E SC A P E . EX P LOR E . EX P E R I ENCE
THE PHOTO ISSUE
The Winners of Our
Online Photo Contest
12 Insider Tips for
From UFOs to Bear Attacks
The World’s Premier
And a Brand-New
The Weatherford Trail:
Maybe the Best in AZ
Two Hippies Beach House:
The Food Is Far Out, Man
Meet the Gum Lady:
Her Collection Is Mint
14 BEHIND THE CAMERA
Although photography is often thought of as glamorous,
it’s actually hard work that requires patience, persistence,
dumb luck and, sometimes, the risk of life and limb. This
month, we feature some of our contributors’ back sto-ries
— the stuff that isn’t captured on film — from close
encounters with bears and UFOs to sleeping on a ledge in
the Grand Canyon. BY KELLY KRAMER
20 WEATHER MAN
Lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes ... when the weather
starts getting bad, Warren Faidley starts feeling good. No,
he’s not a dark knight or a prophet of doom. He’s a photog-rapher.
More specifically, he’s a storm photographer, and
he’s one of the best in the world. BY ALAN M. PETRILLO
22 TAKING ARIZONA BY STORM
When most people think of Arizona, they think of blue
◗ Creating a mirror image, a
northern shoveler barely rip-ples
the water’s surface as it
stretches a languid leg.
PHOTOGRAPH BY TIM FITZHARRIS
FRONT COVER Lightning rips the
sky over Tucson during an
early evening monsoon storm.
PHOTOGRAPH BY WARREN FAIDLEY
BACK COVER A Harris antelope
squirrel uses its tail to shade
its body from the midday sun
in Southern Arizona’s Santa
Rita Mountains. PHOTOGRAPH
BY TOM VEZO
Photographic Prints Available Prints of some photographs in this issue are available for purchase. To view options, visit www.arizonahighwaysprints.com. For more information, call 866-962-1191.
• POINTS OF INTEREST IN THIS ISSUE
2 EDITOR’S LETTER 3 CONTRIBUTORS4
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
5 THE JOURNAL
People, places and things from around the state, including one
of the best hippie-run Mexican restaurants in Phoenix, a woman
in Quartzsite who’s collected more than 4,000 packs of gum,
and the Briar Patch Inn, one of Oak Creek’s hidden gems.
44 SCENIC DRIVE
Cherry Road: Along with breathtaking views of the
Verde Valley, this scenic drive features the most
perfect tree-lined country lane in the state.
46 HIKE OF THE MONTH
Weatherford Trail: Pines, aspens, meadows, mountains ...
the only thing this trail doesn’t have is crowds of people.
48 WHERE IS THIS?
skies and bright sunshine — that’s usually the fore-cast.
However, as you’ll see in this month’s portfolio,
the state gets more than its share of severe weather.
BY WARREN FAIDLEY
30 AND THE WINNER IS ...
When we launched our first-ever online photo con-test
in last year’s “Photography Issue,” we had no
idea what to expect. Frankly, we would have been
thrilled with a handful of good shots. Instead, we
were flooded with a boatload of great shots. See for
yourself. EDITED BY PETER ENSENBERGER & JEFF KIDA
38 HOW TO SHOOT A BOBCAT
Not with a rifle — with a camera. We covered this
same ground about 50 years ago, but five decades
is a long time, so we thought it made sense to revisit
the basics of wildlife photography.
BY PETER ENSENBERGER
TALK TO US: In this month’s issue we feature the win-ners
of our first-ever online photo contest (see page
30). We were impressed with many of the entries, but
we’d like to get your feedback. We can be reached at
GET MORE ONLINE:
Earlier this summer, we relaunched our Web site.
Finally. If you haven’t checked it out, you should. The
new site is user-friendly and features everything you
need to know about travel in Arizona, from hiking and
scenic drives to lodging, dining and so much more. In
addition, we’re now on Facebook (www.facebook.com/
azhighways), Twitter (www.twitter.com/azhighways)
and Flickr (www.flickr.com/photos/arizonahighways).
We’re everywhere. Don’t leave home without us.
www. a r i z o n a h i g hwa y s . c om
2 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 3
World traveler and photo contest winner Bev Pettit
decided on photography as her artistic medium of
choice when she moved to Hong Kong in 1991. Car-rying
a 35 mm film camera was compatible with her
travel style as she backpacked the cities and back
roads of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, India and
China. For the next six years she documented Asian
culture for personal projects, as well as magazines,
Hong Kong tourism, commercial assignments and
educational book publishers worldwide, all the while
working full-time as a research print manager for a large American investment bank. She
moved back to the United States in 1999 to live in Northern Arizona. Today, she lives on a
ranch in Skull Valley with her husband, Clark, a daughter and five horses. Photographically,
she specializes in horses, both domestic and wild.
Lightning strikes twice in this issue of Arizona Highways. In
addition to being profiled in Weather Man (page 20), storm
chaser and extreme-weather photographer Warren Faid-ley’s
images are featured in this month’s portfolio (Taking
Arizona by Storm, page 22). As writer Alan Petrillo says,
Faidley’s “obsession with catastrophic weather goes back
to age 12, when a flash flood in Tucson nearly drowned him
and a companion. But he wasn’t scared; he was fascinated.”
Since then, Faidley has become one of the nation’s foremost
storm experts. In addition to Arizona Highways, his work has
appeared in Life magazine, and on the Discovery Channel
and the Weather Channel, among others.
Alan Petrillo says chas-ing
with Warren Faidley
(Weather Man, page
20) conjured up the
anticipation and excite-ment
he used to feel
as a firefighter in New
York. “Warren’s been
weather for many
years, yet he still has the
passion and determina-tion
to get an unusual
shot with his camera.”
Petrillo has written for
including Popular Science,
Woman’s Day, American
Profile, Military Officer
and the Arizona Daily
Star. He’s also the author
of the historical mystery,
Full Moon. This is his
first story for Arizona
twenty-five years is a long time. Not as it relates to things like the Grand Canyon
or the Cubs’ World Series drought, but in the creative world, it’s an eternity. The
Beatles, as incredible as they were, couldn’t even hold it together for a decade,
and Gunsmoke, the longest-running dramatic series in television history, lasted only 20
years. There’s no magic formula, but anything that’s around for 25 years is usually con-sidered
an institution. At Arizona Highways, Peter Ensenberger is an institution.
For more than a quarter-century — his silver anniversary was June 29 — Pete has
been a fixture in our photography department, both as an editor and a photographer.
He’s a master of both, and over the years, those talents have helped make this maga-zine
one of the most respected photo journals in the world. Literally. For those of
us who have had the privilege of working with him, he’s not just an institution, he’s
also a leader, an artist, a mentor, a comrade ... the list goes on, but really, there aren’t
words to fully describe Pete and what he’s meant to this magazine. Likewise, there
aren’t words to express how much we’re going to miss him.
Sadly, this is Pete’s last issue with Arizona Highways. As much as we tried to con-vince
him to stick around for another 25 years, he’s ready for a change, and he’s
earned it. For an encore, he’ll be doing a lot of fishing and photography, along with
whatever chores his wife, Kim, has in store. He’ll also be working with us on some
special projects, including one in our December issue. It’s going to be spectacular.
Mark your calendar. Meantime, it seems appropriate that Pete’s last hurrah is our
second-annual “Photography Issue.”
Whenever I mention this issue to people, I usually hear, “Isn’t every issue a pho-tography
issue?” They have a point, of course, but in September, we like to go beyond
the time-honored portfolios. We see this as an opportunity to broaden your knowl-edge
of photography, and maybe give you some inside information, as well. How to
Shoot a Bobcat, a series of wildlife photo tips, is a good example of the former, and
Behind the Camera by Kelly Kramer is a good example of the latter.
For her story, Kelly asked some of our veteran contributors to talk about the wild-est
things they’ve experienced in the field. Although photography is often thought of
as glamorous, it’s actually hard work that requires patience, persistence, dumb luck
and, sometimes, the risk of life and limb. To date, none of our photographers have
sacrificed any body parts in the line of duty, but as you’ll see, there have been some
If you like what you see in this magazine every month, check out Arizona Highways Televi-sion,
an Emmy Award-winning program hosted by former news anchor Robin Sewell.
Now in its sixth season, the show does with audio and video what we do with ink and
paper — it showcases the people, places and things of the Grand Canyon State, from the
spectacular landscapes and colorful history to the fascinating culture and endless adven-ture.
And that’s just the beginning. “For me, the show is about more than just the desti-nations,”
Robin says. “It’s about the people behind the scenes. It’s their stories that make
the destinations so interesting.” Indeed, there’s a reason this show wins so many awards
— it’s second-to-none, and we’re proud to have our name on it. Take a look. For broadcast times, visit our
Web site, www.arizonahighways.com, and click the Arizona Highways Television link on our home page.
ROBERT STIEVE, editor
close encounters. Nick Berezenko once went
nose-to-nose with a bear, and Claire Curran is
convinced she saw a UFO. “It hovered for about
two seconds, flashing all bright lights and colors,
and then it took off faster than anything I’d ever
seen,” she says. Eerie.
Bev Pettit has a story, too, but there’s no mystery
involved. Bev is one of the thousands of shutterbugs
who entered our first-ever online photo contest.
She’s also the winner. She’s very good. When we
launched the contest, we had no idea what to
expect. And then the images started rolling in. One
great shot after another. In the end, we narrowed
it to 40 finalists, and then selected Bev’s rodeo
photo as the best. That shot and several others
are featured beginning on page 30. On page 13,
we’ll give you details about our 2010 contest.
It’s another one of those special projects Pete
will be handling for us in retirement. And here’s
the thing: We want to keep his adrenaline up, so,
for Pete’s sake, flood him
with great photography.
But keep in mind, he’s used
to editing the best images
in the world. As you know,
he’s set the bar pretty high
around here. Thank you,
Pete. For everything.
Got a minute? Send us your
“Global Snapshots.” Here’s
how it works: E-mail a
photo of someone you know
posing with our magazine,
and we’ll post it on our
Web site. The shots can be
taken anywhere: on a ferry in Woods Hole, Massa-chusetts,
or, in Cindy McCain’s case, at the World
Food Programme Center in Bunia, Congo. For
more information, visit www.arizonahighways.
com and click “Online Extras.”
8 0 0- 5 43- 5 43 2
www. a r i zona h i ghways .com
S E P T EMB E R 2 0 0 9 V O L . 8 5 , N O. 9
Arizona Highways® (ISSN 0004-1521) is published month-ly
by the Arizona Department of Transportation. Subscrip-tion
price: $24 a year in the U.S., $44 outside the U.S.
Single copy: $3.99 U.S. Subscription correspondence
change of address information: Arizona Highways, P.O.
Box 653, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0653. Periodical post-age
paid at Phoenix, AZ, and at additional mailing office.
