Pathfinding in Payson   2 comments


I don’t suppose anybody really cares where I walk or what pictures I take. That’s ok. This blog is Atroll’s Entertainment, and it’s part of my extended diary documenting ordinary life in the early 21st century. I probably should be writing a review of Mad Max: Fury Road instead of showing a bunch of cell phone pix of me staggering around in a forest, but the two hours spent hiking with my sister was every bit as much fun as the two hours spent watching Mad Max. My two hours in the woods were a first-hand experience in the world, and watching Mad Max: Fury Road was just a rerun of Mad Max: the Road Warrior. The faces have changed, but the action is the same in the movie. Crazy vehicles zoom all over a barren wasteland, and lots of people, if you can call them people, get shot. Yay! Actually, it was fun to watch, but this is real, not a Hollywood fantasy that really doesn’t make any sense.

Hiking with the Trollgod

On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, I visited my sister Neloa in Payson, Arizona. After lunch the two of us went for a hike in the manzanita forest a few miles from her house. We parked the car across from the country club, and found a trail leading into the woods. Have you ever noticed that there aren’t many flowers inside the forest, but always lots of them on the edge?

Have you ever wondered why real wildflowers are always so small?

Have you ever wondered why real wildflowers are always so small? I don’t know what thise little violet things are–probably a weed.


Neloa promised to show me an Indian ruin. This wasn’t the one she had in mind, but was the only one we actually found. Actually there isn’t much left after a couple hundred years of being abandoned in a forest. The trained archaeologist recognized that such nice circles of rocks are not natural.


I don’t have to lead the way into the unknown. My sister claimed to know the path, so she’s the one out front.


The dead trees were more interesting than the living ones. This old stump would be really spooky by night.


Come on, Ken! Try to keep up! Yeah, she outwalked me pretty easily. Graciously allowed me to stop and catch my breath once in a while. To be fair, Payson’s elevation is 4000 feet higher than Phoenix, and climbing hills at a steep pace is a bit of a workout for me.


Not far from town, but it feels like the wilderness. There is nothing artificial or manmade in this picture except the trail itself and maybe our tracks in the dirt.


That big granite boulder in the distance is our primary goal.


How to be a real outdoorsman–learn to recognize different kinds of animal poop when you see it.  All these little black pellets are elk scat.  Watch where you step when walking in the wild.


Another dead tree monster by the trail . . .


When we reached our destination and climbed up on the biggest rock on the mountain, Neloa wanted to point out various landmarks. I wanted to sit down and catch my breath. That line of mountains you can see in the distance is the actual Mogollon Rim.


I got this selfy of the two of us together at the high point of the trip. The yellow safety glasses we are wearing function as sunglasses and also make everything appear more vivid. Greens are greener, blues are bluer. As  you can see, Nel has a level head on her shoulders, but I’m at my usual tilt to the world.


This was taken from the top of a second boulder even higher up the hill than the first. The houses in the woods belong to the upper class of rich people. Only they can really afford to live out here in the woods.


We took a few minutes to admire the view.


Somebody planted an American flag on top of the higher rock. Someone else planted a flower on top of the flag.


One of the things I love about hiking in Arizona is that you can see for a long way. This is small town northern Arizona, nothing special, but I think it’s beautiful.

After a couple of hours we came back down and went home. That’s the way to hike, folks. Pleasant trips that get you out into the fresh air, make your heart beat, but don’t kill yourself at it. We were going to go to antique shops afterwards, but my legs were kind of wobbly, so we just sat around and talked.

Final reward for the day’s adventures . . .


Home made banana split, Trollgod style. The perfect banana was cut into fourths and lined the bottom of the bowl. Two big scoops of vanilla pecan ice cream topped with strawberry jam and Hershey’s chocolate syrup and whipped cream on top. Yum! What a nice reward for an afternoon of hiking.

So, Arizona is full of wonderful places to hike and explore. Thanks for sharing the trip with me.  Atroll is not always out in the desert.


If you’ve ever hiked around in the forest and stepped in wild animal poop, why not leave a comment?


Posted May 22, 2015 by atroll in Uncategorized

Tagged with

2 responses to “Pathfinding in Payson

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Even though this is a lot greener than the places you usually hike, it still looks exotic and desert-ish.

    I was out in the high desert last weekend, launching rockets. Lots of sagebrush, lots of cow poop! They actually graze cattle out in the desert:

  2. I’d ten times rather read about your hiking trip than Fury Road. Not only am I NOT a Mad Max fan, I DO love me some wildlife. But then, you know that about me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: