“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” — JOHN BURROUGHS
ESCA PE • E X PLOR E • E X PER IENCE
Escape to the NORTH RIM
PLUS: MAX ERNST & DOROTHEA TANNING • ASPEN PEAK • SALT RIVER HORSES
BISBEE’S BEST BREAD PUDDING • MOUNT ORD • GREER • RENDEZVOUS DINER
A Portfolio From
the Land of Ahhhs
101 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE NORTH RIM OF THE GRAND CANYON
2 JA NUA RY 2 0 1 3 w w w. w . a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 1
5 THE JOURNAL
People, places and things from around the state, including some
of the best bread pudding in Bisbee; the history of keeping cool in
the red-hot desert; and Greer, our hometown of the month.
16 RIM SHOTS!
Of the 5 million people who visit Grand Canyon National Park
every year, the majority sets foot on the South Rim. But that’s
only because it’s easier to get to. As you’ll see in this month’s
portfolio, the North Rim of the Canyon and the surrounding Kai-bab
Plateau are among the most beautiful places in Arizona.
A PORTFOLIO EDITED BY JEFF KIDA
26 NOTES FROM UP NORTH
It’s impossible to quantify everything you need to know about
the North Rim and the Kaibab Plateau. And even if we could zero
in on a number, we don’t have enough pages to spell it out. We do,
however, have a few pages, and in them, we’ll tell you about 101
things that you should know about the North.
BY ROBERT STIEVE
34 THE KAIBAB AND THE NORTH RIM
An excerpt from our May 1957 issue.
BY CHARLES FRANKLIN PARKER
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOSEF MUENCH
40 IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREAM
The Salt River is a source of water for metropolitan Phoenix, and
it’s a source of recreation in the Tonto National Forest. It’s also a
watering hole for a band of about 100 horses that live in limbo.
They don’t belong to anyone, and, unlike other wild horses in our
country, they’re not protected by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses
and Burros Act of 1971.
BY TERRY GREENE STERLING
PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRUCE D. TAUBERT
46 MAKING THEMSELVES AT HOME
When surrealist artists Dorothea Tanning and Max Ernst moved
to Sedona in 1946, it was a small town, home to 500 residents, if
that, with a general store, a post office and not much more. But
that didn’t stop the sophisticated couple from sinking roots and
building a home where they could paint and sculpt in peace.
BY NORA BURBA TRULSSON
PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTS AVAILABLE Prints of some photographs in this issue are available for purchase. To view options, visit www.arizona highwaysprints.com. For more information, call 866-962-1191.
2 EDITOR’S LETTER > 3 CONTRIBUTORS > 4 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR > 56 WHERE IS THIS?
50 MAIL DOMINANT
Thomas Ratz is an aficionado of Grand Canyon history, and his
favorite pastime is collecting correspondence written by park
visitors. Letters, postcards, scribbled notes ... it’s an impressive
collection that offers an intimate glimpse of what people had
to say about the park in the first half of the 20th century.
BY ANNETTE McGIVNEY
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL MARKOW
52 SCENIC DRIVE
Mount Ord: Along with oaks, pines and agaves, this scenic drive
off the Beeline Highway offers equally impressive views of the
Mogollon Rim to the north and Roosevelt Lake to the south.
54 HIKE OF THE MONTH
Aspen Peak Trail: Although Kingman is best known as a stop
along Historic Route 66 and the hometown of Andy Devine,
it’s also home to Hualapai Mountain Park and a series of scenic
trails that lead to Aspen Peak.
◗ Saguaros are silhouetted at sunset in the
Superstition Wilderness. | GEORGE STOCKING
CAMERA: CANON EOS 5D MARK II; SHUTTER:
1/80 SEC; APERTURE: F/11; ISO: 200; FOCAL
LENGTH: 45 MM
FRONT COVER Evergreens encircle a wild-flower-
filled meadow on the Kaibab Plateau.
| SHANE MCDERMOTT
CAMERA: NIKON D800; SHUTTER: 1/40 SEC;
APERTURE: F/18; ISO: 800; FOCAL LENGTH: 26 MM
BACK COVER The white bark of an aspen on
the North Rim contrasts with the yellow of an
aspen sunflower. | JACK DYKINGA
CAMERA: NIKON D800E; SHUTTER: 1/4 SEC;
APERTURE: F/16; ISO: 100; FOCAL LENGTH: 85 MM
• POINTS OF INTEREST IN THIS ISSUE
PHOENIX Visit our website for details on weekend getaways,
hiking, lodging, dining, photography workshops,
slideshows and more.
Check out our blog for regular posts on just
about anything having to do with travel in
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GET MORE ONLINE
w w w. 2 M AY 2 0 1 3 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 3
The challenge of driving
up Mount Ord was to keep
from driving off, says pho-tographer
Rick Giase. “The
road starts climbing almost
immediately,” he says. “The
challenge is to keep one’s
eyes on the road while
still enjoying the desert
vistas to the south and the
mountains to the west.”
Giase, who photographed
this month’s Scenic Drive (page 52), recommends timing your trip to catch a “drop-dead
beautiful” sunset over the mountains on your descent. Giase is a Pulitzer Prize-winning
photojournalist whose work has appeared in Time, People and Sports Illustrated.
— NOAH AUSTIN
The remote nature and
lack of development on
the North Rim make it Jack
Dykinga’s favorite place
to photograph the Grand
Canyon. “It’s wilder, purer
and more exciting,” he says.
For Dykinga, the challenge
of shooting at the Canyon
is that “it’s been done by so
many great photographers
for so long.” That makes it
hard to be original, he says. In Rim Shots! (page 16), Dykinga showcases some of the remote,
primitive areas on the North Rim — places that rarely find their way into photographs. Dykinga
is one of three photographers who contributed to this month’s portfolio. He’s a regular con-tributor
to Arizona Highways, as well as National Geographic and other magazines. Currently,
he’s working on an instructional book about nature photography.
NORA BURBA TRULSSON
Writer Nora Burba Trulsson says she
was drawn to the story of Max Ernst and
Dorothea Tanning “because they chose to
follow their passions in a rather staid era.”
In researching Making Themselves at Home
(page 46), Trulsson says she was surprised
to learn that Ernst, a giant of the art world,
had entered a painting and won a ribbon
at the Arizona State Fair during his time in
Sedona. “It made me laugh,” she says,
“because Ernst had a subtle, but great,
sense of humor.” In addition to Arizona
Highways, Trulsson also writes for Sunset.
MAY 2 0 1 3 V O L . 8 9, N O . 5
PRODUCED IN THE USA
It’s hard to imagine the Kaibab Plateau
being populated by lions, tigers and
other mammals of the Serengeti and
the Indian subcontinent, but that’s what
John W. Young, the son of Mormon leader
Brigham Young, had in mind in the late
1800s. His vision was to turn approxi-mately
a million acres into a hunting
ground where big-game enthusiasts
from England could cross a few things
off their lists. No doubt, Marlin Perkins
would have shown up, too. “Welcome to
Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. This week,
we’ll be heading to the North Rim of the
Grand Canyon, where I’ll be sending Jim
into a slippery mud bog to wrestle a baby
rhino from its 3,500-pound mother.” As
preposterous as all of that might seem,
it’s not the wildest scheme ever con-cocted
on the plateau.
In the early 1900s, in an effort to cut
down on the deer population, one des-perate
rancher came up with the idea
of using cowboys and Indians to drive
about 75,000 mule deer from the Kaibab
Plateau to the South Rim of the Grand
Canyon. His strategy was to move them
down a trail from the North Rim, into
the Canyon, across the Colorado River
and up the other side. Hundreds of men
joined the drive, but not one of them was
smart enough — or brazen enough — to
point out the absurdity of the plan. Thus,
the deer are still there, along with moun-tain
lions, Kaibab squirrels, Merriam’s
turkeys and even bison. Needless to say,
there aren’t any tigers.
With hindsight, it’s hard to believe
that anybody could have been so naive,
but at the time, the Kaibab was one of the
most remote places in North America,
and it was among the least understood.
It wasn’t even clear who had jurisdic-tion
— both Utah and Arizona claimed
it as their own. Today, nobody’s jousting
at windmills up there, but the plateau
is still remote, and it’s one of the most
beautiful places in Arizona. You’ll see for
yourself in this month’s portfolio, which
features the photogra-phy
of Tom Bean, Jack
Dykinga and Shane
McDermott. It’s titled
Rim Shots!, and it’s the
only inspiration you’ll
need to plan a trip.
For some background,
though, you might
want to check out
Notes From Up North.
The story outlines
101 things you should
know about the North
Rim and the Kaibab
Plateau, including the
bit about the lions and tigers and rhinos.
There are some other surprises, but most
of the notes are about history, geography,
geology, biology, etymology ... and there’s
some practical information, too. No. 31
is a good example: “Rangers give ‘Con-dor
Talks’ daily at 4:30 p.m. in front of
the massive fireplace on the sun deck of
the Grand Canyon Lodge.” It’s the same
lodge that Charles Franklin Parker visited
in the 1950s.
If you’re a longtime reader of Arizona
Highways — and by longtime, I mean at
least 56 years — you might remember Mr.
Parker. He wrote a story for our May 1957
issue titled The Kaibab and the North Rim.
It was a travelogue, not unlike those we
do today, about his first trip to the high
To complement this month’s cover
story, we’ve resurrected The Kaibab and
the North Rim, which describes, in first
person, the drive up north from down
south; the people, places and things along
the way; and the many natural wonders
that exist on the Kaibab Plateau and the
North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We’ve
excerpted the text exactly as it appeared
in 1957, which means the prose is more
formal than in contemporary writing.
“I look out over a wide mountain
meadow,” he wrote, “where I can see
many deer coming out to graze from the
edges of the surround-ing
forest of aspen,
spruce and pine. Too,
over ten species of
bird life paused long
enough for identifica-tion
this morning. Just
now the woods are full
of them, and the merry
notes set the tempo of
the oratorio of nature’s
joy and gladness. What
idyllic living in this
The writing is
flowery and, at times,
anachronistic, but that’s all part of the
allure. Also, some of the names and
places have changed over the years, so
the excerpt can’t be used as a travel
guide. Instead, enjoy it as a wonderful
trip back in time. One that won’t be con-fused
with an African safari or an expe-dition
to the Indian subcontinent.
COMING IN JUNE ...
Our annual Summer Hiking Guide, featur-ing
some of our favorite trails around
the state, including Sandys Canyon (pic-tured)
ROBERT STIEVE, EDITOR
Follow me on Twitter: @azhighways
If you like what you see in this
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Arizona Highways Television, an
Emmy Award-winning program
hosted by former news anchor Robin
Sewell. For broadcast times, visit
our website, www.arizonahighways.
com, and click the Arizona Highways
Television link on our home page.
Arizona Highways® (ISSN 0004-1521) is published monthly by the Arizona
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PUBLISHER Win Holden
EDITOR Robert Stieve
MANAGING EDITOR Kelly Vaughn Kramer
SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR Kathy Ritchie
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Noah Austin
EDITORIAL ADMINISTRATOR Nikki Kimbel
PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR Jeff Kida
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Barbara Glynn Denney
ART DIRECTOR Keith Whitney
DESIGN PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Diana Benzel-Rice
MAP DESIGNER Kevin Kibsey
PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Michael Bianchi
WEBMASTER Victoria J. Snow
DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Kelly Mero
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FINANCE DIRECTOR Bob Allen
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CORPORATE OR TRADE SALES 602-712-2019
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR email@example.com
2039 W. Lewis Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85009
GOVERNOR Janice K. Brewer
OF TRANSPORTATION John S. Halikowski
BOARD CHAIRMAN Victor M. Flores
VICE CHAIRMAN Stephen W. Christy
MEMBERS Kelly O. Anderson
Joseph E. La Rue
Barbara Ann Lundstrom
w w w. 4 M AY 2 0 1 3 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 5
INDEBTED TO THE CORPS
In 1937, I was a victim of a “cold-water drowning” just outside of
Yosemite Valley. I was 5 years old and didn’t know how to swim
yet. My oldest brother dumped me off on an air mattress and
didn’t tell our parents, who were on the shore. Three young men
who were members of the Civilian Conservation Corps saw me
lying on the bottom of the river. They jumped in, pulled me out
and revived me. They estimated that I’d been on the bottom in
very cold water for at least 20 minutes. I’d like to refer you to the
short paragraph at the top of page 46 [Corps Values, March 2013]:
“I’d say 100 percent or maybe 98 percent of the CCC boys will
say what I’m saying to you: ‘That’s the best thing that ever hap-pened
to me.’ ” George Murray, Prescott, Arizona
letters to the editor
contact us If you have thoughts or com-ments
about anything in Arizona Highways, we’d
love to hear from you. We can be reached at editor@
arizonahighways.com, or by mail at 2039 W. Lewis
Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85009. For more information,
Imagine my family’s surprise when we
received the latest edition of Arizona
Highways and saw an article about the
Civilian Conservation Corps (Corps Values,
March 2013). My father, August Sadorf,
has been reading your magazine for
decades — ever since he was stationed in
Arizona during his time in the CCC. He
was just a 19-year-old from Philadelphia
when he arrived in Arizona, and he fell in
love with the Southwest. He still speaks
fondly of his CCC days, when he helped
to plant trees, build the road that leads
up to Schnebly Hill, and clear the trees
to create Arizona Snowbowl. At age
92, he was thrilled to see the photo of
Camp F32A in Sedona, where he served
from 1939 until his enlistment in the
Marine Corps in 1941. He has returned
to the area several times since and can’t
believe the changes that have occurred
[there]. However, the red rocks never
fail to astound him, and I believe part of
his heart will always belong to Arizona.
Thank you for honoring my father and
the other men who worked hard, earned
valuable skills and gave their best to
make the best of the natural resources of
this great country.
