painted with a snappy color scheme designed to lure weary motorists.
The sign is small but appropriately veined with neon.
The rooms themselves aren’t as firmly rooted in the past. Spot-lessly
clean and effortlessly cool, each room sports an eclectic mix
of furnishings and art, sampling a range of eras. The Motor Lodge
also features amenities akin to those found at far pricier resorts.
Beds are luscious stress-swallowers draped with high-thread-
The Motor Is Running
Forget everything you’ve ever heard about motels. The Motor Lodge in
Prescott is a midcentury slice of Americana that’s more boutique than bad
stereotype. Check in and check it out.
By ROGER NAYLOR
count sheets. You’ll be tempted to steal the
towels until you realize they’re too fluffy to fit
in your suitcase. By the way, don’t even try.
The most pleasant surprise, however,
might be the jovial hospitality that permeates
the place. It starts with Joe and Brian. They
offer a cold beer or glass of wine at check-in,
circulate among the rooms with fresh-baked
cookies and steer you toward all the great
restaurants in Prescott. If you’re heading
downtown, they’ll give you a lift in the official
orange Motor Lodge pickup, or you can hop
on one of the loaner bikes — including a vin-tage
tandem — and tool around in style.
That friendly spirit tends to be contagious.
A small porch fronts each room, and there,
guests often gather in the afternoon. Conver-sations
bounce from porch to porch, leading
to impromptu cocktail parties and room
tours, with guests pointing out the details of
their overnight home as proudly as if they’d
designed it themselves.
Once upon a time, travel was a journey
fraught with discovery, rife with mystery
and grace. Thanks to the folks at The Motor
Lodge, that experience lives again.
The Motor Lodge is located at
503 S. Montezuma Street in
Prescott. For more informa-tion,
call 928-717-0157 or visit
7 tips for getting great
shots of blue jays,
badgers and more.
By Bruce D. Taubert
1. Get out in the field
with an experienced
2. Photograph wildlife
when it’s most
3. The best
are taken when the
sun is at your back
and reflecting off of an
4. For sharp images,
use a tripod, especially
when using telephoto
5. Take photos of wild-life
at its eye level.
6. When taking action
shots, use a fast shut-ter
7. Practice, practice,
Look for Arizona Highways
Photography Guide, avail-able
at bookstores and
Q&A: Bruce D. Taubert
Landscape photographers get most of the headlines in this magazine, but it’s our
wildlife photography that gets the oohs and the ahhs. We feature some incredible
shots, and the man behind the camera for many of them is Bruce D. Taubert.
Interviewed by JEFF KIDA, photo editor
As I was getting ready for a daylong photo
excursion with renowned wildlife photogra-pher
Bruce D. Taubert, the kid in me kicked
in. This could be a duel — Nikon versus Canon, a 500
mm auto-focus lens against a manually focused 600
mm. The battlefield? The Riparian Preserve at Water
Ranch in Gilbert, where indigenous and migratory
birds like to hang out. Taubert is a retired assistant
director of wildlife management for the Arizona Game
and Fish Department. He holds a doctorate in wildlife
management and credits his mother for pushing him
into photography, which he uses as a way to celebrate
the great outdoors. As we wandered around the park,
Taubert discussed his approach to bird photography.
How do you prep for a shoot in an unfamiliar location?
I check sunrise and sunset times. Bird photographers
should be onsite before daybreak in order to take
advantage of good early morning light. Some municipal
parks don’t open until 8 a.m., so afternoons are some-times
a better option. Many urban settings have strict
rules about staying on designated paths. At times this
might not seem ideal, but you’ll find plenty of photo
You use expensive camera gear: a Canon 500 mm f-4
and a dSLR body. Is there a way to make quality bird
photographs and other wildlife photographs on a rea-sonable
Absolutely! My first gear for bird photography was a
Canon 400 f-5.6 and an old tripod with a video-type
head that was handed down from my mother. That
400 mm lens is relatively inexpensive and incredibly
sharp. I still use it today. There are many off-brand
lenses that are fantastic. An aluminum tripod — even
a used one — will do. You’ll want to use a ball-head
tripod head for bird photography, and there are several
brands available for less than you might think.
Any tips for making photos that are both technical and
There’s a book that really helped me: The Art of Bird
Photography by Arthur Morris. The camera is not a magi-cal
tool that captures a good photograph every time; it’s
a sophisticated piece of equipment that’s only as good as
its operator. This book, in a logical, systematic way, not
only describes how to make a good photograph, but also
one that is a work of art. It really helped me turn a cor-ner,
but in the end, it’s about dedication and effort.
THE JOURNAL > lodging THEJOURNAL > photography
O N L I N E
For more photography
tips and other informa-tion,
highways.com and click
P R E S C O T T
BRUCE D. TAUBERT
BRUCE D. TAUBERT
O N L I N E For more lodging in Arizona, visit our “Lodging Guide” at www.arizonahighways.com.
10 a p r i l 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 11
THEJOURNAL > nature
PHOENIX IS ONE OF only a few cities in the country with all four
major sports: the NFL, the NHL, the NBA and Major League Base-ball.
But long before the arrival of the Suns and the Cardinals and
sports legends like Steve Nash and Larry Fitzgerald, another sport
and its players put Arizona on the map.
Women’s softball had a huge following in
the 1940s and ’50s, thanks in large part to the
popularity of two teams: the Ramblers and the
Queens. According to sports historian Laura Purcell, both were
forces to be reckoned with as Phoenix became known as the
unofficial softball capital of the world. “The tradition of Arizona
softball began in the early 1930s,” Purcell says. “And the games rou-tinely
outdrew minor league baseball.”
Back then, admission was inexpensive and loyal fans filled
the stands. In 1940, the Ramblers won their first national cham-pionship
— the first national sports championship of any kind
in Arizona. The team repeated the feat in 1948 and 1949. And if
the Ramblers were Arizona softball royalty, their catcher, Dot
Wilkinson, was queen.
The Girls of Summer
The Arizona Diamondbacks may have won the
2001 World Series, but it was the Ramblers, a
professional women’s softball team, that brought
home the state’s first national championship.
By SALLY BENFORD
the Ramblers as a bat-girl
in 1933, when she
was only 11, and before
her first summer was
over, she was a regular
player on the team. She
eventually won 19 All-
American awards and
helped secure three
for the Ramblers
before retiring in 1965. In 1970, she was inducted into the National
Softball Hall of Fame. Purcell says that many softball aficionados
consider Wilkinson the best catcher to
ever play the game.
Another Arizonan also played as a
young girl. In 1939, Rose Perica left the
small town of Globe to play for the Arizona
Cantaloupe Queens. She played only one
season before moving on to a 49-year career
in Arizona state government, a career that
included a stint as governor. By that time,
however, she was known as Rose Mofford.
Although the Queens and the Ramblers
are long gone, local softball fans still have
plenty to cheer about. The University of
Arizona has won eight NCAA softball
championships, and Arizona State Uni-versity
won its first NCAA softball title
Purcell believes that today’s softball
teams have the Ramblers and the Queens
to thank. “Everybody loves a winner, and
when those women brought the national
championships to Phoenix in the ’40s,
they were heroes. So much of the roots of
American softball lead back to Arizona.”
P H O E N I X
■ In April 1928,
landed at Grand
Canyon Red Butte
■ Flagstaff’s first
concert took place
at Babbitt’s Opera
House on April
11, 1899, offering a
to the town’s cul-tural
■ The Steward
on The Uni-versity
campus in Tucson,
was dedicated on
April 23, 1923.
Fifty years ago, the looming largesse of Lake
Powell was a hot topic. In our April 1960 issue,
we explored the creation of the now-famous
landmark, as well as the prospectors who envi-sioned
it. Speaking of Arizona’s lakes, the issue
also featured a story on the fish hatcheries that
had long been stocking the state’s waterways.
50 years ago
I N A R I Z O N A H I G H W A Y S
THEJOURNAL > history
ARIZONA HISTORICAL FOUNDATION
Top: The Arizona Ramblers. Above: Queens
catcher Charlotte T. “Skip” Armstrong.
Way back when, when water
was more prevalent in Ari-zona,
so, too, was the Castor
canadensis, better known to you, me, Ward
and June as the beaver.
In fact, there was a time when beavers
had strongholds along the San Pedro and
Santa Cruz rivers, until habitat loss and heavy
trapping led to their decline. Recent reintro-ductions,
however, along with revitalization
efforts, have stabilized beaver populations.
Today, they can be found along permanent
streams and rivers, shallow lakes and even
some dirt-lined canals.
The rodents — which are primarily noctur-nal
and can weigh up to 60 pounds — have
adapted to a waterlogged existence, thanks
to flattened, oar-like tails that measure
approximately 10 inches in length. Only
capybaras in South America are larger than
beavers, making beavers the second-largest
rodents in the world. Along with a flat tail,
they have webbed hind feet and eyes posi-tioned
high on their heads, perfect for seeing
above water, à la alligators, Nessie and other
aquatic fauna. In Arizona, beavers usually
have thick cinnamon-colored fur coats.
