Beauty Awaits You In Arizona’S High Country


Rim Country visitor, Marie Nicoll of Gainsevoort, New York, makes a new friend while on a walking tour of old barns and historical homes in Pine. For a walking history tour of Pine to see original cabins and honor the early settlers, contact the Pine-Strawberry Archeological and Historical Society.

Rim Country visitor, Marie Nicoll of Gainsevoort, New York, makes a new friend while on a walking tour of old barns and historical homes in Pine. For a walking history tour of Pine to see original cabins and honor the early settlers, contact the Pine-Strawberry Archeological and Historical Society. |

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In Pine and Strawberry you may need a light sweater, but it’s still very nice.

The cooler mornings and evenings remind us that winter is around the next curve. To some, the cooler weather marks the onset of the holidays. Now is a good time to do some early Christmas shopping, or just to enjoy the cooler weather and beauty that awaits you in Arizona’s high country.

Second Saturday

The second Saturday of the month, tomorrow, Oct. 8, is the ideal time in Strawberry and Pine to find “in shop” specials and sales at some of Arizona’s most unique antique and specialty shops. From Pine by Design at the south end of town to Pine Country Antiques at the north and everything in between: Auntie Gail’s Collectables, Moose Mountain Antiques, Tymeless Antiques or the Gingerbread House, you are sure to find the perfect treasure for everyone.

There is something for the John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Boop or Beatles fan, the cowboy, music lover, cat, dog or horse enthusiast, country decorator, or even the hunters and fishermen in your life — and that’s just the start.

If you want some fun and a chance to win a great prize, pick up a list of treasure by shop and take the Shop Hop Treasure Hunt.

Then hop over to the the Second Saturday Swap Meet at the Community Center Ramada, the Community Center Thrift Store or Visions Speaking Rock Shop and Emporium where you never know what gems you will find.

You’ll be astounded at the variety of items and prices that are even lower during the Second Saturday Shop Hop.

Pine Library

The library on Randall Place in Pine is raffling a unique work of heirloom art that you will really love.

It is a beautiful, half-size saddle like the saddles you would have seen at the turn of the century with hand-carved borders with deer and elk heads and many other distinctive features. You could be the proud owner of this most impressive work of art.

The raffle tickets are 1 for $1, 6 for $5, 15 for $10. The drawing will be on Feb 14, 2012. Be sure to stop in to the library and get your tickets.

A reminder that Oct. 21 is the deadline to register for the Oil Painting class. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who wishes to learn to paint. The class will be on Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and class fee is just $10 for supplies. Participants will learn how to paint a rose and have a finished canvas to take home.

For further information about library happenings, call them at (928) 476-3678.

Friends of Tonto Natural Bridge

The Tonto Natural Bridge is another treasure waiting to be discovered in Arizona’s high country. The largest travertine bridge in the world is located off of Highway 87 between Payson and Pine.

Whether you stand on top and look down or are brave enough to hike down and look up, the Tonto Natural Bridge will amaze and inspire you.

When the state park was in danger of being closed to the public due to government cutbacks the locals stepped up to ensure access to this magnificent creation for current and future generations.

The Friends of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park are dedicated to keeping it open for all to enjoy.

You can become a Friend of Tonto Natural Bridge by writing to Friends of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, P.O. Box 841, Payson, AZ 85547-0841. Why help? It is one of the most amazing sights you will ever lay eyes on.

You can visit it for free on “fee-free” day, Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11. It will be the last day to visit the bridge for free this year.

Fall outdoor photography class

Do you enjoy taking photos of beautiful scenery? Perhaps you’d like some great photos of the Tonto Natural Bridge.

Register now for a great class coming to Pine. The Fall Outdoor Photography Class sponsored by the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department is designed to teach you just how to capture in photos the magnificent beauty that you see.

You must register by Oct. 28, have your own camera and know how to use it, and be able to hike 1/2 mile.

Participants will meet at the Ponderosa Market parking lot in Pine on Nov 5. Class is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The fee is just $15. To register, call (928) 474-5242, ext. 7 or log on to www.payson rimcountry.com.

Strawberry and Pine attract photographers, artists, musicians, outdoorsmen (and women), writers — such as Zane Grey, and tourists from around the world seeking beauty and inspiration.

Where else can you find three forests converging in one place that exists as it did a hundred years ago when the first pioneers made their way through this land?

Many of today’s residents are descendants of the original settlers and continue the community on the foundation of their forefathers, cherishing its past.

Pine resident and artist, Gary Gudnason told me, “My family and I traveled 86,000 miles across this country and 42 states looking for the perfect place to settle down and ended up finding it right here in Pine, 100 miles from where we started out in Phoenix, Arizona.”

According to Gila County “old timers,” “One who does not desire to establish permanent residence in the county should tarry in it no longer than two weeks, for he will never be satisfied elsewhere once the magic of the carefree, rugged and promising country has captivated his soul.” (From 1973 Arizona Highways Magazine written by Maggie Wilson).

We all come here to live, learn, work, rest, play, retire but mostly to enjoy the beauty God has given us. We love the Rim Country and so will you.

See you next Friday, and in the meantime, please contact me with your Strawberry and Pine happenings at email haffordjoy1@ gmail.com or call me at (602) 790-0248.

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