We looked for the only building in town with an Elk on the roof. This was home for four nights.
I don't know why or how it's possible, but they seem to have more thrift stores than anywhere I've been. You can even get a list from the visitors center. And, yes, we hit a few.
We took a drive north to Pine - a cute little place we had passed through on the way to Payson. Don't ever go on a Monday or Tuesday as the town seems to close down. This log cabin was built in 1882 and is currently a shop with a very friendly proprietor who doesn't adhere to the general two-day shutdown. Of course, since we didn't buy anything, maybe he'll change his mind about that.
We found these cool looking Sand Roses or Desert Roses. I was tempted, but just took a picture.
This is known as the Rock House and was built in 1889. Pretty fancy, huh?
Payson is surrounded by national forest and at the visitors center is a brochure of all the hiking and biking routes around town. We picked one called the Monument Peak loop which circles the base of Monument Peak. We like loops and at about four miles and little elevation change, we thought it sounded perfect.
We began on the east side of the loop which was a lovely walk in the park.
We found this caterpillar-like prickly pear cactus.
After chatting with a local who told us there are Indian ruins in the area, we completed the loop on the more open west side.
Where we found this piece of an ancient building. Gosh, I didn't know they made such perfect bricks.
Next stop is one of our favorite boondocking spots atop the Mogollon Rim.