Unless you live in the Valley of the Relentless Sun, summer is everybody's favorite season. For me, summer conjures up images of lazy, languorous days, of picnics, swimming holes, baseball and fireworks -- associations mostly from my childhood growing up in Michigan.
After living 20-plus years in the Valley, I escaped to the Rim country where I rediscovered the simple pleasures of summer. Here, in some of the most beautiful country anywhere, you will find literally everything that you associate with your favorite season. The Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce guarantees it.
A list of things to do and see would be exhaustive, but it would certainly include spectacular vistas and views to be enjoyed in a climate that's about as perfect as a climate gets; pristine lakes and rivers in verdant forest settings; outstanding fishing, swimming, hiking and camping; an abundance of wildlife and wildflowers; great shopping for art, gifts, specialty items and antiques; Saturday night concerts under the stars in Green Valley Park; an increasingly diverse selection of restaurants and hotels; and a Main Street that is, each year, becoming more and more the gathering place that it was in the community's early days.
Main Street is, of course, where Payson's Wild West heritage unfolded -- where early rodeos were staged, where a tiny pioneer community held its social gatherings, where cowboys stopped for a cold brew or a shot of whiskey after a dusty day in the saddle. Be sure not to miss the newest addition to Main Street, Deming Pioneer Park at the northwest corner of Main Street and McLane. Featuring a replica of J.W. Boardman's Mercantile Store, the first non-wood building in Payson, it is a celebration of our colorful cowboy heritage.
But there's history to be relived all over the Rim country -- in Pine and Strawberry, at Kohl's Ranch, in Christopher Creek, at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.
So turn back the clock and rediscover the summers of your childhood right here in the shadows of the magnificent Mogollon Rim.
It's summer. Revel in the Rim country.