Brigid Sadorf, South Dennis, New Jersey
CREATING A PHILE
It is eight years now since we became
infatuated English “Arizona-philes”
after flying to Phoenix and driving to
the Grand Canyon and back through
Oak Creek Canyon. Every year since
then we have meticulously pre-planned
and driven motorized scenic-route vaca-tions
through the many beautiful natural
landscapes that you spotlight in Arizona
Highways. Imagine my surprise, therefore,
when I opened your magazine and found
there and then that you had highlighted
three of those that I had already chosen
for this coming summer [Ode to the Roads,
January 2013]. You guys must be mind-readers.
Needless to say, every month,
everything stops in this house when the
morning post includes Arizona Highways.
Many, many thanks.
Tony Fitton, Shrewsbury, England
As an architect and planner, native of
Morenci, Arizona, and co-author (with
Ann Patterson) of Landmark Buildings:
Arizona’s Architectural Heritage, I was
delighted with your February 2013 issue.
The Morenci-Clifton area (The Journal/
Hometowns) is one of natural and man-made
wonder, deserving of recognition
and exploration by your readers. Iconic
architecture (Historic Places) is as indica-tive
of the distinctive character of our
beloved state and its cultural heritage as
its natural splendor. Interest in Arizona’s
historic architecture is, I believe, at an
all-time high, following the recent saga
of Frank Lloyd Wright’s David and
Gladys Wright House in Phoenix. Kudos
for further contributing to that body of
Mark Vinson, Chandler, Arizona
I love Arizona Highways, and I’ve loved
going to Havasu since I was 2 years old.
I noticed that in your recent story about
the medicine woman in Supai [Wherever
the Spirit Moves Her, March 2013] that you
said she was standing next to Navajo
Falls. Unless they’ve changed the name,
those are Havasu Falls, because floods
from a broken earthen dam destroyed
Navajo Falls in August 2008.
Joslyn Coor Brown, Glendale, Arizona
ONE OF THOSE THINGS
I hope you’ll forgive me this critique.
I’m a psychologist with a “thing” for
languages, and I taught professional
writing for 30 years in a consulting firm.
I say this so you may understand my
involuntary reflex on this topic. About
Camelback [Hike of the Month, February
2013], you write, “... it’s one of the most
unique urban trails in America.” The
venial sin against the gods of prose is that
there can be no modifiers of “unique”
because it means single, solitary, no other
like it. I think most people mean “most
unusual” when they use this incorrectly.
To my knowledge, there is no satisfactory
substitute for “unique,” so using it in a
way that takes its uniqueness would be
detrimental to the language. By the way,
I like your writing, which is pliable, with
sufficient color to make it readable and
interesting, without detracting from the
content. All good wishes, and here’s to
clearer, better writing.
Jack Thompson, Tucson
THE JOURNAL 05.13
hometowns > local favorites > history > photography > odd jobs
dining > nature > lodging > things to do
A raven soars past the roaring water
of Grand Falls on the Navajo Indian
Reservation in Northeastern Arizona.
The remote waterfall system is famous
for its 185-foot height — higher than any
of Niagara Falls’ waterfalls — and for its
muddy water, which contributes to the
opacity of the Little Colorado River, into
which it empties. Information: 928-871-
6436 or www.discovernavajo.com
CAMERA: CANON EOS 5D MARK II; SHUTTER: 1/2000 SEC;
APERTURE: F/8; ISO: 800; FOCAL LENGTH: 169 MM
6 MAY 2 0 1 3 w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 7 T H E J O U R N A L
MARK LIPCZYNSKI (2)
GOOGLE “GREER” AND YOU’LL QUICKLY DISCOVER that it’s usually referred to
as a mountain hamlet. That’s fitting, considering the tiny unincorporated town
lies at the end of State Route 373 in a pretty, green valley of the White Mountains.
Founded by Mormon pioneer Willard Lee in 1879, Greer originally was named Lee
Valley. But when town officials built a post office, they needed a shorter name, so
Lee Valley was renamed in honor of planner Americus Vespucius Greer. Two sum-mers
ago, the Wallow Fire threatened to overtake the town, which has long been
a summer travel favorite. Thanks to firefighters and volunteers, Greer was spared,
and it remains a popular destination for hikers, anglers, horseback-riders and fans
of cool mountain hamlets. — KELLY VAUGHN KRAMER
Rendezvous Diner is located at 117 N. Main Street in
Greer. For more information, call 928-735-7483.
If the Rendezvous Diner feels like home,
that’s because it used to be one — the log
cabin was built in 1909 as a private resi-dence.
Now, it’s a cozy restaurant with retro
décor and hearty, traditional diner food
such as burgers, fried chicken, meatloaf,
omelets, and biscuits and gravy. Cliff
Morang, who’s been serving at the diner
since it opened 11 years ago, says it’s a favor-ite
with locals and tourists alike.
Why is the food so good?
It’s because of Pauline’s [Merrill, the owner]
eye for detail in making sure that every-thing
is consistent and things are made
from scratch. All the soups are homemade.
We don’t open cans.
What are the customer favorites?
Our peach, blackberry and cherry cobblers.
People get their cobbler fix anytime they’re
in Greer. They talk about how flaky the
crust is, and that it’s not too sweet, not too
What do you love most about the diner?
The staff — we all have fun working here.
We try to keep things lighthearted and
happy and make sure everyone has good
service. We want people to feel like they’re
sitting in their own home.
The diner is famous for its meatloaf.
What makes it so good?
It’s homemade, right here, and we use fresh
herbs. People also love our red chile and
our green chile. We’re so close to the New
Mexico border, so we buy our Hatch chiles
there. — KAYLA FROST
0.53 square miles
E L E VAT ION
8 MAY 2 0 1 3 w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 9 T H E J O U R N A L To learn more about photography, visit www.arizonahighways.com/photography.asp.
PHOTOGRAPHER LEROY DEJOLIE REMEMBERS
visiting Susie Yazzie in Monument Valley as a
young Navajo — long before he ever picked up
a camera. He remembers sitting in Ms. Yazzie’s
hogan, listening to her soothing voice tell of
elders and traditional ways. It was natural, he
says, because Ms. Yazzie and his grandmother
were from the same clan: Bitter Water.
Susie Yazzie passed away on February 3, 2013.
Her exact age was unknown.
“She was one of a kind, one of the last connec-tions
to old Navajo land,” DeJolie says. “Susie lived
in hozho — balance with nature, life and beauty.”
If you’re a longtime reader of Arizona High-ways,
you know that Ms. Yazzie was a beloved
member of our family and a role model for all of
us, a perfect mix of strength and humility. She
spent her life raising children, working sheep and
weaving on the family homestead in Monu-ment
Valley. And she was savvy. Early on, she
made a deal with tour operators to bring visitors
directly to her hogan to watch her spin wool and
weave rugs. Those visitors, in turn, would leave
gratuities for the privilege of photographing Ms.
Yazzie amid the chiseled buttes of the valley.
No matter who showed up at her doorstep,
Ms. Yazzie was a gracious host. Tucson photogra-pher
Edward McCain says she was always ready
with a smile, and that she seemed to accept
photographers as easily as she did the constant
winds that blow across the Colorado Plateau.
Her face has graced the pages of our maga-zine
for decades, in portraits by Ray Manley,
Josef Muench, Jerry Jacka and others. And even
though she spoke only Navajo, Ms. Yazzie was
able to share parts of her people and her culture
with our readers around the world, and with
anyone who was fortunate enough to visit her.
— JEFF KIDA, photo editor
February 3, 2013
A Cool Story
From sleeping porches to evaporative coolers to the invention of air conditioning,
Arizonans have always been looking for ways to keep cool.
That’s because it’s so hot here.
For most Arizonans, tem-perate,
autumns, winters and
springs come at a price:
summer. The season can be bru-tal
in many parts of the state,
with temperatures soaring into
the triple digits and staying that
way for months. Fortunately, the
invention of evaporative cool-ers
and, later, air conditioning
changed how people work, play
and live in the desert.
However, long before Phoenix
became the “Air-Conditioned
Capital of the World,” people
would sleep on their porches
to keep cool. In fact, both the
Ford Hotel (pictured) and the
Hotel San Carlos accommodated
guests on their sleeping porches during the hot months. But
thanks to the advent of evaporative coolers, people eventually
moved back inside at night.
According to the book Arizona: A History by Thomas E.
Sheridan, homemade “swamp boxes” — contraptions made of
chicken wire, wallboard, excelsior matting, electric fans and
water sprayers — sat in the windows of thousands of homes.
In an article that appeared in the Journal of Arizona History, Bob
Cunningham writes that “manufacturers began to displace
some of the do-it-yourself swamp box volume by correcting
shortcomings of the home-assembled models.”
By 1951, five Phoenix-based companies manufactured half of
the evaporative coolers produced in the United States. Their
popularity not only helped people keep cool, but also spurred
the local economy.
However, according to Sheridan, coolers required regular
maintenance and weren’t effective during monsoon season,
when high humidity decreased their cooling capability. As a
result, refrigeration cooling, or air conditioning, ultimately top-pled
the evaporative-cooling market. And today, air condition-ing
is as common in Arizona as stunning sunsets — and both
make summer more bearable. — ANDREA CRANDALL & KATHY RITCHIE
ARIZONA STATE LIBRARY
50 Years Ago
■ A pack of camels
begins the Camel
Survey on May 1,
1856. The survey
tracks the routes for
what would become
Historic Route 66 and
the Santa Fe Railway
line in Northern
■ The USS Arizona
Memorial is declared
a National Historic
Landmark on May 5,
■ Three men, using
a Nash touring car
instead of horses,
attempt to rob a train
near Tucson on May
15, 1922. It’s the last
known train robbery
■ The Arizona Repub-lic
is founded under
the name The Arizona
Republican on May
■ The Dragoon
is established in
Southern Arizona on
May 25, 1907. It’s later
absorbed into the
Look for our book
are seen contorting
themselves into odd
positions to get that
perfect angle, but
what do you do when
you can’t look through
the viewfinder to
compose or focus an
image? Many digital
cameras now have a
function called “live
view,” which displays a
live, video-like preview
of the image on the
back digital screen. If
you’re unable to look
through the viewfinder,
try using the digital
zoom button to zoom
in on the preview and
focus the image man-ually
Sleeping porches, such as this one at the Ford Hotel, were an early answer to Arizona’s summer heat.
Susie Yazzie poses outside her Monument Valley hogan with her daughter, Effie.
CAMERA: CANON EOS 5D; SHUTTER: 1/60 SEC; APERTURE: F/5.6; ISO: 160; FOCAL LENGTH: 35 MM
The May 1963 issue of
Arizona Highways was
dedicated to the San
Carlos Apache Indian
tribe. The magazine
highlighted the tribe’s
history and the tradi-tions
of its people and
took readers on a
photographic tour of
10 MAY 2 0 1 3 T H E J O U R N A L w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 11
DAWN KISH (2)
ASK RICH ALAN HOW he became the owner of
Vintage Appliances and Restoration, and he’ll
tell you that a friend talked him into it. That was
20 years ago. Today, he remanufactures and
reconditions stoves, refrigerators and iceboxes
that date from the turn of the 20th century to
the late 1950s. Alan first forayed into appliance
repair with modern machines, but from time to
time, people would donate vintage pieces they
wanted to get rid of. He took them, refurbished
them and sold them at his shop. Eventually, he
purchased 40 antique stoves from “an old guy
on Benson Highway who had been doing it for
years,” created a website and began selling his
appliances across the country. Hollywood also is
a fan of Alan’s work. His appliances have
appeared in Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Curi-ous
Case of Benjamin Button, as well as the up-coming
X-Men: Days of Future Past. Alan’s pieces
range from $2,200 to $30,000, yet, despite the
price tag, he isn’t short on customers. “There
are a lot of people who love that nostalgic look,”
he says. “They’re really functional pieces of art,
and when people buy them, they’re so excited
about it.” — KATHY RITCHIE
Rich Alan, Tucson
Vintage Appliances and Restoration is located at
3262 E. Columbia Street in Tucson. For more informa-tion,
call 800-909-6849 or visit www.antiquevintage
12 MAY 2 0 1 3 T H E J O U R N A L
BRUCE D. TAUBERT (2)
For just one night a year, and
for only 12 short hours, the
night-blooming cereus, a.k.a. the
“Queen of the Night,” blooms, but
the timing is unpredictable. Typically,
the big show takes place in June or July.
After their brief time in the spotlight — or
the moonlight, as it were — the flowers
wilt as dawn approaches. Searching
for the sticklike cactuses, which grow in
Central and Southern Arizona, can be
tough. They’re difficult to spot because
they blend in with the surrounding
plants and grow under desert shrubs.
The flowers are waxy and cream-colored
and can grow up to 4 inches wide. They
have trumpet-shaped blossoms, which
give off a sweet, floral scent that’s been
known to perfume the air as far as a
quarter-mile away. While blooming,
they attract pollinators such as the
sphinx moth. If the flowers are success-fully
pollinated, the cactuses eventually
will produce scarlet-colored fruit.
— ANDREA CRANDALL
Petals are linear
and typically white
or yellowish in
known to give
off a vanilla or
The cherry-almond bread pudding is one good reason to grab a seat at Bisbee’s
High Desert Market and Café. But it’s only one of many — everything
stands out at this small-town gathering place.
THERE’S PLENTY ABOUT BISBEE TO MAKE your
heart spin: winding roads, historic
charm and just enough quirk to jump-start
your creative juices.
Then, there’s the cherry-almond
bread pudding you’ll
find at High Desert Market and Café.
