Christopher Creek was quiet this past weekend, not unlike Garrison Keillor’s mythical Lake Wobegon.
Summer folks are enjoying the weather in the Valley, busy with their honey-do’s or out NASCARin’ out at PIR. They go back thinking how cold it is going to be and how smart they were to winterize their place. Most of them jumped the gun. It has been a near-perfect fall ... gorgeous weather, beautiful fall colors, bountiful apple crop, wildlife and campfires. Folks who have been around can’t remember one better in years.
Meeting an elk on Columbine Road well after dark is still a thrill, no matter how many times it’s happened before. The turkey are combing through the ridge across the road, harvesting grasshoppers and other insects.
It is my favorite time of year ... a time for getting out in the woods to cut some firewood. You cut for a while, load for a while and then you fire up a cigar and walk the woods scouting for the next honey-hole. Once in a while you scare up a sleeping whitetail. Once in a while you just stop and find a place to sit and just take it all in. Once in a while you have to walk out and get help with a tire puncture. Ah, they don’t know what they’re missing ... or just maybe they do. You know what they say ’bout summer folks ... summer here and the rest are wishin’ they were.
Then there are the returning travelers. Kelly and Dennis are back from a trip to Bend, Ore. After a couple weeks hiking, exploring, kayaking and dining their way through that country they came back to the Creek to hike ... etc. ... oh, yes, and do some bear hunting. Dennis got one, by the way. They are our Thursday evening hosts for cards for the winter at their beautiful home in See Canyon.
Eric and Nancy have been motor-homing for about six weeks. Their travels have taken them to the Arrowhead country of Minnesota and then into Wisconsin to visit relatives and attend a wedding. They have become “lake people” from their experience. Welcome home to all.
Karen Thornton’s granddaughter and Landmark barista, Britney, brought her brand new boyfriend to the Creek for the weekend. The pair hiked to See Spring on Saturday. That evening, Karen hosted a nice fireside pasta dinner for Britney, Caleb and a couple more of us. Caleb seems like a good kid so we tried not to be too rough on him.
Just a little heads up ... the truck designated as next year’s entry in the Demolition Derby is here in the Creek. It’s a Chebbie.
It is Veterans Day as this is written, so my Christopher Creek salute goes out to all the jarheads, swabbies, grunts and fellow flyboys in the area. Boohyeah and sempre fi and thanks for what you did.
A while back, Keith Mead stopped by the campfire. He related this story. As a young fella, Keith grew up summers over on Mead Ranch. He went on to become a barber in the Valley, but he should have been an engineer. He retired a while back and lives with his wife down on Columbine.
While still behind the barber chair, one day he had a customer who used to be manager up at Tonto Fish Hatchery. He shared with that fella about how he used to hike from Mead’s to the hatchery and would sit next to the show pond and study on all those big trout. After a number of trips, Keith had it figured out.
A couple days later, he got up early. He wound some fishline around his hand and took that coil and tied it to his belt loop. Next, he pulled from that coil a length of line down one leg of his pants. On went the pants and off to the hatchery he went. When situated, sitting along the bank of the show pond, he reached down and pulled some line from down his pant leg. With the requisite bait attached he slowly fed his line into the water.
Well, you can pretty well figure what happened then. Trout took the bait. Keith set the hook. He then wound the line. Fish went up his pant leg. Keith stood up and walked home. Hatchery folks were none the wiser! He poached that trout from right under their noses. It was nothing less than a feat of mountain engineering ... and that’s another week in the Creek.
Postscript: We sure hope that Savoi has made the junior high girls softball team.