Postcards | Eric Jay Toll • Journalist · Writer · Author

Journalist • Writer • Author

Ooh Ah Point overlook on the South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz.

Photo © 2013 Eric Jay Toll.


“They look like birds,” giggled my daughter as we rounded a rock outcropping and looked down on our destination another thousand feet down S. Kaibab Trail.


This is as easy hike with the kids. Wide and reconstructed in 2011, this popular Grand Canyon National Park hike takes us well below the rim and far out onto a deep-canyon overlook.


From "Grand Canyon Below the Rim" published by

Image: Ming Adams prepares breakfast in the rammed earth ranch hose. Photo © 2016 Eric Jay Toll. All rights reserved.


Her long dark hair drifting over her shoulder, petite Ming Adams strokes the feathers on a plump quietly clucking hen with one hand and reaches under with the other withdrawing a brown egg.

Gently placing it the basket resting on the fresh sawdust floor, she nestles the basket into the crook of one arms, smiles and holds up one of the larger eggs and says, "Breakfast up at the house."

The "house" is the adobe, sustainably-constructed rammed earth ranch home at Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch on 2,000 acres outside of Cortez, Colorado.


From  "Fresh Eggs and Ancient Farms" published on

Image: Cover, January 2016, Planning Magazine. © 2016 American Planning Association.


Virtually every evening, the sun paints the Phoenix sky in fire. Hues rise from the horizon in whites and yellows, pinks and oranges, and reds, darkening into purples and indigo. See one of the sunsets and you're amazed, see two, you're hooked.

The fiery spectacle at day's end is one reason  that this expanse of land,

with more than 4.5 million people living between a quartet of mountain ranges, is known as the Valley of the Sun. The other reason is that this is the Arizona Sonoran Desert, a rugged land baked in summer heat and blessed with warm


From "The Land of Reinvention" published in the January 2016 issue of Planning Magazine.

Image: Riders head into the backcountry at White Stallion Ranch near Tucson. ©2016 Eric Jay Toll


The air is still while the billowing cumulus clouds contrast white against an azure sky over the Tucson Mountains.

The quiet is broken with the distant sound of children giggling and shouting, horses snorting, and

the readying clump of horses into the soft Sonoran Desert sand.

The music blares, the announcer roars enthusiastically, and a young rider heads into the arena to cut a  cow from the herd and move it into a corral. It’s the last day of a family trip to White Stallion Ranch, northwest of Tucson, Arizona, where the fantasies of riding the range play out for families on the largest private horse herd in the state.


From "Mamas, Come West and Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys (and Cowgirls)" published by


Eric Jay Toll

Journalist • Writer • Author

602 . 617 . 3797 • Eric [at]

© 2013-2018 Eric Jay Toll. All rights reserved.