Riding along AZ's horizon the colors are..
..everything you can hope for.
"..I'll be your sun coming up
I'll be your dog days
I'll be your new morning..
I'll be the bluebird singing..
And when the stars are bright like fireflies
And the night is black as coal..
I'm gonna make you mine..
On another side of time
Before the sea runs dry
On another side of time
Where the love runs high.."
Rim Country Museum Zane Grey Cabin
For many years, Zane Grey called Payson home. He built a cabin in the shadows of the Mogollon Rim, which burned down in the infamous Rodeo-Chedeski Fire. Through the efforts of the town of Payson, William Goettl and Grey's legions of fans, the cabin has been rebuilt here on the grounds of the Rim Country Museum. The $5 entrance fee for the museum covers the tour of the cabin too. When I visited the docent was a guy named Bing Brown. Bing was very knowledgeable and we had a nice conversation after the tour. Zane Grey's best known book is probably "Riders of the Purple Sage".
"Tonto Natural Bridge State Park"
It's located about 10 miles north of Payson. The area is an area of mossy rocks, high cliffs, caves, waterfalls, and once entered at the "Contact Station" at the Park office, the area leads the visiters to less developed trails, at least we got onto those less developed trails and in the steep, rough creek's bottom. Hiking shoes are recommended. Later we found there were arrows to follow for climbing on somewhat plain paths leading to an observation deck. But hey in a knight's company one happily survives in sneekers.
"As for the geology of the Tonto Natural Bridge.."
..it went through several stages..the west side was formed by a flow of lava..the rock erodet, and leaving behind purple quartz sandstone. The area then was covered by sea water leaving behind a sediment of sand and mud. Volcanic eruptions covered the rock layers with lava, forming a basalt..The waters of Pine Creek then erodet through the travertine and formed the Natural Bridge.
"Payson town was called Park Union in 1882"
"In 1884 the town's name was changed to Payson in honor of Congressman Louis Edward Payson of Chicago, who helped the settlement obtain a post office. (There's also a Payson, Utah, named after the congressman for the same reason.) Western author Zane Grey came to the area in the early 1920s and built a cabin. Several of his novels, including "Under the Tonto Rim," were written there.
Today, tourism is the primary industry of the area, although ranching, mining and smelting remain important elements of the area's economic base. Payson sits at the edge of the world's largest stand of Ponderosa pine. The clean air, mild climate and outdoor recreation in the Tonto National Forest attract visitors year-round.
The Tonto Apache Tribe, 80 miles southeast of Payson operates the Mazatzal Casino, which has become a major employer in the Payson area (over 270 people)."
Gowan Trail Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
This is the longest most popular trail as it leads directly to the Waterfall. The path starts out as a wide dirt path.
The path is steep but it starts out wide, as it narrows you will walk down some stairs
After the stairs the path is narrow and dirt. you can now see the water below you from above
A little while longer and you will reach the bridge.
You can see the first glimpse of water below. You will soon have a choice To your right you can follow the creek, or you can walk onto to the bridge that leads to the Natural bridge and waterfall
You made it! You are now standing at the bottom of the worlds largest natural traventine bridge. If the wind hits right you can feel the splash of the waterfall. walk down the stairs and explore under the bridge!
Visit my other travelogues for more trails