Hashknife Pony Express Exchange Exciting As Ever

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

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Wednesday afternoon the 48th annual ride of the Hashknife Pony Express came through Christopher Creek.

It is always a thrill to watch as these experienced riders pass mailbags at a full gallop in front of the Creekside Steakhouse. I have been watching this event for 13 years, and I feel like these guys are part of our family.

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Shane Williams, on Ginger, and Steve Wiess, on Diamond, handed off a 40-pound bag of mail in Christopher Creek as part of the 48th annual Hashknife Pony Express ride from Holbrook to Scottsdale.

Every year they come to Christopher Creek and mingle with the residents as they wait for the rider to come down off the mountain.

This year Shane Williams and his horse Ginger were waiting in front of the Creekside restaurant for Steve Wiess and his horse Diamond to come down from Holbrook so they could pass off the mailbag.

John and Olive Matus, owners of Creekside, put appetizers out for the riders as they wait to exchange the mailbag. Many of them sign autographs and let you take pictures of them.

The riders and their horses ride one mile, then another rider takes over, but as you watch the rider who comes down into Christopher Creek at a full gallop, you know these guys are true cowboys. It's not an easy feat, and they manage to trade off 40-pound mailbags without a flinch.

This year's ride was every much a thrill as it was 13 years ago when I saw it for the first time. It's always fun to see some of the same riders every year.

This year my mom, who is visiting from Pittsburgh, was able to meet some of the guys -- Shane Williams, Joe Fulton, Steve Reynolds and Kelland Webb, who she got a big kick out of. These guys are always a delight. We look forward to next year's ride.

The 4th Annual Christopher Creek Chili Cook-off is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Landmark. Everyone is encouraged to participate in this event for charity. The price is $2 to sample. Call or see the bartender to sign up your chili, or come and sample the entries. There will be a private box balloting and prizes for first, second and third places.

Sunday is the Super Bowl and I am rooting for the Steelers, but I also love watching those crazy commercials, especially the ones with the Clydesdales. I understand they have some really good ones this year.

The Landmark will have its annual Valentine's Dinner and Wine Tasting on Saturday, Feb. 11. For more information on this four-course meal, call the Landmark at (928) 478-4472.

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