August 1, 2014
When the monsoon is late, the waiting becomes almost unbearable. There's no cure but a road trip to the Mogollon Rim, where there are tall trees and rushing streams to soothe our drought-jangled nerves. Our objective this year was a small reservoir that backs up into a canyon of cross-bedded sandstone where we spent the day swimming and paddling our itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow Sevylor Tahiti.
Winslow & Posada
August 1-3, 2014
As a special treat, we spend Friday and Saturday night at La Posada, a national treasure designed by Mary Colter and the last of the Fred Harvey railway hotels built in the 1920s. Thanks to a massive restoration effort in the 1990s, La Posada was rescued from four decades as a dreary office building. Today it's a masterpiece of eclectic Southwestern design. Each room is individually decorated with original artwork, punched tin mirrors, Zapotec rugs and hand-painted furniture. The outdoor spaces are magnificient, and its dining room has been rated as one of the top three restaurants in the U.S.
Tonto Natural Bridge
August 3, 2014
Right on cue, the monsoon rolled into town on Saturday night and delivered a real gulley washer. Sunday morning the skies were still troubled, so we packed up and headed south, killing a few hours and the antique shops in Pine while we waited for better weather. It was all clear as we approached to entrance to Tonto Natural Bridge, so down we went, and what a surprise! I had no idea this would be so impressive — the largest natural travertine bridge in the world, apparently. We thought it would be a five-minute walk to an overlook, but ended up stringing together the Pine, Anna Mae and Gowan trails for about two miles of very scenic and surprisingly challenging hiking, including a delightful dip just below the waterfall.