Good Times Roll In Pine-Strawberry

Chris Carnes, of Tucson, racing with Team 78, the “Single Speed Steeds of Steel,” came in first in the 30-mile, SS Open Men’s category at the Fire on the Rim Mountain Bike Race.

Photo by Joy Hafford. |

Chris Carnes, of Tucson, racing with Team 78, the “Single Speed Steeds of Steel,” came in first in the 30-mile, SS Open Men’s category at the Fire on the Rim Mountain Bike Race.


Since the early days on the frontier, adventure seekers have journeyed to the remote villages of Pine and Strawberry, nestled beneath the Rim in the heart of Arizona.

After a difficult journey by covered wagon, Mormon pioneers settled in the Swiss-like surroundings and a community was born. The settlements were bustling with activity with the establishment of a post office, chapel and schools and quickly became the place to go to dance the night away under a starry sky.

In the book, “Pine Memories,” A. Carl Paul tells of taking the stage in 1943 to spend the summer with his uncle in Pine. They rode through “red dust, over rocks, bumps and ruts, moving cows out of the road and avoiding potholes.”

Although this may have been the case for last weekend’s courageous mountain bikers on our wilderness trails, today travel to the area is as simple as getting in your car and cruising the Beeline Highway right into town.

With annual festivals and fun events, extensive trails, fishing, wildlife, antiques and history, Pine and Strawberry are still the place to go for exploration, recreation, meditation and jubilation!

Race for a reason

Last weekend mountain bikers took to our trails to loop, wind, and carve their way through our woods and breathtaking scenery for the ride of their lives in the Fire on the Rim Mountain Bike Race. With tents set up in green fields surrounded by forest and mountains, food, live music and a beer garden, it was the perfect venue for racers to descend from the trail, relax, recover and celebrate their achievement.

Over 200 mountain bike riders participated in 15-, 30- and 45-mile races. Individuals and teams competed on elaborate bikes with all the bells and whistles to single speed, rigid-frame, no gear cycling machines. Chris Carnes, of Tucson, with Team 78, the “Single Speed Steeds of Steel” displayed great energy and vitality after overcoming 30 miles of rugged terrain and coming in first place in the SS Open Men category. He’ll be back next year! Alex Armanetti, of Scottsdale, also plans to return next year after winning second place in the 15-mile challenge. Alex said the preparation for his first mountain bike race was “riding every day,” and acknowledged that “going uphill was hard, but totally worth it for the downhill,” completing it in just under two hours.

In addition to being adventurous, hard-working, disciplined and passionate about the sport, these racers have hearts of gold, competing to help our community. As one of the top 10 areas in the country with potential for catastrophic wildfire, our safety depends on fire prevention activities and strategies undertaken by the P/S Fuel Reduction Group in cooperation with other agencies and the community. PSFR and the Arizona Mountain Bike Association joined forces to fight fire on the rim with proceeds from the race going to expand trails, initiate and complete projects, and find innovative ways to protect the area.

Thanks to the racers, organizers and the community it was a fantastic event. We hope you will spread the word and double the fun next year.

Three causes, Three events

Not one, not two, but three important events are taking place tomorrow. Why not come and enjoy another beautiful P/S day while helping children with medical needs, preventing fires, and preserving history?

Start off at 8 a.m. at Sidewinders with the Justice McNeeley Foundation Charity Quad Poker Run and Texas Hold ’em. The event continues at THAT Brewery and Pub with a bass boat raffle, auction, 50/50 drawing, horseshoe tournament and live music. For information, visit www.

At 4 p.m. attend a fantastic dinner and market at the annual Farmers Market Dinner fund-raiser for P/S Fuel Reduction at Fossil Creek Creamery. Chefs will create a country-style dinner using local produce. For reservations call (928) 476-5178.

At 6:30 p.m. there is an Ice Cream Social and Dance hosted by the P/S Historical Society in the Cultural Hall, with entertainment by the Randall Family Band. Enjoy all-you-can-eat, make-your-own sundaes. For information, call Margaret Parker at (928) 970-0658.

Friends of the Library

Pine Library Friends will meet at 10 a.m., Monday, Sept. 24t in the Library Activity Room, behind the Cultural Hall. They will have an election of officers and a guest speaker. Come meet local author Mary Wilson Allen from Happy Jack who will share her book “Damn Those Mules, 235 Miles Back into History on the Old General Crook Trail.” Please join me and bring a friend.

Mogollon Monster 100

“After two years of planning, its amazing to think the Mogollon Monster 100 is next Friday,” said ultramarathoner, Jeremy Dougherty, race director for one of the toughest 100-mile races in the U.S. taking place in Pine, Sept. 29.

The race will start at Pine Trailhead and end at the Community Center. Runners have 36 hours to complete it, with four climbs up the Rim. They will finish around 9 a.m. Saturday and throughout the day. The last half mile is along Highway 87 and up Randall Place, ending up behind the Community Center.

Per Jeremy, “We’d love it if people saw them running that last stretch into town and could cheer them on. They are accomplishing a major physical and mental challenge very few ever attempt. We have runners from all over the country coming and while it’s a small field this year, many are very accomplished runners looking for a challenging course to test themselves on. We certainly have this with the Mogollon Rim and the trails around it.” You can learn more at

Thanks for contacting me with all the happenings in P/S. Keep it coming to


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