The unexpected beauty of the Rim country has stopped many an unwary traveler in his tracks.
Every day or so, some unsuspecting tourist from Michigan or Minnesota or some other northern land comes tooling over Ox Bow Hill and is overwhelmed by the mountains and pine trees that he finds smack dab in the middle of a state that, by popular legend, is all desert and dirt.
Amidst all that beauty, he finds clear blue lakes, cool fishing streams, the largest stand of ponderosa pines in the world, the magnificent Mogollon Rim and Tonto Natural Bridge reportedly the largest natural travertine bridge on the planet.
And before he knows what hit him, the poor guy is talking with a real estate agent and looking at houses and wondering why he spent all those frozen winters in Minnesota when there's a place on earth like the Rim country.
It's hard to believe that anyone can take a place like this for granted, but if you live here long enough, it can happen.
After a few years here you can drive north up the Beeline without the sight of the Rim taking your breath away. Or on a hectic afternoon you can pass Green Valley Park in the heart of Payson without feeling the overwhelming need to stop and go fishing.
And on a particularly bad day, you can wonder why we need all these darn trees around here anyway.
Of course most of us aren't gripped by such irrational impulses too often, but sometimes we need to be jarred out of our routines and reminded to take a look around at all that we have.
In this issue of the Roundup, you'll find our annual Summer Visitor's Guide, which profiles the Rim country in all its glory.