Christopher Creek is just 12-1/2 miles west of the O W ranch, as the crow flies if you could get a crow to fly that way. When you drive there, however, the trip is many long years into the past. O W is a place of immense panoramic beauty and has a rich history. Larry Boeschling and his wife, Patti, have lived there for about 20 years, going about their ranch management duties.
This little vignette has to do with a visit last year.
At daybreak on a chilly April morning, looking out the living room window down Canyon Creek, it took several minutes to count all the elk. They were milling about and still coming out of the creek bottom; there were 50 head. Just then, Larry announced that he could count 50 head from his vantage point, looking out the front door to the east meadow. Then, Patti, who was getting ready to prepare breakfast, said she counted 50 head from the kitchen window overlooking the west meadow. Maybe an hour later all the elk were heading off through the trees, up the mountain or through the canyons and they were gone. One hundred fifty elk stopped by that morning to visit the O W ranch on their way to summer homes over on the reservation or on top of the Rim.
Back in the day, let’s say about 36 years ago, Ed and Margaret Delph bought the O W ranch near the headwaters of Canyon Creek. That’s on the corner of the Mogollon Rim and the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation. Over the years, the Delphs have been great stewards of the property, maintaining it as a working cattle ranch, looking much the same as it was a century ago. Years ago, Ed built, on a hillside, a long sluice or flume which feeds a waterwheel at the lower end. It sits across from the Thick-n-Thin sawmill alongside the road up to the “big house.” On either side of this flume are all manner of contrivances and contraptions that grind or shuck or mill or do whatever it was that made ranch work easier in that era. On the side of that flume was a sign that read, “Margaret Delph Memorial Industrial Park.” Well, Margie took exception to the “memorial” part of the sign and had that word boarded over, owing to the fact that she was still alive. This is a small tribute to Margaret Delph, who passed away last winter; may it kindle fond memories of her in the “big house” on the cliff between the Points Ridiculous and Sublime, overlooking the O W ranch ... and that’s another week in the Creek.
Ray and Jeannie MacDonald stopped by last Friday to say “howdy” on their way to visit the O W. They had a cabin in See Canyon summer homes for nearly 20 years. Ray, Jeannie and Bear, the dog, were part of our little hiking group back in the early ’90s. Also, good to see Pat and Trudy along with Kenn and Pat, who now have electric.
Young friends Ashley and Jackson, along with mom and dad, Cindy and Brian, stopped by to visit a bit. When they are here in the Creek, they hang out with grandmother, Sheryl, about halfway down Columbine Road at the Slaughter House. Yup, that’s what it says on the sign out front.
Klean Up the Kreek is the CCHOA’s branding for the bag pick-up on April 27. The charge is 50 cents each, so go get the biggest bags you can find, rake up your leaves and be done with it.
A light burned out in the CCMHP last Thursday. Good night, Deb.
Cooks, take note
Remember, the next time you go grocery shopping, pick up all the special ingredients you need for your entry in the chili challenge. May 4 is the annual Cinco de Mayo Chili Cook-off and Derby Party at Landmark. The number to call to enter your chili is (928) 363-0121.
Once a year, you just have to get your scissors and a plastic grocery bag, then go snip off the tops of some fiddlehead ferns. What a salad they will make ... then you’ll have to wait until next spring for more. To find them, try up the Creek from the real estate office about 200 yards.
Calendar of Events
April 27: CCHA bag pick-up
April 27: Genny’s Lupus Walk in Scottsdale
May 4: Chili Cook-off
May 25: Firebelles Arts, Crafts & Brats Festival
Our little April snow shower, a week-and-a-half ago, yielded more than an inch-and-a-half of water!