Boots and Burgers

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Arizona travel writer Roger Naylor has a new book that would be of interest to those looking to put on some calories and then be able to take them off. “Boots and Burgers: An Arizona Handbook for Hungry Hikers,” features over 170 photographs, 37 trails, 38 eateries, trail guides, maps and more. Naylor will discuss his latest work.

Ted Simons: Arizona travel writer Roger Naylor has a new book out, boots and burgers, an Arizona handbook for hungry hikers. It features trails and eateries. We welcome Roger to "Arizona Horizon."

Roger Naylor: Great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Ted Simons: Once again, this book you say is your dream book. Seems like every book is your dream. You go out there, have fun and write about them.

Roger Naylor: If I can't have fun with hamburgers and hiking trails I'm doing something wrong. This is my favorite day. Think about this. Get up in the morning, go to a trail, you hike in the wild country, hike for miles. You see some scenery. You enjoy solitude, maybe see wildlife. You walk for miles. You work up a sweat. You work up an appetite. On the way home you stop at a little diner or cafe where burgers leap off the grill like trout from a stream. You bite into that tender, juicy, salty, beefy package and you feel like a kid again. It's my favorite day. I'll take that day any time I can get it.

Ted Simons: It is interesting. Your wife is vegetarian.

Roger Naylor: She is.

Ted Simons: How do you pull that off?

Roger Naylor: That's why I'm eating burgers at diners and cafes. As a kid when I was in my 20s burgers were a staple. Every day of my life. I was such a picky eater as a child my mom was appalled anyone pays me to write about food, but once I got married, my wife is a vegetarian, she expanded my culinary horizons. I enjoy a wide variety of things but have never lost my passion for burgers. Now instead of every day they are once a week, once every couple of weeks.

Ted Simons: Let's open up the book here. I'm so glad you included Horton creek outside Horton springs. It's a nice, pleasurable hike but Horton springs is like eden.

Roger Naylor: It is.

Ted Simons: Wonderful hike, wonderful area.

Roger Naylor: It's absolutely gorgeous. Spring, summer, fall, any time you're there it's terrific. You see some of the fall colors that are just beautiful. That creek, there's a music to that creek that just -- you don't find -- being a creek in Arizona is sometimes a part-time job. Rivers and creeks -- sometimes they are wet, sometimes not. The Horton runs year round and it's just such a music. A little symphony to sit by that week.

Ted Simons: That's outside Payson. There's a lot of eateries in pay son.

Roger Naylor: There are some great ones. I had a couple of really good burger joints included so I had to pick one but there's a lot of fun places. Besides the eateries I always include like a terrific little museum there. I always include some other attractions, places to stay, that kind of thing.

Ted Simons: I may have missed this. Did you include Fossil Creek?

Roger Naylor: I did not. Because it's a little overrun. A little crowded with people. I'm afraid they are starting to sometimes damage that fragile environment. So I didn't want to send more people there. I feel like the people that know about it know about it. If it can get a little bit of a breather that's not a bad thing.

Ted Simons: Talk about Garden of Eden.

Roger Naylor: It is.

Ted Simons: Angel's window. The Grand Canyon, you could do five books on hikes there.

Roger Naylor: Oh, absolutely. There's some beautiful -- that's again one of the little sidebars because you know there's couple of great hikes on the north rim trail and then there's some of these beautiful, scenic drives that people sometimes forget about. One of them leads back to that angel's window. Just one of the most spectacular drives I have ever been on.

Ted Simons: Gorgeous. My goodness. We get to Flagstaff, the Cocina trail. Do I see aspen here?

Roger Naylor: This is one of my go-to hikes for fall color, aspen. Every year I try to get up there. Aspen and beet springs, both in the book, I think are some of the most gorgeous color in the fall, but beautiful summer hikes with the ferns growing into the wildflowers and stuff. You know, just beautiful spring through fall. Getting a little chili now, maybe dusting of snow up there. It's about 9,000 feet.

Ted Simons: Warmer burger.

Roger Naylor: Exactly. Once you're hiking at that elevation you definitely work up your appetite.

Ted Simons: Watson lake.

Roger Naylor: That's a spectacular area, brand new. They have had some of the trails around Watson lake for a while but just this past year they made the final connection. So now it's an actual loop almost about a five mile loop completely around Watson lake. You know, it's by far my favorite hike in Prescott. It's just -- you see such a variety of scenery on this trail.

Ted Simons: We want to get to lower elevations. Cochise trail. Am I seeing a causeway? What am I seeing?

Roger Naylor: You cross a bridge and it starts from a campground. You cross a little bridge that follows a nature trail up to Cochise stronghold. That's half moon tank. That's a little dammed watering hole there. A riparian area. It's just -- you're up among these granite boulders, you get up to the place where Cochise and the Apache lived for years. This was their stronghold, what kept them safe for a lot of years. You can understand. When you're up there you can see fort Huachuca. They could literally see the Army two days -- they could see it as it left the fort, two days before it could arrive there.

Ted Simons: We have about a minute left. How did you pick which trails?

Roger Naylor: That's the toughest part. These are just some of my favorites. I could turn around tomorrow and write another book like this with new trails, new burgers. I can do it three, four, five times. It's always -- these are just some of my favorites. I tried to give a good mix of ones that -- easy ones, hard ones, some that are very well known, others that maybe you don't know so well. So it's good for novices or grizzled old timers like me.

Ted Simons: Boots and burgers, an attractive book, fun to read, fun to take with you when you get out on the trail. Good to have you Bash.

Roger Naylor: Pleasure. Thank you.

Ted Simons: That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have great evening.

Roger Naylor:Travel Writer, Arizona;

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