Agave, at Parker Creek, Sierra Ancha Wilderness
40×30 oil on canvas 2022
This is an overlook I love. I’ve stopped here often over my many years of exploring Arizona.
To get here, you take a road recently renamed, “The Desert to the Tall Pines Scenic Byway.”
These 67 miles connect Roosevelt Lake to Young and the Mogollon Rim. You leave the desert, at 2100 feet and climb through the Salt River canyon arriving at a conifer forest at 7600 feet, all rather quickly.
Somewhere in the middle is this stop. Here, you’ll have views of Four Peaks and Roosevelt lake. You’ll also find snow here if there has been recent winter rain in the valley.
You can stand (carefully) on the precipice of Parker Creek, and observe swaying ocotillo, mature agave, and thick grasslands. If it’s quiet, you can call out your message and it will echo back to you. Back to you. Back to you.
But silence here is nice too.