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2009 by the Arizona
Department of Transportation.
in whole or in part without
prohibited. The magazine does not accept and is not re-sponsible
PRODUCED IN THE USA
Director of Photography
BARBARA GLYNN DENNEY
Deputy Art Director
SONDA ANDERSSON PAPPAN
Design Production Assistant
VICTORI A J. SNOW
Director of Sales & Marketing
CINDY BORMANI S
Corporate or Trade Sales
Sponsorship Sales Representation
EMM MEDIA SERVICES LLC
Letters to the Editor
2039 W. Lewis Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85009
JANICE K. BREWER
Director, Department of Transportation
JOHN S. HALIKOWSKI
Arizona Transportation Board
ROBERT M. MONTOYA
FELIPE ANDRES ZUBIA, WILLIAM J.
FELDMEIER, BARBARA ANN LUNDSTROM,
VICTOR M. FLORES
International Regional Magazine Association
2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001
MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR
4 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 5
letters people > dining > lodging > photography > history > nature > things to do > > > > THE JOURNAL
THANK YOU, ELMA
We have enjoyed Arizona Highways for
so many years, since we visited your
state and saw firsthand the beauty
of it. I am 90+ years old and I’m sub-scribing
for another year.
ELMA AGNEW, INDIANAPOLIS
OUT IN THE OPEN
As usual, your latest issue [June
2009] was read from front cover to
the last page. In the [scenic drive],
you made a glaring error about
Morenci. You wrote: “The twin cities
aren’t as scenic ... strip mining does
that.” Morenci is an open-pit mine,
and always has been. My husband
was a pit geologist there, and we
made our home in Morenci for nine
years. Thus, I know a hole in the
ground. The economy of Greenlee
County and the state of Arizona has
been pretty pleased with that hole
in the ground. Otherwise, the article
was a trip back over the “trail,” as we
referred to it.
MYRA URBAND, LAKEWOOD, COLORADO
A FORMAL RESPONSE
I enjoyed Inn Style on page 7 of your
May 2009 issue. Living here I’ve
been to the Arizona Inn many times.
Vintage style is correct. One time my
daughters and I were given finger
bowls at the end of the meal. I doubt
that many in this day and age have
ever heard of one or have seen one.
Brought back memories of proper
dining. A gorgeous issue; I think I’ve
taken the magazine for 15 or 20 years.
Yes, showing my age.
MARY JO FENTON, ORO VALLEY
ON THE TRAILS
In our June issue, we asked readers to tell us about their
most memorable hikes.
“Oh how I want to see a bear,” Judi
breathed as we trudged up the steep
path. We left the openness of Hart
Prairie in the early summer evening
of 1998 and paused to rest among the
towering aspens, as both the scenery
and 8,500-foot elevation just below
Snowbowl left us breathless. Stopped
for about two minutes, with our
hound at our feet, we heard a deep
woof in the woods. There, about 100
feet away, in the tangle of aspens,
was a black bear. Fascinated, and
not willing to talk or bark, we three
watched as one, two, oh, there’s a
third cub, scampered and snuffled in
the ferns. For a delicious few minutes
we eyed a nonchalant mom working
with her brood. She slowly ambled
downhill through the forest, fol-lowed
by two cubs, but the curious
one remained digging in the ground.
A few moments later we heard
another deep woof. The startled cub
suddenly jumped up and scrambled
toward its family.
DAVID HARTMAN, FLAGSTAFF
When four friends and I made our
annual trek to the spectacular
cliffs of Aravaipa Canyon, we were
thrilled to see a family of desert
bighorn sheep, including two lambs,
climbing with amazing skill down
the near-vertical walls. They kept
their distance until we continued
upstream. Later, as we picked our
way back downstream, we came
face-to-face with them just across the
narrow waterway. We’ll never forget
the magnificent ram standing guard
while the curious little lambs peered
over boulders to study us as we made
our way through their magical realm.
PEGGY HENDRICKSON, TAWAS CITY, MICHIGAN
Wes Timmerman has given this
old man a gift [Rock Art, June 2009]
that will be remembered until I step
over to the other side. He has a true
understanding of a great artist and
can incorporate that understanding
in his photography. Generally, we all
see shapes and colors. He brought
back the textures that reached my
soul so many years ago, when I hiked
the trails of the Grand Canyon region
in the early ’60s.
PETE MEGHINASSO, VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA
WITH FLYING COLOR
I was recently looking through some
old issues of Arizona Highways and
found some photos and articles by
Barry Goldwater. Was this Senator
B.C. HARWELL, CAMDEN, TENNESSEE
EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes. Senator Goldwater had many
bylines in this magazine. In fact, the first all-color
issue of Arizona Highways (December 1946)
featured one of his photos on the cover.
If you have
we’d love to hear
from you. We can
be reached at
by mail at 2039
W. Lewis Avenue,
85009. For more
Dory the Explorer
A number of commercial outfitters
offer a variety of river trips through
the Grand Canyon. Most trips take
7-18 days, and include a run through
several of the Canyon’s many
rapids, such as 24-Mile Rapids
(pictured). Information: 928-638-
7888 or www.nps.gov/grca.
6 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 w w w . a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 7
You have to admire a place like Two Hippies Beach House, which, despite having a
mantra that’s more Ginsberg than Gestapo and has all the square footage of a tree
house, is more than capable of taking out a wide range of adversaries — unpreten-tiously
and in a way that only a kitschy-cool Central Phoenix eatery could.
“When I was a kid growing up in Buffalo, my grandparents, who lived here, gave me a sub-scription
to Arizona Highways,” says Two Hippies co-founder Andy Goldstein. “The images of
Arizona were so beautiful. Arizona’s been good to my family and me, and with the Beach House,
we’re just trying to return the favor by creating a place to relax, unwind and enjoy good food.”
Now an official transplant to the state he loves so much, fifth-generation restaurateur Andy
(Hippie One), his wife, Kim (Hippie Two), and their brood, in true Flower Child form, have man-aged
to defy all conventional limitations by blending seemingly unrelated genres — hot dogs
and gringo-fied tacos — under one hut-like roof. It’s a psychedelic fusion that requires only the
use of the palate to understand.
As for the adversaries? The first is the fustian critic who quivers in unenlightened fear as soon
as he gazes upon the Beach House’s casual, walk-up ordering bar, random smattering of vintage
trinkets used as decor, brown paper serving bags and weather-worn picnic tables. Sure, the
aesthetics might be reminiscent of a Venice Beach snack stand, circa 1967, but what’s inside is
anything but pedestrian.
On the beach, you won’t find ingredients that are 90 percent locally sourced, baked white
cod in your fish tacos, whole black beans instead of their refried counterparts, tender, all-white-meat
chicken stuffed in football-sized burritos, carne asada that tastes like short ribs, or diners
who dedicate entire weekends to visiting the neighborhood haunt. No matter, the hippies wel-come
the potential of a convert, and, as Andy explains, “You might come here a customer, but I
guarantee you’ll leave a friend.”
Speaking of which, Andy recalls the night a “notable” rock band stopped in after performing
Peace, Love & Carne Asada
It looks like something from Venice Beach, circa 1967, but Two Hippies
Beach House is so much more. Among other things, the food is far out.
By MARYAL MILLER
JOANNE BRUNET, 73, IS stuck on chewing gum. For the
past six decades, she’s collected more than 4,000 pack-ages
of chewing gum, bubble gum, gumball vending
machines and gum-related posters, which she exhibits
in 109 display cases at her free-admission
gallery in Quartzsite.
Brunet and her sister began col-lecting
gum at age 10. “We bought a package of gum and
saved a stick for our collection,” Joanne says. “I don’t
even know why I started. Perhaps it was the only thing
we could afford at the time.” Although she occasionally
chews gum, Brunet makes sure that she already has that
particular piece of gum in her collection before popping
it in her mouth.
The collection’s 4,000 packages and sticks of gum are
from the United States and 28 other countries. All are
in their original wrapping, and many still have collect-ible
cards inside. “I wouldn’t know a good baseball card
if I saw one,” she says. “I constantly have offers to buy
the cards from the packages, but they’re not for sale.”
One stick of Juicy Fruit has the year 1935 printed on
the wrapper. It was found in an abandoned mine shaft
near the town of Ryan, California, outside Death Val-ley
National Park. The oldest gum in the collection is a
stick of Doublemint, which, according to the William
Wrigley Jr. Co. of Chicago, dates back to 1932-1935.
Other unique gums in the gallery include those
replicating record album covers from The Beatles, Elvis
Presley, the Rolling Stones and others. There’s gum
honoring the 1969 Apollo moonwalk, gum in the form of
superhero watchbands, and gum celebrating classic TV
shows like Dallas and The Six Million Dollar Man.
Brunet’s husband, Sonny, supports his wife by build-ing
the display cases as the collection grows. In 2002,
when the cases overwhelmed their modest home, Sonny
built a 540-square-foot building at the back of their
property, which now houses the gum gallery. Sonny also
drives their motor home on gum-finding trips around the
country. “He thought that gum-collecting was a strange
hobby, but it came with me after we met,” Brunet says.
Collecting gum is a family affair, she adds. “My
daughter Deb and daughter-in-law Judy take pictures
of our collection, and we take the album with us on
our travels in our motor home. Whenever we find some
gum, we check the album to see if we already have it in
the collection. If not, we buy it.”
Maggie James, a winter visitor from Ontario, Ore-gon,
learned of the gum gallery when she met Brunet
at her volunteer job with the Salvation Army in 2007.
“I never saw anything like it in my life,” she says. “It is
a valuable American resource, as
everyone chewed gum sometime
in their life. She really has some-thing
Joanne Brunet collects gum. Lots and
lots of gum, from 80-year-old Wrigley
classics to a special pack commemorat-ing
The Six Million Dollar Man.
By JOSEPH & CAROL BERKE
in town, and compared the Beach House’s
eclectic offerings to that of Pink’s, the legend-ary
Hollywood hot-dog hotspot. Andy, of
course, beams at such acclaim. Yet, it seems
important to point out that Pink’s menu
doesn’t include the rare cactus taco, or some
of the hottest hot-dog-topping jalapeños
you’ll ever ingest. Nor does it
serve freshly baked-from-scratch
brownies (a hippie delicacy) or,
more importantly, entirely organic veggies
to top those pups. We won’t say that Two
Hippies puts Pink’s to shame, because they’d
surely like to coexist with their coastal com-rade
in blissful hippie harmony, instead of as
adversaries, but distinctions must be drawn.
Which leaves the final adversary of the
House of Hippie: little Suzie with her lemon-ade
stand. The hippies’ 15 different flavors of
sweet, slush-like concoctions rival the best
fresh, housemade lemonade this side of the
Mississippi. If Suzie sets up shop anywhere
near their passion-fruit, blood-orange, kiwi or
— Andy’s favorite — desert-pear confections,
she’ll quickly learn the hard lessons of com-merce.
Not to worry, though, you can always
flip her a pity quar-ter
and pass the
peace sign on your
way to the car after
Two Hippies Beach House
is located at 507 E. Cam-elback
Road in Phoenix.
For more information, call
THE JOURNAL > people THE JOURNAL > dining
P H O E N I X
— Dave Pratt is the
author of Behind the
Mic: 30 Years in Radio.
P R A T T ’ S Q&A
To schedule a tour
of Brunet’s gallery in
Quartzsite, call 928-
Q U A R T Z S I T E
Favorite road trip in
My husband and I
took a road trip to
L’Auberge in Sedona
and it was magical.