It’s the type of dessert you’d love to
call your own — a culinary invention so
fine, you might be tempted to trade your
firstborn or a minor body part for the
recipe. Or just buy it in bulk and serve it
on pretty plates with fancy doilies and a
bon appétit à la Julia Child. Layered with
almond slivers and semi-tart cherries,
the brick-sized treat should be eaten in
phases or with a handful of friends, and
it’s just one of the amazing menu items at
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner,
the market keeps its offerings simple,
sticking to simple sandwiches and a slew
of creative salads. A selection of savories
rounds out the menu, along with nightly
dinner specials and a variety of fresh,
homemade pastries. But the market’s
allure also is its ambience.
Nuzzled against the hillside along
Tombstone Canyon Road, the market
serves as a community gathering space.
It’s the place local vicars can go to counsel
congregants on a random Thursday after-noon,
and it’s the place where an artist
lingers with his sketchpad. Patrons gather
in the airy, goldpoppy-colored sunroom
or on the market’s spacious patio and talk
across tables with friendly small-town
Maybe it’s that ease that keeps the
management so cool. You’re allowed to
linger over your meal, rather than paying
at the counter as soon as you order. No
receipts. No order slips. No demands to
hand over your Visa. Just visit the regis-ter
when you’ve finished eating and tell
the cashier what you had. The system
affords you the opportunity to peruse the
market’s selection of local and imported
treats, from honey-based soaps to Euro-pean
cheeses, and soak in a bit of the
High Desert Market and Café does it
right. The proof is in the pudding.
— KELLY VAUGHN KRAMER
High Desert Market and Café is located at 203 Tomb-stone
Canyon Road in Bisbee. For more information, call
520-432-6775 or visit www.highdesertmarket.net.
Great crested grasshoppers
are well camouflaged. With
green bodies and brown spots,
they tend to blend in with their
desert surroundings. Some-times
referred to as dinosaur
grasshoppers, the insects are
found throughout Arizona in
dry grasslands. The males,
however, do all of the flying.
Females have short wings but
— ANDREA CRANDALL
w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 13
14 MAY 2 0 1 3 T H E J O U R N A L
IN A TOWN WHERE LODGING options seem endless (and, at
times, overwhelming), the Lodge at Sedona offers guests a cozy,
friendly retreat from the throngs of tourists and traffic. Built in
1959, the lodge originally was the home of one of Sedona’s first
physicians, his wife and their 12 children. Today, the
beautifully appointed, 14-room bed and breakfast
offers guests more than just a cup of joe and a
croissant. Located just off State Route 89A, the award-winning
property features several secluded areas where you can get lost
in the beauty of the surrounding red rocks, as well as a meditative
walking labyrinth for those in search of Zen. Although the Lodge
at Sedona doesn’t offer dining options beyond its delicious full
breakfast and hors d’oeuvres at sunset, the gracious staff will
happily make dining reservations or help you create and book the
perfect offsite adventure. — KATHY RITCHIE
The Lodge at Sedona is located at 125 Kallof Place in Sedona. For more information,
call 928-204-1942 or visit www.lodgeatsedona.com.
Route 66 Fun Run
May 3-5, Seligman
Travel the Mother Road at
this annual event, which
is open to all street-legal
rides. The run starts in
Seligman, and there will
be plenty of action along
the way, including Native
American dances, barbe-cues,
music, street dancing
and, of course, cruising.
Cinco de Mayo
May 4, Sedona
Celebrate this colorful fiesta
while enjoying mariachi mu-sic,
folklorico dancers and
Mexican cuisine from El Rincon
Restaurante at Tlaquepaque.
Information: 928-282-4838 or
Celebrate Wildlife Day
May 18, Grand Canyon
Learn about the diverse
wildlife at the Grand Canyon
as you join Canyon rangers and
wildlife biologists for several
special programs, interactive
exhibits, hands-on activities
and more. Information: 928-
638-7789 or www.nps.gov/
Historic Home Tour
May 18-19, Jerome
Visit several of Jerome’s
historic homes and build-ings
at this 48th annual
event. Information: 928-
634-2900 or www.jerome
Wyatt Earp Days
May 25-27, Tombstone
Travel back in time and dis-cover
what life was like for
Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday
and their contemporaries.
Complete with hangings,
gunfights and more, this
annual event is a Tomb-stone
The Lodge at Sedona
things to do in arizona
Order online at www.arizonahighways.com or call 800-543-5432.
Use Promo Code P3E5CH when ordering to take advantage of this special offer. Offer expires May 31, 2013.
Pitch a tent and hit the trail.
Arizona Highways Camping Guide
100 of the Best
Campgrounds in Arizona
Was $22.95 now $20.95
Arizona Highways Hiking Guide
52 of Arizona’s Best Day Hikes
for Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall
Was $24.95 now $22.95
Of the 5 million people who
visit Grand Canyon National
Park every year, the majority
sets foot on the South Rim.
But that’s only because it’s
easier to get to. As you’ll see in
this month’s portfolio, the
North Rim of the Canyon and
the surrounding Kaibab Pla-teau
are among the most
beautiful places in Arizona. Or,
more accurately, in the world.
edited by Jeff Kida
t h e n o r t h r i m
16 MAY 2 0 1 3
Sunrise reflects off a pond in DeMotte Park, which is located in the Kaibab National Forest. | JACK DYKINGA
CAMERA: NIKON D800E; SHUTTER: 1/15 SEC; APERTURE: F/11; ISO: 100; FOCAL LENGTH: 45 MM
18 MAY 2 0 1 3 w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 19
LEFT: Indian paintbrush and lupine cloak a North Rim
meadow in dazzling color. | JACK DYKINGA
CAMERA: NIKON D800E; SHUTTER: 1/4 SEC; APERTURE:
F/22; ISO: 100; FOCAL LENGTH: 85 MM
ABOVE: Lupine breaks through a sea of ponderosa pine
cones near Tiyo Point. | JACK DYKINGA
CAMERA: ARCA SWISS 4X5; SHUTTER: 6 SEC; APERTURE:
F/45; ISO: 50; FOCAL LENGTH: 75 MM
w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 21
Trees emerge from the fog in DeMotte Park south of Jacob Lake. | TOM BEAN
CAMERA: CANON EOS 5D MARK II; SHUTTER: 1/350 SEC; APERTURE: F/10; ISO: 400; FOCAL LENGTH: 260 MM
20 MAY 2 0 1 3
22 MAY 2 0 1 3 w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 23
ABOVE: A mule deer pauses to drink at
Greenland Lake. | JACK DYKINGA
CAMERA: NIKON F3; FILM: KODACHROME;
SHUTTER: 1/125 SEC; APERTURE: F/6.3; ISO: 200;
FOCAL LENGTH: 560 MM
RIGHT: In morning light, young ponderosa
pines and firs mingle with a grove of aspens in
the Kaibab National Forest. | JACK DYKINGA
CAMERA: NIKON D800E; SHUTTER: 1/15 SEC;
APERTURE: F/16; ISO: 100; FOCAL LENGTH: 85 MM
“A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving,
swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the
outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.” — JOHN MUIR
24 MAY 2 0 1 3
Sunset glows over Steamboat Mountain, as seen from Timp Point. | SHANE McDERMOTT
w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 25
CAMERA: NIKON D800; SHUTTER: 4 SEC; APERTURE: F/8; ISO: 100; FOCAL LENGTH: 17 MM
t h e n o r t h r i m
26 MAY 2 0 1 3
EDITOR’S NOTE: Several sources were used in compiling this informa-tion,
including our own archives, the National Park Service, the U.S.
Forest Service, the Grand Canyon Association and Stewart Aitchi-son’s
book Grand Canyon’s North Rim and Beyond. The latter, by the
way, is a must for anyone planning a trip up north.
6What visitors often mistake
for chipmunks on the North
Rim are actually golden-mantled
ground squirrels. The latter are
bigger and don’t have stripes on
7Guests of the Grand Canyon
Lodge sleep in cabins that are
located along the rim in different
clusters. The Western Cabins are
premier, but reservations in that
cluster must be made up to a year
in advance. Even then, there are no
guarantees. For reservations, call
877-386-4383 or visit www.grand
8The word “Kaibab” trans-lates
as “mountain lying
down.” It’s likely derived from the
Southern Paiute word Kaivavitsets.
9Campfire talks take place
nightly at 7 p.m. at the North
Rim Campground Amphitheater.
Topics are posted daily at the camp-ground,
lodge and visitors center.
It’s impossible to quantify everything you
need to know — or want to know — about
the North Rim and the Kaibab Plateau.
And even if we could zero in on a number,
we don’t have enough pages to spell it out.
We do, however, have a few pages, and in
them, we’ll tell you about 101 things that
you should know about the North.
BY ROBERT STIEVE
11On February 20, 1893,
Harrison set aside most of the
Kaibab Plateau (and much of
the Grand Canyon) as the Grand
Cañon Forest Reserve. The reserve
swapped “Cañon” for “Canyon” in
1906 and was renamed the Kaibab
National Forest in 1908.
12The canyon that falls
below Cape Royal is called
Unkar, a Paiute word describing the
blush color of the rock that exists
down there. The Grand Canyon’s
largest known prehistoric settle-ment
stands on the Unkar Delta.
13From July 12 to 16, the
Grand Canyon Field
Institute will offer its North Rim
Trail Sampler, which takes partici-pants
to some of the area’s most
interesting trails. For more infor-mation,
call 866-471-4435 or visit
14The coldest temperature
ever recorded on the North
Rim was -22 degrees Fahrenheit.
15The Grand Canyon Lodge
was commissioned by
the Utah Parks Co., which was
the North Rim’s concessionaire
at the time and a wholly owned
subsidiary of the Union Pacific
Railroad. Today, the concessionaire
is Arizona-based Forever Resorts.
16The distance from the
North Rim of the Grand
Canyon to the South Rim is
10 miles (the way a condor flies).
On foot, the distance is 22 miles,
and by road, it’s 204 miles.
17The North Kaibab Trail is
the only regularly main-tained
trail that runs from the
North Rim to the Colorado River.
It’s 14 miles (one way) to Phantom
Ranch. The distance to Roaring
Springs is 5 miles (one way), and
that segment can be done as a day
hike. Day hikes to the river are not
18Parts of the North Rim’s
forests are pockmarked
with sinkholes. They are topo-graphic
forms known as karst.
5Entrance fees to Grand Canyon National Park will be waived
on August 25 (the birthday of the National Park Service),
September 28 (National Public Lands Day) and November 9-11
(Veterans Day weekend).
10Kaibab squirrels, which have tasseled ears and bushy
white tails, are native only to the Kaibab Plateau —
because of their rarity, they’ve been designated a National Natural
Landmark. They’re extremely shy, which is why they’re nicknamed
the “Silver Ghosts of the North Rim.”
COURTESY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 27
1U.S. Route 89A, the road that
leads to the Kaibab Plateau
from the east, follows the old
Mormon Emigrant Wagon Road
(a.k.a. “the Honeymoon Trail”)
and crosses the Navajo Bridge at
Marble Canyon. Despite the name,
which was given by Major John
Wesley Powell, there is no marble
in Marble Canyon, but rather pol-ished
2Europeans didn’t visit the
North Rim until 236 years
after visiting the South Rim, when
Father Silvestre Vélez de Escalante
made his way north.
3The Kaibab Plateau is a
subdivision of the Arizona
Strip, which comprises 5 million
acres in Northern Arizona. Its
land area is equivalent to that of
4Point Imperial is the highest
viewpoint on the North Rim.
It sits at an elevation of 8,803 feet.
20Mule trips on the North
Rim do not go to the
river. One-hour rides along the rim
and half-day rim or inner canyon
trips usually are available on a
daily basis. Prices start at $40 per
person. For reservations, call 435-
21Pets, except service ani-mals,
are not allowed on
any trails in Grand Canyon National
Park. In addition, they’re not
allowed in the lodge, and there’s
no kennel on the North Rim.
22On May 1, 2013, sunrise
on the North Rim will
be at 5:35 a.m.; sunset will be at
30The Uncle Jim Trail,
which is 5 miles round-trip,
is named for Jim Owens, who
was a game warden on the Kaibab
31Park rangers give
“Condor Talks” daily at
4:30 p.m. in front of the massive
fireplace on the sun deck of the
Grand Canyon Lodge. The lectures
are free of charge.
32By the late 1880s,
there were approxi-mately
20,000 head of cattle and
200,000 sheep grazing on the
33There are many scenic
drives on the Kaibab
Plateau, and three of the most
scenic lead to Parissawampitts
Point, North Timp Point and
Timp Point on the west rim. For
directions and road conditions,
call 928-643-7395 or visit www.
Dutton named Cape
Final, which sits at an elevation of
7,916 feet on the Walhalla Plateau.
The hike to the point is 4 miles
35In 1908, President
designated the Grand Canyon a
36Cliff Spring, which
flows intermittently on
the North Rim, can be reached by a
1-mile (round-trip) trail that takes
off from the road to Cape Royal.
37“Uncle” Jim Owens,
who is best known as
the man who allegedly killed 300
mountain lions on the Kaibab
Plateau in an effort to beef up
the deer population, has another
legacy. In 1906, he and some of
his colleagues brought bison to
the Kaibab Plateau. The herd’s
descendants still live in House
23The Widforss Trail
begins at Harvey
Meadow and ends at Widforss
Point, which sits at an elevation
of 8,094 feet. The trail (10 miles
round-trip) is named for Gunnar
Widforss, a Swedish-born artist
who painted extensively in the
national parks of the American
West. He’s buried in the Pioneer
Cemetery on the South Rim.
designed the North Rim’s origi-nal
Grand Canyon Lodge, which
was built in 1928. Steven Mather,
the first director of the National
Park Service, requested a “rustic”
national park lodge.