Male and female beavers don’t have dis-tinct
physical differences — they’re similar in
length and weight — and when it comes time
for making rodent whoopee, they build dens
along the waterways in which they live. The
dens, which are commonly lined with cattails
and native grasses, are above the waterline
and provide a rustic nursery for the kits that
arrive two to four at a time in the spring.
As they grow, the little ones snack on the
same plants their parents do, mostly the
bark of willows, cottonwoods and aspens.
They’ll also taste-test mesquite and tamarisk,
as well as cattail and bulrush roots. And, of
course, you’ll know where a beaver has been.
The constructive critters will fell trees and
gather brush to build dams. They’ll also build
lodges within the dams or as separate vaca-tion
It’s illegal to hunt beavers in Arizona, but
trapping is not. According to the Arizona
Game and Fish Department, the annual
number of beavers trapped has declined
significantly since the early 1990s. Game and
Fish officials attribute the drop to limitations
on trapping, as well as limited beaver subdi-visions.
That’s not to say the animals have
grown accustomed to a fear-free existence.
Startle a beaver while it’s in the water, and
it’ll likely slap the water with its tail and dive
quickly beneath the surface, all in an effort to
warn its beaver brethren.
Leave It to the Beavers Although they’re usually
associated with the great north woods, beavers are right at home in
Arizona — cutting trees, building dams ... the usual. By KELLY KRAMER
they often do so
on hilltops, where
the males fight
for dominance by
attempting to oc-cupy
point. There, the
alpha male will
flash his irides-cent
wings in an
effort to attract
a mate. You’ll
find the fanciful
their host plant
— mistletoe — is
BRUCE D. TAUBERT
ARIZONA HISTORICAL FOUNDATION
12 a p r i l 2 0 1 0
THEJOURNAL > things to do
Fiesta Days Rodeo
A PR I L 8 - 1 1 CAV E CR E E K
Whoop and holler at this annual event that proudly honors Arizona’s
Western heritage. The old-fashioned celebration includes a parade,
dance and a PRCA rodeo, with bronc-busting, calf-roping, bull-riding
and barrel-racing. Information: 480-488-4043 or www.cavecreek
Celebrate fantastic food at one of the nation’s premier culinary festi-vals.
Attend the Great Arizona Picnic, the festival’s main event, and
sample food and drink from 50 restaurants spanning a variety of eth-nic
flavors. Watch live cooking demonstrations by local and national
chefs and enjoy entertainment on three stages. Information: 480-945-
7193 or www.scottsdaleculinaryfestival.org.
A PR I L 9 - 1 0 TUCSON
Longtime Arizona Highways contributor
Edward McCain will lead this workshop in
Tucson’s historic barrio neighborhoods. The
brightly colored doorways, windows and
entryways, as well as the captivating textures of the barrio buildings,
make for wonderful images. Participants will learn how to shoot in an
urban area with the varying light and shadows of springtime. Informa-tion:
888-790-7042 or www.friendsofazhighways.com.
Birding & Nature Festival
A PR I L 2 2-2 5 COT TONWOOD
Dead Horse Ranch State Park celebrates birds
during this Verde Valley event. Stay on-site
at the park for workshops, seminars and chil-dren-
themed programs such as birdhouse
building, or sign up for field trips to Flagstaff’s
volcanic field, Sedona’s wetlands or Bent
River Ranch, among others. If you’re keen for
adventure, take a field trip to Fossil Creek to
join in cleanup efforts or try a kayak/wine-tasting
trip on the Verde River. Information:
928-282-2202 or www.birdyverde.org.
A PR I L 14 - 1 7
F LOR ENCE
This year’s entertain-ment
some of country
music’s biggest stars.
Keith Urban, Kid
Rock, Miranda Lam-bert,
and Jo Dee Messina
are just a few of the
performers who will
take the stage during
this four-day event.
Campsites are avail-able
near the festival
A PR I L 2 3 -2 5 B ENSON
Take your blanket or lawn chair to Lions Park to enjoy a bit of blue-grass.
Performers include Goldwing Express and Cedar Hill, and you’ll
also find workshops, jam sessions, kids’ activities, crafts and food.
A PR I L 1 3 - 1 8
SCOT T SDA L E
The Arizona Highways Travel Show
features the latest information on
Arizona destinations, including
Tucson, Sedona, Grand Canyon and
Lake Powell, as well as photography
demonstrations and hiking work-shops.
Get the lowdown on lodging,
dining, scenic attractions and more.
May 22-23, 2010
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phoenix Convention Center
Admission: $5 at box office, day of event
For more information, visit
or call 480-838-9123.
need to know about
travel in Arizona
14 a p r i l 2 0 1 0
B Y N I K K I B U C H A N A N
P H O T O G R A P H S B Y P A U L M A R K O W
b e s t
From a small BYOB in Scottsdale that serves something
called Death by Elvis to a rustic-but-comfy, pueblo-inspired
hideaway in Greer, there’s something for everyone in our
third-annual collection of the state’s best places to fuel up
when you hit the road.
2 0 1 0
Chef Scott Heinonen,
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 15
16 a p r i l 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 17
t’s one thing to know where to go skiing,
fishing, hiking, golfing or shopping in
our state, quite another to know where
to eat, drink and be merry before and
afterward. To that end, we’ve searched
high, low and in between to bring you 25
noteworthy Arizona restaurants you’ll
want to try. A few bring history or lon-gevity
to the proverbial table; one is so
new the paint’s barely dry. Some offer
big-city sophistication, while others are
cozy mom-and-pops brimming with
small-town charm. Our third-annual
“Best Restaurants” list offers choices —
to dress up or dress down, to splurge or
save money, to challenge or comfort yourself.
So tuck in that napkin and let’s get started.
Angelina’s Italian Kitchen
Lake Havasu City
DON’T LET THE NONDESCRIPT BUILDING OR OFF-THE-beaten-
path location deter you. Cozy, family run
Angelina’s offers generously portioned, made-from-scratch
specialties from Southern Italy and beyond
— lasagna, gnocchi, cheese ravioli, cioppino and
veal Parmesan, many of them lavished with cooked-all-
day red sauce and accompanied by a basket of
house-baked, rosemary-topped bread. Red-checked
tablecloths and twinkling lights lend this small,
crowded local favorite an air of romance and nostal-gia
(think Lady and the Tramp sharing spaghetti).
2137 Acoma Boulevard West, 928-680-3868.
BRINGING YOUR OWN COULDN’T BE EASIER AT THIS
tiny, romantic BYOB, tucked inside AZ Wine Co.,
the Valley’s best wine shop. Buy a bottle in the shop
and the corkage fee at Atlas is waived. Chef Josh
Riesner (who changes the seasonal, locally focused
menu constantly) is sure to prepare something wine-friendly
and shockingly good — maybe a pork por-terhouse
with pumpkin purée, sauerkraut, bacon
and maple demiglâce. If Death by Elvis (a ridiculous
dessert involving chocolate, peanut butter, bananas
and bacon) is available, try it. Or “settle” for sautéed
figs with brown butter-almond pound cake and but-termilk
panna cotta. 2515 N. Scottsdale Road, 480-990-
Blue Buddha Sushi Lounge
ALTHOUGH LAKE POWELL IS JUST A STONE’S THROW
away, a sushi bar isn’t the sort of restaurant that
springs readily to mind when you’re in Page. But
yes, Virginia, it’s possible to find ultrafresh sushi
in this town, and it’s delivered by a jolly fat guy in
blue. Just as unlikely, BB sports the trendy good
looks of sushi bars in larger cities, which is surely
why it’s the hangout du jour for Page’s twenty-somethings.
Elaborate sushi rolls star here, but
teriyaki and noodle dishes, a kid’s menu and Yum
Yum Bombs (tempura-fried Oreos with ice cream)
prove that the Buddha loves us all. 815 N. Navajo
TOURISTS AND LOCALS ALIKE LOVE THIS BUSTLING,
cheerful café — considered Bisbee’s best lunch
spot — for a whole host of reasons, most of them
edible. First, there’s the freshly baked rolled-oats-and-
honey bread (delivered to the table warm and
fragrant). Then there’s the eclectic selection of
homemade soups, hefty sandwiches and quiches,
including the much-loved Hatch green chile-and-cheddar.
Although regulars wax rhapsodic about
house-baked raspberry scones and lemon bars, the
tart-sweet treat that puts this mining town gem on
the map is fresh-squeezed lemonade infused with
fruits of the season — peach, strawberry or maybe
tangerine. 14 Main Street, 520-432-4820.
