Getaway Around Rim Country

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Randy Babb photo

Squirrels will be among the wildlife participants will spot during a special outdoor skills workshop to be held Oct. 1-3 at Indian Gardens, east of Payson.

Learn camping, fishing and outdoor skills

Autumn in Arizona brings the once-a-year thrill of hearing a bull elk bugle in the forest, of seeing fall colors on a crisp October morning — and the smell of juniper smoke from a campfire. Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists hope you’ll get out there to enjoy it; in fact, they’re sponsoring a camp Oct. 1-3 near Payson to teach wannabe outdoors enthusiasts the basics of camping, fishing, birdwatching — even squirrel hunting — along with volunteers from the Arizona Deer Association and the Mogollon Sporting Association.

Register soon for the free weekend, its “BYO” camping gear, but food will be provided and spaces are limited. Organizers hope families will participate, couples too. Even singles who are inexperienced with outdoors skills and wish to be more confident campers, hikers and hunters enjoying Arizona’s beautiful wild lands.

“Fall is a great time to be outdoors” said Apfel. “One of my favorite times of year; the elk are bugling, the fall colors are starting to show and the mornings are crisp, the days are cool ... it’s perfect. This weekend will enhance your time outdoors by teaching new skills and the proper way to camp. This experience is really geared for the inexperienced outdoors person; those who want to learn the basics but don’t have someone to teach them. We’re looking for people who are new to the outdoor experience. When people learn to be a bit more comfortable in the woods, they’ll spend more time enjoying them.”

Activities include fishing Rim Country lakes alongside experienced trout fishermen, wildlife and nature hikes with biologists to learn about plants and animals of the area (birds, too); and safe camping, what food to bring, how to store it and how to keep unwanted wildlife visitors out of camp.

“Participants can try a hunt for squirrels and learn techniques for hunting squirrel and how to properly care for bagged animals in the field. Campers must bring their own camping gear and hunting or fishing license if they plan on fishing or hunting, call and we’ll tell you where to get those. Bring plenty of water, but food will be provided,” said Apfel. Bring (or borrow) binoculars, and also field guides if you have them, to learn the birds, wildlife and animal tracks.

Spaces are limited to 50 participants; sign up or get more info by calling Arizona Game & Fish Unit 22 Wildlife Manager Henry Apfel, 928-476-6426, or e-mail Hapfel@azgfd.gov, or call Arizona Deer Association representative Scott Streich at 602-369-0713.

Fall concert in the park

There will be a concert in the Green Valley Park amphitheater from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2. The Payson Advisory Youth Council (PAYC), in conjunction with the Friends of Payson Parks and Recreation and the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, is sponsoring the concert in response to requests from Rim Country youth for activities they would like to see occur in Payson.

The Elements, Arizona’s premier rock cover band, will play hits by U2, Green Day, Black Eyed Peas, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Maroon 5, Foo Fighters, All-American Rejects, Weezer, Jimmy Eat World, plus hits from the ’80s, ’90s and select classics. Scoops and MoJoe’s Café will be selling food throughout the evening, as well.

Bring the entire family out to Green Valley Park and enjoy the beautiful fall weather and modern music. This is a free event to the public.

Please call the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department for more information at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.

The PAYC is a newly-formed town commission made up entirely of Payson area youth ages 14-19 whose goal is to survey their peers and help provide activities that the youth have indicated they would like to see happen in our area. They also provide feedback to the Payson Town Council on events and feedback from the youth perspective, and get involved in helping with nonprofit organizations in the community.

This is an event co-sponsored by the Friends of Payson Parks and Recreation and the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department.

The next PAYC meeting scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 30 at Payson Town Hall and the agenda has a public comment session in the beginning.

Plant sale Oct. 2

Rim Area Gardeners will be selling plants at the Payson Farmers Market from 8 a.m. until noon, Saturday, Oct. 2. Seeds, house plants, iris and outdoor plants to put in now for spring will be on sale.

Community Flea Market

The Payson Community Presbyterian Church is offering a fun-filled shopping event in its parking lot Saturday, Oct. 2. It opens at 7 a.m. and closes promptly at noon.

The church’s Child Learning Center will feature a booth with loads of children’s clothing and toys, and a wide variety of other vendors will be on hand offering everything from “As seen on TV” items to crafts, furniture, handmade leather holsters and much more.

The Community Presbyterian Church is at 800 W. Main St., at the corner of Main and Oak streets.

Vendor space is still available. For just a $10 fee, rent a 10-foot-by-19-foot space. Participants may sell anything that is legal. All proceeds will be kept by participants. Call (928) 474-2059 for more information on space availability. The registration deadline for space is Wednesday, Sept. 29. All proceeds from the rental fees go toward the Deacons Food Pantry and Assistance Program that serves families in need in the Rim Country.

Community Presbyterian Church October Festival

The Community Presbyterian Church of Payson is sponsoring an October Festival for all the residents of Payson Oct. 16. This will be held from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the church, 800 W. Main St.

The festival opens with a welcome to the guests. A blessing of small pets, given by Rev. Charles Proudfoot, will immediately follow.

Between opening ceremonies and 4 p.m., there will be children’s activities, music by the Old Time Music Makers, a bake-off featuring cakes and pies and a chili cook-off. The chili cook-off will be limited to eight participants, so those interested in this fun-filled event should call the church office at (928) 474-2059, for entry forms and information.

Starting at 4 p.m. there will be a beer garden sponsored by the area’s home beer brewers, line dancing by the line dancers from the Payson Senior Center, a hand bell exhibition by the hand bell choir from United Methodist Church and other musical offerings all afternoon.

There will also be a food cart from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m., with all types of food available to the public.

For more information on this community event, call Carolyn at 474-2059.

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