25For more than 30 years,
artist Bruce Aiken lived
at the Roaring Springs pump house
along the North Kaibab Trail. When
he wasn’t fixing and operating the
pump, he was creating what are
arguably some of the most spec-tacular
paintings ever made of the
Grand Canyon. To see his work, visit
26On November 28, 1906,
Roosevelt declared portions of the
Kaibab Plateau a federal game
27Elizabeth Wylie McKee
and her husband,
Thomas, opened the first tourist
facility on the North Rim at Bright
Angel Point in 1917.
28Bright Angel Point is
located a quarter-mile
from the Grand Canyon Lodge. It
sits at an elevation of 8,148 feet
and can be reached by a short trail.
38A shuttle to the North
Kaibab Trailhead is
available daily at 5:45 a.m. and 7:10
a.m. Sign up at the front desk of the
Grand Canyon Lodge. The shuttle
leaves from in front of the lodge.
Reservations are recommended at
least 24 hours in advance.
39Jacob Lake, which is
named for Mormon
pioneer Jacob Hamblin, is located
about a mile from the Jacob Lake
Inn on Forest Road 461.
40State Route 67, the
North Rim Parkway,
was designated a National
Scenic Byway in 1998. It runs for
43.4 miles from Jacob Lake to
the entrance of Grand Canyon
National Park. The road usually
is closed from mid-November
through mid-May because of
41On June 8, 2006, a light-ning
strike ignited the
Warm Fire, which burned nearly
60,000 acres between Jacob Lake
and DeMotte Park. Remnants of
the fire still are visible today.
42Early settlers referred
to the Kaibab Plateau
as Buckskin Mountain because of
the high number of mule deer liv-ing
which is located west
of the North Rim, features a sheer,
3,000-foot drop to the Colorado
River. It’s also the starting point
for the Lava Falls Trail, one of the
most difficult hikes in the Grand
46The North Rim features
one of the darkest skies
in North America, which makes it
an ideal place to view the Perseid
meteor showers in July and August.
47In the summer of 1913,
after losing the presi-dential
election of 1912, Theodore
Roosevelt, along with his sons
Quentin and Archie, spent two
weeks hunting on the Kaibab
48In July 1996, Roosevelt
Point was dedicated
on the North Rim’s Walhalla
Plateau in honor of President
Theodore Roosevelt. Surprisingly,
it was the first landmark named
in honor of the man who deserves
much of the credit for preserving
and protecting the Grand Canyon.
A short (0.2 miles round-trip) trail
loops through the woods to the
49The Kaibab Plateau
has one of the densest
populations of northern goshawks
in North America.
50In 2003, National Park
Service biologists at
Grand Canyon National Park initi-ated
a radiotelemetry study of
mountain lions in and around the
park. Much of their work is cen-tered
on the North Rim. Keep your
51The North Rim gets an
average of 142 inches of
19Point Sublime (above) is the western-most
viewpoint in Grand Canyon National Park.
The 18-mile (one way) drive out there requires a
high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle.
COURTESY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
44Pearl Grey, bet-ter
author Zane Grey, explored
the Kaibab Plateau in 1907.
His book The Last of the
Plainsmen was based on
his experiences there.
fire destroyed the original
Grand Canyon Lodge. The
only inhabitants — the
lodge manager, his wife
and the maids — were
asleep on the top floor of
the auditorium when the
fire broke out. Everyone
survived, and only two of
the surrounding cabins
Plateau has one
of the most extensive tracts
of old-growth ponderosa
pines in the Southwest.
28 MAY 2 0 1 3 w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 29
61In 1937, the Utah Parks
Co. opened a second
Grand Canyon Lodge using the
same floor plan as the first. The
new edition featured sloped roofs,
which were better able to shed
the heavy snows that hit the area.
That structure still stands today.
Interestingly, there are no lodging
facilities within the lodge itself.
Instead, guests sleep in the sur-rounding
cabins. Breakfast, lunch
and dinner, however, are served
in the lodge. For reservations, call
877-386-4383 or visit www.grand
62In 1911, Arizona histo-rian
Sharlot Hall spent
two months on the North Rim
recording its natural resources,
talking to its residents and chroni-cling
are required within
Grand Canyon National Park
for overnight hiking, overnight
horseback-riding and overnight
camping at rim sites other than
those in developed campgrounds.
The North Rim Backcountry
Information Center is open daily
from mid-May to mid-October. For
information, call 928-638-7875.
66The Kaibab Lodge is
located 18 miles north
of the North Rim. It’s open from
mid-May to early November and
features a nice restaurant. For
reservations, call 928-638-2389 or
67Along with mule deer
and Kaibab squirrels,
Merriam’s turkeys are a common
sight on the North Rim. The birds,
which are similar in size to turkeys
in the East, are named for C. Hart
Merriam, who was the first chief
of what later became the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service.
68The North Rim
is located within Grand Canyon
National Park just a few miles from
the lodge, features shady and spa-cious
campsites. There are also RV
sites, a general store and laundry
facilities. For information, call
928-638-7888 or visit www.nps.
69Fuel is limited on
the North Rim and
the Kaibab Plateau. It can be
purchased at the Jacob Lake
Inn, at the North Rim Country
Store (6 miles north of the park)
and next door to the North Rim
Campground. Prices, as you’d
expect, are well above average.
70The Grand Canyon’s
23rd Annual Star Party
will be held on the North Rim June
8-15, 2013. Telescopes will be set
up on the sun deck at the Grand
Highways contributor and
Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer
Jack Dykinga describes the view
from Toroweap Overlook like this:
“The view in any direction is beyond
belief. It is at once both exhilarating
and terrifying — like standing on the
wing of an airplane. No other place
provides this perspective.” Dykinga’s
work can be seen in this month’s
portfolio (Rim Shots!, page 16), and
also on our back cover.
72Point Sublime offers a
of the Grand Canyon — it’s one
of the few places where visitors
can get great views of both the
North Rim and the South Rim at
the same time. Getting out to the
point, however, requires a rugged
52Flower lovers will appreciate the fields of oxeye daisies (above)
that grow in the grassy, aspen-lined meadows near Dog Point, which is
accessed along the East Rim Drive.
64In May 2000, the Outlet Fire burned more than 14,500
acres near the border of Grand Canyon National Park and
the Kaibab National Forest. Remnants of the fire still are visible today.
53The Kaibab Plateau
Visitor Center, which is
operated by the Kaibab National
Forest and the Grand Canyon
Association, is located at the south
end of the Jacob Lake Inn parking
lot. Books, maps and other items are
available. For information, call 928-
54In 1923, Harold and
Nina Bowman opened
a gas station near Jacob Lake. A
few years later, that operation
would expand into the now-iconic
Jacob Lake Inn. For reservations,
call 928-643-7232 or visit www.
55The North Rim of the
Grand Canyon is approx-imately
1,000 feet higher than the
56In addition to its idyllic
setting, Jacob Lake Inn
is known for its homemade cookies.
The chocolate chip is a great option,
but for something deliciously differ-ent,
try the lemon zucchini.
57In 1926, 14,500 people
visited the North Rim of
the Grand Canyon.
Widforss is considered
one of the great painters of our
national parks, he’s received lim-ited
exposure and remains some-what
obscure. Prior to an exhibit at
the Museum of Northern Arizona
in 2010, there hadn’t been a major
Widforss exhibit since 1969.
59Point Imperial and
Cape Royal can be
reached by a winding scenic drive.
Exploring both points, with short
walks at each and several stops at
pullouts along the way, can take
a half-day. From the lodge, Point
Imperial is 11 miles one way; Cape
Royal is 23 miles one way.
60In 1919, the Grand
Canyon was desig-nated
a national park.
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK COLLECTION
65Cabin No. 306 is
the best cabin
on the North Rim. For reser-vations,
or visit www.grandcanyon
w w w. 30 M AY 2 0 1 3 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 31
90From the East Rim Viewpoint (above) on the North Rim, the 7-mile North Canyon Trail drops
3,000 feet through mixed conifers, oaks and the Saddle Mountain Wilderness to House Rock Valley.
78Bright Angel Point on
the North Rim lies due
north of Shoshone Point on the
79The most snow ever
recorded on the North
Rim was 272 inches in 1978.
80A trans-Canyon shut-tle
runs between the
North Rim and the South Rim once
a day, in each direction, between
May 15 and October 15, with a
limited schedule between October
15 and October 31. The travel time
is approximately four and a half
hours, one way.
81In 1953, Marguerite Henry
wrote the book Brighty
of the Grand Canyon. The book’s
protagonist is a burro who lived at
the Canyon from 1892 until 1922.
In the summer, he carried water
from Roaring Springs to the early
tourist accommodations that were
located on the North Rim.
82The Kaibab Plateau
is home to two wil-derness
areas: the Kanab Creek
Wilderness on the west end of the
plateau, which ranges in elevation
from 2,000 feet to 6,000 feet; and
the Saddle Mountain Wilderness,
which is located along the east
end and ranges in elevation from
6,000 feet to 8,000 feet.
83Angels Window, a
natural arch created
by erosion, can be reached by a
half-mile hike from Cape Royal.
Geologist Clarence Dutton named
Cape Royal in 1882.
lizards can be found on
the North Rim. The spiny reptiles
are members of the iguana family
and are cold tolerant, which allows
them to survive at the high eleva-tions
of the Kaibab Plateau.
85In 1979, UNESCO
recognized the Grand
Canyon as a World Heritage Site.
87Uncle Jim Point, which
is located at the apex of
the Uncle Jim Trail, offers some of
the best views on the North Rim.
Embedded in the rock there are fos-sils
that are 250 million years old.
88The Roughrider Saloon,
which is located in the
Grand Canyon Lodge, is open from
11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
89Park rangers offer one-hour
nature walks daily
at 8 a.m. The walks begin at the
North Rim Visitor Center and wind
through the pine and aspen forest
along the rim.
74Forever Resorts, which
is the concessionaire for
the North Rim, recycles 75 percent
of its trash, and all laundry is done
off-site, thus helping to preserve
the area’s most precious resource
of all: water.
75Prior to the 20th cen-tury,
both Utah and
Arizona claimed ownership of the
North Rim and the surrounding
Kaibab Plateau. It wasn’t until 1912,
when Arizona was granted state-hood,
that the issue finally was
which is located
7 miles north of the entrance to
Grand Canyon National Park, sits
at an elevation of 8,700 feet. It
features 38 campsites, picnic
tables, fire pits and grills, as well
as easy access to Timp Point,
Parissawampitts Point and other
scenic lookouts. For information,
call 928-643-7395 or visit www.
77On the floor of the can-yons
below Cape Final
lie the remains of long-dead volca-noes.
Hundreds of millions of years
before the Grand Canyon came
to be, veins of molten rock broke
through ancient bedrock and are
now seen as black, skeletal dashes
in the Canyon walls.
91A full moon will shine over
the North Rim (weather
permitting) on May 5, 2013.
92The North Rim lies in
what’s known as the
93Jacob Lake Campground
is located across the
highway from the Jacob Lake Inn.
It features spacious sites and basic
amenities. For information, call 928-
643-7395 or visit www.fs.usda.gov/
500,000 people visit
the North Rim annually. More than
4 million visit the South Rim.
95Grand Canyon Lodge
was designated a
National Historic Landmark on
May 28, 1987.
96The Arizona Trail
arrives on the North
Rim via the North Kaibab Trail
and continues across the Kaibab
Plateau for nearly 80 miles. One
of the most scenic segments is
Passage No. 40 (Kaibab Plateau
South), which heads north for 21.4
miles from the park boundary.
on the North Rim range
from the 40s to the 70s. Afternoon
thunderstorms often occur during
July, August and early September.
98In the late 1800s, John
W. Young, a son of
Mormon leader Brigham Young,
envisioned turning the Kaibab
Plateau into a hunting ground by
releasing African lions and other
big-game mammals into the area.
His plan, obviously, was never
99In an effort to reduce
litter and protect the
environment, water packaged in
individual disposable containers is
not sold in Grand Canyon National
Park. Instead, conveniently located
filling stations in high-traffic areas
on both rims provide fresh Grand
Canyon spring water to visitors at
100To learn more
about the Grand
Canyon, including its history,
culture, geology and archaeol-ogy,
visit the Grand Canyon
Association Bookstore, which is
located in the North Rim Visitor
Center, just a few steps from
Grand Canyon Lodge.
101For more informa-tion
about the North
Rim of the Grand Canyon and the
recreational opportunities of the
Kaibab Plateau, contact Grand
Canyon National Park at 928-638-
7797 or www.nps.gov/grca; or the
Kaibab National Forest at 928-
643-7395 or www.fs.usda.gov/
86DeMotte Park, which is a beautiful meadow located about
5 miles north of the entrance to Grand Canyon National
Park, is named for Harvey C. DeMotte, a friend of John Wesley Powell’s.
73The original cabin for the Jacob Lake Ranger Station,
which was built in 1910, still stands in its original location
near Jacob Lake. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
COURTESY KAIBAB NATIONAL FOREST
32 MAY 2 0 1 3 w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 33
34 MAY 2 0 1 3 w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 35
I had lived in Arizona for fifteen years before I made
my first trip to the Kaibab National Forest and the
North Rim of the Grand Canyon. What I had missed!
How much richer the intervening years might have
been had the loveliness of that region come into my
experience earlier. As I write today at Kaibab Lodge
I look out over a wide mountain meadow where I can see many
deer coming out to graze from the edges of the surrounding forest
of aspen, spruce and pine. Too, over ten species of bird life paused
long enough for identification this morning. Just now the woods are
full of them, and the merry notes set the tempo of the oratorio of
nature’s joy and gladness. What idyllic living in this Alpine retreat!
To reach this place of summer superbness in Northern Arizona
you follow U.S. 89 north from the junction with U.S. 66 east of Flag-staff
(or as I did to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon via Wil-liams,
thence east from EI Tovar to Desert View and on to the junc-tion
south of Cameron). From the junction with 66 the road points
north through a farming area of rich volcanic ash, climbing on to
a high ridge of great ponderosa pine forest, passing, to the right, a
distinct cone-shaped mountain, now Sunset Crater National Mon-ument,
one of the most recent active volcanos of the region.