Café Poca Cosa
CHEF-OWNER SUZANA DAVILA MOVED HER LEGENDARY RESTAURANT
to sleek and sexy new digs a few years ago, but the venue change hasn’t
changed the high priestess of alta cucina Mexicana one whit. She’s still
dishing out her own delicious version of gourmet Mexican food (no
burritos in sight) listed on a portable chalkboard changed twice daily.
Outpacing the regional Mexican trend by 20 years, Davila doesn’t
hesitate to use obscure chiles or to add yet another exotic molé to her
prodigious repertoire (30 and counting). If you don’t know pollo chilin-dron
from pastel de elote, just close your eyes and point, saving room for
cinnamon-sparked Mexican chocolate mousse. 110 E. Pennington Street,
IF IT WEREN’T FOR THE TELLTALE RED ROCKS NEARBY, CUCINA RUSTICA
could pass for an elegant villa on the Mediterranean. Trickling fountains,
rustic doors, gilt-framed pictures, glowing sconces and a massive hearth
create Old World ambience counterbalanced by a modern, Southwest-ern-
edged menu drawing heavily from both Italy and America. Grilled
artichoke with lemon pesto aioli, rigatoni tossed with chicken and
mushrooms in chipotle cream sauce and grilled pork tenderloin, served
with red onion confit and roasted potatoes, are a few luscious possibili-ties.
And the wine selection is impressive too, which is why Wine Specta-tor
gave the restaurant an Award of Excellence in 2007. Tequa Plaza, 7000
State Route 179, Suite 126A, 928-284-3010, www.cucinarustica.com.
WHEN YOU’RE IN THE MOOD TO RELAX AND WATCH
the world go by, there’s no better place in Flagstaff
than Cuveé 928, a handsome wine bar sporting
picture windows and a patio, both overlooking
Heritage Square. Of course, paying close atten-tion
to anything beyond the expertly crafted food
and drink is easier said than done — considering
an urbane collection of panini and small plates,
as well as an affordable wine list (25 global selec-tions
by the glass and bottle, as well as a handful of
flights). Imagine melon, fennel and duck prosciutto
salad or brisket panini with caramelized onion and
blue cheese. Then imagine caring about much of
anything else. 6 E. Aspen Avenue, Suite 110, 928-214-9463,
Enzo’s Ristorante Italiano
TAKE YOUR OWN BEER OR WINE TO ENZO DIMAR-tino’s
snug, eight-table restaurant, where table-cloths,
warm colors and Italian background music
create a welcoming, upscale ambience. Although
the menu features Neapolitan-style pizza, north-country
customers usually prefer sophisti-cated
offerings such as fettuccine Alfredo,
shrimp fra diavolo, penne arrabiata and
pesto chicken — sauces, breads and most
everything else made from scratch. The
place opens at 4 p.m. and closes at 8:30
p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays, so
plan ahead, knowing the philosophy is first
come, first served. 423 W. Snowflake Boulevard,
Essence Bakery Café
UNLIKE KERMIT, CHEF-OWNER EUGENIA
Theodosopoulos finds it easy being green
at her cute, green-designed café, where
she makes elegant breakfasts using house-baked
breads, free-trade organic coffee
(locally roasted, of course) and the eggs of
cage-free, vegetarian-fed chickens. Lunch
selections feature grass-fed beef, free-range
chicken and local, organic produce, all of
it featured on recycled paper menus. But
don’t think for a minute that virtue trumps
taste. This École Lenôtre-trained chef, who
deftly incorporates the Greek specialties of her
childhood, knows a thing or two about decadence
— as her French pastries and incredible macarons
(almond-meringue sandwich cookies) deliciously
prove. 825 W. University Drive, 480-966-2745, www.
2 0 0 9
Barrio Café: 2814 N. 16th Street,
Phoenix, 602-636-0240 or www.
BeDillon’s Restaurant: 800 N. Park
Avenue, Casa Grande, 520-836-2045
Bisbee Breakfast Club: 75 Erie Street,
Bisbee, 520-432-5885 or www.
Brickman’s Grill: 1450 E. White Moun-tain
Boulevard, Pinetop, 928-367-7400
Canela Bistro: 3252 Highway 82,
Sonoita, 520-455-5873 or www.
El Conquistador: The Gadsden Hotel,
1046 G Avenue, Douglas, 520-364-
4481 or www.hotelgadsden.com
Elote Café: 771 Highway 179 (Kings
Ransom Sedona Hotel), Sedona, 928-
203-0105 or www.elotecafe.com
Fiesta Mexicana Family: 125 S. Lake
Powell Boulevard, Page, 928-645-
Firehouse Kitchen: 218 W. Goodwin
Street, Prescott, 928-776-4566
Gerardo’s Italian Bistro: 512 Beeline
Highway, Payson, 928-468-6500
Hubb’s Bistro: 315 E. Andy Devine
Avenue, Kingman, 928-718-1800 or
Josephine’s: 503 N. Humphreys Street,
Flagstaff, 928-779-3400 or www.
Julieanna’s Patio Café: 1951 W. 25th
Street, Yuma, 928-317-1961 or www.
Kai: 5594 W. Wild Horse Pass
Boulevard, Chandler, 602-225-0100 or
Libby’s El Rey Café: 999 N. Broad
Street, Globe, 928-425-2054
Los Dos Molinos: 900 E. Main Street,
Springerville, 928-333-4846 or www.
Molly Butler’s: 109 Main Street, Greer,
928-735-7226 or www.mollybutler-lodge.
Rancho Pinot: 6208 N. Scottsdale
Road, Scottsdale, 480-367-8030 or
Shelby’s Bistro: 19 Tubac Road, Tubac,
Tanuki Sushi Bar & Garden: 1221 E. Fry
Boulevard, Sierra Vista, 520-459-
The Asylum: 200 Hill Street, Jerome,
928-639-3197 or www.theasylum.biz
Twisters 50’s Soda Fountain: 417 E.
Route 66, Williams, 928-635-0266 or
Vogue Bistro: 15411 W. Waddell Road,
Surprise, 623-544-9109 or www.
Macarons, Essence Bakery Café
Essence Bakery Café
Chef Eugenia Theodosopoulos,
Essence Bakery Café
20 a p r i l 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 21
IN EARLY 2009, WELL-KNOWN PHOENIX CHEF IVAN
Flowers bought Fournos, a Greek restaurant almost
as ancient as the Parthenon. He kept the name but
changed everything else — elevating the décor, cre-ating
an eclectic, French-inspired menu and trans-forming
a tired mom-and-pop into an intimate,
chef-driven venue. Sedonans and vortex visitors
swoon over his inspired, Mediterranean-inflected
menu, boutique wines and ultrapersonal service.
Try the rack of lamb with garlic-basil persillade or
the diver scallops bathed in buttery vanilla sauce
and see why Flowers bills his place as “the little
restaurant with big flavor.” 3000 W. State Route 89A,
JAMES BEARD AWARD-WINNER JANOS WILDER IS
Tucson’s most celebrated chef, the first in Arizona
to marry French technique with indigenous ingre-dients
back in 1983. Twenty-seven years later, the
granddaddy of Southwestern Cuisine is still knock-ing
’em dead, offering dazzlingly inventive dishes
that place the cooking traditions of the Southwest
in a modern context. His daily changing, seasonal
menu (which incorporates cholla buds, mesquite
flour and heirloom beans) also shows his wilder
side, featuring ... say, apple cider and fennel soup,
floated with blue-cheese mousse and minted jala-peño
syrup. The toughest thing about dining at
elegant Janos is ruling out what you can’t have
because you’ll want it all, including the signature
dark chocolate-jalapeño ice cream sundae. The Wes-tin
La Paloma Resort & Spa, 3770 E. Sunrise Drive, 520-615-
Los Manjares de Pepe
JUST IN CASE YOUR SPANISH IS RUSTY, LOS MANJARES
de Pepe means “the dishes of Pepe” or “Pepe’s food.”
It’s a modest name for a modest place, and it doesn’t
begin to convey how down-home and altogether
satisfying the dishes of Pepe Jimenez really are.
Imagine crisp, house-made chips, vibrant salsa
made from fresh-roasted jalapeños, creamy refrieds,
fragrant rice ... and these are just the supporting
players! As for main courses, Pepe enthusiasts cite
a long list of favorites — carne asada, carnitas, pollo
al carbon, chipotle pork, chile relleno — which
means only one thing: Todo es bueno. 2187 W. Eighth
IN THE HEART OF THE VERDE VALLEY’S WINE COUN-try
stands Manzanita (Spanish for “little apple”),
housed in a quaint adobe and beloved — believe
it or not — for its German specialties. Besides
the sauerbraten and schnitzel, this gracious, can-dlelit
outpost offers classic dishes (dare we call
them Continental?) that are nearly impossible to
2 0 0 8
Bin 239: 239 N. Marina Street,
Prescott, 928-445-3855 or
Binkley’s: 6920 E. Cave Creek Road,
Cave Creek, 480-437-1072 or
Brix: 413 N. San Francisco Street,
Flagstaff, 928-213-1021 or www.
