Big Country - 1953
"A good friend of mine described Arizona as the ‘Big Country.’ As I sit here and write these short captions, I think of that description and come more and more to accept it as the best one yet.
Arizona is 114,000 square miles in area. It rises from a hundred and fifty feet above sea level to twelve thousand feet; the land goes from sandy desert to verdant desert to a vast stand of ponderosa pine to another desert. On some days the temperature within a couple hundred miles ranges from one hundred degrees down to zero. We are peopled from all states, as well as from Mexico, Spain, China, Japan and many other countries. Since ancient times Indians have lived on our lands, or maybe I should say we have lived on theirs, but the important thing is that we share the land.
This piece of the ‘Big Country’ is between the lumber town of McNary and the sportsman’s center, Springerville. It is high here, above seven thousand feet, and in the winter it is covered with snow. Spring and summer, though, bring the grass and the flowers and a new greenness to the pines as well as the aspens, whose leaves become golden before they drop off in the fall. The hill in the distance is an extinct volcanic cone, one of many that dot this White Mountain area, reminding us that out of the violence of evolution has come the quiet beauty which is ours.”
Barry M. Goldwater