By Nicole Matheson
The vast expansive beauty of the Arizona landscape has a healing spirit waiting to be conscientiously explored and, in many cases, it gives much more than it receives.
Roger Naylor, a fulltime freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience, was the guest speaker for the Havasu Community Health Foundation’s Health and Wellness 101 series, Tuesday night.
The Splendor Of Arizona
A crowd of nature-loving enthusiasts listened as Naylor shared his unique experiences of hiking Arizona trails and sharing excerpts from his latest travel book, “Arizona State Parks.”
Naylor, in the whimsical fashion of a seasoned story teller, captured the imagination that flows through the bones of the adventurer as he took a moment to speak about himself.
“I’m an Arizona travel writer. At least that’s what I call myself. What I am in reality is a professional bad influence. Everything I write is designed to make you play hooky. Call in sick, go for a hike. Skip out of that afternoon meeting, take a bike ride. Ignore those weekend chores, take a road trip. we live in the most beautiful state in the country. Get out and see it at every opportunity,” he said.
A glimpse at Naylor’s Biography on Facebook paints a picture of the man and somewhere within these words we begin to see through a traveler’s eyes.
“Before attending Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ohio-born Roger Naylor had no idea the sky could be so immense. He fell in love with that sky, the mountains that prop it up and much to his surprise, the stark desert that scratched at it with spiny fingers. Smitten by sky and landscape, he spent most of the next few years hitchhiking across the West.”
The drifter spirit in Naylor began to harness his love of writing leading him to be featured in “Arizona Republic, USA Today, Arizona Highways, Go Escape, Route 66 Magazine, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Western Art and Architecture and dozens more.”
Arizona State Parks
Naylor’s newest entry is in print and titles, “Arizona State Parks: A Guide to Amazing Places in the Grand Canyon State.” In his own words, “The entire story of Arizona can be told through the 35 state parks and natural areas.” If that is indeed true, Naylor is one of our most qualified guides to tell us this story.
A quote taken directly from the page of his new book illustrates Naylor’s experience and credentials. “In 2017, I visited every Arizona state park, it seemed like a good idea. The parks were turning 60, I was turning 60. It felt like kismet.
“Some folks head for the treadmills at the gym, or a track at a local school. But I prefer to take my walks into the outback courtesy of Arizona state parks and trails.”
And why is this the case? “State parks are less crowded and less expensive than National parks. and the money that you do spend in the state parks stays in local communities, supports local communities,” he said.
In broad strokes, Naylor paints a detailed picture of the Arizona landscape given his insights into what may be for some of us, a uniquely held hidden secret waiting to be explored. You can find more information on Naylor and his available works on his website, rogernaylor.com, or his Facebook business page, https://www.facebook.com/RogerNaylorinAZ/
Naylor will be in Havasu speaking again this week on Wednesday at 10 a.m., at the Mohave County Library and at 6 p.m., at Lake Havasu Visitor’s Center. On Thursday, can also see him at 5 p.m., at Mohave Community College (Building 600).