Café Roka: 35 Main Street, Bisbee,
520-432-5153 or www.caferoka.com
Cha-Bones: 112 London Bridge Road,
Lake Havasu City, 928-854-5554 or
Charlie Clark’s Steakhouse: 1701 E.
White Mountain Boulevard, Pinetop,
928-367-4900 or www.charlieclarks.
El Rancho: 200 S. Beeline Highway,
Payson, 928-474-3111 or www.elran
El Tovar Dining Room: South Rim,
Grand Canyon National Park, 928-
638-2631, ext. 6432
Feast: 4122 E. Speedway Boulevard,
Tucson, 520-326-9363 or www.
Flatiron Cafe: 416 Main Street,
House of Tricks: 114 E. Seventh
Street, Tempe, 480-968-1114 or
L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek:
301 L’Auberge Lane, Sedona, 928-282-
1667 or www.lauberge.com
Lon’s at the Hermosa: 5532 N. Palo
Cristi Road, Paradise Valley, 602-955-
7878 or www.lons.com
Lutes Casino: 221 N. Main Street,
Yuma, 928-782-2192 or www.lutes
Mattina’s Ristorante Italiano: 318 E.
Oak Street, Kingman, 928-753-7504
Piñon Bistro: 1075 S. State Route 260,
Pizzeria Bianco: 623 E. Adams Street,
Phoenix, 602-258-8300 or www.
Plaza Restaurant: 1190 W. Rex Allen
Drive, Willcox, 520-384-3819
Rancho de los Caballeros: 1551 S.
Vulture Mine Road, Wickenburg, 928-
684-5484 or www.sunc.com
Red Raven Restaurant: 135 W. Route
66, Williams, 928-635-4980 or
Rendezvous Diner: 117 N. Main Street,
The Dam Bar & Grille: 644 N. Navajo
Street, Page, 928-645-2161 or www.
The Turquoise Room: 303 E. Second
Street, Winslow, 928-289-2888 or
Velvet Elvis Pizza Co.: 292 Naugle
Avenue, Patagonia, 520-394-2102
Seared mahi-mahi, Fournos
Molly Smith at Fournos
22 a p r i l 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 23
find anywhere else: escargots in mushroom
caps, fillet of sole bathed in lemon wine
sauce, grilled lamb chops served with mint
jelly. Nightly specials might include buffalo
medallions, venison, stuffed quail or hasen-pfeffer,
while Manzanita’s signature dessert
(which references the name) is good old
American apple crisp. 11425 E. Cornville Road,
GIVEN THE WEEKEND LINES OUT THE DOOR,
can this funky, art-filled breakfast-and-lunch
spot possibly be worth the hassle? “Oh
my, yes!” declares what might be the entire
population of Flagstaff. The chilaquiles, lav-ished
with super-spicy green chile (a house
favorite called Fratelliquiles) or red and
green chile combined (called Christmas in
the parlance of New Mexico) are the stuff of
legend — as are gargantuan portions, crispy
hash browns and excellent coffee. 10 N. San
Francisco Street, 928-773-4701.
Munich Haus Restaurant
SQUINT YOUR EYES A LITTLE AND YOU CAN
pretend this snug, wood-trimmed German
restaurant is a chalet in the Alps. Or you
could just be happy that warm pretzels, Ger-man
beers on tap and sturdy German special-ties
such as sauerbraten, rouladen
and Wiener schnitzel make this
friendly mom-and-pop the next
best thing. An inexpensive,
menu keeps the kinder happy, as
does scrumptious apple strudel.
Meanwhile, summer evenings
on the deck overlooking Fred’s
Lake (technically, a duck pond)
are blissful, especially at sunset.
1443 E. Fir Lane, 928-367-4287, www.
New Jersey Pizza Co.
GARDEN STATERS BEWARE: THE
thin-crust, stone oven-baked
pizzas served at this tiny, Tuscan-inspired
pizza place probably
won’t transport you to the Pizza
Belt of your youth. But owners
Marco Agostini and Seth Sharkey
turn out perfect, golden pies just
the same, topped with the best
ingredients these meticulous for-agers
can find — snappy fennel
sausage from Schreiner’s in Phoenix, Chino
Valley jalapeños, Point Reyes blue cheese.
You’ll overeat, no doubt, but try to save room
for something simple and true-flavored
from Sharkey’s rotating dessert selection —
maybe farmhouse ricotta cannoli, Valrhona
chocolate truffles or orange blossom-honey
gelato. 2224 E. Cedar Avenue, 928-774-5000.
PANGAEA IS THE NAME FOR THE SUPERCONTI-nent
of the Mesozoic era, later broken up into
smaller continents by plate tectonics. But
forget science. It’s the culinary arts that drive
this sleekly designed super-bakery, which is
home to homemade soups, gourmet sand-wiches
(such as Brie with fig and apple on
freshly baked, artisan bread), organic cof-fee,
organic espresso and made-from-scratch
pies, éclairs and brownies (and that’s just
scratching the surface). If good food is good
medicine, could it be that Pangaea is the pan-acea?
220 W. Goodwin Street, 928-778-2953.
Quiessence Restaurant & Wine Bar
ENSCONCED IN A RENOVATED OLD FARMHOUSE
surrounded by the trees, flowers and organic
gardens of the iconic Farm at South Moun-tain,
Quiessence could easily get by on charm
alone. Lucky for us, chef-owner Greg LaPrad
— who takes the locavore movement
extremes — would never stand for that. His
sophisticated American comfort food is made
from pristine ingredients sourced from local
farmers and ranchers or prepared in-house
from scratch. LaPrad makes his own pasta, his
own charcuterie, his own bread (in an outdoor
hearth), his own pickles, even his own vin-egar.
He also butchers hogs fed to his specifi-cations.
Apparently, the only thing he doesn’t
do is sleep. 6106 S. 32nd Street, 602-276-0601, www.
WHEN BARBARA FRAZIN-O’CONNOR AND HER
husband, Patrick, bought and converted the
historic Randall House to a restaurant, they
restored the wood floors, exposed parts
of the original log and adobe walls and
used Mary Ellen Randall’s doilies on their
glass-topped tables. More importantly,
they continued her tradition of hosting the
townspeople of Pine. Locals (and lucky
tourists who stumble upon this charming
place) are treated to homemade soups, made-from-
scratch pies, fancy salads and fluffy
pancakes chock-full of blueberries. Last
year, the O’Connors began offering Saturday
night dinners, too, featuring prime rib plus
a nightly special. Mary Ellen would surely
approve. 3821 N. State Route 87, 928-476-4077.
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SURE, ITS WOOD FLOORS, HIGH CEILINGS AND POL-ished
bar tops hearken back to Prescott’s rough-and-
ready past, but this comfy, come-as-you-are
café and watering hole housed in a historic building
has a distinctly modern edge. It’s a gathering place
for customers of every stripe, there to sip wine,
drink beer, listen to local entertainment, watch
a classic movie, grab a bite or ... save the planet
(that would be Wednesday night’s environmental
awareness program). Like any good 21st century
saloon, this one keeps its worldly clientele happy
with a menu that ranges from burgers to beet-chevre
salad. 142 N. Cortez Street, 928-717-0009, www.
CHEF-OWNER AARON CHAMBERLIN HAD A HIT ON
his hands from the instant he opened his doors last
fall. It’s impossible to pin the monstrous buzz he’s
received on any one thing when so many things are
so right. Who doesn’t love the ’50s-era, Wendell
Burnett-designed space, warmed up with wood
and original brick, opened up by pivoting doors
that pull the outside in? Much of Chamber-lin’s
simple, seasonal menu is built around a
massive, wood-fired brick oven, issuing forth
flatbread topped with mission figs and aru-gula,
seafood soup (think bouillabaisse) and
crispy roasted chicken. For dessert, sticky
toffee pudding with sweet cream gelato is
completely over the top. 111 E. Camelback Road,
Stables Ranch Grille
TUBAC GOLF RESORT & SPA SITS ON WHAT
was once a 400-acre, Spanish land grant
ranch, and the property’s flagship restau-rant
is named for the stables that housed the
horses of Spanish cattlemen and soldiers
long ago. This wonderfully atmospheric
place evokes Tubac’s Iberian roots, boast-ing
original stone floors and ceiling beams,
as well as a commanding stone fireplace.