The red rocks are
so brilliant, and the
are romantic and
If you were on as-signment
with Wolf Blitzer,
where would you
take him for dinner?
LON’S at the Her-mosa.
is exquisite, whether
seated inside the
adobe dining area
with the scent of
throughout the room
or, even better, out on
the charming patio to
watch those Western
Your career really
took off at Channel 3
in Phoenix. What do
you miss most?
It was not only
“The Place With
More Stuff,” but
also “The Place
With More Good
People.” I worked
for Phil Alvidrez and
Dennis O’Neill, and
when they were at
the helm it was a
They made it fun,
and treated you as a
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more
with Christi Paul, visit
com and click “Online
8 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 9
TUCKED AWAY AMID THE trees and red rocks of Oak Creek Canyon, the Briar Patch Inn is
barely visible from the road, revealing little more than a flash of rooftop or a glimpse of graveled
path to the cars winding along State Route 89A above. So private and sequestered is this little
constellation of cottages — 19 of them set on nine lush acres of oaks and sycamores, neatly
trimmed lawn and flowers — that it feels like a secret, all the more delicious for being unraveled
Here, Adirondack chairs overlooking the clear, rumbling rush of Oak Creek. There, a pair
of hammocks, just right for a nap beneath the trees. And just beyond, resident sheep, named
Wooly and Bully, grazing the meadow with their two new babies. It’s entirely possible to while
away whole mornings out on the deck (each cabin has its own), reading a book
from the lodge’s extensive library or watching acrobatic squirrels leap from tree
to tree. This, of course, after a healthy breakfast of home-baked breads and muf-fins,
fresh fruits and juices, granola, yogurt, quiche, eggs in the shell, herbal teas and great coffee
— all to be enjoyed by a crackling fire in the lodge, on a tray in the cabin or out along the creek,
listening to a chorus of birds.
In the summer months, breakfast at the creek is irresistible, thanks to morning concerts per-formed
by a classical violinist and guitarist. Summer is also the time for weekend yoga classes
on the verdant lawn. For those whose frazzle can’t be calmed by fresh air and exercise, the inn
arranges facials and massages, the latter offered in-cottage or at a creek-side gazebo.
Out of Sight
In addition to its outstanding amenities, the Briar Patch Inn
offers privacy. In fact, it’s barely visible from the busy highway
that leads to its door.
By NIKKI BUCHANAN
Really, the toughest decision anyone ever
has to make is whether to stay outdoors or
in when both are so extraordinarily pleasant.
Each cozy cottage is furnished with South-western
furniture, Native American artifacts
and a wood-burning stone fireplace. Many
of them were constructed in the ‘40s by a
German carpenter whose name (Raacke)
became “Rocky,” his cowboy cottages fre-quented
by the Hollywood set who came to
Sedona to make Westerns. In the early ‘80s,
Ike and JoAnn Olson bought both the Briar
Patch and neighboring Terracotta Resort
(originally Rocky’s Cottages), combining the
two properties into one rambling, tranquil
retreat. Although JoAnn wisely retained
most of Rocky’s original design features (the
clunky door latches, for example), she’s also
put her own stylish
stamp on the inn, creat-ing
an utterly unique
place that captures the
romance and rusticity
of the West, both past
Briar Patch Inn is open
year-round and is lo-cated
at 3190 N. High-way
89A, 3 miles north
of uptown Sedona. For
more information, call
888-809-3030 or visit
Don’t overlook one of
the most important
tools to ensure that
your images are in
sharp focus — a sturdy
pay extra for
lenses and then hand-hold
may be negating the
advantages of buying
expensive glass. Other
tripod benefits include
precise leveling of your
camera and alignment
of parallel lines in your
your camera on a
tripod also slows down
the image-making pro-cess,
mistakes and wasted
EDITOR’S NOTE: Look for
Arizona Highways Pho-tography
at bookstores and www.
Farewell, My Friends
If it’s true that time flies when you’re having fun, then
the last quarter-century went by in the blink of an eye.
By PETER ENSENBERGER, director of photography
This is the column I didn’t want to write. It’s
my last column for Arizona Highways. After 25
years of directing the photography depart-ment
for one of the premier photography magazines in
the world, the time has come for me to turn the page.
I’m retiring from the best job I ever had.
If it’s true that time flies when you’re having fun,
then the last quarter-century went by in the blink of
an eye. The events of June 29, 1984, my first day on the
job, are as fresh in my memory as if it were yesterday.
That date marked the end of my salad days. It was time
to get on with the important things in life.
Right from the start I was infected with the ethos of
the institution that is Arizona Highways. Standing on the
shoulders of my predecessors, I was entrusted with
the magazine’s photographic legacy and upholding the
high standards they set many years before me. I hope
they’d approve of my time carrying the torch.
Many of the best things in my life are directly con-nected
to this magazine, which opened a lot of doors
for me. I was given opportunities on a grand stage
to hone my skills as a photographer and mature as
an editor. And, best of all, I found the love of my life
at Arizona Highways — my wife, Kim, who worked in
the magazine’s production department for 19 years. I
had the good fortune to
find a job that provided
financial security and
someone to share in it.
Association with such
a prestigious magazine
presents the occasional
brush with greatness.
One of those encounters
left a lasting impression.
In 1985, with barely a
year under my belt as
the magazine’s photo
editor, I had the honor of
spending a day with one
of the legends of photog-raphy.
planned to publish a
portfolio of Eliot Porter’s
and I was dispatched to
work with him on the
edit and bring back the
I met Mr. Porter at his home near Santa Fe, New
Mexico, and his first words to me were, “Please, call
me Eliot.” This diminutive man, a giant in his field,
endured my naiveté with a mentor’s patience as we
pored over his images. We talked at length about his
scientific approach to nature photography and the
importance of wilderness. If a single day can make a
difference in a person’s life, that quiet day with Eliot
Porter was a turning point for me, both personally and
Of course, my position afforded many opportunities
to travel my beloved Arizona, and I reveled in those
adventures. Whitewater-rafting the Colorado and Salt
rivers. Canyoneering through West Clear Creek Can-yon.
Hot-air-ballooning over the red rocks of Sedona.
Hiking rim to rim across the Grand Canyon. I packed
a lifetime’s worth of experiences into the last 25 years
of exploring the peaks and canyons of this state. Those
are the memories that make me a wealthy soul.
This milestone could not have been reached without
the unconditional support of those around me, and I
owe a debt of gratitude to a great many of them. To the
dedicated magazine staffers who live and die with the
release of each month’s new issue and still find time
to have fun. To the outstanding photographers, writ-ers
and artists whose
excellence makes our
jobs easier. And to the
readers whose loyal sup-port
challenges us to be
better, especially when
we fall short of expecta-tions.
I raise a toast to all of
you in celebration of the
wonderful years I’ve had
with Arizona Highways. But
please don’t use the word
“retired” to describe me.
I’ll be busy working on
the backlog of exciting
projects that have been
waiting for this moment
to arrive. Maybe those
new horizons will soothe
the bittersweet taste of
parting with the best job
I ever had.
THE JOURNAL > lodging THE JOURNAL > photography
O N L I N E
For more photography
tips and other informa-tion,
highways.com and click
S E D O N A
10 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 11
CAMP VERDE, KENTUCKY CAMP, CAMP TONTOZONA ... two of
these three camps are well known in Arizona. The other is not.
Located 7 miles northwest of Sonoita in the Nogales Ranger
District of the Coronado National Forest, Kentucky Camp offers
an interesting glimpse at history and serves as a great base for
exploring area ghost towns, bird-watching or hiking among the
cool, rolling grasslands surrounding the Santa Rita Mountains.
Originally constructed for placer gold-mining, the spacious
headquarters, humble cabin and other adobe struc-tures
of the camp are remnants of the Santa Rita Water
& Mining Co., which was established in 1902.
Mining engineer James Stetson came up with the idea of piping
water from 8 miles away to make the operation work. Partnering
For a few months, Kentucky Camp was a literal
goldmine. And then one of its co-owners fell to
his death from a third-story window.
By CLAIRE ROGERS
with investor George McAneny, Stetson
built a network of canals and tunnels to
rollercoaster water across drainages to
the processing pits at Kentucky Camp.
In the spring of 1904, he hit the mother
lode, so to speak, thanks to heavy rainfall
that filled the canals and reservoirs. By
Christmas, “many thousands of dollars’
worth of gold had been taken,” said Wil-liam
Phipps Blake, a renowned geologist
and Stetson’s colleague. The operation
was a success.
The following spring, however, things
went downhill. Literally. On May 20,
1904, while in Tucson for a stockholders’
meeting, Stetson fell to his death from the third-story window of
his room at the Santa Rita Hotel. Meanwhile, McAneny was mired
in a bitter divorce, which tied up his finances. As a result, the
short-lived mining venture collapsed, and after McAneny died in
1909, the complex landed in the hands of Louis Hummel, McAne-ny’s
family attorney. Hummel eventually turned the camp into a
cattle ranch, where the adobe buildings and water facilities served
the operation well into the 1960s.
Since 1991, the Coronado National Forest, with help from
Friends of Kentucky Camp, Passport in Time volunteers and the
Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Historia of Hermosillo, Mexico,
has been working to restore the site. And every October, Friends
of Kentucky Camp hosts an annual open
house, during which visitors can tour the
buildings, walk the gulches, watch gold-panning
demonstrations and learn about
adobe brick-making. This year’s event
takes place on October 10.
If misters are proof of anything, it’s that
it takes a little moisture in the air to get
Arizonans to even consider moving around
in the summer. Desert tortoises are equally
stubborn. These slow-moving desert dwellers
tend to stay in their cool burrows until a rain-storm
Sometimes, they avoid the summer alto-gether,
extending their typical November to
March hibernation. But even the average
hibernation schedule means a desert tortoise
sleeps half of its life, which could be the secret
to its long lifespan, says Cristina Jones, the
Turtles Project Coordinator at the Arizona
Game and Fish Department. Many desert
tortoises live up to 60 years, and Jones has
heard of pet tortoises being passed down
through a family for more than 100 years.
“Anything that sleeps that much is going to
have a long life,” Jones says.
That said, even when they’re active, desert
tortoises don’t move around a lot. According
to Jones, they typically stay within 3 miles
of where they hatch, plodding slowly under
high-domed shells covered in circular ridges.
No matter how far they go (or don’t go),
there’s one place desert tortoises won’t be
found: lakes. Unlike most turtles in the United
States, Jones says, desert tortoises aren’t
aquatic. They might drink from or submerge
in a shallow, post-rain puddle, but that’s about
it. “They’re more soakers than swimmers,”
she says. Desert tortoises will drink and
store their water, while eating desert plants,
grasses and fruit.
Catching a glimpse in the wild is pretty
common. “If you see saguaros mixed with
paloverde and mesquite trees, especially if
there are big boulders, you’re in quality desert
tortoise territory,” Jones says, adding that
most mountain ranges surrounding Phoenix
also house the tortoises. In the Mojave Desert
they’re found in flatter basins, while in the
Sonoran Desert they’re found along rocky
slopes and bajadas.
