For all you carnivorous hikers out there in Arizona, this book is for you. Roger Naylor, an avid hiker and unrepentant lover of all things Arizona, has written a light, witty book about some of the best, most prominent and popular hikes in Arizona. And none of them is out of reach of a good greasy spoon, which are perhaps not as well known, but nonetheless, offer up a delicious side of beef.
Boots and Burgers presents 37 cameo hikes throughout most of the state, most of them moderate in difficulty. It is a fun read, covering just enough information about the area and the hike to make you wanting more.
The premise of the book is hiking, but the book is a smattering of hikes, good eats, (some less well known), tips on other things to do in the area and great photography. The layout of the book makes the different topics easy to peruse. Did I mention, it has a lot of beautiful color photographs to illustrate the subjects?
Let's focus on Tucson and Southeastern Arizona for a moment, since we know that best. Roger hits the nail on the head in his intro and starts with probably the most hiked canyon in Tucson, Bear Canyon to Seven Falls. Assuredly, it must also be one of the most rewarding after a long, hot hike. Roger then hits the highlights around Tucson, mentioning several small and out of the way eateries around town. I have not been to these, but will keep them in mind. He writes about some fun venues in Tucson before moving out to Cochise County and the Chiricahua Mountains. Did I say that Seven Falls was the most rewarding? I misspoke. The Chiricahuas are bloody awesome.
Roger next stop is Wisdom's in Tumacacori, and a hike along the Santa Cruz River, following in De Anza's horse tracks.
There are 8 more regions in this book to explore with Roger. To tell you the truth, he has probably saved the best, less well known for himself. How he missed Hannagan Meadow in the Alpine district of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest and the little restaurant in Clifton is suspect. I suspect it will be in "Boots and Burgers Redux". Stayed tuned for more. I am sure there is plenty more where that came from and he is ready to get hiking, eating and writing.
Boots and Burgers: An Arizona Handbook for Hungry Hikers