A contemporary, Spanish-inflected menu
incorporates wild game and Southwestern
ingredients, while the wine list earned an
award from Wine Spectator. Here, Cave Creek’s
Eric Flatt (of Tonto Bar & Grill and Cart-wright’s
fame) conjures the romance of Colo-nial
Spain and celebrates the natural beauty
of Southern Arizona. Tubac Golf Resort & Spa,
1 Otero Road, 520-398-2211.
The Peaks at Amberian Lodge
ALTHOUGH MANY RESTAURANTS ON THE
mountain serve hearty American dishes for
a boisterous après-ski crowd, this rustic-but-
comfy, pueblo-inspired hideaway over-looking
Greer Valley offers a more subdued,
upscale experience. The seasonal, global
menu might include wild Alaskan cedar
plank salmon, pesto-rubbed Tuscan ribeye
or Moroccan barbecue pork chop, but the
signature dish is surely the creamy, herb-flecked
lobster pizza. Monday wine tastings
have become a huge hit, but no matter what
the month, day or hour, call ahead. When
the lodge hosts weddings and retreats, it’s
closed to the public. One Main Street, 928-735-
SIMPLY READING CHEF AND CO-OWNER SCOTT
Heinonen’s mouthwatering menu is enough
to make the hearts of serious food-lovers
skip a beat. Smoked salmon-deviled eggs
with fried capers and red onion; barley malt-glazed
Berkshire pork chop with buttered
hominy and slab bacon-braised greens; spicy
sausage links (made in-house) with creamy
blue cheese grits and fennel slaw; duck confit
with buttery, bread crumb-crusted, jalapeño
mac-n-cheese ... Heinonen calls it American
Comfort Food Redefined. The rest of us just
call it fabulous. Everything about this clean-lined,
contemporary space (including its
informed servers) says Big City — except,
of course, the prices. 34 S. San Francisco Street,
Tucson Tamale Co.
FROM THIS SPARTANLY FURNISHED TAMALE
shop and factory come the biggest, most
interesting tamales in the state. Chef-owner
Todd Martin, a tamale freak with a penchant
for the exotic, draws inspiration from Spain,
Italy, the Southwest, Midwest and Mexico
— offering his lard-free, gluten-free, hand-rolled
creations from a rotating portfolio
numbering more than 25. Everybody loves
the AZ (slow-roasted sirloin with smoky
chipotles), the Santa Fe (green-chile pork
with cheddar) and the signature Tucson (a
four-cheese blend with roasted jalapeños),
but adventurers hold out for specials such
as barbecued pork with pineapple or turkey
with cranberry, wrapped in sage-dusted
masa, which replicates the whole Thanks-giving
shebang in one bite. 2545 E. Broadway,
Tucson Tamale Co.
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There are some things in
Arizona that every landscape
photographer shoots: the
Grand Canyon, Sedona, the
saguaros. Lake Powell gets
a lot of attention, too, and
we see some beautiful pho-tography.
No one, however,
has mastered the subject like
Gary Ladd. No one.
A P ORTFOLIO B Y G ARY L ADD
A GREAT TAKE ON A GREAT LAKE
To order a print of this photograph, call 866-962-1191 or visit www.arizonahighwaysprints.com. w w w . a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 27
28 a p r i l 2 0 1 0
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS The calm water of early morning
(preceding panel) captures a magnificent mirror image of sunrise
shadows on the red rocks of Lake Powell near Fence Canyon.
SWIRL POOL A houseboat’s wake distorts the reflection of the
lake’s sandstone walls and a brilliant blue sky.
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 29
30 a p r i l 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 31
PUZZLE PIECES Seen from above, Fiftymile Canyon forms a jigsaw jumble of rock and water (above).
After winter’s low water, mud cracks shrivel Lake Powell’s shoreline at Labyrinth Canyon as Tower Butte
rises 1,500 feet in the background (right).
32 a p r i l 2 0 1 0
STUDY IN RED In spring,
bright pink redbud
blooms splash across
the scarlet cliffs of
a short walk from the
To order a print of this pho-tograph,
or visit www.arizonahigh
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 33
34 a p r i l 2 0 1 0
PLACID LAKE Sunset paints the slickrock and cliffs brilliant red
along the shoreline of a tranquil Padre Bay.
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 35
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more spectacular photographs of Lake Powell,
order a copy of our new book, Lake Powell by Gary Ladd. The book,
which is part of our “Scenic Collection” series, features more than
80 photos of both the great lake and the surrounding Glen Canyon
National Recreation Area. To order a copy, call 800-543-5432 or
36 a p r i l 2 0 1 0
ON THE ROADS
Theodore Gildred and Chris Dugan cruise
past Bell Rock, near Sedona, along State
Route 179, in a 1956 Jaguar XKD.
Twenty thousand miles. By sundown on April 14, that’s the
distance the Copperstate 1000 will have covered in the past
two decades. The vintage-car road rally, which benefits the
Phoenix Art Museum, celebrates its 20th anniversary
this year. It’s a great cause, but the real draw is the
route: a 1,000-mile course that takes participants
around the state on some of the most beautiful
byways in the world. Because we have
“Highways” in our name, we thought it
made sense to send one of our writers
along for the ride.
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 37
BY NIKKI BUCHANAN
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JEFF KIDA
38 a p r i l 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 39
hen I was 16, I took an interest in
cars. Or rather, I took an interest in
a boy who took an interest in cars,
learning just enough lore and lingo to
get his attention. I could tell a ’56 Chevy
from a ’57, knew that Mopar was a term
for anything Chrysler, and drooled over
“mags” as much as charm bracelets.
But as I stood on Tempe Diablo Stadium’s
Field of Dreams last April, ogling the elegant
entrants in the 19th Annual Bell Lexus Copperstate 1000 Road Rally —
a vintage-car road rally that covers 1,000 miles of Arizona scenery and
history in four days — I realized that whatever paltry car knowledge I
once claimed had vanished long ago. Here, among the Corvettes, Mus-tangs,
Shelbys, Porsches, Bentleys, Jaguars, Aston Martins, Mercedeses,
Alfa Romeos, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Maseratis — some extremely
rare, others crazy-fast, most ridiculously expensive — I was out of my
league, an outsider in an elite and insular world.
Who was Pininfarina anyway? And what did it mean when a Lam-borghini
was called a Zagato or a Mustang GT350 was also a Shelby?
And I couldn’t help wondering, were all the women sitting shotgun
truly interested in cars or were they just along for the ride, so to speak.
Turns out, women are at the root of the rally, a group of them having
worked as docents at the Phoenix Art Museum for many years, where
their husbands were often prevailed upon to help out in various ways.
Eventually, the men banded together to create the Men’s Arts Council
and, later, the Copperstate.
Twenty years later, the rally is considered one of the best in the
world, attended by car enthusiasts from all over the United States, as
well as across the pond. Its popularity and status among collectors
(especially those who enjoy driving their cars, not storing them) is no
accident. After all, what other state offers such spectacular scenery in
such diversity, where the palm trees and balmy weather during lunch
give way to towering pines, patches of snow and jackets by suppertime?
In four activity-packed days, Copperstate drivers typically see it all:
mountains and meadows, desert, grasslands and forest, funky small
towns and vast tracts of windswept country, desolate and moon-like.
Because so many participants come back year after year, rally orga-nizers
change the itinerary every spring, keeping each trip fresh and
interesting. Rally books not only outline each day’s course, but also
provide geographic and historical information about the roads, towns,
landmarks and regions the road warriors will see along the way.
In addition, Copperstate participants have great things to say about
Arizona’s rally-perfect roadways, which offer changing grades, varied
speed limits, long stretches of straightaway and the hairpin turns that
make handling a horizontal rocket so much fun.
Of course, not every car in the rally was built for speed. To qualify,
vehicles must be at least 25 years old and categorized as either sports,
racing or grand touring vehicles. Scattered among the sleek and sexy
beasts are roomy, graceful older models. Convertibles abound.
Each in its own way is gorgeous, and at the end of every day, as these
beauties glide into the hotel parking lot, a small-but-exclusive car show
is created for the other lucky hotel guests who happen to amble by.
Fastidious drivers haul out rags and dusters to take off the day’s grit,
while gear-heads tinker under the hoods. The majority, however, gather
together to relax and chat, freely admitting that the Copperstate is as
much about camaraderie as it is about cars.
It goes without saying that most of these folks are wealthy, some
of them owning 60 or 70 collector vehicles. A handful of them boast
surnames you’d recognize; a few bring their own mechanics, who are
full-time employees. But rather than being a snooty soirée for the rich
and famous, the Copperstate is more like a casual, curtailed vacation for
car buffs who enjoy talking the talk with like-minded people.
he first day out, we pulled into a reserved rest
stop for a catered lunch overlooking Theodore
Roosevelt Lake. The setting was perfect —
cloudless blue sky and azure water, the sur-rounding
mountains dotted with saguaros and the
bright yellow wildflowers of spring. While we ate and
admired the views, the men at my table discussed tire
When I asked one of them how long he’d been a
car nut, he said, “I came to it late in life ... like, 6.”
It’s a story, with variations, I would hear again and again — boys
spending their youth under the hoods of cars or discovering the joys of
the open road with fathers, uncles and grandfathers.