After gaining the height of the divide, one gains a view of a wide,
colorful terrain sloping to the Little Colorado River, from which,
too, one glimpses the mesaland of the Hopi villages and the first
view of the Painted Desert. One clearly sees the vast tableland out of
which the canyons of the Colorado River have been formed. Driving
down this lovely, long slope one notices a sign pointing to Wupatki
National Monument, a well preserved, ancient ruin, some fifteen
miles to the east.
Continuing over the great plain you come to several interest-ing
trading posts such as Gray Mountain, all of which are exciting
interludes, and since they all have modern gas stations add security
to travel along this route. Just a short distance south of Cameron
the road traversing the South Rim of Grand Canyon meets high-way
89. Cameron is an oasis in the desert, on the bank of the Little
Colorado, where the highway crosses the canyon of this stream via
the world’s highest regular highway suspension bridge. Crossing
the bridge is itself a thrill of no small shiver.
On you go, climbing from the Little Colorado into a western
portion of the Painted Desert, a magically colored wonderland of
forms of ancient sand dunes, now eroded and displaying the eons
of deposited sand turned to stone under the weight of later depos-its,
as the area has risen and fallen to rise again in the millions of
years of the earth’s history. Here for a distance of twenty miles you
will see on the western horizon, Shadow Mountain always appear-ing
draped in shadows at its summit, and long a landmark in this
land of many terrors to early travellers.
Passing through the Painted Desert to approach the foothills
spotted with junipers (wrongly called cedars by many) and soon
you will see the isolated Navajo hogans and these nomadic peoples,
tending the small bands of sheep grazing along the washes and
arroyos. In July the life of these people, since most of their activities
are out-of-doors, is easily viewed by the traveller. Along the road-side
one notes small fields of Indian corn on each of the sandy bars
of the washes (dry creek beds that at certain seasons carry large
volume of water). You should notice that these fields are carefully
designed and that the corn has been planted in large hills of sev-eral
stalks each. Your knowledge of corn planting, if you are from
the “corn belt,” will question this method of planting. However,
the Indian is wise to the ways of a dry, wind-swept land, and so his
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| AN EXCERPT FROM OUR MAY 1957 ISSUE ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
BY CHARLES FRANKLIN PARKER
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOSEF MUENCH
EDITOR’S NOTE: Fifty-six years ago this month, we published the following story
about the Kaibab Plateau and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. As you’ll see, it
describes, in first person, the drive up north from down south; the people, places and
things along the way; and the many natural wonders that exist in what is arguably the
most beautiful place in our state. We’ve excerpted the text exactly as it appeared in
1957. That means the prose is more formal than contemporary writing, and words like
“travelers” and “buses” are spelled “travellers” and “busses.” They’re not incorrect, but
they’re anachronistic. And there are a few mistakes, too. For example, Englemen spruce
are actually Engelmann spruce. Keep those things in mind, and remember that some of
the names and places have changed over the years, so this excerpt cannot be used as a
travel guide. Instead, enjoy it for what it is: a wonderful trip back in time.
AND THE NORTH RIM
A cabin — possibly an old Mormon homestead — and log fence highlight the rural isolation of life in the Kaibab National Forest in the early years of settlement.
Ponderosa pines — or “giant western yellow pines,” as photographer Josef Muench
called them — frame an inviting forest walk in the Kaibab National Forest.
t h e n o r t h r i m
36 MAY 2 0 1 3 w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 37
planting method is for a distinct purpose. These hills of corn are
six feet apart in each direction. Each hill is circular in form with
the outer stalks surrounding a center stalk. The arrangement first
is to adequately distribute the planting in arid ground, and second
the hill pattern is for the purpose of giving protection from the cut-ting,
sand-carrying wind to the center stalk, which is the only one
counted upon to bear a yield.
In the midst of this fascinating land one comes upon a couple
more trading posts — The Gap, with very inviting accommoda-tions
for meals and lodging, and Cedar Ridge with the Navajos
gathered around the post most of the time. A short or extended
pause will be rewarding.
Progressing toward Marble Canyon of the Colorado, Echo Cliffs
come into view and a moment’s pause by the roadside for a vocal
ejaculation over the thrill thus far experienced will tell you that
these cliffs are properly named. Now you approach Navajo Bridge
spanning Marble Canyon, which in a real sense linked together
the state of Arizona, replacing the old Lee’s Ferry and the Colorado
“dug-way.” After crossing this high, narrow bridge you will desire
to stop at the parkway and look down into this infant tributary can-yon
of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, which you will see later
from points on the North Rim. Just beyond the parkway is Marble
Canyon Lodge with its inviting hospitality and reasonable rates.
Some will desire to take the short side trip of six miles to old Lee’s
Ferry on the very banks of the Colorado River. The stories about
the old Ferry and of John D. Lee are legend, and this place was one
of great importance in early Mormon and Arizona history. Pass-ing
alongside the brilliant Vermilion Cliffs one
comes soon to the Cliff Dwellers, where Art
Greene welcomes visitors in unique lodgings
nestling near the Cliffs. Incidentally, Art is the
fellow who directs boat trips up the Colorado,
and time permitting, this could be a delightful
side excursion included in your visit.
Continuing along the colorful cliffs one moves
toward beautiful, pastorale House Rock Val-ley
where the range is shared by a state owned
buffalo herd and many head of Hereford cattle.
You may be able to see some of the buffalo but
at times they drift far from the area traversed
by the highway.
Before reaching House Rock Valley you will
cross, almost unnoticed, two little creeks. One
is called Badger Creek and the other Soap Creek.
The little creeks are not very important save for a good story that
relates to the incidents of their naming. It seems that many years
ago this region was grazed by some very large bands of sheep. Since
the range was isolated it would be long periods between times
when the supply wagons would come along to replenish the needs
of the herders. At this particular time two herders had been with-out
beans and bacon for a long time, and had, of course, been eat-ing
mutton, the only commodity they had in abundance. One day,
as they approached a little wash, they came upon a badger, and
immediately decided that even this would be a change in diet for
a day. They killed and dressed the badger and put him in a pot to
boil. They boiled it all day, but at evening the badger was still too
tough to eat. The next morning they moved camp, and determined
to have something to eat besides mutton, they carried the badger
along for another attempt at boiling. This day they made camp at
another creek where there was a water supply. They immediately
filled the pot and put the badger back on the fire to boil. As the
water boiled low during the day they added more from the creek.
The badger had been very fat, and the water supply was loaded
with gypsum. At night the herders made a terrific discovery. Upon
taking the lid from the pot they found it filled with soap. The fat
of the badger and the gypsum of the water had produced this phe-nomena.
Thus one creek even today is known as Badger Creek and
the other as Soap Creek, and there are men alive who affirm this
story of the naming of the creeks.
From House Rock Valley you ascend through the junipers and
pinons to the Kaibab Plateau. The tall western yellow (ponderosa)
pines dominate the scene, with the open spaces indicating an old,
virgin forest. You now want to know (everyone asks it), “What does
Kaibab mean?” Kaibab is a Paiute Indian word meaning “mountain
resting” or “mountain lying down.” The region is well named since
it is a very large plateau forty miles east to west and sixty miles
north to south, and rises far above all the surrounding country to
an altitude of 9,100 feet.
Here on the Kaibab Plateau is the largest virgin forest remaining
in the United States (probably the world), and this forest shelters
the largest herd of mule tail deer in the world, numbering thou-sands
of head. You can now joyously anticipate the rapture that is
to be yours in the Kaibab.
Soon you are at Jacob Lake where Bowman’s commodious Jacob
Lake Lodge, equipped to serve all the traveller’s needs, invites you and
where the scent from the ponderosa pines fills your nostrils with a
wholesome head-clearing aroma, and you breathe
in deep and full. Here Highway 67 beckons you
southward into the very heart of Kaibab National
Forest and to the North Rim of the Grand Can-yon.
While there are no large lakes in the area,
the entire region is underlain with limestone,
and thus there are many lime sinks, that in
turn form the basins for many small natural
bodies of water. These are often nestled among
the trees or on the meadows in such a way as to
make settings of great beauty as the wild ani-mals
come to them “as harts panting after the
Leaving Jacob Lake on Highway 67 you con-tinue
to drive along aisles cut among the pon-derosa
pine, and as you gain altitude you will
come to stands of aspen (the nurture cover for the evergreens),
the blue and Engelmen spruce. Soon the panorama of tall white
aspens flanked by the more towering spruce weaves for you a pat-tern
of spectacular fantasy. Driving here one night after a heavy
rain and with some lingering fog, the head lights of the car gave to
these spruce a phosphorescence that made the land a Christmas
fairyland with deer darting in and out the shadows. Then there
breaks through, as you approach a hillcrest, an enthralling vista
of a mountain meadow of lush grass, the green carpetry against
which appear patterned splotches of various colored flowers —
the red paintbrush, purple asters, white and pink mountain dai-sies,
the yellow flowers of a rubber plant, and the blue pentstemon
and lupin. I found twenty varieties in a ten minute walk one July
afternoon. All of this view leading away to a jutting meadow enclo-sure
of the intermingled white, green and silver-blue of the aspens
and the spruce.
As you drive the length of these Alpine parks you will gain added
pleasure of seeing graceful deer pause in the daily activities of life
in this mountain Eden, to give you an honest, inquisitive glance;
or startled leave the scene with stiff-legged bounding grace that so
elegantly characterizes its nature. Lovely in its natural setting, but
forlorn in a zoo is the deer of the forest mountains.
On the old V. T. Meadow, about twenty-five miles south of Jacob
Lake, is a cluster of buildings to the right, nestling at the edge of
the forest. As you approach this place you may find that meal time
has come, we did, and the urge to eat and the inviting quiet beauty
of Kaibab Lodge will lure you to stop and bide awhile. Birds will
greet you with a song. A playful chipmunk will entice your interest.
The deer may be seen from the dining room windows as you eat
a delightful repast in these pleasant surroundings. You will want
to linger here in this place of natural recuperative quiet, and when
you leave it will be with a promise to yourself to return, after you
go on to see the greatest natural panoramic wonder of the world
— the Grand Canyon of Arizona.
Five miles from Kaibab Lodge is the North Rim checking sta-tion
for the Grand Canyon National Park. There you will be courte-ously
received by a Park Ranger. For another twelve miles you will
pass through old Robbers Roost Canyon, over Lindberg Hill, and
through Thompson Canyon until you near the North Rim. Here the
Utah Parks Company maintains very excellent accommodations for
travellers. Grand Canyon Lodge on Bright Angel Point, with the
big sun room that is projected out to the very edge of the Canyon
Rim, will give you your first glimpse of the vast array of colorful
mountains submerged within the gorge of this vast river canyon.
You will pause with a thrill, whether or not you have seen the Can-yon
before, and you will soon go out on the adjacent porches to
gain other perspectives of this spectacle of awe and inspiration. It
is best not to attempt a description of Grand Canyon, because it
eludes words. You are engulfed with a feeling no words can relate.
Your stay at the North Rim will be enhanced if you will go on
the guided nature trip in the morning, where the ranger-naturalist
will give you information of vital concern, if you are to understand
the “hows and whys” of the area. Too, you should drive to Impe-rial
Point and Cape Royal, twenty-three miles from Grand Canyon
Lodge over a very good paved road and through the ever beautiful
forests, where you gain another fine vantage point from which to
view the Canyon of wonders and changing hues. Here a naturalist
gives an excellent talk on the geology of the Grand Canyon. You
will profit by a trip to the Museum where you will be acquainted
with the fauna and flora of the Park. Each evening the naturalist
gives an interpretive talk, following the showing of motion pictures
of the area by the Utah Parks Company, and afterwards the Colle-giate
Show is presented by the Lodge employees, college students
employed there for the summer season to do almost all of the work
at the Lodge. Of course, we are reminded that the North Rim is
accessible only during the period from May 15th to November 15th
each year, while the South Rim is open to visitors the entire year.
This summer season arrangement lends itself to the employment
of college students, who give fine service to all at Grand Canyon
Lodge as well as furnish excellent entertainment each evening.
The Park abounds in wild life. Only here is found the white-
BY THE MORE
FOR YOU A
Three riders stop to rest among the aspens in Billy Sink, a low-lying basin of the Kaibab Plateau near Jacob Lake.
NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY CLINE LIBRARY
38 MAY 2 0 1 3 w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 39
tailed Kaibab squirrel. If you are one who will venture from paved
roads, Point Sublime offers you another gorgeous panorama of the
Canyon at a more westerly observation point. This road, some six-teen
miles long, leads from a point near the checking station
through the vast forest of ponderosa pine, aspen and spruce. The
road is narrow and winding purposely. It is to make available a
road in the Park maintained at as near a primitive state as possi-ble
and yet afford safe travel. The deer and other forms of wild life
here are abundant. Here I saw the finest specimens of great ant-lered
buck, who since the area is protected, are not easily fright-ened.
Along the way we found seven older bucks with antlered
heads grazing in one small meadow.
This is a good place to point out that all driving in the entire area
must be done with caution. The deer may cross your path at almost
any place. To collide with one is not only wantonly destructive of
wild life, but can be exceedingly costly in delay and repairs. Such
an affair invariably brings considerable damage to the car. Drive
carefully in Grand Canyon National Park and Kaibab National For-est
— the signs you see are reasonable and obeying them will make
your trip more enjoyable.
Your stay at Grand Canyon can be prolonged with pleasure as
long as your time will permit, but the time will come when you
must depart. Then, as the collegians sing to the Dudes (those who
travel via Union Pacific busses) when they depart, and as you will
long recall, “memories will linger always.”