Despite their prevalence, hikers are cau-tioned
against scooping them up and taking
them home. The only legal way to become
a desert tortoise owner is through adoption,
which is open to those living in select Arizona
cities. (For more information, contact the
Arizona Game and Fish Department.) Jones
adds that desert tortoises are solitary animals
that don’t need companion pets. And if you
adopt one, of course,
be prepared to get
the cold shoulder —
unless there’s a good
Slow and Steady Desert tortoises don’t move around much,
but their lifestyle keeps them going for decades. In some cases, they live
as long as George Burns. BY AMANDA FRUZYNSKI
BRUCE D. TAUBERT
THE JOURNAL > nature
S O N O I T A
Kentucky Camp is closed
to vehicle access and
requires a 1/4-mile walk
past the gate. To request
vehicle access, contact
the Nogales Ranger
District at 520-281-2296.
Contrary to popular myth, Arizona does have
four seasons, and our September 1959 issue
portrayed one with a color portfolio of fall
leaves. The issue also included a scenic drive
from Jerome to Williams, as well as a story
showcasing the steam locomotive of the
Magma Arizona Railroad.
50 years ago
I N A R I Z O N A H I G H W A Y S
When it comes
to being resilient,
pine stands alone.
Thought to live
up to 5,000 years,
trees grow very
slowly in isolated
groves just below
the alpine tree
line. In Arizona,
they’re found on
is attributed to
rough, dense bark
that repels fun-gus,
THE JOURNAL > history
CLAIRE ROGERS, 1991
■ The remnants
of Tropical Storm
Norma, which was
caused the Labor
Day Storm of 1970,
which led to severe
flooding in Central
Arizona. During the
storm, 23 people
died, including 14
from a flash flood on
Tonto Creek, near
Kohl’s Ranch on the
■ At the confluence
of Sycamore Creek
and the Verde River,
a military post
named Fort McDow-ell
by five companies
of the California
Volunteers on Sep-tember
■ On September
29, 1918, Arizona
aviation hero Frank
Luke Jr. shot down
three World War I
lines, where he died,
with only a pistol.
Arizona Game and Fish
3000 or www.azgfd.gov;
Cristina Jones, Turtles
Project Coordinator, 623-
12 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9
RALPH LEE HOPKINS
THEJOURNAL > things to do
Santa Cruz County Fair
S E P T EMB ER 1 8 -2 0 SONOI TA
Relive a simpler time with an old-fashioned county fair that features
4H exhibits, a carnival, ranch rodeo, barrel-racing, team-roping, food
concessions, an auction, live entertainment and more. Information:
520-455-5553 or www.sonoitafairgrounds.com.
Festival of Science
S E P T EMB ER 2 5 -OC TOB ER 4
F L A G S T A F F
“Launch Into Science” is the theme of this
10-day festival, which kicks off with a keynote
speech by Apollo XII astronaut and Skylab
Bean. Join in star par-ties,
tours, interactive talks,
hikes, exhibitions and
other science activi-ties
928-527-3344 or www.
Mark your calendars for the first-ever Grand Canyon Celebration of
Art. This art festival features two distinctly different (and free) events:
the “Grand Canyon Masters Invitational,” which showcases the work
of 19 modern master artists, including well-known painter Curt Wal-ters
(pictured), at Grand Canyon’s historic Kolb Studio; and “Plein Air
on the Rim,” a weeklong event that focuses on 19 award-winning
artists who will work en plein air at the South Rim. All artwork
will be available for sale through November 1. Proceeds help
preserve Grand Canyon art. Information: 928-638-7033 or
S E P T EMBER 14 - 1 9
GR AN D CAN YON
S E P T EMB ER 2 6 -2 7 PAYSON
Fiddle around on the Mogollon Rim during
the Vertilee Floyd Old Time Fiddlers Contest.
Listen to trick fiddling, fancy fiddling, twin fid-dling
and cross-tuned fiddling from musicians
ranging in age from 3 to 65. Information: www.
Beginning in late September, the Grand Can-yon’s
North Rim transforms into a wonderland
of fall color. Join Arizona Highways Director
of Photography Peter Ensenberger for the
“Autumn at the North Rim” photography work-shop.
Participants will learn how to capture
the Canyon’s spectacular beauty during one
of the most beautiful times of the year.
Information: 888-790-7042 or www.
TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT.
Every month we showcase the most talented photographers in the world.
Now it’s your turn to join the ranks. Enter your favorite photo
in our 2010 Arizona Highways Online Photography Contest.
You could win a trip into the Grand Canyon.
Our contest is open to amateur and professional photogra-phers.
All photos must be made in Arizona and fit into the
following categories: People/Culture, Landscape, Wildlife and
Macro (close-up); only one image per person, per category.
For details and to submit your digital photographs, visit
www.arizonahighways.com. First-, second- and third-place
winners will be published in our September 2010 issue. Prizes
include a photo workshop and digital-camera packages.
JIM HOBBS LANE BIGLER RICK GOLDWASSER VICTOR BOBBETT
Once home to more than 50 saloons, Brewery Gulch has retained its
carnival atmosphere, especially during this annual event, which fea-tures
a chili cook-off, a recycled-art show, water ball and horseshoe
tournaments, and a pet parade, as well as food and live entertainment.
Information: 520-432-3554 or www.discoverbisbee.com.
Brewery Gulch Daze
S E P T EMB ER 4 -5 B I S B E E
14 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 15
W N great lengths
Photographer: Kerrick James; Mesa, Arizona
When Arizona Highways assigned Kerrick James to canyoneer
Cibecue Canyon with Apache guides for the May 2002 issue of the
magazine, he wasn’t daunted in the least. He had, after all, been on
countless shoots that involved backpacking, hiking and a heavy dose
of adventure. But as James soon learned, canyoneering is an entirely
“I hadn’t really completed an assignment that involved both a lot
of hiking and a lot of wet conditions,” James says. “This assignment
was on fairly short notice, but I knew I had to be prepared for puddles,
ponds, deep pools of water and plenty of trekking through mud.”
He packed a surplus, two-person raft and dry bags to protect his
cameras, and along with the guides and writer Peter Aleshire, James
“We started high, then worked our way down through forested
areas, then through the canyon to a road that runs alongside the Salt
River,” James remembers. “We used gravity to guide us, and did a fair
amount of rappelling, bouldering and scrambling. At one point, we
had to rappel down and through an 80-foot waterfall, and I had to
shoot at the same time. I realized it was going to be a very interesting
three days. I had to find a way to shoot great images and survive the
Just below the waterfall, the group came upon a flat canyon, nar-row
and deep at several points and several hundred feet from the rim.
There were plenty of patches of water, too. “I shot with one leg in water
and one leg on the side of the canyon, up on the wall, and I was toting a
backpack and a camera,” James says. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat, but
we were just caked with mud — mud up to our backsides. I sacrificed
a pair of hiking boots.”
Then came the assignment’s real challenge: James and Aleshire had
to rappel from the rim down into the canyon, directly into a pool of
water. The feat required two ropes, one of which was for James, who
had to hang in space and photograph Aleshire as he rappelled down. “I
felt almost weightless,” James says, “as though I were a spider. I was try-ing
not to make a wrong move, and of course I wanted the right light. In
place at last at the end of the rope, a huge cloud moved in and blocked
the sun. After waiting interminably in space for the sun to clear the
cloud, Aleshire finally descended and ended up water-drenched.”
Although James dangled for approximately 15 minutes, he says he
had total confidence in his Apache guides, who were experts at rig-ging.
He shot through dry bags, using a 35 mm camera and a 6x7, both
of which he operated with one hand. “I shot and I prayed,” he says. “I
knew I wasn’t coming back to reshoot anything. At the end of the trip,
I donated the raft to one of the guides, and I definitely should have
bronzed those hiking boots.”
close encounters of the ursine kind
Photographer: Nick Berezenko; Pine, Arizona
Nick Berezenko knows better — at least he does now. That is, he
knows better than to tick off a bear.
Two decades ago, when he was just starting out as a photographer,
Berezenko was scouting the Mazatzal Wilderness for a possible Ari-zona
Highways proposal. One morning — 7 miles deep into the wilder-ness
— he found himself alone. Sort of. “I’d camped the night before on
the divide by Mazatzal Peak,” Berezenko says. “I was going to do an
eight-day loop around the western side of the Mazatzals.”
He had a heavy backpack, in spite of being camera-free — his 4x5
was in the shop — and a “very light” but sturdy, self-made agave hik-ing
stick. “I started dropping down into a pretty, little, steep canyon,”
EDITOR’S NOTE: As much as we would have liked having these anecdotes
documented on film, it doesn’t work that way. We rarely have photogra-phers
shooting photographers. So, to illustrate this feature, we challenged
the men and women in the piece to create self-portraits related to their
favorite pastimes, not including photography. We aren’t giving out prizes,
but you can judge for yourself who came up with the winning shot.
by kelly kramer
Every month, we showcase the artwork of the best photog-raphers
in the business — the stuff in front of the camera.
This month, we shine some light on the other side — on the
photographers themselves. Although photography is often
thought of as glamorous, it’s actually hard work that re-quires
patience, persistence, dumb luck and, sometimes,
the risk of life and limb. What follows are just some of the
back stories we hear on a regular basis. From close encoun-ters
with bears and UFOs to sleeping on a ledge in the Grand
Canyon, our photographers have been there, done that.
Kerrick James by Kerrick James
16 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 17
Berezenko remembers. “I was making good time — it was just a gor-geous
morning — and then something caught my attention off right,
about 30 feet away. When I looked, all I saw was a big, downed log.”
Then, part of the dark log moved. “A shape stood up and it was a
bear; a good-sized black bear rearing up on its haunches. I was naïve
in those days about bears and thought, Here I am, camera-less, and, without
the pressure to photograph, I have this wonderful opportunity to commune with
Berezenko rested his chin atop his folded hands on the hiking
stick and stared the bear straight in its eyes, which nestled inside a
big, basketball-sized head. “The eyes looked like little black marbles,”
Berezenko adds. “I was thinking these really sweet thoughts: You’re
a wild bear. It’s so nice to meet you in your wilderness. You love being here. I love
being here, too.”
The bear didn’t feel the same way. Slowly it growled, sniffed at
the air, then jumped the log and ran at Berezenko, stopping a mere
10 feet away. Berezenko was so surprised by the bluff charge that he
didn’t think to move away. “Just my standing there stopped him,”
Berezenko says. “After he stopped, the bear was visibly upset. He was
growling and walking back and forth. At that point, I started edging
away. He charged again, and something just kicked into me. I raised
my hiking stick above me and yelled at him, ‘Get back.’ That stopped
him again. We were in a stalemate. The bear continued to pace in one
spot. I moved very slowly at first, then started to pick up speed, going
sideways, watching him the whole time. After a few seconds, I saw he
was following me again.”
“I felt so defenseless without a weapon,” Berezenko says. But then he
thought of the penknife in his pack. “It wasn’t much,” he says. “But it was
still three inches of steel.” He flipped off his pack behind a tree, quickly
unzipped a side pocket, and retrieved the knife. And when the bear
came loping around the tree, Berezenko, with penknife in one hand and
hiking stick in the other, charged the animal instead. “I let out this ata-vistic
scream, and that stopped him dead in his tracks, totally amazed.
