Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Rim

We took a drive beyond Payson, Arizona one day just wandering around. Our intention was to get a glimpse of the Mogollon Rim. I have seen parts of it in pictures online and wanted to see it in person. There is, I understand a road that can take you to some of the most scenic spots. Following this route on a dirt road after some major rains was said to be a bad idea by the waitress we talked to in a local diner. She sent us up highway 260 to a ranger station and an overlook area with paved roads. We followed her directions and were stunned by what we saw. It was so beautiful. We want to complete the tour of this area sometime when the other more scenic road is less likely to be a muddy river.

As we were walking along taking pictures with cell phones because we forgot cameras we saw a storm coming our way in the distance. Jim took this picture with his phone and we didn't realize what was in it until we saw the large version of it on his computer. Take a look-- do you see the dog? The rock in the center of the picture looks to us like a dog with his ears laid back. I am sure many others have discovered our "dog rock" but it was new to us. If you want to know more about this area this is what Wikipedia has to say.
The Mogollon Rim (pronounced /mʌɡɨˈjɒn/ by local residents) is a topographical and geological feature running across the U.S. state of Arizona. It extends approximately 200 miles (320 km) from northern Yavapai County eastward to near the border with New Mexico.[1]

[edit] Description
The Rim is an escarpment defining the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau, and along its central and most spectacular portions is characterized by high limestone and sandstone cliffs. It was formed by erosion and faulting, and dramatic canyons have been cut into it, including Fossil Creek Canyon, and Pine Canyon. The name Mogollon comes from Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón, Spanish Governor of New Mexico from 1712-1715.
Much of the land below the Mogollon Rim lies 4000 to 5000 feet (1,200 to 1,500 m) above sea level, with the escarpment rising to approximately 7,000 ft (2,100 m). Extensive Ponderosa Pine forests are found both on the slopes of the Rim and on the plateau above. It is a major floristic and faunal boundary, with species characteristic of the Rocky Mountains on the top of the plateau, and the species of the Mexican Sierra Madre Occidental on the slopes below and in the Madrean sky islands (high, isolated mountain ranges) further south.
The Mogollon Rim's limestones and sandstones were formed from sediments deposited in the Carboniferous and Permian periods. Several of the Rim's rock formations are also found in the walls of the Grand Canyon. In many places the Rim is capped or even buried by extensive basaltic lava flows.
The Rim's uppermost sandstone stratum, the Coconino Sandstone, forms spectacular white cliffs, sometimes several hundred feet high. This Permian period formation is of eolian (windblown) origin, and is one of the thickest sand-dune-derived sandstones on earth.
Cities near the Mogollon Rim include Payson, and Show Low. It is bisected by Interstate 17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff. The eastern portion of the Rim was the site of Arizona's largest-ever wildfire in June 2002, the 470,000 acre (1,900 km²) Rodeo-Chediski fire. The Mogollon Rim was also the site of the Dude Fire that started on June 25, 1990. This fire grew to over 30,000 acres (120 km2) and killed six wildland firefighters. Other large fires have burned along the Rim since 1990, and the area's Ponderosa Pine forests remain vulnerable because of past fire suppression and fuel build-up.
Famed western writer Zane Grey lived below the Rim, with a cabin northeast of Payson, Arizona, near the small village of Christopher Creek. This cabin was destroyed by the Dude Fire in 1990. Grey's book Riders of the Purple Sage and several other of his widely read novels were either set in this general area of the west, or inspired by it.[citation needed] If one stands at certain points on the Mogollon Rim (Milk Ranch Point near Strawberry, Arizona, is one example) at sunset, there is a grand view on clear days for about 50 miles (80 km) in three directions, south, west and east. Some or all of the sweeping landscape may well appear a hue of purple as the sunlight fades.

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