In our own case we established headquarters at Kaibab Lodge
and spent ten days in the area. In this way we became alive not
alone to Grand Canyon but to the whole vast region. At night, sit-ting
in front of the mammoth fireplace piled high with burning
logs (it is always cool enough for a fire at night), we learned some
of the interesting facts from Carl Cox, who as a ranger and opera-tor
has been here thirty years. During the days we could drive to
remote places, become familiar with the bird life, look for flowers
in the meadow, and watch the doe bring the fawn out from the
woods to play as the sun rays pushed out long finger-like shadows
to blanket the meadow.
Near Kaibab Lodge is a forest road leading to Big Springs and an
old log cabin where Theodore Roosevelt lived while hunting with
Jimmy Owens, during his years as President of the United States
when he came to the Kaibab. This cabin reminds us of the fine
hunting in the Kaibab and of Uncle Jimmy Owens. This is a mecca
for hunters out after the deer. Here there are few disappointments
for the hunter, because the deer are numerous and the terrain not
impossible for man. Though the Kaibab is a natural habitat for them
deer have not always been numerous here. This fact brings us again
to Uncle Jimmy Owens, trapper, hunter, and friend of Theodore
Roosevelt, who in turn was a dynamic friend of the western con-servationists
and wild life enthusiasts.
When the cattlemen of House Rock Valley first began using the
Kaibab as a summer range it was discovered that the loss of calves
to the cougar was considerable. These same cougar in the days
before the cattlemen had been attracted to the area and had, by
their killing activities, kept the deer herds comparatively small in
the area. Now, at the behest of the cattlemen, the United States gov-ernment
hired Jimmy Owens to hunt and trap the cougar. In a few
short years he had been so successful as to almost eliminate the
cougar from the Kaibab, much to the satisfaction of the cattlemen.
But now developed an unforeseen event. The killing of the cougar
took away the enemy of the deer and they increased in numbers
so fast that soon it became necessary to reduce the number of cat-tle
permitted on the Forest due to the limitation of vegetation. The
cougars were gone. The deer increased. The whole affair threw the
natural balance of economy off, and thus the abundance of deer
in the Kaibab. At the present time the cougar are on the increase,
though rare is the visitor who sees one. Bears are unheard of here,
due to the desert region surrounding the Plateau which makes
travel to reach it too difficult for them.
The deer became so numerous in the Kaibab and at the same
time so scarce on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National
Park, that it was decided it would be a good thing to deplete these
numbers by moving some of them to the South Rim. The United
States government offered $5.00 per head for deer thus re-located.
One cowman conceived the idea, that could have made him a mil-lionaire,
since there was need to move 75,000 deer, if only the deer
had co-operated. His idea was to gather cowboys and Indians on
the North Rim area and to stage a deer drive. The deer would be
driven to the trail at the North Rim, drive them down into the
Canyon, swim them across the Colorado River there, then herd
them up the Canyon on to the South Rim. For
more than two weeks the crowd gathered to
join in the drive. The day to begin came. Men
were placed within view of each other, some
had guns, others pans or most anything with
which to make a noise to scare the deer. Hun-dreds
of men participated, but when the driv-ers
came to the Rim there was not a single deer
to herd into the Canyon. About the only lesson
learned seems to have been that deer cannot
be driven where they do not want to go. Thus
the deer are still in the Kaibab, to intrigue the
hunter each fall when the open season permits
hunting in the Kaibab.
In the midst of the Kaibab, at the V. T. Meadow,
the Forest Service has set aside some lots for the
use of those desiring to build private summer
Near these cabins is a trail leading into a remote,
unconquered part of the Kaibab. The trail leads
to Thunder River. This trail can be manipulat-ed
only on foot or with pack train. The trip re-quires
two days down and two days back. On-ly
the hardiest should attempt it, and only then
with a good guide and complete equipment.
Once there, on the banks of Thunder River, you
will make your catch of fine trout in a matter
of minutes. This haven of the wily trout is probably one of the few
streams in all of Arizona that is not over fished. For the out-of-doors
man of hardy endurance Thunder River will be a feat and a thrill.
Into this land of enchantment came Zane Grey. From its bosom
came two of his renowned stories, “Man of the Forest” and “Rob-bers
Roost.” Robbers Roost Canyon is so named, according to sto-ries
still prevalent here, because in a bygone time there was a group
of robbers who used the canyon as a hideout. It is told, that dur-ing
the months of the open season they would gather in sufficient
supplies to carry them through the winter fastness, that after all
these stores were taken to the cabins in the forest canyon, that they
would fare forth into southern Utah and there in a few days go on
a rampage of looting and bank robberies. Soon they would be lost
and would “hole up” for the winter in this canyon. By spring the
trails of the robbers would be dim, and the passing time would
have removed some of the ardor of the posses, and they could drift
back into the life of the region. This was done, or so it is said, year
after year with apparent success. The now fallen cabins lie in decay,
but among the growing aspen is the mute testimony of a chapter in
northern Arizona history now forgotten.
Coming back to the moment, I look out to see giant thunder-heads
rolling in above the forest, indicative of the July-August rains.
The pictorialists would warm to the opportunity today with these
clouds adding to the beauty of the green and white studded land-scape.
Just under my window the birds are rioting around a bird
bath of natural God-hewn stone. Yesterday I noted the Western
Tanager, Western Evening Grosbeak, Mountain Blue Bird, Clark
Nutcracker, Hermit Thrush, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, Audubon
Warbler, Steller’s Jay, Western Robin, and Crossbill, as well as the
hawks “that circle down the breeze,” and the large raven on the
meadow. Here, also, are Swifts, later in the season Juncos, Yellow
headed Blackbirds, sparrows — including the
beautiful Gambel Sparrow — and the winter
Chickadees. Adding another note to the cheer-fulness
of this place are the tree squirrels that
chatter at you from the limbs of the spruce, the
smaller ground squirrels that play around the
corners, and the saucy little chipmunks that
tease you with their coy friendliness. Adding
a lament to the night enfolding the day is the
call of the coyote from a distant hill.
With the coming of the rains the meadows
will change in color weekly, from blue to purple
to yellow, as the various summer flowers come
to full bloom. In September the aspen add
their glorious golden glow to the landscape.
Thus from May until the coming of the snows
in November this paradise of color and wild-life
calls to the lover of nature to come and bide
I can readily understand and sense the poi-gnancy
of the incident told me by Carl Cox, as
we sat and watched the birds and looked out
upon the peaceful meadow. Some years ago he
had a letter from a woman living in California
requesting him to advise by wire at the time
the aspen would be at the very height of their
glorious fall display. As that time came he sent
her word. Soon she arrived by car. She told this story. She had ear-lier
visited the area with her family at a time when she was blind.
She had heard the description of the idyllic setting, and their futile
attempts to picture the beauty and glory of the fall in the Kaibab.
She recently had regained her sight. The one thing she wanted to
see most and to behold with her own eyes was this scene. She came
and was thrilled as she had anticipated. As she was leaving she said
this, “I am certain to lose my sight again, but I have seen the aspen
of Arizona in glorious fall array. I am going now to see some other
places before it is too late, but having seen this I can carry it with
me to lighten my way when the darkness again overtakes me.”
I LOOK OUT TO
WOULD WARM TO
ADDING TO THE
BEAUTY OF THE
A solitary two-lane road snakes through the dense trees of the Kaibab National Forest. The area remains relatively isolated today.
NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY CLINE LIBRARY
40 MAY 2 0 1 3
The Salt River is a
source of water for
and it’s a source of rec-reation
on the Tonto
National Forest. It’s
also a watering hole
for a band of about 100
horses that live in lim-bo.
They don’t belong
to anyone, and, unlike
other wild horses in
our country, they’re
not protected by the
Horses and Burros Act
of 1971. Their future is
uncertain, but they’re
not without advocates.
BY TERRY GREENE STERLING
PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRUCE D. TAUBERT
Photographer Bruce Taubert spotted this young
horse from a bridge over the Salt River. “The horses
are pretty much restricted to a small corridor” by
fences and dams, Taubert says. “This animal was
just out there grazing among those river rocks.
After he finished taking a drink, he swam across to
the other side.”
w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 41
42 MAY 2 0 1 3 w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 43
white stallion stands knee deep in the shallows of the
Salt River, plunging his muzzle into the algae-scent-ed
water. In a few seconds, he pulls out a mouthful
of dripping river grass. The stallion chews content-edly.
Not 12 feet away, two kayaks bob in the ripples.
In the first kayak, a slender woman dressed in
a cowboy hat, a striped T-shirt, a short floral skirt and boat shoes
paddles by. She’s got the looks of a runway model (which, she says,
she once was) with long, straight blond hair, blue-gray eyes, and an
exquisitely proportioned face. Her name is Simone Netherlands.
She’s 41 years old, a horse trainer, and an impassioned advocate
for the Salt River horses.
Born in Amsterdam, she eventually settled in the United States
and began importing and training horses. She became a horse advo-cate
seven years ago, when she looked for a horse at an auction,
couldn’t find it and was told by a buyer that the horse was prob-ably
on its way to a slaughterhouse. Now she campaigns against
irresponsible “puppy mill” horse breeders who produce too many
horses, against federal officials who round up wild horses from
public lands, against horse slaughter, and for the safety and pro-tection
of all horses, including the Salt River horses, which she
and other horse advocates fear may be rounded up and sent into
This explains why, for months, she’s driven her black Chevy Sil-verado
pickup from her Yavapai County home to the banks of the
Salt River near Mesa, where she unloads her kayak, hops in and
paddles along the river to check on the well-being of about 100
horses divided into several bands.
The horses on the Salt River are accustomed to admiring, cam-era-
clicking tourists floating past them, so they’re easy to observe
when they stand in the river to cool off on warm afternoons. “This
is an ideal life for a horse,” Netherlands says. She’s making a doc-umentary
about the horses, and she knows them well. She notices
the white stallion — she calls him White Lightning — is blind in
one eye. Today he’s got a companion — a sorrel mare belonging to
an established band dominated by a more powerful, older stallion
she calls Floyd. White Lightning has trailed Floyd and his herd for
months, Netherlands tells me, perhaps hoping to lure away a mare
and start his own band.
I’m perched in a two-seat inflatable kayak. Scribbling notes, I’m
happy that Sebastian Pisa, a 39-year-old commercial airline pilot
from Argentina who loves to photograph the Salt River horses, has
the cooler months,
especially when it rains,
the horses leave the
confines of the river to
feed on vegetation,”
Taubert says. “This
one just happened to
turn and look over its
shoulder at me.”
RIGHT: Two stallions
fight for dominance.
“Horses have this
says. “The one on the
right is the dominant
animal. After they
had this little tiff, they
went about their
feeding, but every
time these two got
close to each other, the
dominant one would
give a little look and a
whinny and scare the
other one off.”
Are the Salt
nuisance to be
Or are they
Are they feral
pests? Or are
they a living
link to the
on to future
44 MAY 2 0 1 3 w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 45
volunteered to paddle me down the river. Just hours ago, Pisa had
met another kayaking Argentine who had come to photograph the
horses. The two men grew up in the same Buenos Aires neighbor-hood.
They’d never met before, but their admiration of the Salt
River horses put them at the same place — a boat launch on the
river just a few miles north of Mesa, in the Tonto National Forest
— at exactly the same time.
The Salt River is a water source for the Phoenix metro area. It’s
also the national forest’s biggest tourist draw. The Salt River horses
play a key role in river tourism — thanks to word of mouth, Face-book
and YouTube, tens of thousands of people all over the world
are Salt River horse fans. Many visit the river to see them.
Pisa happened upon the horses by chance. Like so many kayak-ers,
tubers, fishermen, campers and hikers who are mesmerized by
the horses, he’s returned to the river again and again to observe the
animals and take photographs. On one trip, he met Netherlands’
son, who explained his mother’s efforts to protect the horses. After
that, Pisa began kayaking with Netherlands herself, absorbing her
knowledge of the bands.
“They should put horses on postage stamps,” Netherlands tells
Pisa as he pilots our kayak.
We hear a whinny.
It’s Floyd, the older stallion from the established band, order-ing
the sorrel mare to return. He’s offshore, camouflaged by lush
cottonwoods. The mare ambles back in his direction. Abandoned,
White Lightning paws the river, spraying silver water in the air.
Pisa takes his picture.
The river carries us past two mallards resting in a shaded back-water,
past a granite boulder blanketed with blue graffiti, past a
pebbled sandbar thick with reeds.
The white stallion vanishes from our sight.
Today, the Salt River horses roam freely between the Tonto
National Forest, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and the
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. But neither
the Indian communities, which are sovereign nations, nor
the U.S. Forest Service claim the horses.
They are nobody’s horses, and they’re vulnerable.
Their plight forces us to ask serious questions about ourselves,
and about the management of public lands in the American West.
Are the Salt River horses an expensive nuisance to be disposed of?
Or are they a moneymaking tourism draw that could help public
land managers? Are they feral pests? Or are they a living link to the
Wild West, a heritage to treasure and pass on to future generations?
As a nation, we first tackled this question, more broadly, in 1971,
when Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Bur-ros
Act to protect “all unbranded and unclaimed burros on public
lands in the United States.” At the time, hundreds of thousands
of America’s beloved wild mustangs — descendants of animals
ridden by Spanish conquistadors and padres, by Indian warriors
and cavalry soldiers, by miners and outlaws and cowboys — were
rounded up on public lands and slaughtered for profit and pet food.
The 1971 federal law declared that wild horses and burros on
public lands were worthy of protection because they were “liv-ing
symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” that
“enriched the lives of the American people.”