Clearly, hitting the road is what Copperstaters
live for. The 2009 rally looped from Central to
Northern Arizona and back, and in 96 hours we
covered a dizzying amount of territory — zooming
past the hoodoos of Canyon Diablo and the min-ing
towns of Eastern Arizona, climbing through
ranchlands and ponderosa pines to Flagstaff, bar-reling
across parts of the Navajo Nation and Hopi
Reservation, as well as the edge of the Painted Des-ert,
eating a terrific lunch in the Turquoise Room at
the historic La Posada in Winslow, snoozing amid
the vortexes and red rocks of Sedona, cruising past
Tuzigoot National Monument, Northern Arizona
wine country and the hill-town of Jerome, lunching
at the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Williams, then
soaring over the Grand Canyon in a historic plane
before returning to Sedona for dinner and drink-induced
The final day, we skirted Prescott and took the back roads to Yar-nell’s
Hidden Springs Ranch, a training center for thoroughbred horses
that sports the white fences and verdant lawns of Kentucky. After a
breezy al fresco meal, we toured the ranch, watching a group of mares
race across the pasture, each with a leggy colt trotting alongside. This
is tourism on the fly, no question, but attentive rally participants prob-ably
know more about Arizona than most of us who live here.
As much as I loved the scenery, the highlight of the trip was actu-ally
riding in a handful of hot cars. Our third day out, a young guy
with a household family name invited me for a spin in his 1970 Ford
Torino Grand National stock car. It’s an atypical car for Copperstate,
this growling orange-and-white NASCAR racer, entered by crawl-ing
through the windows Dukes of Hazzard-style. With Stuart’s help,
I snapped five safety harnesses into place and popped in a set of ear-plugs
as we rumbled out to a stretch of empty highway. Each time the
speedometer climbed 10 miles per hour, Stuart gave me a hand signal. I
won’t tell you how fast we went, but I will say my heart was thundering
almost as loudly as that 427 engine.
No less thrilling were the short runs I took in a 1959 Aston Martin
DB3S and a 1957 Jaguar Cozzi Special, both of them dazzling, unique
cars raced extensively in former lives. I was beginning to understand
deep and abiding car-love, as it was so eloquently described to me by
Arizona artist Ed Mell, who designed the cover of 2009’s rally book
and brings his ’62 Corvette to the event every year. “It’s the whole pack-age,”
Mell said. “The sound, the smell, the way they look and drive. For
inanimate objects, they’ve got so much life. Masculine or feminine, raw
or refined, they’re symbols of freedom and self-expression.” Boy, howdy.
The last day of the rally was the best day because I spent all morning
in Bill Jacob’s 1952 Tojeiro MG sports racer, a silver streak of a convert-ible
I’d picked out as a favorite early on. It’s a car you sit deep in, legs
extended in front of you, the vibration of the engine coming up through
your feet and spreading across your back. As the wind whipped my hair
around and the sun warmed my face, my usually frazzled mind settled
into blissful blankness. Mountains, trees, sky, road all felt so close and
I was part of it. I breathed in the good green smells and mused, Who
knew a road rally could be such a sensual, back-to-nature experience? Later, when
a low-slung black car streaked past us, I said, “There goes the Maserati.”
Bill raised his eyebrows and grinned. “Good girl!” he said.
Guess I’ve still got it after all.
OPPOSITE PAGE: Late-afternoon
casts shadows on
a 1970 Ford Torino
State Route 89A,
near Oak Creek.
Drivers stop for
an oil-check on
a 1966 Shelby
RIGHT: An exotic
lineup of automo-biles
adds to the
view of Hidden
Springs Ranch in
INFORMATION: The 20th Annual Bell Lexus Copperstate 1000 Road Rally takes place April
10-14, 2010. Participants must apply and qualify. The Field of Dreams Car Show takes place
on Saturday, April 10, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at the west parking lot of Tempe Diablo Stadium.
The car show is free and open to the public. For more information, call 602-307-2060 or
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 41
Animal tracks, stick figures,
lizard-men, snakes, dog-like
quadrupeds, deer, horned
animals, herons, turtles,
geometric forms ...
petroglyphs are the main
storyline at V-Bar-V Heritage
Site in Central Arizona. Not
only is it the largest known
petroglyph site in the Verde
Valley, most of the rock art has
remained virtually undisturbed
for thousands of years.
BY RUTH RUDNER
40 a p r i l 2 0 1 0
42 a p r i l 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 43
Photographer David Muench and I are touring the V-Bar-V Heritage
Site with Forest Service archaeologist Peter Pilles. An almost pristine
petroglyph site on an erstwhile ranch, the V-Bar-V is managed by
Coconino National Forest, which obtained it in a 1994 land exchange.
The petroglyphs, protected over centuries — first out of respect and
custom, later, by private ownership of the land — remain essentially
untouched. The largest known petroglyph site in the Verde Valley, the
Forest Service documented it, instituted protections for it, and then
opened it to the public in 1996.
As we cross an open meadow leading to the site, I imagine the
invitation this fertile land, watered by perennial Beaver Creek, offered
early communities. “People have been here since the beginning,” Pilles
says about evidence of the Clovis culture, the earliest inhabitants of
The V-Bar-V guidebook dates the “first definitive human presence
here” to the Archaic Period (1,500 to 9,000 years ago), but Pilles’ infor-mation
puts people in the Verde Valley 4,500 years earlier. So, there
were Clovis and Archaic hunter-gatherers, then Sinaguans, farmers,
Yavapai and Apache Indians, Anglo ranchers and, finally, the Forest
Service. The ranchers came in the 1860s. The Sinaguan people, credited
with most of the rock art, appeared about a.d. 600 and stayed until
the 15th century.
By a.d. 1300, the Beaver Creek area was a link in a series of ancient
pueblos established at intervals of 1.8 miles along major waterways
throughout the Verde Valley. Perfectly located to take advantage of
lowland agricultural sites, upland food resources and available wild
foods, each pueblo had its own identity, each traded for the goods of
other pueblos. Surplus food produced by Beaver Creek settlements
was a vital trade item. Archaeologists have found remains of what they
traded for — ornaments of Pacific coast shell, New Mexico turquoise,
red argillite from Chino Valley, pottery from the Hopi, Little Colorado
River and White Mountains areas. In return, the Sinaguans provided
malachite, azurite, salt and other minerals from nearby mountains,
and woven cotton textiles — considered to be the finest textiles
ever produced in the Southwest — made by the Sinaguans and their
neighbors to the east, the Salado Indians.
Did those early people gaze into the creek as I do? What Clovis, Archaic,
Sinaguan woman coming to the stream for water contemplated the mystery of
reflection from this rock? Did she consider how it happens that a tree, a rock, a
person is upside down? Did someone wonder how it is that what is known in one
universe is presented upside down in another? Was it the creek, the life-giving
water, that ordained that the spirit world be the opposite of this world? How,
for instance, does the sun come to live beneath the water? If sun and water give
us life, what happens when they merge — as now, this instant, in this stream?
A high fence safeguards the petroglyphs when no host is present.
We enter the site and walk up sloping red earth toward the rock
panel. Several large trees shade it. A rope in front of the panel keeps
visitors back, protecting the petroglyphs from a human urge to touch,
to take, to engage with archaeological sites in ways that can destroy
them. In my more charitable moments, I name that urge to add our
own mark as some ancient — if misguided — impulse to connect. In
other moments, my language is less polite.
We are transfixed by the richness of the panels, a phenomenal dis-play
pecked into rock walls over centuries. There are animal tracks,
stick figures, lizard-men, snakes, dog-like quadrupeds, deer, horned
animals, herons, turtles, handprints, footprints and geometric forms.
Symbols appear singly, in pairs, linked by meandering lines, “as if,”
Pilles wrote in a 1996 paper presented to the American Rock Art
Research Association, “to link them together into some story line or
relationship.” All these symbols — from those who lived there, farmed
there, performed shamanic rituals there, hunted in that valley, jour-neyed
through on their way to other places — tumble across the rock
like a thousand simultaneous voices in a room. Standing before them,
you see symbols, but you hear voices.
“Everybody asks what rock art is about,” Pilles says. “ ‘What does
it mean?’ But you’re asking the wrong
question. You have to be brought up
under a particular culture to know
what these elements are about. If not,
you can only speculate.”
Without intimacy with a culture,
Pilles insists, we cannot know the
of its symbols. Because a fig-ure
looks like a deer, a sheep, a man or
a giraffe does not give it literal meaning
as that thing. It only says, this represents
something. Sometimes a particular design
appears again and again, from site to site,
even continent to continent. When this
happens, archaeologists know the design
represents something universal, even if
they do not know what.