Then he just lumbered off, resuming his pacing in the distance.”
“I thought it was over,” Berezenko says. “That I had put him in his
place.” But the bear wasn’t finished.
Berezenko grabbed his backpack and quickly hot-footed it down
the trail. After a mile, he topped out in a sunny grove of manzanita,
where he stopped to rest. He thought he’d left the bear far behind,
but after a few seconds of silence he heard a loud shimmering in the
bushes. It was the bear, coming like a freight train through the man-zanita.
“That was it,” Berezenko says. “I thought, This bear isn’t going to give up
on me. I’m 8 or 9 miles from the nearest civilization. It’s his territory and he’s going
to get me. And I actually said aloud, ‘Time to fight for your life.’ ’’
Luckily, there were plenty of rocks in the area, and just as the bear
burst into the clearing, Berezenko began chucking loaf-sized rocks at
it, hitting it on the shoulder and causing it to veer off into the man-zanita.
The bear continued to retreat, and Berezenko, instead of con-tinuing
deeper into the wilderness, made the decision to pack it up
and head home.
Ultimately, he returned to the wilderness, and the photos he shot
there became part of his first portfolio for Arizona Highways. Although
he encountered several more bears on subsequent forays into the
Mazatzals, he refrained from staring one in the eyes. Lesson learned.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Although Nick Berezenko’s story has a happy ending, the
Arizona Game and Fish Department advises the following during an
encounter with a black bear:
• Alter your route to avoid a bear in the distance.
• Make yourself as large and imposing as possible if the bear continues
to approach. Stand upright and wave your arms, jacket or other items.
Make loud noises, such as yelling, whistling and banging pots and pans.
• Do not run, and never play dead.
• Give the bear a chance to leave the area.
• If the bear does not leave, stay calm, continue facing it and slowly back
close encounters of the e.t. kind
Photographer: Claire Curran; Santa Ana, California
In the early 1990s, Claire Curran was often on assignment, scouring
the state for subjects to fill her lens and her growing portfolio. Thus
she found herself one night, on a lonely dirt road on the Navajo Nation,
heading in the direction of Red Lake.
“I remember it was one of those nights when the moon was almost
full,” Curran says. “The sky was broken up by countless silvery clouds,
and the 9 o’clock news had just come on the radio.”
As she drove, Curran looked up and noticed something that didn’t
“At first I thought it was the moon,” she says. “Then I said, ‘Wait a
minute — that doesn’t belong.’ It wasn’t the moon.” The object moved
out from behind the clouds and into an open spot in the sky. There,
“It looked like a stereotypical flying saucer,” Curran says. “It almost
looked like the planet Saturn, and it was just gigantic in the sky — like
the size of a mountain. It hovered for about two seconds, flashing all
bright lights and colors, and then it took off faster than anything I’d
“I don’t drink and I don’t take drugs and I’ve never hallucinated,”
she continues, “but that experience left me wondering if I’d really seen
what I thought I had.”
Photographer: Marty Cordano; Anchorage, Alaska
As a frequent wildlife photography contributor to Arizona Highways,
Audubon, Field & Stream and Birder’s World, Marty Cordano is no stranger
to fauna that flies. Here, in his own words, he describes a close, lucky
encounter with one of the state’s speediest swifts.
“When Arizona Highways Editor Bob Early phoned and asked if I
wanted to tackle an assignment to shoot a white-throated swift, I
was eager for the work and a chance to prove myself as a skilled and
productive wildlife photographer.
“I began scouting the mountains near my home in Southeastern
Arizona for white-throated swifts, but only occasionally glimpsed a
bird that might be my quarry. I panicked and went home to do some
“What I learned was somewhat unsettling. White-throated swifts
are possibly North America’s fastest-flying bird, reaching speeds esti-mated
at more than 200 mph. They eat on the wing, mate on the wing,
bathe on the wing, fly all day long, covering 500 to 600 miles, and
spend more hours in flight than any other land bird. Worse still, when
these feathered missiles do decide to touch down, they do so in the
most inaccessible cliff crevices they can find.
“Swell! Things were looking bleak, and reality was setting in. To
complete this ‘mission impossible’ assignment was going to take a
miracle. But, I had an ace up my sleeve. My friend Linda Searles, who
owns and operates Southwest Wildlife Rehab in Scottsdale, thought
she might have a swift she was trying to nurse back to health.
“I called her. She not only didn’t have one at the rehab facility, but
she had never had one come through in 20 years of operation. Bleak.
“Two days later, at the depth of my depression, the phone rang and
it was Linda. ‘You owe me big time,’ she began. Turns out, the day
before, two nuns were walking among the glass-sided skyscrapers in
downtown Phoenix when a small bird crashed into one of the win-dows
and spiraled down to the sidewalk, just inches from the nuns.
“The bird was still alive, but dazed and unable to fly. The nuns gath-ered
it up and delivered it to Linda for some TLC. Once the swift was
back on its wings, Linda and I drove it to a remote location outside of
Phoenix and released it. I was able to shoot up a roll of film on it before
it oriented itself and flew off its rocky perch, never to be seen again.
Marty Cordano by Marty Cordano
Did You Know?
On March 13, 1997, one of the most widely reported UFO sightings
occurred in the skies over Arizona, from Hoover Dam to Tucson.
The “Phoenix Lights,” as they became known, were a triangle-shaped
formation of six lights that whistled through the night sky
and were reported by countless Arizona residents, perhaps the
most notable of which was then-Governor Fife Symington.
Claire Curran by Claire Curran
18 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 19 H
“Call it what you will — dumb luck or divine intervention — but
the editor was impressed and, for a time, the assignments rolled in.
Especially the tough ones.”
Photographer: Christine Keith; Phoenix, Arizona
Sometimes photographers have the distinct challenge of stepping
into the shoes of their subjects. In this case, Christine Keith wore her
own shoes, but had to keep pace with renowned wilderness runner,
author and photographer John Annerino.
Keith photographed three of his historic multi-day,
long-distance runs in the spring of 1980, 1981
and 1982. Annerino had set out, on foot, to trace
ancient Indian trade routes that connected villages
both above and below the rim of the Grand Can-yon.
A small group of Annerino’s friends acted as
a resupply team, while Keith served as photogra-pher,
hiking up and down trails to meet him, and
sometimes running short-to-marathon distances to
get the pictures she needed to document his longer
“I was photographing the final leg of Anneri-no’s
210-mile Hopi-to-Havasupai run,” Keith says.
The jaunt began at Oraibi Wash and was to end at
Havasu Springs, six-and-a-half days later.
Wilderness professional Dave Ganci and Keith
joined Annerino at Anita Station on the Coconino
Plateau, on the western edge of the Grand Canyon.
Together they ventured into Moqui Trail Canyon.
“We intended to take two days and one night to
reach our resupply crew at Havasu Springs,” Keith
remembers. “We were covering 18-plus miles, so the
three of us were dressed for running and carried
only basic survival gear.”
Eventually, the narrow trail they
were following turned into a series of
hoof prints mashed into a 45-degree
slope. Then, it began to grow dark.
“We ended up rim-rocked on a des-ert
bighorn sheep trail,” Keith says.
“We had only enough water and food
to get us where we needed to go. We
didn’t have time to be stranded.” But,
given the looming darkness, the trio
had little choice but to hunker down
for the night.
“We came to a widening of the
trail — perhaps 2.5 to 3 feet wide —
and the three of us spooned together
in our footsteps so we wouldn’t fall
off the sheer Coconino sandstone
wall,” she adds.
“We stretched Annerino’s blan-ket
across the three of us and held
on.” Slipping off the ledge would
have meant a 300-foot plunge into the Canyon.
In the morning, after backtracking another 5 miles, Annerino and
Ganci spotted an area that resembled the trail. “They announced we
had little choice but to dig in our heels and head down a 40-degree,
300-foot talus slope.
“At this point, I was scared,” Keith says. “The two of them went
ahead. I was sort of panicking, but I really had no choice but to follow
them. We were running low on water, and we were way out on the
western edge of the Grand Canyon. I really wanted to photograph the
run, but I was really scared.”
Eventually, the group cut their way through Moqui Trail Canyon,
then made their way into Cataract Canyon, where they
had to spend another night. “Ganci had some aspirins that
we shared,” Keith says. “We bartered, traded and rationed
the small bits of food and water we carried between the
three of us.”
In the morning, Ganci and Annerino were looking
under every living tree they saw, hoping to find a water
source, but everything was dry. Then, the trio went from
running low on water to basically out of water. “We had
a few sips left,” Keith says. “Eventually, we saw horses,
and Ganci and Annerino started to wonder. ...”
Finally, they ran into a Havasupai wrangler, and they
knew that they were close to the village — close, that is,
to Annerino’s destination. “We spent two nights in the
middle of nowhere,” Keith says. “I’ll never forget camping
on that little ledge, rim-rocked over the Canyon.”
such great heights
Photographer: Edward McCain; Tucson, Arizona
Edward McCain admits that he’s not much of a skier,
but with one caveat: “I can manage, especially when it
comes to Nordic or cross-country skiing,” he says. So
when McCain was assigned to shoot a story about a
Nordic ski center on the North Rim of the Grand Can-yon,
he didn’t flinch.
“The trip was quite an adventure,” McCain remem-bers.
“To get into the area of the lodge, I could either take
a Snowcat, or one of the guides had offered to take me on
the back of a snowmobile. I went with the snowmobile.”
That proved interesting, as McCain had no choice but to shoot
with one hand and hang on for dear life with the other. “It wasn’t
easy,” he says. “I never knew when we were going to hit a bump or
When his group arrived at the lodge, another was preparing to ski
out, and McCain knew he wanted a sunset shot from one of the over-looks.
It would be a few miles to the overlook and a few miles back.
“It was my first night there, and I’m guessing the elevation was
somewhere around 9,000 feet,” McCain says. “I got the shot, but on
the way back, everyone was tired and hungry and they picked up the
pace. My tongue was hanging down by my skis. I wasn’t used to the
elevation or the pace of the skiing.”
As it turned out, McCain spent the night with a wicked case of
altitude sickness — the first and last time he ever battled soroche.
“I spent the entire night in the fetal position and pretty much miser-able,”
he says. “But I did manage to shake it off by the next morning.”
Photographer: Don Stevenson; Tempe, Arizona
Having shot for Arizona Highways since 1985, Don Stevenson has
contributed photographs to more than 40 stories. Here, he describes
an encounter with an unexpected gatekeeper.
“Shortly after joining Arizona Highways as a contributor 24 years ago,
I headed off to Southern Arizona for a week of exploring and photo-graphing
what remained of a number of forgotten ghost towns.
“Years before, I’d read of a small village just north of the Mexican
border called Sunnyside, which was established nearly a century
ago as a utopian community. After a long search, I found a closed but
unlocked gate across the deteriorating gravel road.
“I’d driven a short distance when I came upon a hand-painted sign
that said, ‘Keep Out.’ So, as is my nature, I continued on another quar-ter-
mile. I entered Sunnyside, parked my vehicle and stepped out with
camera in hand, uncertain of just what or whom I’d find.