That same year, 1971, the Tonto National Forest conducted a
survey and claimed there were no free-roaming wild horses on
the forest, says Gary Hanna, the district ranger for the Mesa Dis-trict
of the forest. Today, the current Salt River horses are not pro-tected
because their ancestors were not tallied in the 1971 survey.
Selena Espinoza, a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa
Indian Community, says community elders who were around in
1971 report the horses “were always there.” Espinoza was born about
the same time the federal law was signed, and she remembers, as
a small child, delighting in seeing established bands of horses along
Officials from the two Native American communities, the for-est
and state agencies are meeting to figure out what to do with
the horses. Some insist the horses are feral, not wild, and consider
them a nuisance. The animals, Hanna points out, defecate along
the riverbank, blaze trails in the desert, occasionally wander on
public roads and compete with cattle and wildlife for limited food
in a drought-devastated landscape.
Hanna is in a difficult spot because he must take into consider-ation
the concerns of all the stakeholders in his district bordering
the Salt River, including ranchers and birders and bureaucrats —
who view the horses as removable pests — and tubers and kayak-ers
and hikers and photographers and campers who treasure them.
The 1971 federal law, in the meantime, has been watered down
in ways that harm the wild horses it was intended to protect, the
investigative-journalism website ProPublica reported in the fall of
2012. Wild mustangs thought to be protected under the 1971 law are
competing with cattle for limited water and grass on public lands,
and tens of thousands have been rounded up by federal officials at
great expense and penned and adopted out or sold under suspi-cious
circumstances, ProPublica reported.
“For the humans involved, it’s a sweetheart deal: fewer wild
horses drinking less water!” Andrew Cohen wrote in a 2012 arti-cle
in The Atlantic.
For America’s wild horses, Cohen writes, “it’s a looming catas-trophe.”
The ProPublica series has sparked an ongoing federal investi-gation
of wild-horse management on public lands. But as the in-vestigation
continues, the problem balloons. Federal officials have
rounded up so many wild horses that more of these animals ex-ist
today in pens and corrals than roam free on public lands. And
because penned animals are far more expensive to care for than
free-roaming animals, there’s been a budget crunch and a push
to reduce the population of penned wild mustangs. According to
a loophole in the 1971 law, wild horses that have been offered for
adoption three times and, for various reasons, have not been ad-opted
can be sold by federal officials for $10. Horse advocates fear
that despite assurances by buyers to the contrary, many of Ameri-ca’s
“protected” wild mustangs have been slaughtered.
In 1995, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community passed
its own ordinance to protect its wild horses from “capture, harass-ment,
starvation or death” and maintain them as an integral part
of the natural system on community lands. The law provides for
humane thinning of the wild herds (euthanasia of the sick animals,
adoption to carefully selected homes and birth control of mares) if
overpopulation is a problem. The wild horse numbers have been
reduced from about 400 to 180, according to the community news-paper.
Unlike the Salt River horses, this group of protected horses
doesn’t crisscross borders.
The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community doesn’t pro-tect
the itinerant Salt River horses that are the focus of this story
unless these horses wander onto community lands. The moment
the Salt River horses leave community lands, they are no longer
protected. As my kayak tour with Netherlands and Pisa draws to a close
just above Granite Reef Dam, the water is shallow and still.
Cicadas sing as we paddle toward the shore. I ask Neth-erlands
why she cares so much about the horses, and she
says: “They enrich our lives.”
I think back to a moment on the river, when we saw a man load-ed
with camera equipment standing on a bluff.
“Any good pictures?” I called up to him.
He seemed jubilant.
“Eagles and horses,” he called back. Netherlands and Pisa say goodbye, and Netherlands stows her
kayak in her truck. She munches pensively on some dried
Trader Joe’s coconut, then walks toward the river. She picks
her way through a thorny mesquite thicket, a metaphor, I
think, for the path Netherlands has chosen as an activist. Her ac-tivism
is tinged with her sense of urgency. In the early 1900s, she
says, Arizona was home to some 20,000 wild horses, but now their
numbers have dwindled to about 500. She has rescued a few wild
horses, gentled them and adopted them out. She says she doesn’t
seek donations for her advocacy group, Respect 4 Horses, and funds
her activism with her rental income from real-estate properties.
We stand on the sandy riverbank, and Netherlands spots anoth-er
band of horses wading on the opposite side of the river. In the
gold patina of late afternoon sunlight, the Salt River horses snort
We hear the sound of hooves on river rock.
OPPOSITE PAGE: When the sun is at its hottest, the horses stay near the cool water
of the river, but Taubert says this group wandered about a half-mile from the water
to graze on an ironwood. “They seem to feed mostly on the trees,” he adds.
BELOW: A mare and her foal feed on desert vegetation. Taubert saw the foal
nursing before he made this photo, “so I knew they were related.”
46 MAY 2 0 1 3 w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 47
Making Themselves at Home
HE HOUSE IS still there, down the twists and turns of a nar-row
road, within walking distance of uptown Sedona. You
can’t see much of it from the street. Junipers and brush hide the
house, and it looks much different now than it did when it was built
in 1946. It’s been sold numerous times, expanded, modernized. The
studio’s long gone.
The house, though, is a special site, a vortex of history and art,
built by surrealist artists Dorothea Tanning and Max Ernst as a re-treat
where they could paint and sculpt in peace, inspired by the
red-rock landscape and Native American culture.
The couple’s path to Sedona, a place they first visited in the sum-mer
of 1943, has as many twists and turns as does the road to their
home. Their trajectory zigzags between the Midwest and war-torn
Europe, then ricochets from New York to Los Angeles. Their sojourn
to Sedona also is the story of two very strong individuals who were
meant to be together.
Born in Galesburg, Illinois, in 1910 as the middle of three sisters,
Tanning had, by all accounts, a solidly middle-class, Midwestern
upbringing. At a young age, she aspired to be an artist, and she once
rented a cabin by a lake so she could be alone with her art — a deci-sion
that no doubt raised eyebrows in the 1920s, especially in a town
dotted with churches. Her family went along with her headstrong
proclivities. “The family believed that art and culture were impor-tant,”
says Tanning’s niece, Mimi Johnson, a New York-based per-forming-
arts administrator. “They were supportive. Her father, who
was a postal worker, sent her money when he could.”
After a stint at Knox College, Tanning headed to Chicago, where
she spent hours at the Art Institute. “She was a sponge,” Johnson
says. “Dorothea absorbed everything, observed everything and spat
it back in her work.” By 1936, Tanning was in New York, working as
a commercial artist and pursuing fine art, when she saw an exhibit
of dadaism and surrealism at the Museum of Modern Art. The show
changed her life. “Here in the museum, is the real explosion, rocking
me on my run-over heels,” she wrote in her autobiography, Between
Lives. “Here is the infinitely faceted world I must have been wait-ing
In 1939, on the eve of World War II, Tanning traveled to Paris to
meet some of the surrealists, taking letters of introduction to artists
Yves Tanguy, Pablo Picasso and Ernst. Because of the annual summer
exodus and wartime anxiety, Paris was empty. Tanning returned to
New York without meeting the artists, but her luck changed when
she signed with the Julien Levy Gallery, a cutting-edge firm known
When surrealist artists Dorothea Tanning and Max Ernst moved
to Sedona in 1946, it was a small town, home to 500 residents,
if that, with a general store, a post office and not much more.
But that didn’t stop the sophisticated couple from sinking roots
and building a home where they could paint and sculpt in peace,
inspired by the red-rock landscape and Native American culture.
By Nora Burba Trulsson
Sedona is a long way from Germany or Chicago, but that didn’t
stop Dorothea Tanning and Max Ernst from settling down there
— in a house they built themselves — after World War II.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DOROTHEA TANNING COLLECTION & ARCHIVE
48 MAY 2 0 1 3 w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 49
for representing avant-garde artists.
While Tanning was exploring her earliest artistic expressions,
Ernst already was a star — first in the dada art movement, then in
surrealism. He was born in Brühl, Germany, in 1891 to a devoutly
middle-class Catholic family. Inspired by his father, an amateur
artist, Ernst took up painting at a young age, then studied art his-tory
and psychology at the University of Bonn. He served in World
War I, married and had a son, Jimmy Ernst, who emigrated to the
United States as a young man and also became an artist.
Always a bit of a rebel, Ernst left for Paris in the early 1920s
and became immersed in the bohemian lifestyle of artists, writ-ers,
poets and filmmakers, working and socializing with a circle
that included Joan Miró, André Breton, Paul Éluard, Alberto Gia-cometti,
Luis Buñuel and others. His work was exhibited widely.
With piercing blue eyes, Ernst was charming, handsome and
mesmerizing, which didn’t make for great husband material. He
had numerous affairs, many with boldface names of that genera-tion:
singer/actress Lotte Lenya, Gala Éluard (who later married
Salvador Dalí) and artist Leonora Carrington. “My grandfather
loved beautiful women,” says Amy Ernst, Jimmy Ernst’s daughter,
also an artist in New York. “He put women on pedestals.” It was
yet another lover, arts patron and heiress Peggy Guggenheim, who
helped Ernst come to New York in 1941. They married a year later.
New York during the early 1940s was a hotbed of exiled Euro-pean
artists and intellectuals, many of whom orbited the Julien
Levy Gallery, where Tanning showed. Guggenheim, with a major
collection of modern art, also was part of the scene, but on a whim,
she decided to search for a locale besides New York to house her
With Ernst and his son, Jimmy, in tow, she headed for San Fran-cisco
and Los Angeles. Driving back, they crossed Arizona, where
Ernst bought every kachina at a Grand Canyon trading post. In
his autobiography, A Not-So-Still Life, Jimmy Ernst wrote: “On a late
afternoon, we got out of the car to watch a gigantic rattlesnake
crossing U.S. 66 just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. As Max looked
up at nearby San Francisco Peak [sic], he blanched visibly, his face
muscles tightened. The mountain’s green tree line abruptly gave
way to a band of bright-red rock beneath a peak cap of sun-created
pure magenta. He was staring at the very same fantastic landscape
that he had repeatedly painted in Ardèche, France, not very long
ago, without knowing of its actual existence. That one look was to
change the future of his life in America.”
The trio returned to New York, where Guggenheim decided to
curate an exhibit of work by women artists, enlisting Ernst to help
find the artists. In 1942, he went to see Tanning’s work at her stu-dio
for inclusion in the show. They played chess. He came back to
Tanning’s with a suitcase. Guggenheim was not amused.
Tanning and Ernst took a trip to Sedona in 1943, inspired by
Ernst’s previous visit to Arizona. “They each rented cabins in Oak
Creek Canyon,” Johnson says, “because they were not married at
the time.” In fact, both still were married — Ernst to Guggenheim
and Tanning to her first husband. Guggenheim, to partially as-suage
her humiliation at her impending divorce, penned a scath-ing
memoir with thinly veiled references to Ernst and Tanning that
was widely read in New York art circles. Between the memoir, a
bout of encephalitis that Tanning suffered and a desire to live in
the West, Ernst and Tanning moved to Sedona for a fresh start in
1946, subletting her New York apartment to Marcel Duchamp. As
son, Mimi Johnson’s mother, who built a house there. Ernst and
Tanning visited together at least once, in 1973. After Ernst’s death
in 1976 in France, Tanning moved back to New York to pursue her
art, which began to include sculpture and, later, poetry and writ-ing.
She visited her sister several times in Sedona, usually accom-panied
by Mimi Johnson. “I think the last time she visited was
1998 or 1999,” Johnson says. “She used to say that the rocks were
in the wrong places because there was no Interstate 17 or Highway
179 when they lived there. They used to come in through Jerome
or Flagstaff.” Tanning died in New York last year, at the age of 101.
“We had a wonderful life there,” Ernst, with Tanning at Capricorn Hill, said of the couple’s
time in Sedona. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DOROTHEA TANNING COLLECTION & ARCHIVE
soon as their divorces were finalized, the couple got married in
Beverly Hills in a double ceremony with photographer Man Ray
and dancer Juliet Browner, longtime friends.
At the time, Sedona was a small town, home to 500 residents, if
that, with a general store, a post office and not much more. Shop-ping
or going to the movies meant trekking to Flagstaff or Cotton-wood.
Sedona’s appeal as a tourist destination was yet to come, and
Ernst and Tanning, along with artists Robert and Mary Kittredge,
essentially made up the town’s nascent art colony.
Using Tanning’s savings, the couple bought land from Charlie
Brewer and began building a modest cabin, naming the property
Capricorn Hill. There was no water or electricity at the time. They
chased off Brewer’s cattle and dealt with rattlers, scorpions and
oppressive heat. “I’ve always thought of my aunt as so sophisticated
and glamorous,” Johnson says. “It’s hard to imagine the woman I
knew basically camping there in Sedona, but all they needed was
Eventually, electricity and water came to the house, which they
expanded. Ernst had a small studio in the back; Tanning painted in
the main house, listening to Igor Stravinsky on their phonograph.
Their work took inspiration and hues from the desert landscape,
as well as from Native American imagery. The house was adorned
inside and out with bas-relief sculpture, paintings and collections
of indigenous art. Tanning did one of her most famous paintings
there, Self-Portrait, an image of a small figure in a vast desert, while
Ernst also created his most iconic sculpture, Capricorn, in Sedona.
When they weren’t immersed in artwork, they explored, boat-ing
the Colorado River or traveling to the Hopi mesas. They were
also visited by friends from the art world, passing through on their
way to New York or Los Angeles. Visitors included artists Tanguy
and Duchamp, choreographer George Balanchine, and photog-raphers
Lee Miller and Henri Cartier-Bresson. The poet Dylan
Thomas became enamored with the Bridgeport Tavern in Cotton-wood
when he visited Ernst and Tanning. The couple also partici-pated
in Hans Richter’s avant-garde film 8 x 8, which was partly
filmed in Arizona.
