That Roar Is More Than Water — It’S Boulders And Debris

That roar is more than water — it’s boulders and debris.

Photo by Andy Towle. |

That roar is more than water — it’s boulders and debris.


Christopher Creek is roaring for the second time this winter. Last week’s 13-inch-plus snowfall, with intermingled rain and “thunder sleet,” is melting off quite rapidly.

Up See Canyon are roughly 5,000 acres of forest to feed the run-off, sending boulders, weighing hundreds of pounds, tumbling down the creek. Not only do you hear the rumble, you feel the vibration. The power of the water is awe-inspiring and draws many to the “Carwash” to observe.

Now, the “Carwash” warrants a bit of discussion. This concrete low water crossing, near the CI ranch homestead, was built across the creek in the early 1950s prior to the first lot sales. The downstream edge of the structure creates a four-foot waterfall. Someone, back in the day, was, no doubt, observed washing their ’55 Ford station wagon on the concrete and the crossing was, hence and forever more, called the “Carwash.”


That roar is more than water — it’s boulders and debris.

Continuing about 2.8 miles west of town, Christopher meets up with Tonto Creek at a place called “the confluence,” naturally. Then, as a part of the Tonto drainage, Gordon Canyon Creek and numerous other creeks on the way to Roosevelt Lake, becoming part of the Salt River watershed, join it

Currently, Roosevelt Lake is at 48 percent of capacity, up from 41 percent in early January. We will check back on the lake level in a week or two and see what our latest contribution was.

Zane Grey Restaurant at Kohl’s Ranch captured first-place recognition at last week’s Taste of Rim Country. Randy Slapnicka, restaurant manager, along with Creek residents, chef Chris Taylor and able-bodied assistant Paul Chamberlin served a bite-sized prime rib offering. Kevin Mystrom and his Journigan House crew took second place. Representing Creekside Steak House, Payson High School graduate, Desiree Krieger, along with her 15-year-old son, Jeremiah, and Ben Perry, put out some great barbecue ribs and a pulled pork slider. The competition was fierce and the Payson Public Library was packed for the event. Congratulations to all involved in this great annual benefit.

Landmark opening

Welcome back Cindi, Sammone and Gary Werlinger, along with Josh Flores, as they open the Landmark Restaurant for the season. They are getting the place ready just in time for St. Patrick’s Day festivities and there will, surely, be some corned beef and cabbage and, of course, green libations.

Kicking off the CCHA 2013 calendar is next Saturday’s Easter Egg Hunt on Columbine. There is also a men’s and women’s Easter Bonnet Contest and Irma Armenta, at (928) 478-4753, has all the details. Remember, kids, that’s on March 23.

Karen Thornton is, again, hosting the annual gals’ Jammie Party on Friday evening, March 22. If you are not familiar with this long-running event, well ... maybe you’re better off.

This week’s list of events heralds the approach of spring. Elk will soon be moving back up toward the Rim. Time to get the seeds started indoors. Finally, you are well advised to get new shocks on your vehicle ’cause it’s pothole season!

Jack and Shirley Broadston built the service station in 1965, shortly after the pavement got to the Creek. Jack passed away recently. Shirley is coming to the Creek to visit tomorrow. Olive Matus will bring her out and they will have lunch.

Just as an aside, driving a new front-wheel drive vehicle, with about six-inch ground clearance in front, into a parking lot with a foot or better of fresh snow adds new meaning to the term snowplow!

Back in the day, See Canyon Summer Homes were just that. The subdivision closed in November, turned the water off and didn’t turn it back on until April. Sometime in the 1950s Hugh Simpson built one of the cabins for his wife, Doll. As time went on, the water lines were buried deeper in order to accommodate some of the early permanent residents. The Simpsons became full-timers early on and were often seen on their daily trek to the mailboxes in their red VW Baja bug. They would always stop to chat.

Hugh and Doll both passed away a number of years ago and daughter Sandy and son-in-law Jim took over the property. Three or four years ago, Jim and son Aaron, with the help of family and friends, built a beautiful two-story home, carefully incorporating Hugh and Doll’s old cabin into the structure. Hugh and Doll have a new great-grandson as of last week. Aaron learned the adage, “work smart not hard” while building the new house. That’s right ... Arie did all the work on this project ... and that’s another week in the Creek.

About the author

Rod Britain has lived in the Christopher Creek area for almost 30 years.


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