Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default A 7 hour escape from the Big City

    Every once in a while, people have the need to get out of the city, and go explore. Unfortunately, besides my trip up to Washington State in April (which was mostly by air), I hadn't done this in a year. Needless to say my brain circuits were fried, and I was really feeling out of it. After my 10 AM meeting with the head of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team, and a 45 minute wait for a lockout truck (because I locked my keys in my car, and forgot to put a spare in my wallet), I headed straight for AZ 87... the Beeline Highway!

    The drive to Payson, Arizona was quite nice. Plenty of twists, curves, and hills. I had one destination in mind... pine trees! I decided that my first destination would be the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. Although I wasn't prepared very well to do much hiking (such as down INTO the canyon and under the waterfall), but the view (and the air!) was worth the trip. In all it was a little over an hour's drive from the Loop 202 in Mesa to the park, which included a stop at the tourist info centre in Payson.

    I left Mesa at 12:30 and got to the park at some time around 1:45. The Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is a nice stop, but can be a pain in the rear to get to... very steep grades down into the canyon where the natural bridge crosses a creek. It was so nice to be able to let the wind hit you in the face without the feeling of being sandblasted! And the spray from the (albeit small) waterfall cooled the air quite a bit. Needless to say, after a few hours of being all "touristy", I was feeling quite refreshed. I left the state park sometime around 3... I think. I stopped looking at my watch.

    Rather than take AZ 87/260 back to Payson and down into the valley, I decided to go further up the road to see if I could quench my need for pine trees... and it was only a mile or two up the road did I find my treasure... tall stand ponderosa pines! It's nice to see trees that aren't palms that actually stand tall above the ground! I headed north on AZ 87/260 and went through the tiny towns of Pine and Strawberry. Then, it was a climb to the top of the Mogollon Rim. Once to the top, I took a left where AZ 260 split off from the multiplex, and headed for Camp Verde. This was quite a drive as well, with plenty curves, hills, and etc.

    Halfway down AZ 260, I noticed a quite large electrical storm brewing to the north. And when I stopped to top off the tank in Camp Verde, the cashier said she had someone who reported golfball sized hail just a few miles away! Talk about the potential insurance claims!

    It was going on 4:30 or 5, and I was considering driving through Cottonwood and Prescott... but with the reports I was getting of the storm to the north, I decided to take I-17 straight back to the valley.

    I made a pitstop for some grub at Cordes Junction, just as lightning was flickering all around. This was about 5:49 now that I think about it, because I drove up to Arcosanti to see what that was all about, and the sign said they closed at 5 or 5:30 or something like that. (I really don't remember now... I guess in taking this drive I relaxed so much I really didn't pay attention to time).

    I only made it as far as the sign welcoming you to Arcosanti. The sign, which is a metallic circle that has some rust, and what apperears to be brushed alluminum lettering for the signage. Sitting in front of that sign, with a good sized electrical storm bearing down on me, gave me the feeling of being in some post-apocolyptic movie, with Arcosanti being the "fabled living city, where people still grow food and have government" and all those beans... was really cool. I will have to go back up to Arcosanti one of the days that they are open!

    My final stop was at Sunset Point rest area, where I just called home for a bit to check and see if my brother's birthday present had arrived.
    I made it home after doing some shopping for supplies for working with the Red Cross.

    And on a side note, I also used this trip to test something... which is more popular, CB's or GMRS/FRS radios. Between Mesa and Payson, I had 99% of 2 way radio traffic coming from..................(wait for it)............GMRS/FRS radios. Next to nothing on the CB. Apparently I hit the area just as a bunch of 'caravans' were heading north into the Rim Country, but still, it points toward the hypothesis that more people are hitting the GMRS/FRS airwaves than the CB (probably due to the profanity you hear on the CB these days! Sheesh! Talk about your R rating!)

    Anyway, that's my 7 or 8 hour roadtrip.
    See you all on the highways!
    -Brad M.
    Last edited by Robert Schaller; 08-14-2005 at 03:00 AM. Reason: Added a link to the sign photo!

  2. Default I dub thee... Phoenician!

    Brad, you are now a true Phoenician! You have fled to the Mogollon Rim to escape the summer heat in the Valley of the Sun! Desert Rats have been doing this since the 1800's.

    And I envy you -- all summer I've been intending to get up there in that cool air and do a little tree propping -- you know, back against the tree to make sure it doesn't fall down? Maybe even instill some healthy mortal fear in a few trout... Maybe in a week or two. The Tonto Natural Bridge is one of Arizona's little known treasures -- glad you got the chance to see it. Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Seven Hour Expedition to Find Pine Trees!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cascadia4-brad m
    I headed straight for AZ 87... the Beeline Highway!
    Good field report. For additional photos and trip reports about many of the roads you drove on check out Gerald Thurman's field reports covering Payson, Tonto Bridge, and other places within four to five hours of Phoenix.
    Rather than take AZ 87/260 back to Payson and down into the valley, I decided to go further up the road to see if I could quench my need for pine trees... and it was only a mile or two up the road did I find my treasure... tall stand ponderosa pines!
    Glad the expedition was successfull!
    I made it home after doing some shopping for supplies for working with the Red Cross.
    I was DAT coordinator for a while in southern California. I hope you enjoy your time with the ARC.
    And on a side note, I also used this trip to test something... which is more popular, CB's or GMRS/FRS radios. Between Mesa and Payson, I had 99% of 2 way radio traffic coming from..................(wait for it)............GMRS/FRS radios.
    Well, that is very interesting.

    Thanks for the news!

    mark

  4. #4
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default

    It was only a couple of degrees cooler up there than in the valley, with our recent "cold snap". I just really enjoyed cleaning out the ol' lungs for even a few hours.

    If I had the money for the supplies, I'd take a camping trip up there. That's one thing I will have to plan on for next year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Sounds like a great trip, Brad! Glad you saw some pine trees. You must miss home a bit, right?

    Ya know, you can buy some decent, inexpensive camping stuff at places like Wal-Mart. $10 sleeping bags, $25-35 tents, $10 for a small cooler, and a great flashlight that doubles as a lantern for about $5. I can't remember the brand name of the flashlight I'm thinking about but they're short, squat, and red. I have several of these and love them. Cheap and useful. Add some batteries and you're set. A campstove can cost a bit more so, for a short trip, just take things that don't need cooking like granola bars, protein bars, fruit, veggies, peanut butter, crackers, and cheese. Of course, lotsa water.

    Well, hope that helps you get into the woods sooner. I'm glad you had a great getaway.

Similar Threads

  1. From Kansas City through CO, NM, AZ, tips?
    By midas224 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 05-15-2017, 02:56 AM
  2. City names
    By Quebec Gen in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-18-2004, 09:22 AM
  3. Sacramento, CA to Garden City, NY Report!
    By Jer in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-19-2004, 10:42 AM
  4. Kansas City to Raleigh, NC end of January
    By Cate in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-16-2004, 04:49 PM
  5. New York City
    By Terri in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-03-2001, 09:30 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES