© Author Adventures
© Author Adventures

Zane Grey is probably America’s best-known writer of Westerns, which may seem unusual given that he was a dentist from New York before becoming a popular writer. Read about him here: zgws.org.

At least two of his writing haunts are in Arizona. The one we visited is in Flagstaff, a pioneering Route 66 town that remains a fun place to stop, shop, and savor the Old West-flavor. Flagstaff has a population of approximately 72,000.

Zane Grey worked on a couple of books at The Weatherford Hotel in Flagstaff, around 1908, and one of them is his best-known, Riders of the Purple Sage, which can be found at www.gutenberg.org through Grey’s page. From our observation, the Weatherford seems to be continuing its tradition as a thriving business.

We did not get to see Zane Grey’s room, but we did get to sample fried alligator at Charly’s, the Southwestern restaurant on the ground floor. The Weatherford remains a class act, loaded with unusual antiques and rustic charm. When you dine at Charly’s, ask about the connection between Zane Grey and the fireplace. Check out their website at http://www.weatherfordhotel.com.

Also, don’t miss visiting Grey’s rebuilt cabin in Payson, Arizona. He swore he would never return when a hunting policy did not go in his favor, but the people of Arizona do not hold that against him, keeping the cabin open to tourists. He resided later in Catalina Island, off the coast of California. Payson has a population of approximately 16,000.

Find information at: paysonrimcountry.com. (If driving from the Phoenix area, stop there before Flagstaff.)

Read more here: Ohio.

Zane Grey’s room and cabin are the second and third stops on our Arizona Trail!

Patricia Smart