Ernst and Tanning mingled in the local scene, mentoring sculp-tor
Nassan Gobran, who came to teach at the Verde Valley School
and later founded the Sedona Arts Center. Ernst and Robert Kit-tredge
— perhaps on a lark — entered artwork in the 1951 Arizona
State Fair. Each took home a ribbon.
“They liked their anonymity in Sedona,” says Amy Ernst of her
grandfather and Tanning. “They stayed there because they were
fascinated by primitive cultures and by the landscape. For them,
the Southwest was a mystical place.”
During the years they lived in Sedona, they made numerous
trips to New York with a trusty Ford and a trailer filled with art.
They also spent time in France, a place where both felt their art was
most appreciated. In 1957, they decided to move to France perma-nently.
It was there that their artwork received even more inter-national
They sold the Sedona house to Jimmy Ernst, who lived there
with his family in the early 1960s. “My father worked in the studio
out back,” Amy Ernst says. “At one point, the federal government
told him that the studio’s broom closet was on government land
and they wanted him to move the studio. Dad refused and simply
chopped off the broom closet.”
Tanning gave a piece of the land to her sister, Mary Louise John-
Ernst summarized their years in Sedona in Peter Schamoni’s
1991 documentary film Max Ernst. “We had a wonderful life there,”
Ernst says. “It was absolutely marvelous. Words fail me when I try
to describe it. The climate was wonderful. The people we met there
were so different from the sophisticated New Yorkers. They were
simply terrific cowboys or artists.”
The Phoenix Art Museum has several pieces by Max Ernst in its collection. Sedona
Relief, a 1948 bronze, currently is on display. For more information on Dorothea
Tanning, visit www.dorotheatanning.org. For more information on Max Ernst, visit
50 MAY 2 0 1 3 w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 51
LONG BEFORE Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, visitors to Grand Can-yon
National Park shared their experiences with people back home the
only way possible — through handwritten messages. They sent postcards
purchased at hotel gift shops or letters penned on hotel stationery. This
aspect of Grand Canyon history could have been all but forgotten, gone
the way of cursive, if not for Thomas Ratz.
A longtime resident of the South Rim, Ratz has worked as a server at El Tovar for 33 years,
and he’s obsessed with collecting correspondence. As a result, he’s assembled an extensive
archive of postcards and letters that provides a unique and intimate glimpse of what people
in the first half of the 20th century had to say about their time in the park.
Ratz purchased his first vintage Grand Canyon postcard at an antiques store in 1983, and
he says he’s been “drawn to collecting” ever since. That’s an understatement. His Grand Can-yon
postcard collection — perhaps the largest of its kind — numbers more than 1,600 cards,
all sorted and meticulously filed in archive boxes. He’s amassed the largest known collec-tion
of letters sent from the Grand Canyon, which are preserved in acetate sheets and sorted
in binders. He also collects El Tovar menus, photos and brochures, as well as the hotel’s sig-nature
“I like to find out what life was like for guests staying at the hotel in the early days, and to
see how things have changed,” he says. “People were just as amazed by the Grand Canyon as
they are today, but, in the early 1900s, women going down Bright Angel Trail wore special
Ratz learned about the bloomers from a 1911 letter. Like most of the letters in Ratz’s collec-tion,
it’s written in cursive with a fountain pen on El Tovar’s hotel stationery. “I’m all rigged
up with divided skirt and bloomers ready to go down the mule trail,” a woman wrote.
Another letter was authored by a mule skinner to his family in 1909. “He mainly talks
about how he’s homesick,” Ratz says. “And he’s very focused on how much things cost.” A
letter from 1919 shares news about a drowning in the Colorado River. “Someone attempted to
swim the rapids,” it reports. “The Indians [watching] all shook their heads and said ‘no use.’ ”
“Sometimes, I come across love letters, but people mostly wrote about their travels and
what they did at the Grand Canyon,” Ratz muses as he flips through the binders. “El Tovar
was a good place to stop in the middle of the long journey by rail to California.”
When El Tovar opened its doors in 1905 — 14 years before Grand Canyon National Park was
officially designated — the hotel was owned by the Santa Fe Railway and billed as a luxury re-sort
destination. The railroad company sought to attract visitors to the Canyon with the prom-ise
of opulent accommodations perched
on the edge of the South Rim. Ratz’s col-lections
document not only what visitors
did while staying at El Tovar, but also
the ways the resort sought to please its
guests, who apparently spent a lot of time
sitting in the hotel writing letters and
“There was a solarium room for the
ladies, and also a smoking lounge on the
mezzanine level,” Ratz says. “Fresh food
was brought in daily on trains so that the
restaurant could offer a different chef’s
special every day. The food was kept cool
in troughs in the basement.”
Because Ratz has been a server at El
Tovar’s restaurant for more than three
decades, he knows the difficulty of pro-viding
fine dining at a remote place such
as the Grand Canyon, and he’s fascinat-ed
with the menu options from earlier
times. A 1908 El Tovar dinner menu fea-tures
lamb’s tongue. For breakfast, the
offerings included sirloin steak, veal cut-lets
and pork with fried apples. In 1909,
dinner choices included prime rib and
prune soufflé. During World War II, food
rationing resulted in patrons being lim-ited
to one pat of butter each.
Of all the correspondence that he’s
amassed, Ratz’s favorite is what he calls
the Grace Watkins Collection. The set
of letters, which he purchased online for
$60, was written by Watkins between
1916 and 1932, when she worked as a clerk
at El Tovar’s art gallery and gift shop.
“She was such a name-dropper,” Ratz
says. “The letters show all the famous
people who came to the Grand Canyon
during that period.”
A 1919 letter from Watkins to her family reads, in part: “We have the Russian composer
S. Rachmaninoff registered. Goodness! I hope someone will ask him to play.” In a 1921 letter
she writes: “Madame Curie was here. We saw very little of her. She was ill and looked very
frail.” Watkins also writes about a 1920 visit from the Prince of India and, in 1926, one from
the Prince of Sweden.
As the unofficial historian of El Tovar, Ratz is the go-to guy for guests seeking informa-tion
about the hotel’s past. He also authored a book, Grand Canyon National Park, which was
published in 2009 by Arcadia Publishing as part of its Postcard History Series. For Ratz, the
collections of postcards and letters sent from Grand Canyon are his legacy and a significant
contribution to the national park’s history. But there’s also a deeply personal connection to
the past that drives his fascination.
“Some days, I’ll just sit and read the letters,” he says. “[They’re] like messages in bottles
from the people who wrote them. I can hear their voices.”
For reservations at El Tovar, call 928-638-2631 or visit www.grandcanyonlodges.com/eltovar.
Thomas Ratz is an aficionado of Grand Canyon history, and his favorite
pastime is collecting correspondence written by park visitors. Letters, postcards,
scribbled notes ... it’s an impressive collection that offers an intimate glimpse of
what people had to say about the park in the first half of the 20th century.
BY ANNETTE McGIVNEY // PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL MARKOW
of working at
El Tovar have given
Thomas Ratz time
to assemble perhaps
the world’s most
of Grand Canyon
w w w. 52 M AY 2 0 1 3 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 53
most impatient passenger in awe.
Continuing on, the road eventually
hugs the back of the mountainside,
where you’ll be treated to another amaz-ing
view: Roosevelt Lake, which looks
like a glittering shard of glass from this
elevation. The end of the road comes at
Mile 6.1. A metal gate blocks the road to
the very top of Mount Ord, where sev-eral
communication towers are located.
Only authorized vehicles are allowed to
continue on. Return the way you came.
The drive back to State Route 87 moves
quicker than the climb up, so proceed
with caution — you never know who or
what is right around the next switch-back.
As you reach the highway, take
a moment to gloat, especially if you’re
playing tour guide for the day.
Some scenic drives require a cer-tain
amount of commitment.
Whether it’s time, vehicle require-ments
or sheer guts, you often have to
give a little in order to get Arizona’s
spectacular views in return. Fortu-nately,
the drive to Mount Ord is the
exception. No sacrifice is required. In
fact, this drive is more about bang than
buck, so to speak. The views are breath-taking,
the trip itself is quick and the
fist-clenching moments are few and far
between. Really, this drive is ideal for
out-of-town visitors on the go — or in-laws
in need of entertainment.
From Fountain Hills, take State Route
87 (the Beeline Highway) northeast
toward Payson. Turn right (east) at the
clearly marked turnoff for Mount Ord,
Forest Road 626, near Milepost 223. The
road goes from pavement to graded dirt
in a matter of seconds. Although it’s
well maintained, there are a few bumps
in this road, and a standard SUV is your
best bet. In inclement weather, a high-clearance
vehicle is an absolute must.
Heading uphill, it isn’t long before
you’ll be treated to gorgeous views of
the Mazatzal Mountains. Tight switch-backs
and no guardrail give thrill-seek-ers
a temporary rush as the road climbs
steadily — steeply in some parts.
At Mile 1.6, there’s room to pull over
and enjoy the beauty. Despite how eas-ily
accessible FR 626 is, it’s remarkably
quiet. There’s only the hum of Mother
Nature in the air. In less than a mile, the
landscape — dotted with scrub oaks,
piñon pines and agaves — dramatically
shifts, and you’ll be lost in a forest of
As the road continues to climb, a real
“wow” moment occurs near the 3-mile
mark. A dramatic, panoramic view of the
Mogollon Rim reveals itself, and from
this vantage point, you can clearly see
the sheer cliff face that is the southern-most
edge of the Colorado Plateau. It’s an
impressive sight that will leave even the
BELOW: From near the top of Mount Ord,
Roosevelt Lake glitters in the distance.
OPPOSITE PAGE: Agaves, along with scrub oaks
and piñon pines, dot the road up Mount Ord.
Along with oaks, pines and agaves, this scenic drive off the Beeline
Highway offers equally impressive views of the Mogollon Rim to
the north and Roosevelt Lake to the south.
BY KATHY RITCHIE PHOTOGRAPHS BY RICK GIASE
For more scenic drives, pick up a
copy of our book The Back Roads.
Now in its fifth edition, the book
features 40 of the state’s most
scenic drives. To order a copy, visit
Note: Mileages are approximate.
LENGTH: 12.2 miles round-trip (Forest Road 626)
DIRECTIONS: From Fountain Hills, drive north on State
Route 87 for 33 miles to Milepost 223. Turn right onto
Forest Road 626 and continue for 6 miles.
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: Payson Ranger District, 928-474-7900,
Travelers in Arizona can visit www.az511.gov or dial
511 to get information
on road closures, construction,
delays, weather and more.
M A Z A T Z A L M O U N T A I N S
T O N T O
N A T I O N A L F O R E S T
start her e
54 JA NUA RY 2 0 1 3 w w w. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om 55
LENGTH: 5.5 miles round-trip
ELEVATION: 6,710 to 7,919 feet
TRAILHEAD GPS: N 35˚05.795’, W 113˚53.378’
DIRECTIONS: From Kingman, drive east on Interstate
40 for 6 miles to Exit 59. From there, drive south on DW
Ranch Road for 4.5 miles to Hualapai Mountain Road, turn
left and continue 4 miles to the Hualapai Mountain Park
Ranger Station. The trailhead is just off the main park road,
about 0.75 miles inside the park. Ask the ranger for details.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATION: A $5 per vehicle entrance fee is
VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS: None
DOGS ALLOWED: Yes (on a leash)
HORSES ALLOWED: Yes
USGS MAP: Hualapai Peak
INFORMATION: Hualapai Mountain Park, 928-681-5700 or
• Plan ahead and be
• Travel and camp on
• Dispose of waste
properly and pack
out all of your trash.
• Leave what you find.
• Respect wildlife and
• Be considerate of
OPPOSITE PAGE: Picturesque resting
spots make Hualapai Mountain Park’s
Aspen Peak Trail ideal for casual hikers.
RIGHT: At the trail’s higher elevations, dense
forest gives way to breathtaking views.
hike of the month
Although Kingman is best known as a stop along Historic Route 66
and the hometown of Andy Devine, it’s also home to Hualapai
Mountain Park and a series of scenic trails that lead to Aspen Peak.
BY ROBERT STIEVE PHOTOGRAPHS BY ELIAS BUTLER
Even if your idea of heading into
the backcountry is going from
Park Avenue to Central Park, you
can handle this trail. It’s not as easy
as walking down the sidewalk, but in
terms of “roughing it,” this is about as
benign as it gets.
Although this hike is listed as the
Aspen Peak Trail, it’s really a combi-nation
of three trails: Aspen Springs,
Potato Patch Loop and Aspen Peak. To
get to the trail that takes you to the top,
you’ll first have to navigate the other
two. But that’s not a hardship. Overall,
the three trails pass through four dif-ferent
life zones: chaparral, pine/oak,
mixed conifer and fir/aspen.
The trek begins with the Aspen
Springs Trail in Sawmill Canyon, a lush
riparian area of Arizona walnuts, canyon
maples and various species of oaks. The
climb is gradual, with mild switchbacks
and a wide path that accommodates
horses. A few minutes into the hike,
you’ll notice a significant depression
in the hillside above. This is a remnant
of the old Silver Bell Mine, which first
was worked by prospectors in the 1870s
and eventually shut down in 1994. Just
beyond the mine is a spot known as the
Kingman Overlook, from which you can
see the city below and the distant Cer-bat
Along with the panoramas and the
rocks and trees, you’ll notice that this
trail often parallels and intersects a
dirt road. Don’t be confused. The dirt
road is not the trail. It’s used for horses
and high-clearance vehicles. Stay on
the trail, which, at this point, climbs
through an open forest of ponderosa
pines, New Mexican locusts and Gam-bel
oaks. Then, as the Aspen Springs
Trail approaches its intersection with
the Potato Patch Loop, you’ll start see-ing
Douglas firs and white firs. Massive
granite boulders also are among the
highlights as yo
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