Payson offers some splendid scenery for the artist, photographer or nature observer. The Mogollon Rim extends from Strawberry and Pine at the western edge to Heber, Show Low, Lakeside and Pinetop at the eastern edge of the Rim. The Coconino National Forest stands to the north, with Tonto National Forest to the south, Sitgreaves National Forest further east and the White Mountain Apache Reservation to the southeast. One may explore Knoll Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, Woods Canyon Lake or Chevelon Canyon Lake along this scenic corridor surrounded by miles of magnificent pine trees. Highway 87 runs north & south while Highway 260 traverses an east-west course through the forests.
A Night of Camping Upon the Rim
Years ago I camped with a friend who went fishing at Chevelon Lake, about 15 miles west of Heber (altitude 6,376'). We broiled some freshly caught fish over an open fire, added some rice & vegetables and enjoyed a splendid meal in the cavernous confines of the pine forest. When you leave the city behind, the forest becomes your new environmental home, far afield from the noise, clutter & maddening pace of the urban lifestyle. There is a compelling spirit of divine rest & unmatched quietude in such a majestic setting, from listening to the wind aloft to hearing the muted cries of myriads of wildlife scattered throughout the forest.
The Image Drawn by the Artist
I wanted to memorialize the vertical thrust of the pine trees guarding the road, envisioning the green and rust colors spread across the regal mountains inhabiting the horizon. Such greenery becomes a verdant paradise.