Christopher Creek has enjoyed some of the monsoonal rains the last couple of weeks. The over four-and-one-half inches fallen recently has upped our total to above 13 inches. Tuesday’s statewide storm accounted for an inch-and-a-quarter and that could have been much more as the storms were lined up like a freight train headed for us. Most of the cells dissipated and drifted to the east after dumping nearly eight inches in the mountains north of the Valley.
Last Saturday’s invasion of Sun Devil nation for the annual scrimmage at Camp Tontozona brought about a surge of activity for local businesses. Grey Hackle Lodge again had a four-day encampment of Devil supporters with their maroon and gold pop-ups and the incessant aroma of barbecues. Thursday and Friday, Sun Devil colors adorned most of the patrons down at the Landmark. And then there was Saturday and the overflow crowds on the back patio after Tontozona broke up. The return of the Devils to camp a couple years ago after the four-year hiatus certainly does have an economic impact on business in the Creek and we look forward to the return year after year.
The Creek’s newest homeowners, Kenn and Pat Gorecki, are the perfect example of the evolution of the local population here about. After residing in the CCMHP for 10 years, this couple finally found the perfect place to buy. It happens time after time. Folks visit the area and the love affair begins. Soon they find themselves in one of the mobile or RV parks. As time goes on they start looking for a house or a cabin. Could be they find a lot to build on.
So, congratulations to Kenn and Pat on their new mountain home along with the joys of living in the Creek ... but you already know all about that!
Staffing is underway, hours of operation are set and opening day has been announced for the Creekside Restaurant. Monday, Aug. 25 at 11 a.m., the doors will open on a new era for the eatery. Hours will be from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and Friday-Saturday hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. We look forward to Creekside again being open for business and best wishes to them.
Don Farmer came by last Saturday and the conversation finally got around to his agenda. The Forest Service deadline for input on closing a number of FS roads to motorized vehicle traffic is Sept. 17. It will take some time to wade through the information. The closings are extensive and maps detail the roads affected, so, if you have some favorite trails you wouldn’t want restricted, your input is crucial. If you don’t act, you may not like the consequences. Give Don a call for a pep talk at (480) 200-8687 and next week we’ll continue this with more information.
A fella we’ve known for years stopped in the Creek for a visit last week. Over refreshments, we discussed such things as a 6-year-old growing up at the Canyon Creek hatchery while his dad was building that facility in the early ’70s. As a kid back then, he knew every inch of that area and he filled me in on a mystery that has bothered me for years. On the road to the hatchery there is a place called Airplane Flat campground. Knowing that the owner of the O W ranch back in the 1930s was an aeronautical engineer and that people would fly into the ranch from California, where was the landing strip?
Denny Hargar, that kid from Canyon Creek, currently mans the Colcord Lookout fire tower out on FR 291. Being on a tower in the midst of a monsoon lightning storm has been on my bucket list for some time. He invited me to visit any time and reminded me to never have one foot on the ground and one on the tower steps at the same time. So it’s “jump on, jump off,” especially when there’s lightning in the area.
Oh, and by the way, the landing strip isn’t down on one of the meadows where one would expect. No, it was carved into a mesa high above the campground. Using dozers with cable rigging the landing area was fashioned for landing a plane uphill to slow it down. Upon take-off the plane would then have a downhill run. Those aeronautical engineers were sure clever back then. Thanks, Denny.
... and that’s another week in the Creek.