Bill Armbruster, a 10-year volunteer at the Tonto Natural Bridge, demonstrates a love and respect for the world’s largest travertine bridge by greeting visitors, sharing its facts and history, and doing what he can to ensure the state park remains open year-round despite closures to other state parks due to budget cuts.
Photo by Joy Hafford.
My cousin and her husband drove all the way from Toronto to see the good old U.S.A. and visit us in Pine. We were excited to see them and have a chance to show off our community in the Rim Country and the many sights.
We took time to “catch up,” sitting on our deck in Pine being entertained by red-headed “acorn” woodpeckers and the other birds and creatures scampering about the feeders and yard. This was followed by trips to museums, scenic road trips, photographing the Verde and sampling cuisine from Strawberry to Christopher Creek. The historic Creekside Steak House is a must for visitors. We discovered cactus candy at Pine Country Antiques and found the perfect post cards, gifts and souvenirs at local shops.
My cousin had her heart set on seeing an elk, but no disappointment as the Tonto Natural Bridge, in all its grandeur, stole her heart away. It was a picture-perfect day for strolling through the beautiful state park southwest of Pine on Highway 87. We talked with Pine resident, Bill Armbruster, a 10-year Tonto Natural Bridge volunteer who is a walking history and science book about the bridge.
I enjoyed every second spent with my Canadian family. In five days we didn’t begin to scratch the surface of all there is to see and do.
If you want to plan an itinerary that out-does your visitors’ previous trips to Arizona, you will definitely wow them in the breathtaking scenic mountains of Pine and Strawberry and the incomparable Arizona Rim Country.
P/S Thrift Store
Hurry down to the Pine Mall (aka Community Center Thrift Store) on Sept. 28 and 29 for the last two days of summer clothes clearance and Fill a Bag of clothes for $1, including shoes and purses. Then Oct. 3 to 6 welcome fall and winter clothes! Don’t let the cold weather catch you unprepared!
They will host a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner Sept. 29 at 5 p.m. It is only with support of volunteers and donors that they are able to provide their many services. If you have given time as a volunteer, please plan to attend and accept thanks for your contribution to the community.
The thrift shop, operated by the Senior Citizens Affairs Foundation, supports area seniors with many programs. Donations are always needed and appreciated. To donate or to volunteer please call (928) 476-4633.
The Mogollon Monster
The Mogollon Monster will be here tomorrow. Not the Big Foot-like, mystical creature seen in the area since 1903. I am referring to a “monster” of a race where long-distance and marathon runners take on 106 miles of technical, challenging and rugged terrain.
The Mogollon Monster 100 trail race on Sept. 29, has about 100 runners for the first-year event. Guests include pacers, families, crews and volunteers, bringing about 300 visitors to Pine.
Starting Friday at 10 a.m., runners have 36 hours to complete the race. It begins up Pine Canyon along the side of Milk Ranch Point overlooking Pine. It winds up the canyon before entering it and its huge ponderosa pines, fern-covered trails and switchbacks up to an aid station at a little over 8 miles. From there, it heads out the General Crook Trail and crests at the edge of the Rim. Here, runners will get their first 50-mile view of the valley below. There will be a very steep and rugged descent. At this point, the runners are just getting warmed up.
Starting about 9 a.m. on Saturday, runners will begin to pass by Sidewinders to Randall Place and end up behind the Community Center for a well-earned meal.
Race director, Jeremy Dougherty hopes residents will come out in support of the runners and help lay the foundation for an even bigger race next year Visit the race Web site at www.mogollonmonster100.com.
Fall break is almost here again. That means it’s time for Movie Madness at the library. Who doesn’t love a heart-warming dog story? Bring the kids on Oct. 4 for the showing of “Red Dog” and on Oct. 22 see “Cowgirls n’ Angels.” Movies begin at 1 p.m. Refreshments served.
Fall Apple Festival and Antique Show
Join us in the historic town of Pine on Oct. 6 and 7 for two fun-filled days of craft and food booths, children’s activities, antique tractors, chili cook-off, entertainment, antique show and yummy fall and apple treats.
The annual festival takes place at the Pine Community Center and Cultural Hall at 3886 N. Highway 87 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Come vote for your favorite chili entry while enjoying the great music of Chuck and Barbara Casey and their band Trouble in Paradise throughout the weekend. It’s all fun, it’s all right here next weekend.
Please email your happenings to hafford firstname.lastname@example.org.