“Before I could take a step toward the various historic buildings,
I heard a woman’s screaming voice coming from a hillside 50 yards
to my right. I only had seconds to decide if I should hop back into my
SUV and get out of there or face the consequences. Too late.
“Marching toward me with a shotgun aimed in my direction was a
small, elderly woman so much like Granny of the Beverly Hillbillies TV
series of the 1960s. My only thought was that no one knows where I
am — other than in Southern Arizona — and they’ll never find my
body. The woman approached. I was on one side of my SUV and she
was on the other. The woman asked why I was there, and I nervously
explained. The shotgun lowered, the woman came around to my side
of the vehicle and said, ‘Welcome to Sunnyside.’
“She then shook my hand and barked out a command: ‘Follow me.’
Up the hillside we went to her hidden house. I learned of her life in
this hidden paradise and how she was the sole remaining resident.
She told me that she never had visitors anymore since a distant rela-tive
came by and put up the keep-out sign. We strolled through what
remained of her utopia. For two hours I took pictures, and she never
stopped talking. It was a great day. For both of us.”
Edward McCain by Edward McCain
20 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 21
warren faidley frowns as he looks at the line
of thunderstorms moving along the mountains.
He’s not happy with the storm he’s chasing.
The thunderstorm is a couple of miles off
to the northwest over a small range of moun-tains,
but it’s not dropping many lightning
bolts, which is frustrating him. Faidley checks
the Doppler radar images being displayed on
his dashboard-mounted Garmin GPS, then
taps his iPhone a few times and brings up the
National Weather Service Web site.
Satisfied with what he sees, he decides the
storm is worth his time to photograph, so he
parks at the edge of a farm field to set up. He
extracts a Fujifilm digital camera from a heav-ily
padded bag and attaches a 400 mm zoom
lens to it. He checks the camera’s settings a
couple of times and then laughs. “My camera
just told me it needs a firmware update,” he
says. “How does it know that?”
He attaches a cable release to the camera
and secures it to a tripod. He’s ready to shoot.
The sky flashes and the rumble of thunder
resounds around him. The storm starts drop-ping
lightning bolts at regular intervals and
Faidley is deep in his element, making expo-sures
of about 30 seconds for each shot.
“Wow,” he says, a smile creasing his face as
he checks the camera’s display screen. “Look
at the red background on this shot. They nor-mally
don’t do that.”
Faidley is happy now. “That’s what shoot-ing
lightning is all about,” he says, “taking
shots and hoping you’ll get a great one. It’s
always a treasure hunt.”
Faidley, who’s been chasing storms —
lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires
— since the mid-1980s, is probably the coun-try’s
best-known professional storm chaser.
Most people who chase storms — and
there aren’t very many who do it for a living
— would have given up on this storm long
ago. But it’s Faidley’s talent for spotting the
unusual that has earned him accolades for
some of the most memorable images of light-ning
strikes in the Sonoran Desert.
Besides lightning storms, Faidley has put
himself in the path of hurricanes and endured
their battering winds and stinging rain to
photograph their power.
He’s chased tornadoes across America’s
heartland, and witnessed the
power and destruction of the
terrible funnel clouds first-hand.
When wildfires sweep
across the West, Faidley’s usu-ally
in a helicopter, document-ing
a fire’s devastation.
His obsession with cata-strophic
weather goes back
to age 12, when a flash flood
in Tucson nearly drowned
him and a companion. But he wasn’t scared;
he was fascinated.
Dubbed the “storm chaser” by Life magazine
in 1989 after the publication ran his now-famous
photograph of a multiple-branch light-ning
strike in Tucson, Faidley has chased storms
from one end of the country to the other.
“I’ve always had a fascination with bad weath-
from an early age,” Faidley says. “Storms of all
kinds are intriguing. They’re bigger than life,
powerful and uncontrollable.”
The shot that launched his fame was one
that almost got him killed, too.
When a massive lightning storm welled up
over Tucson late in the summer of 1988, Faidley
picked up his cameras and headed south toward
the action. He set up his equipment under an
overpass on Aviation Highway and got ready to
document the frequent lightning strikes.
He opened his camera shutter at the right
moment and captured lightning striking a
power pole near oil and fuel tanks off Ajo Way.
“It was during the middle of the rainstorm,
and lightning was striking all around me,”
Faidley says. “As I got the shot, I also got jolted,
like getting a jolt from a 110-volt live wire.”
The lightning bolt had four branches as it
struck, Faidley says, with the main bolt strik-ing
the power pole and one of the branches
electrifying the overpass area where he stood.
When he realized what he had, he printed
the shot and sent it off to Life magazine.
“After the photo ran in Life, things changed
for me overnight,” he says. “I’d been shooting
weddings to survive, but very quickly I had
people calling me for weather shots and pay-ing
me $700 a pop.”
Faidley was born in Topeka, Kansas, in
1957 and escaped his first big storm, a tornado,
when he was only 5. At age 9, he moved to
Mobile, Alabama, when his father, an employee
with the federal government, was transferred
to that tropical cyclone hot zone.
Three years later, the family
moved to Tucson.
“As I grew up, I went from
tornado alley to hurricane alley
to lightning alley,” Faidley says. “When you’re
a kid experiencing storms, everything is so
much bigger and grandiose. But as an adult,
that kind of weather still has an appeal for me
that is bigger than life.”
Faidley graduated from high school in 1975
and attended Pima Community College before
transferring to the University of Arizona, where
he earned a degree in photojournalism in 1984.
After working as a stringer for local news-papers,
Faidley landed a job as a photojournal-ist
at the Tucson Citizen. He worked there for
three years, but says he wanted “something a
bit more exciting than shooting city council
meetings and rodeos.”
He began his weather photography career
in 1987 when he and another staff photogra-pher
took time off to chase unusual weather
to see where it might lead.
“When we got to Las Cruces [New Mexico],
we heard on the radio that a Texas town had
been hit hard by a tornado,” says Tom Willett,
Faidley’s partner on that trip. “We drove to
Saragosa [Texas] and documented the devas-tation
there. More than 30 people had been
killed and the town destroyed.”
For Faidley, the tornado’s destruction left a
lasting impression. He also found that shooting
severe weather could be made into a career.
“At the time, stock photography companies
provided a dizzying array of photos for publi-cations,”
Faidley says, “and it was an extremely
lucrative business. I looked into it and realized
that no one was doing stock shots of weather.
So I quit my job at the Citizen.”
Today, storm-chasing is one of several
businesses Faidley runs. He has the imaging
company, and also Storm Chaser Consulting,
through which he helped DuPont develop a Kev-
In addition, he published a book in 1995,
Storm Chaser. He has produced a calendar of
weather images each year for several years,
and wrote a children’s book about storms for
a London publisher.
“From the very beginning, I realized how
strange an occupation this would be for me,”
Faidley admits. “But I realized that as a jour-
there’s more than simply taking a pic-ture.
I try to educate and help people under-stand
weather through my photos.”
Each kind of storm Faidley chases holds
its own perils and difficulties to
“With a hurricane, you know in advance
where it’s going, so the secret to getting good
shots is being at the right place at the right
time, and still surviving,” he says.
“Shooting lightning is not that dangerous
for me because I’ve learned where to shoot
from and to know about the energy in the
storm. If you know the storm structure, you’ll
know where the lightning is likely to come
from and be ready for it.”
Faidley says he has lenses up to 500 mm
in focal length to shoot lightning, but often
chooses a lens in the 200 mm to 400 mm range.
The most challenging kind of storm to pho-tograph,
he says, is a tornado. “It’s very diffi-cult
to get a good tornado shot. You have to be
within a mile or less of the funnel.”
Faidley adds that even getting near a tornado
can be tricky. There are about a thousand tor-nadoes
each year in the United States. Some
of them hit at night, others are very short-lived,
and some happen where a photographer can’t
get to them. This reduces the number of torna-does
that could be photographed to just a few.
Then there’s the problem of being in the
right place at the right time. Tornado Alley
encompasses around 400,000 square miles,
taking in eastern New Mexico, Colorado and
Wyoming, most of Nebraska and South Da-
Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma and a large
chunk of Texas.
“It’s elusive to catch something in there,”
Faidley says. “Tornadoes are the most difficult
storms to find, but aren’t necessarily the most
dangerous. The transportation part of getting to
the storm is probably the most dangerous, and
then the lightning that comes with the storm.”
Has the 51-year-old Faidley ever been in a
situation where he feared for his life?
He chuckles before he answers. “Many,
many times,” he says. “It happens a lot. And I
tell myself I’ll do it differently next time.”
“I try,” he says.
Faidley says chasing storms always will
“When I shot Hurricane Andrew, the park-ing
garage I was using as a shooting platform
was shaking so much the cast-iron caps on
the sprinkler valves were shaking off,” he
says. “With Hurricane Katrina, the parking
garage in Biloxi we were going to shoot
from would have been under water, so
we were turned away before we could
even get there.”
Sometimes, escape routes are blocked,
Faidley says, so it’s critical to keep a cool head.
“The best way not to panic is to know about
the subject, about the storm and its behavior.”
Faidley has been injured a few times while
chasing storms, most recently when he twisted
his knee during Hurricane Katrina. He also car-ries
scars on his arm from flying glass hurled by
Hurricane Andrew, and a scar on his leg where
a door flung by a tornado slammed into him.
“I always wear a helmet and ballistic-type
goggles when I’m chasing a hurricane,” Faidley
says. “There’s all kinds of stuff flying through
the air, so you have to protect yourself. I also
wear an inflatable life vest in case of getting
caught in a storm surge.”
But for Faidley, no matter what gear he’s
wearing or what photographic equipment he’s
using, there’s nothing to compare with the
adrenaline rush of chasing a big storm.
“They’re elusive,” he says, “but that’s part of
Lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes ... when the weather starts getting bad, Warren Faidley starts
feeling good. No, he’s not a dark knight or a prophet of doom. He’s a photographer. More
specifically, he’s a storm photographer, and he’s one of the best in the world.
With a hurricane,
you know in advance
where it’s going,
so the secret to getting
good shots is being
at the right place
at the right time,
and still surviving. ‘‘
When most people think of Arizona, they think of blue skies and bright sunshine — that’s usually the forecast. However, as you’ll see in this month’s portfolio, the state gets more than its share of severe weather.
T A K I N G A R I Z O N A B Y S T O R M A P ORTFOL IO B Y W ARRE N F AIDLEY
◗ A rare event, lightning
bolts travel from one
cloud to another, moving
sideways across the sky
above Kellogg Mountain
in the Santa Catalina
range near Tucson.
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 23
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 25
◗ In a sky ablaze with a
scarlet sunset, an omi-nous
over Green Valley in
24 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9
26 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 27
◗ During the summer
months, storm chasers
track monsoon clouds in
Southern Arizona, offering
photographers perfect op-portunities
to practice their
craft (above and opposite).
RIGHT: A halo, also called a
sundog, is an optical phe-nomenon
created by the
reflection of sunlight by ice
crystals in high cirrus
28 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 29
TOP: The late stages of a
thunderstorm are some-times
referred to as an or-phan
ABOVE: This photograph,
which first appeared on the
cover of Life magazine,
launched Warren Faidley’s
career as a storm photog-rapher.
