Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Day Trip to Payson and the Mogollon Rim

I know. Two blog posts in one day after two months without one. Hmmmm.

Today we took a day off from Mom care and took a 200 mile ride on the scooter. We left Mesa at about 10am when the temperature was just about 90, and headed up Arizona 87. Payson is at about 5,000 feet and only 70 miles away. We pulled into town about 11:15. The temperature was only 78. Dianna actually had to put the liner in her riding jacket to keep warm.

After getting gas (which was illogically 25 cents a gallon cheaper than in the Phoenix area) we went to the Rim Country Museum. We paid our $4 each senior admission fee and expected to wander the museum, but instead a docent was assigned to us to give us a guided tour. It was great. We had one docent for the first floor, a different one for the second floor, and a third for the Zane Grey cabin tour. All of them were very knowledgeable and great guides. We were there for a little over 2 hours, and we were the only people on our tour. There were some other tours going on with other docents, but it appeared everyone had their own personal guide.

Of course, Zane Grey wrote many of his stories about the Mogollon Rim country, and he had a cabin there for a while. The actual cabin was about 20 miles east of Payson, but they built an exact replica of it next to the museum when the original burned in a huge forest fire in 1990. It was an interesting and educational visit. We were both very pleased that we stopped. I think it is worth a trip from Phoenix just to experience the museum and cabin.

After lunch we decided it was still to hot to head back to the low country, so we drove east on 260 17 miles, then north on a side road 4 miles to the area where Zane Grey's cabin was located. There was nothing to see, but it gave us a sense of where he wrote many of the books about the area.

We then continued east on 260 and climbed to the top of the rim. It was 75 degrees and the elevation was 7,500 feet. I almost put in my jacket liner! We rode down the rim road a ways to a vista point. It sure was beautiful up in the pines, even though the smoke from a forest fire southwest of Payson obscured some of the view.

We then headed back toward town, stopping in Payson for a hot fudge sunday at McDonalds, and removing the jacket liner. By the time we got home it was nearly 7pm, but it was still 94 degrees. We had a good time, learned something, and spent a mostly cool day in the mountains of Arizona.

1 comment:

  1. I've never been to that museum, but it's on my list now.

    I don't think we take advantage enough of having cool weather just 90 minutes away. Sounds like you had a nice drive.