“So the real question is, ‘What part of the culture does this pertain
to?’ Everything people do could be rock-art related,” Pilles says. “The
imagery of dreams is not secular, not limited by boundaries. You’ve
got to forget the axiom ‘It looks like ... so it must be,’ as in, it looks like
a hunting scene, so it must be a hunting scene. Instead, the killing
of a deer may be a shamanic metaphor for ‘killing the rain beast’ as a
prayer for rain.”
The spirit world is the exact opposite of this world, Pilles tells us,
explaining that oral tradition is instructive in our understanding of
shamanic tradition. Large petroglyph sites are portals to the spirit
world. Cracks in the rocks are the gates, the various creatures emerg-ing
from them linked to shamanism. Some, such as insects, snakes
and others, are liminal creatures that can easily slip back and forth
between the spirit world and this one.
Several test pits excavated at the bottom of the panel by Arizona
Archaeological Society teams trained by Pilles produced evidence of
human activity as long ago as a.d. 900 and probably earlier. While the
pecking style of the art on the panels has been estimated to date from
the 1100s to the 1400s, this new information indicates a need for a sec-ond
look at that dating. Pilles thinks it unlikely that, with so perfect
a place to produce petroglyphs, no one did so until the 12th century.
“When we record petroglyph sites and say we’re finished, we know
that’s not true,” Pilles says. “We know we’ll see something new the
Ripples move across the water. The light changes. Morning advances. Would
a Sinaguan woman have paused to consider the shadowed places and the light?
Moss and the reflection of still-green leaves glitter like emeralds, jade, malachite.
There is such magic in the Earth.
Afternoon sun slides down the top of the walls. A squirrel scam-pers
on the rocks, across boulders at the foot of the cliffs, and then
crosses the red earth on which we stand and disappears into the for-est.
A canyon wren sings. Light washes the large panel on the left so
that images dance across it. Centuries are represented on the panel.
This work, created over so much time, contains time. It offers time.
A single dried blade of grass
floats down Beaver Creek.
Clear, mirror-still water reflects
cottonwoods along the far bank,
and displays moss-covered rocks
on the sun-streaked creek bed.
Small riffles splash upstream
from the flat red rock where I sit.
It is the only sound.
WHEN YOU GO
GETTING THERE: From Phoenix, take Interstate 17 north to Exit
298. The V-Bar-V Heritage Site is 2.8 miles east of the junction of
I-17 and State Route 179, which becomes Forest Road 618. Pass
Beaver Creek Campground and cross the Beaver Creek Bridge.
The entrance is on the right, less than a half-mile beyond the
VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS: Accessible to all vehicles
FEES: A Red Rock Pass is required to park at the site.
HOURS: Friday through Monday, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Arrive no later
than 2 p.m. to allow enough time.
TRAVEL ADVISORY: Pets are not permitted at the site. Groups larger
than 14 must make advance reservations by calling 928-282-
3854. The V-Bar-V Heritage Site Tour Guide pamphlet, sold at the
visitors center and all Forest Service welcome centers, presents
a good overview of the site. Please read the Archaeological Site
Etiquette Guide available at the visitors center or online (www.
and follow its recommendations. It is unlawful, punishable by
imprisonment and fines, to harm fragile cultural sites in any way.
INFORMATION: Red Rock Ranger District, 928-282-4119, 928-282-
3854 or www.redrockcountry.org/recreation/cultural/v-bar-v
PRECEDING PANEL: Petroglyphs
carved by the Sinaguan people
adorn the sandstone walls of
the V-Bar-V Heritage Site.
Algae and lichen cover ancient
rock art (above) near Wet
Beaver Creek (right), which
runs through the Verde Valley.
44 m a r c h 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 45
the next time you’re on
your way to Las Vegas, you
might want to stop for a breath
of fresh air in the mountains
near Kingman. That’s not a
slam against Sin City; it’s just a
suggestion, especially if you’re
planning to spend more than
a few hours in front of a one-armed
The Hualapai Mountains,
southeast of Kingman, are a
great place to stretch your legs
and fill your lungs with a big
gulp of mountain air. It’s also
a perfect place to fill your eyes
with a healthy helping of gor-geous
scenery. Named for its
former inhabitants, the Huala-pai
(“Pine Tree Folk”) tribe, the
Hualapai range varies in eleva-tion
from just shy of 5,000 feet
to roughly 8,400 feet. The peaks
and valleys are just part of what
makes this scenic drive so unex-pectedly
Begin at Exit 51, off Inter-state
40, in Kingman. Travel
south on Stockton Hill Road,
which becomes the paved
Hualapai Mountain Road.
After approximately 11 miles,
you’ll reach the headquarters
and ranger station for Hualapai
Mountain Park. Developed
by the Civilian Conservation
Corps in the 1930s, the 2,300-
acre park boasts 10 miles of
developed hiking trails, recre-ation
and picnic areas, as well
as campsites, stone cabins and
pavilions that are available
for rent. There’s even a teepee,
which sleeps four, for rent.
The ranger station is stocked
with information about the
area, and if the air is brisk, you
might consider stopping by just
to see if there’s a roaring fire,
by which you can chat with the
friendly park staff.
Leaving the ranger station,
continue on Hualapai Moun-tain
Road for approximately
1 mile, past the fire station,
to a fork in the road. There,
turn right onto Flag Mine
Road, an unpaved, one-lane
doozy of a stretch. This is not
a route you’ll want to travel in
a Camaro, but a high-clearance
vehicle will do.
The road climbs from high
desert to pine forest, through
eroded cliffs lined with
exposed tree roots, past a sub-division.
Then, as quickly as the
houses come into focus, they’re
gone again as the road opens
onto a spectacular view of the
expansive valley below. Spruce,
aspens and granite boulders as
big as pickup trucks blanket
the hillsides. Looking out,
you’ll feel as though you’re star-ing
at a layer cake of pine-cov-ered
hills. It’s quiet along this
road — a far cry from the Route
66 hoopla of Kingman and the
ding-ding-ding of Vegas farther on
— except for the rousting of a
bluebird or the cry of one of the
hundreds of other birds that
populate the area.
Moving on, follow the signs
toward the Wild Cow Springs
Recreation Site, about 5 miles up
Flag Mine Road. Approximately
halfway to the turnoff for Wild
Cow Springs, you’ll come to the
abandoned Flag Mine. More
than a hundred years ago, this
mine was responsible for most of
the high-grade silver that came
out of Mohave County.
Because Hualapai Mountain
Park is so popular, Wild Cow
Springs — easily accessible by
following the signs along the
road — is far less traveled.
LEFT: Large granite
boulders sit atop
Aspen Peak, near
blooms in a
ADDITIONAL READING: 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.arizonahighways.com.
is known to Arizo-nans
as the last
“big city” along the
road to Vegas, but
just outside the
city, there’s an un-expected
begs to be ex-plored.
BY KELLY KRAMER
ROBERT G . MCDONALD
Note: Mileages are approximate.
LENGTH: 17 miles one way (paved and rustic)
DIRECTIONS: Begin at Exit 51 on Interstate 40 in Kingman. Head
south on Stockton Hill Road, which becomes Hualapai Mountain
Road. Continue for 11 miles to the ranger station. Leaving the
ranger station, drive uphill (technically south) on Hualapai
Mountain Road for approximately 1 mile to the turnoff for Flag
Mine Road. Follow Flag Mine Road to the right for approximately
5 miles toward Wild Cow Springs.
VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS: A high-clearance vehicle is
WARNING: Back-road travel can be hazardous, so be aware of
weather and road conditions. Carry plenty of water. Don’t travel
alone, and let someone know where you are going and when you
plan to return.
INFORMATION: Hualapai Mountain Park, 928-681-5700 or www.
Travelers in Arizona can visit www.az511.gov or dial 511 to
on road closures, construction,
p/u from Jan. 2003 page 53A
H U A L A P A I M O U N T A I N
P A R K
Stockton Hill Road
Wild Cow Springs
Flag Mine Road
To Las Vegas
S T A R T H E R E north
H U A L A P A I M O U N T A I N S
O N L I N E For more drives in Arizona, visit our “Scenic Drive Guide” at www.arizonahighways.com.
46 a p r i l 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 47
month OF THE
Sycamore Rim Trail’s key offerings — spectacular
views peppered with frontier history — start long
before the actual loop hike. They come in
the form of Forest Road 56, which glides
through the wavy grasses of Garland Prai-rie.
Ranchers William Garland and James
Dow homesteaded there in the 1870s. Watch
for cattle crossing the open range, a rare
vestige of the Old West.
At the trailhead, take the clockwise
route toward Dow Spring. An easy half-mile
mosey through yellow-tipped mullein,
dwarfed by ponderosa pines, leads to the
ruins of an early 18th century sawmill. A
lichen-covered stone wall and scattered
wood and metal scraps — including a rusty
pipe protruding into the trail — are ghosts
of the Williams area’s logging boom.
