Great Chili For Derby Day


Christopher Creek part-time resident Rosemary Elston is always on the move. You see her jogging the loop or pedaling her bike hither and yon. She is back and forth from the Valley, looking after Mimi, her mother, when she is here. Then she’s off to visit her daughter and grandsons in South Carolina.

It was on such a recent trip that she was recruited to run the Charleston Half Marathon. It seems her son-in-law had injured his hip and was unable to accompany his wife, Rachel on the run. Rosemary was hesitant to attempt to run that distance without proper training and just two days’ notice.

The opportunity to run with and in support of her daughter made her decision. Her strategy was run a little, walk a little and see how far she could go. Rachael, 30, finished fourth in her age group. Rosemary, at age 59, well ... she only ran the entire 13.1 miles. She finished 25th in her group.

According to her, “training” here in the Creek was the key to her success. Way to go, Rosemary!

By the way, shortly after her run, Rosemary was on a playground slide with her two young grandsons on her lap. At the bottom, she jammed her left foot, resulting in a fracture, six weeks in a cast and six weeks in a boot!

Chief Rob Jarvis assures us that there will be no fire restrictions this season. When conditions warrant, the Forest Service will, instead, enforce closures in our national forest. Yup, never mind what that will do to the local economy.

Among the crowd at the Quatro de Mayo Kentucky Derby Chili Challenge were Fred and Barb Schapler from out at Colcord Estates; Tina, visiting daughter of Greg and Becky Kuntz; four nurses from Scottsdale Medical; and a couple sisters from Tonto Village. Rick Wandrych and his crew from the west end of Columbine joined the party. Barb Wheeler was in attendance, as were Pamalita Voita and Dave’s daughter.

The vote result was tighter than Dick’s hatband. Each pot of chili was as good as the next ... the best in these parts. The temperature ranged from Kelly’s white chili with chicken to Irma’s “Dragon’s Breath” chili. Each of the 40 or so judges had their favorites. Irma’s was my favorite and we tied at third. Patsi Hostee was second. Again, Dennis and Kelly did a fine job coordinating this event.

Blake Bottle made an overdue appearance last weekend, reminding me of when we first met. Now, everybody has a favorite personalized vehicle plate. How about “POP BTL”! About eight or nine years ago, or so, a black SUV pulled in the drive across the street. Out popped the Bottle family: Blake, the elder, was pop Bottle, his wife, Shelley, and kids, Blake the younger, Drew and Brooke. They were my new neighbors.

Bonnie, from up on the hill on Elk Run, along with friends, Keena, Nancy and Josie’s brother, Mike, stopped by for a brief chat. It seems Bonnie is a bit miffed that Josie inherited the old relic of a Landmark sign which is now hanging on Josie’s back fence. Jealousy is a green-eyed monster!

By the way, we got a report from Davo that he met Marshall Trimble’s 15-year-old grandson, fly-fishing the Creek above the Mountain Meadow Bible Camp. The young man had netted a 15-inch brown that morning!

Back in the day, Christopher Creek was inhabited, again and again, by a population of Native Americans. Several ancient cultures may have lived here. Has anybody else ever wondered what name they might have had for this incredibly beautiful country? They did leave behind evidence of their having been here. Pots and pottery shards, metates and manos, arrowheads, chips, and small hide-cutting knives have been discovered right here along the creek. More recently, archaeological surveys were done throughout the national forests, determining areas where Native American artifacts may be seen. Now, should you be out roaming the woods and run into a ponderosa pine tree with a white ring painted about head high around its circumference, look around for another such tree. You may soon realize that there are a number of marked trees in a large circle. You have found an area designated by an earlier survey as an artifact area. Your government tells you that you may pick up and examine an artifact, but you must return it to its resting place. Would it be way off base to think that if the government didn’t want anybody walking off with a metate to show off on the front porch of a cabin, that they should not have advertised these artifact areas to begin with? Or is that just me? At least now you know about the white-ringed trees ... and that’s another week in the Creek.

Oh, yeah, G-Dub’s chili squeaked by with first place.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.