Christopher Creek was going about its business as normal on June 25, 1990. It was Monday and my nephew, Kevin, accompanied me to the IGA in Payson for groceries. Coming down the hill into Star Valley, on our return, we noticed a strange plume of smoke off to the left in the direction of the Buckhead landfill, but, no, not quite. It was about 2 p.m. and when we were again able to high point that smoke, it was apparent that it wasn’t a landfill fire. The plume was pencil thin and rose absolutely straight up about 1,500 feet very close to the Rim. On top was a tiny cloud, looking like a fat, floral eraser on that pencil. It wasn’t until midday Tuesday that we learned that the plume was the result of a dry lightning strike, from a cloudless sky, and the fire was growing fast ... exploding, and it was heading east. It also had a name.
Among the youngsters attending the annual CCHOA Picnic Potluck were Austin Dean and Mariah, grandkids of the Dodsons. They were part of the 85 or so folks who enjoyed the perfect weather last Saturday down on Milburn’s Meadow. The large canopy provided shade and was quite comfortable. The food was fantastic! Chuck Schmidt, CCHOA president, declared, in his prepared remarks, that we will do it again next year.
Now, the duck race ended up being more of a slow limp. The race was abbreviated due to the flow of water in the creek. Have you ever tried to herd ducks?
Ashley and Kent Eaton were wed on the banks of Christopher Creek last Saturday, in front of 65 or so witnesses. Karen Thornton, grandmother of the bride, hosted the event, which came off flawlessly, much to her relief. Her deck and lawn on the edge of the water were exquisitely decorated in black and burlap with crystal accoutrements. Ashley’s attendants were in black shears in contrast to her beautiful white dress. A barbecue dinner by Jack followed the ceremony. Music lasted well into the night. Congratulations to the newlyweds, and Happy Trails!
Could Christopher Creek be a bellwether of the Arizona economy? It’s much too early to say, but there are early indications of a busy year for businesses here in the Creek. Parking lots seem to be good thermometers of how hot activity is for the local hospitality industry. Parking was at a premium this past weekend. It’s about time for a good shot in the arm for the commercial people in this area.
Tall Pines Market and Mike Jelinek’s crew lead off the list, featuring food, camping needs, propane, fishing and hunting licenses ... if they don’t have it, you don’t need it. On up the Loop is Werlinger’s Landmark at the Creek, a family restaurant featuring patio dining overlooking the Creek. Christopher Creek Lodge, along the Creek, and the Grey Hackle Lodge share management and host your overnight needs. An icon in Rim Country for more than 40 years is Creekside Restaurant and Cabins under Deseret Krieger’s management. Wooden Nickel provides more lodging just around the corner in Hunter Creek. All would hasten to remind you that we are cooler than Payson and 20 degrees cooler than the Valley! Come visit Christopher Creek!
Lest you have forgotten, be reminded we are three weeks away from the Christopher Creek 4th of July Parade which is to be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 6. Note the earlier time, so as the parade will terminate prior to the monsoon rain, also scheduled later that day. Another reminder is July 2020 is the next time the parade may actually be held on the 4th!
Back in the day ...
Candy Hart had been a fixture in the Creek for nearly 10 years in 1990. She was the tall cowgirl with the black hat and self-appointed social director. Her horse, Skip, was corralled on the hillside across the highway. She lived with her three dogs in the mobile park.
Heber and Blanche White’s daughter, Deanna, lived down the other side of Payson, in Rye. Deanna grew up in the Creek and was a horse enthusiast, as well. And, she had a horse trailer.
Arizona Game and Fish had a role in the fire story. A number of them were deployed as spotters. One unit was stationed just west of the bridge in the Creek.
Christopher-Kohls Fire Department volunteers Pam Milhon, Jim Oliver, Everett Griffith, from the R-C, and Bob Eggers from Kohl’s, Bob Lusson and others were going to be on the fire, while more volunteers manned the station. Dale Ashby was chief at the time, but his fire responsibility was with the Forest Service.
All were unwitting partners in a dance with the Dude back in late June 1990 ... and that’s another week in the Creek.