The beautiful stroll continues to hollow
cabin foundations near Dow Spring, where
10 soldiers guarded cattle and supplies dur-ing
the month of December 1863. Historic
pollution comes in the form of miscellaneous glass: blue,
purple, brown and broken. Flattened, brittle tin cans
are camouflaged by the trail’s dark mahogany dirt.
You won’t get lost on this wide path, which is marked
by giant cairns as it moves from historic treasures to
natural ones. Following meadows and marshes, the trail
passes small pools, where lily pads rest on reflections of
cattails, wildflowers and vibrant green grasses. Com-pressed
patches reveal the resting spots of deer and elk.
After an hour, the trail intersects an old logging road.
Stay to the right, and then head left as the trail forks and
begins to follow Sycamore Canyon, the second-largest
canyon in Arizona. Listen for water murmuring along
the canyon floor as it progresses from a grassy ditch to a
gaping slice where pines climb the rock walls.
As the canyon grows wider and deeper, the flat,
exposed trail skirts the edge of the Sycamore Canyon
Wilderness, one of Arizona’s first officially designated
wilderness areas. At the halfway mark of Vista Point,
take a long look at the sprawling expanse of pine-topped
ridges. The trail soon departs from the rim and descends
into the cool shade of several Gambel oak copses. Near
the three-hour mark, hop gingerly across two dry creek
beds before reaching Pomeroy Tanks, year-round natural
water sources that host small fish and insects.
After another quarter-mile, the path crosses the Over-land
Trail and bursts into a sun-scorched field of jagged
volcanic rocks. Beyond this post-apocalyptic scene, the
next 2 miles are the most work you’ll do over the entire
trail. The forested path, speckled with alligator junipers,
climbs steadily up KA Hill, a misleading name com-pared
to the effort of ascending its 7,287-foot peak. The
top’s narrow strip gives a nearly 360-degree view that
includes the San Francisco Peaks and Mogollon Rim.
Pine-needle padding cushions the steep switchbacks
as the path winds back down toward the same trail-head
you left more than four hours earlier. As you head
back to your car, think about the 11-mile walk you just
traced through history and beauty, and contemplate the
tangible meaning of the adage, “Life’s a journey, not a
LENGTH: 11-mile loop
ELEVATION: 6,700 to 7,287 feet
DIRECTIONS: From Flagstaff, go west
on Interstate 40 for approximately 25
miles to the Garland Prairie Boulevard
Exit, turn left and go south on Forest
Road 141 for approximately 12 miles to
Forest Road 56. Turn right (southeast)
onto FR 56 and continue 1.5 miles to the
trailhead parking lot.
VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS: Accessible to
USGS MAPS: Bill Williams Mountain,
INFORMATION: Williams Ranger District,
928-635-5600 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/kai
ABOVE: A hiker
walks through the
forest along the
Pomeroy Tanks is
a natural water
source for Kaibab
SYCAMORE RIM TRAIL
Spectacular views of Arizona’s
second-largest canyon and rem-nants
of frontier history high-light
this hike near Williams.
BY LEAH DURAN
PHOTOGRAPHS BY TOM BEAN
O N L I N E For more hikes in Arizona, visit our “Hiking Guide” at www.arizonahighways.com.
K A I B A B
N A T I O N A L F O R E S T
S Y C A M O R E C A N Y O N
W I L D E R N E S S
T R A I L H E A D
48 a p r i l 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 April 15, 2010. Only the winner will be notified. The correct answer will be posted in our
June issue and online at www.arizonahighways.com beginning May 15.
BY JEFF K IDA
blessed this site
in ... well, a long
time ago, he
foresaw a place
of spiritual life
in an otherwise
by local Indians,
the mission was
perched on the
east side of a
until 1751, when
across the water
them under a
Now, the site is a
study in contrasts
— adobe and
plaster, light and
dark, earth and
sky, a respite in
February 2010 Answer:
Congratulations to our
winner, Gail Johnson
of Peoria, Arizona.
You see it all the time in movies. And the scene is always
the same: A wife or a father or a mother gets a knock on
the door, and standing outside are two stoic men in uniform.
There’s a formal introduction and a brief exchange of words, but
the dialogue isn’t necessary. The wife or the father or the mother
know exactly what’s happened. It’s the worst possible news.
On January 20, 2010, a woman named Debra Hays received
that devastating knock on her door in Florence, Kentucky. A
few hours later, at 9:13 p.m. MST, I got a phone call with the
same tragic news. Sergeant Thaddeus Montgomery, the son of
Ms. Hays and a well-respected friend of Arizona Highways, was killed
overseas. He was serving his country from a place called Camp
Vegas, which is located in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan.
As I write these words, I’m quietly awaiting the final details of his
regrettable death. Meantime, through the shock and the sadness
and the shortness of breath that comes from losing a friend, I’m
reflecting on the past six months.
If you’re a regular reader of our magazine, you may recall that
last fall I got an e-mail from Sergeant Montgomery. He was re-questing
some copies of our magazine — something that he and
his fellow soldiers could use as a respite from the horror around
them. Prior to that e-mail, I’d never heard of Sergeant Mont-gomery,
Camp Vegas or the Korengal Valley. But a lot can happen
in six months. In that short period, I learned a great deal about
all of the above, and along the way, Sergeant Montgomery became
an inspiration to everyone at Arizona Highways. In addition, he be-came
the face of all the servicemen and women around the world.
It’s a role he never expected and never wanted. He had no in-terest
in the spotlight that we were shining on him. All he wanted
was some magazines. What he didn’t realize was that in the pro-cess
of reaching out to us, he was connecting an otherwise dis-connected
group of Americans with a world that seemed a mil-lion
miles away. Through Sergeant Montgomery, our staff and
many of our readers gained a new perspective on the war, and
also some degree of enlightenment. Of course, that perspective
and enlightenment came with an overwhelming cost. Without
Sergeant Montgomery’s face and his name and our personal re-lationship,
the news of his death wouldn’t have felt any different
than the thousands of deaths that preceded his in Iraq and Af-ghanistan
and Vietnam and all the rest. But as it is, the shock-ing
reality of his death is hard to comprehend. For us, Thad-deus
Montgomery wasn’t just a name in a newspaper. Thaddeus
Montgomery was a human being, and more importantly, he was
a part of our family.
Like other families, we’d been aware of the realities. War
zones are not playgrounds. They’re extremely dangerous places,
but we never dwelled on that. Instead, we focused on the seem-ingly
trivial things. Things like sending the soldiers beef jerky
and Cracker Jacks. It was the least we could do. That said, we
know how meaningful it was to the 1st Platoon at Camp Vegas. In
fact, shortly after our first shipment of comfort food arrived, I
got an e-mail from Sergeant Montgomery. He wrote:
“I just want to thank you, Mr. Robert Stieve, and the rest of
the folks there at Arizona Highways for the many packages that have
begun to arrive here at COP Vegas from the editorial staff at your
magazine. Originally, I had asked only for a few magazines that
the soldiers here could enjoy thumbing through, and about a
week ago boxes began to arrive with tons of good stuff in them.
I can’t thank you all enough for the kindness you have bestowed
upon our platoon. As for the packages, everything you all sent
was absolutely awesome. It didn’t take long for everyone to grab
a handful of the things they wanted. Thank you Arizona Highways!
We are all grateful for everything you have done to help us while
we are away on this deployment. If there is anything I can do in
return, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
When I opened that e-mail, I smiled at the humility of the
sergeant’s last line: “If there is anything I can do in return,
please don’t hesitate to ask.” As if risking his life wasn’t enough.
That smile has since turned to sadness and regret. I can’t read
his e-mails without the regret of knowing that I’ll never have a
chance to shake Sergeant Montgomery’s hand and thank him for
his service to our country. Although we never met in person,
I did have an opportunity to interview him live via satellite. It
was an interview that took place on Channel 3 here in Phoenix.
Like other military scenarios, there was a formal introduction
and a brief exchange of words. We talked as long as we could, but
after an hour, the audio portion of the satellite feed cut out, and
we never got a chance to finish our conversation. I could see my
friend talking, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying.
Later that day, in a subsequent conversation with Sergeant
Montgomery’s mother, she told me that her son wasn’t much of
a talker, but once he got beyond his natural reticence, he usually
said something profound. Sadly, I missed out on the profound
dialogue he might have been sharing that day. But I can live with
that, because I’m well aware of the profound sacrifice he made on
behalf of his country. He gave his life so that magazines like Arizo-na
Highways can enjoy the freedom of speech. I will never forget that
sacrifice, and I’ll certainly never forget Sergeant Montgomery.
On behalf of everyone at Arizona Highways, our condolences go out
to Ms. Hays and her family. On January 20, 2010, we lost a friend,
a son and an American hero. It was the worst possible news.
— Robert Stieve, editor
• I N M E M O R I A M •
SSG T HADDEUS M ONTGOMERY
September 2 1, 1 980-Januar y 2 0, 2 010
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