RIGHT: Sunset illuminates
the upper surface of a large
thundercloud that recedes
into black over Tucson’s
30 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 w w w . a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 31
Is ... OK. We'll skip the suspense. Look over there. On
the other page. That's the one. Of the thousands and
thousands of entries in our first-ever online photography
contest, that photograph by Bev Pettit is the grand-prize
winner. Impressive, isn't it? That's what we
thought. When we launched this contest in last year's
“Photography Issue,” we had no idea what to expect.
Frankly, we would have been thrilled with a handful of
good shots. Instead, we were flooded with a boatload of
great shots. What follows are the finalists.
Edited by Peter Ensenberger & Jeff Kida
BEV PETTIT, SKULL VALLEY
A rainy day made for a muddy
arena at the Cowpuncher’s
Reunion Rodeo in Williams, but
that didn’t stop Bev Pettit of Skull
Valley, Arizona, from taking her
camera gear out to capture this
peak moment. Catching the pick-up
man’s facial expression as he
struggles to control the bucking
bronco makes this shot a winner.
Lighting and weather conditions
added to the difficulty factor.
32 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 w w w . a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 33
BEV SARGENT, FOUNTAIN HILLS
“THE OPENING ACT”
Simplicity and soft, warm, direction-al
light combine to make this image
by Bev Sargent of Fountain Hills,
Arizona, nothing short of elegant.
The photographer made excellent
choices when she selected her sub-ject
and also when she opted to use
a wide lens opening, allowing the
background to be thrown out of
focus. This would make a beautiful
framed print on any wall.
Henk Ruiter’s fascination with honeybees’ essential place in the food
chain led to this photo of pollination in action with a scientific air about it.
Using a 100 mm macro lens and a monopod allowed the Glendale,
Arizona, resident a view into the depths of the blossom without disturb-ing
the bee’s work. Due to extreme sharpness and high resolution, you
can almost count the hairs on the bee’s back.
The sharp, organic form of this agave contrasts beautifully next to the
brilliant colors of a painted adobe wall in Tucson’s barrio district. We like
the photographer’s use of 3’s: three colors, three agave leaves and even
the triangular shape of the leaves themselves. The graphic quality of the
photo is enhanced by the photographer’s choice to work in open shade,
minimizing additional shadows.
HONORABLE MENTION | HENK RUITER, GLENDALE | “BUSY BEE”
HONORABLE MENTION | JACK CHALLEM, TUCSON | “SERPENTINE AGAVE”
34 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 35
LISA WILLIAMS, BISBEE
“MAYHEM IN THEIR EYES”
Most bird-watchers know how
territorial hummingbirds can
be, especially around a hum-mingbird
feeder. Armed with
her Canon 20D and 400 mm
lens, Lisa Williams of Bisbee,
Arizona, was poised to capture
the ferocity of the airborne
combatants. With shutter
speed set at 1/2000 of a sec-ond,
she followed the hummers
through the viewfinder until
this moment of confrontation
occurred near a feeder in
Patagonia, Arizona. If looks
In a perfect example of being in
the right place at the right time,
Jeannine Lavender had her eye to
the viewfinder when the unex-pected
happened. Using her
Nikon N70 camera, the resident
of Mesa, Arizona, caught this
desert bighorn ram midleap on
the rocky cliffs surrounding
A long telephoto lens and a great deal
of patience combined to make this a
memorable photograph. In the world
of wildlife photography, it pays to be
vigilant and wait for magic moments
to arise. With this image, the photog-rapher
placed the coyotes on the right
side of the photo, allowing their shad-ows
to become an important element,
balancing the entire frame.
DAN JACOB, SURPRISE
“DANCE OF THE COYOTES”
HONORABLE MENTION | JEANNINE LAVENDER, MESA | “THE LEAPER”
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 37
HONORABLE MENTION | DAN JACOB, SURPRISE | “GRAND CANYON SNOW SQUALLS”
Powdery snow misting off the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on a blustery morning caught the eye of Dan Jacob. Backlighting the snow helped the
Surprise, Arizona, resident to emphasize the graphic nature and repetition of the Canyon’s descending ridgelines.
JOE BARTELS, PHOENIX
Travertine cascades and blue-green
water of the Little Colorado River provid-ed
a compelling foreground for this land-scape
by Joe Bartels of Phoenix. Using a
16 mm lens and a slow shutter speed al-lowed
him to accentuate the flowing
water and incorporate the rugged can-yon
walls of Little Colorado River Gorge
being kissed by the setting sun.
HONORABLE MENTION | RUDOLF VOLKMANN, FOUNTAIN HILLS | “SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS”
Light play between several layers of clouds surrounding
the Superstition Mountains make this a spectacular
sunrise photo. Often weather conditions play a critical
role in the mood of landscape photography. No matter
what your meteorologist says, if you’re out shooting,
be patient. The payoff will often surprise the most
MARCO PENNACCHINI, TUCSON
Color, expression and framing add up to
capture a joyous moment of a Mexican
dance troop in Tucson. A fast shutter
speed and a low camera angle allowed the
photographer to frame the young man on
the right, freezing the arching lace dress.
BRENDAN MOORE , TEMPE
This is a wonderful environmental por-trait
of a young bullrider. His wardrobe
and body language give just enough infor-mation
to tell his story, cocky and flam-boyant.
Although the cowboy is posi-tioned
in the exact center of the frame,
the symmetry works. An off-camera flash
was used as an additional light source to
really make the subject stand out from
the livestock trailer.
36 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9
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the more things change, the more they stay
the same. Over the past 50 years, the highly special-ized
camera equipment used by professional wildlife
photographers has changed significantly. Back in
the day, when Arizona Highways photographer Willis
Peterson (pictured) was learning his craft, the advan-tages
of digital sensors and wireless technology were
Slow and clunky by today’s standards, his equip-ment’s
limitations posed lots of challenges to the
image-making process. The rudimentary gear Peter-son
relied on to capture his incredible nature pho-tographs
makes those images even more amazing.
Elaborate outdoor studio setups interconnected by
long cables were the norm. Back then, solving tech-nical
issues meant modifying existing equipment to
suit the job at hand. Those small adaptations by inno-vative
pioneers like Peterson and others of his era
paved the way for the modern advantages enjoyed
by photographers today.
Then, along came integrated circuits, and pho-tographic
equipment was forever changed. Remote
devices and electronic high-speed strobe technology
leapt forward with the advent of the microproces-sor,
leading to smaller, more powerful equipment.
Today, digital cameras and wireless interconnectivity
have simplified the task of taking complex setups into
the field. Advancements in materials used in mod-ern
equipment also improved portability. Even the
peripheral gear associated with wildlife photography
— blinds, tripods, camera bags — has benefited from
new synthetic materials. The latest compact, light-weight
equipment allows photographers to spend
less time schlepping and more time shooting.
But, while the technical side of nature photography
has become highly evolved, the practical approach
remains the same as in the early days. Awareness,
anticipation and quick reactions in the field have long
been hallmarks for success. It’s still all about captur-ing
the moment. And the most important piece of
photo equipment has been around for a long time.
It’s between our ears.
by peter ensenberger, director 0 of photography
Not with a rifle — with a camera. We covered this same ground
about 50 years ago, but five decades is a long time, so we thought
it made sense to revisit the basics of wildlife photography.
38 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9
0Becoming a good wildlife
photographer requires a
solid base in three areas:
knowledge, technical skill
and artistry. There’s also
a three-step process
for achieving consistently
good results: practice,
try these tips for improving
your nature photography.
know your subjects
Wildlife photographers are also naturalists who never stop learning
about their subjects. Arming yourself with intimate details about your
subjects helps you capture informative images of a species rather than just
pretty pictures of it. Learn the seasons for mating and nesting, calving and
fawning, dormancy and migration. There’s a direct correlation between
knowledge of your subjects and the strength of your images.
When showing your wildlife photographs to others,
do you have to point out the wildlife? To ensure that
your subjects occupy a prominent position in your
images, use a telephoto lens. Lenses of 400 mm or
more will positively impact your wildlife images in
a number of ways: Telephotos allow you to fill the
frame with your subject while maintaining a distance
buffer from camera-shy animals. They also serve to
defocus a cluttered background, isolate your subject
and increase its prominence in the image. There’s
truth to the adage among wildlife photographers: “If
it ain’t tight, it ain’t right.”
3 Other camera gear that wildlife photographers
find useful includes macro lenses, wide-angle lenses,
remote-controlled shutter releases, high-speed strobes
and cameras with fast frames-per-second exposures. The startup
costs to become a serious nature photographer carry a hefty
price tag, but to do it right and compete with the best
photographers, the investment in quality gear is a necessity.
Every creature prefers a particular environment that meets its needs for food and shelter. With Arizona’s rich diver-sity
of life zones, understanding the cycle of the seasons puts you in the right habitat at the right time. In spring, be
prepared for bird migration along streams and rivers. In summer, lizards and snakes are out and active in the deserts.
Autumn is elk rut in the high country, and sandhill cranes return to Willcox Playa every winter.
The basic rules of good composition apply to
wildlife photography, too. Be mindful of your
subject’s placement in the scene by utilizing the
rule of thirds. Placing your main subject off-center
allows you to include more of the animal’s habitat
and incorporate the patterns of nature. Natural
moments often last only a few seconds before the
subject vanishes, so learn to compose quickly by
anticipating your subject’s movements.
BRUCE D. TAUBERT
C. ALLAN MORGAN
Greater earless lizard
Lesser long-nosed bat
40 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
42 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9
use a blind
Shooting from a camouflaged blind is the best
technique to avoid disturbing wild subjects.
Set up your blind in the location you want to
shoot a few days ahead of time to give wildlife
a chance to get accustomed to its presence.
It becomes part of the landscape, and birds
and animals won’t be as agitated when you’re
inside clicking away.
Your safety comes first, so be prepared for encounters with wild animals.
Remember, you’re entering their world. If you’re in bear country, take pre-cautions
to protect yourself. But the safety of the animals you pursue is also
important. Be as discreet as possible when interjecting yourself or
your camera into any scenario. Nesting sites provide great photo
opportunities, but if your presence is threatening, adults might
abandon the nest, leaving their young exposed to predators.
Never forget that the animals and their habitats are more
important than pictures of them.
patience & persistence
Stay alert and be sensitive to the rhythms of the moment.
Spending a few hours waiting on your subject is relatively
short compared to the months or years spent preparing for the
opportunity. If your patience begins to wear thin, stay another
15 minutes, and then another and another. The best formula for
witnessing the natural behavior of a wild species in its native
habitat is good old-fashioned dedication.
Strive to photograph animals in the act of being
themselves. Behavior displays and body lan-guage
make your wildlife images stand out in a
sea of static animal portraits. Catching the glint
in an animal’s eyes also enhances the subject’s
personality; if ambient lighting conditions don’t
provide a little sparkle in the eye, create your
own with a subtle flash fill. That tiny eye reflec-tion
adds intensity and luster.
baiting & wildlife calls
Knowing what animals eat gives
you the opportunity to bring
them in closer to the camera
using their food as bait. Bait-ing
gives you some influence
over the subject’s placement in a scene and
allows you to choose the background and
lighting direction. Learn to use animal calls
such as duck, elk and turkey calls to draw
wild animals closer to your camera..
10 gear & clothing
Wearing a waist pack or photog-rapher’s
vest with plenty of large
pockets gives easy access to lenses
and memory cards. Keeping fre-quently
used equipment at your
fingertips also enables you to be
more mobile if your subject is on
the move. Changing lenses and
cards quickly is important when
action is happening fast.
The great joy of wildlife photog-raphy
is realized when months of
planning meet a second of oppor-tunity.
Scouting for promising loca-tions
increases your opportunities and
reduces time spent waiting in a blind.
Take note of telltale signs of animal
presence — tracks, droppings, matted
grasses or wallows. Watering holes
and fruit-bearing trees and bushes
also are attractive to animals.
BRUCE D. TAUBERT
PAUL & JOYCE BERQUIST
Bell's vireo family
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 43
44 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 45
the great thing about existing
off the beaten path, as the town
of Cherry does, is that residents
and scenic-drivers have to take an
unbeaten path to get there. That
means driving scenery-rich Cherry
Named for the cherry trees that
grew along the adjacent creek, Cherry
sits in a pine-scented basin at the
crest of the Black Hills. The town
once served as a stage stop between
Fort Whipple in Prescott and Fort
Verde in Camp Verde. Buffalo Sol-diers
and others also used the route
to travel between posts. A few mines
sprang up late in the 19th century, but
nothing that resembled a mother lode.
Most far-flung mining towns
fade into oblivion after the ore plays
out, but Cherry transitioned into a
tranquil little oasis for ranchers and
homesteaders. Today, it seems virtu-ally
untouched by the passing of time
— the kind of spot you drive through
once, yet think about for years after-ward,
especially on late-summer eve-nings
while stuck in traffic.
Starting among the rolling hills
near Dewey, the meandering dirt
road dips in and out of wash bottoms
and begins a gentle climb. By dirt
road standards, this is a freeway, eas-ily
navigated by passenger cars. After
a couple of miles, drivers are inexpli-cably
treated to a respite of pavement.
A 3-mile stretch of orphaned
LEFT: Lent vendit,
sim vel ilit ad eum
dit wisi bla feum
acipit, sectem zz-riure
ABOVE: Lent vendit,
sim vel ilit ad eum
dit wisi bla feum
acipit, sectem zz-riure
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more scenic drives, pick
up a copy of our book, The Back Roads. Now
in its fifth edition, the book ($19.95) fea-tures
40 of the state’s most scenic drives.
To order a copy, call 800-543-5432 or visit
Along with breath-taking
views of the
Verde Valley, this
scenic drive fea-tures
country lane in the
BY ROGER NAYLOR
Note: Mileages are approximate.
DIRECTIONS: From Phoenix, go north on Interstate 17
to Exit 278. Turn left onto State Route 169 and drive
5.5 miles to Cherry Road and turn right. It’s 6 miles
to Cherry, and another 11 miles to State Route 260.
Beyond Cherry, there are several switchbacks and
mountain curves, and the road is not protected by
guardrails. This section should be avoided when wet.
VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS: Accessible to all vehicles
LODGING: Cherry Creek Bed & Breakfast, 928-632-
5390 or www.cherrycreekbnb.com
WARNING: Back-road travel can be hazardous, so
beware 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: Prescott National Forest, 928-443-
8000 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/prescott
Travelers in Arizona can visit www.az511.gov or
dial 511 to get information
on road closures,
delays, weather and more.
V E R D E V A L L E Y
B L A C K H I L L S
P R E S C O T T
N A T I O N A L F O R E S T
S T A R T H E R E
asphalt leads to bigger tim-ber
as juniper and scrub oak
trees surrender to a cluster
of ponderosa pines. A few
scorched trunks are remnants
of a prescribed burn. Seclusion
demands a proactive fire policy.
The pavement vanishes as
suddenly as it appeared as you
make your way into downtown
Cherry. Watch for dogs taking
a middle-of-the-road siesta.
Then take a moment to savor
the most calendar-perfect, tree-lined
country lane in the state.
The town (population 50
or so) includes one business:
Cherry Creek Bed & Breakfast.
Travelers looking for a peaceful
getaway can call off the search.
Innkeepers Boyce and Lynn
Macdonald, Cherry residents
since 1976, offer an idyllic cot-tage
engulfed all summer long
by Lynn’s vibrant flower gar-dens.
Breakfast is served out-side
in good weather, which,
at an elevation of 5,300 feet,
means most of the year.
As you wind onward, a scat-tering
of houses peek through
dense chaparral. One gets a
sense of a friendly but private
community, where quiet earns
The landscape broadens
once you pass through town,
with scratchy green hills tum-bling
away in all directions.
The road then takes a down-ward
tilt, descending 2,000
feet to the floor of the Verde
Valley, most of which occurs in
a 4-mile stretch of switchbacks
and tight curves unprotected
Pull over to ogle breathtak-ing
views across the valley to
the crumpled cliffs of Sedona
and the San Francisco Peaks
rising beyond. As the road levels
off you’ll pass the trailhead for
Grief Hill. And yes, that rutted,
rocky ribbon plunging from
the high country used to be
the main thoroughfare in these
parts. Count your blessings.
Cherry Road ends at State
Route 260 between Camp
Verde and Cottonwood, not far
from Sedona and Jerome, which
are supremely scenic in their
own right. That said, don’t be
surprised if your thoughts con-tinue
drifting back to a placid
speck of a town along a tree-crowded
◗ The views from
Cherry Road include
rolling hills, a verdant
valley and a quaint
46 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 47
month OF THE
it’s hard to imagine driving a Model T up the
slopes of Fremont Peak, but that’s what John
Weatherford had in mind in the 1920s when
he constructed an eponymous toll road to the
upper reaches of the San Francisco Peaks. It was
an ambitious undertaking that was ultimately
undermined by the Great Depression. Fortu-nately,
he had better luck with his hotel in Flag-staff.
Today, the Hotel Weatherford (he liked his
name) is still one of the best places to stay, and
his toll road, as it turns out, has turned into one
of the best trails in Arizona.
The easy-to-follow route, which no longer
resembles a road, begins at Schultz Tank
and climbs gradually through an open grove
of ponderosas to the intersection with the
Kachina Trail. When you get there, look around.
Although the trail is rated moderate for dif-ficulty,
it’s rated extreme for beauty. The pines,
the aspens, the meadows, the mountains ... no
wonder Weatherford chose this route. It looks
like something you’d see on the cover of a John
Continuing uphill, the trail enters the
Kachina Peaks Wilderness. From this point, it’s
about 4 miles to Doyle Saddle, which is named
for Alan Doyle, a hunting guide who had a camp
in the peaks in the late 19th century. The saddle
makes an ideal turnaround point, but don’t rush
to get there. The scenery only gets better as you
climb toward the sky.
Just past the wilderness boundary, you’ll skirt
the ridge of a shaded canyon on your right. As
you look across to the opposite slope, you’ll see
a kaleidoscope of greens. The colors of the trees
are stunning. And so are the stately aspens
you’ll encounter along the trail. Sadly, hundreds
of reprobates have carved their initials into the
trees. Some of the etchings are recent, and some
date back decades to the Basque sheepherders
who worked the area. If you get an undisciplined
urge, remember, you’re not a Basque sheepherder.
You’re a hiker. They were bored. You won’t be.
Leave the trees alone.
Moving on, the trail becomes a series of grad-ual
switchbacks and the vegetation changes from
ponderosas and aspens to alpine species includ-ing
corkbark fir and Englemann spruce. It’s there
that you might see bears (not likely), turkeys,
blue grouse and Clark’s nutcrackers, a type of jay.
The best encounter, however, will be made with
your ears, not your eyes — listen for the bugling
of bull elk this month as they lumber through
the woods in search of willing partners.
Wildlife notwithstanding, you’ll eventually
get to a point where the forest opens up and
views of the peaks steal the show. There’s one
place in particular, just before you make the turn
into the final switchback, where you’ll want to
turn around. “Holy moly” is what you’ll whisper.
From there, it’s a quick hop to the top. If it isn’t
stormy, settle in and enjoy the views. On a clear
day, you can see all the way to Oak Creek Canyon.
And this time of year, the leaves should be chang-ing
color, making the Inner Basin even more beau-tiful
than normal. And best of all, it’s free. Despite
John Weatherford’s best-laid plans.
ABOVE AND LEFT:
and a still pond
decorate the Inner
Pines, aspens, meadows,
mountains ... the only thing
this trail doesn’t have is
crowds of people.
BY ROBERT STIEVE
PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHUCK LAWSEN
O N L I N E For more hikes in Arizona, visit our “Hiking Guide” at www.arizonahighways.com.
LENGTH: 14.8 miles round-trip (to Doyle Saddle)
ELEVATION: 8,020 to 11,354 feet
DIRECTIONS: From Flagstaff, drive 2 miles north on U.S. Route
180 to Forest Road 420 (Schultz Pass Road). Continue on FR
420 past the end of the pavement for approximately 5.5 miles
to the trailhead, which is on the right (south) side of the road.
FR 420 is closed in the winter because of snow.
INFORMATION: 928-526-0866 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino
• Plan ahead and be prepared.
• Travel and camp on durable
• Dispose of waste properly and pack
out your trash.
• Leave what you find.
• Respect wildlife and minimize impact.
• Be considerate of others.
trail guide F
S A N F R A N C I S C O P E A K S
K A C H I N A P E A K S
W I L D E R N E S S
C O C O N I N O
N A T I O N A L F O R E S T
Schultz Pass Road
T R A I L H E A D
48 s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9
Win a collection of our most popular books! To enter, correctly identify the location featured above and e-mail your answer to
firstname.lastname@example.org — type “Where Is This?” in the subject line. Entries can also be sent to 2039 W. Lewis Avenue, Phoenix,
AZ 85009. Please include your name, address and phone number. One winner will be chosen in a random drawing of qualified
entries. Entries must be postmarked by September 15, 2009. Only the winner will be notified. The correct answer will be posted in
our November issue and online at www.arizonahighways.com beginning October 15.
July 2009 Answer:
The Dairy Queen in
to our winner,
Barbara Fields of Law-renceville,
BY TOM BEAN
Looking at this
the last thing you’d
think of is scuba.
Yet it was here that
the National Park
Service first used
diving masks and
oxygen tanks —
ironic, given that the
structure was built
by people whose
name means “with-out
looking at a dwelling
above a sinkhole
where millions of
gallons of water
rush daily from …
well, nobody knows.
One thing’s for sure:
Though this oasis
of natives, one
person who never
drank here was
emperor for whom
Door Traveling by train
will arouse all
of your senses.
sense of adventure .
As the gentle, iron giant winds its way
through one of Arizona’s natural treasures,
you hear the wheels echo off the red canyon
walls. You catch a glimpse of a bald eagle
soaring high above. Your sense of adventure
comes alive. Book your journey today and
see what awaits you around the bend.
Verde Canyon Railroad
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