Christopher Creek woke up to warm, sunny weather on New Year’s morning. Well, maybe not so warm. To put 2013 to bed we can celebrate the fact that annual rainfall amounts finished above average for a change at 28.8 inches. The year’s total was highlighted by five-inch rains in January and November.
There were a number of folks in the cabins around the Creek, up for the mid-week greeting of the New Year. Nine local stalwarts banded together, elected two designated chauffeurs, and took the party on the road. Bar hopping in the mountains is only restricted by the number of hops. First hop was over to Double-D in Tonto Village to check on Ethel and her gang. Harvey had the duty and Sharon was his backup. They had a nice fire out back for those braving the 28-degree temps. Next, it was off to Kohl’s Ranch bar where Jessica was holding down the fort. They were quite busy and had an exuberant young crowd. We bid our goodbyes to Rhea who was finishing in the dining room and it was off to the final hop. Creekside had all cabins full and the campfire on the patio was a popular place. Inside, Marcia was serving and Mike put out some monster finger foods and a big pot of chili. Midnight came and went with the customary fanfare and the ranks thinned fairly quickly. Thanks go to Karen and Sonni for driving the rest of the bunch: Chuck, Gordon and Betsy, Junior, Mike and Mary, and myself. Happy New Year!
One important news event from 2013 got missed in the hectic holiday hubbub: Shannon and Kyle had a baby! Young Braden was born mid-December and is Cindi and Gary’s second grandkid this year. There’s liable to be a new business opening in the Creek in May ... Werlinger Daycare!
Chuck Schmidtt, CCHA president, reminds us that tomorrow, Saturday at 10 a.m., volunteers are required to remove Christmas decorations from along the Loop. Put ’em up ... take ’em down. It shouldn’t take long if we have a few assistants. The firehouse is where to meet.
Thank you, Marshall Trimble for your wonderful little tale in last week’s edition. Everybody enjoyed it!
Back in the day ... we have a bit of unfinished business from last August. We speculated back then about the influx of cowboys to Tonto Basin starting back in the 1880s. Many were from Texas who came west looking for greener grass or a pot of gold. Some fled ahead of the Texas Rangers or perhaps a posse with a rope! With them they brought the customs and habits of home.
Cowboys of that era spoke of an outfit as a plural of the brand used to identify the cattle. We spoke last fall with a fella from Texas, whose drawl is so heavy you could nearly saddle up and ride it. Pat Perkins confirmed that Texas outfits such as the XIT’s and the 6666’s are two examples of the largest ranches in the state, referred to in the plural. Pat went on to say that the ranch proper, livestock, cowboys and the “whole kit and caboodle” were referred to in that way.
None of those old cowboys are here to testify as to what ranches were called way back then. We have to rely on references in print to substantiate our theory. Authors such as Dedera, Gillette, Zacharie and others have referred to the “22’s”, “Z, Lazy J’s”, “Q’s”, “13’s” and “Doll Babies” to name just a few more.
Now, Ed Delph has had a ranch under the Rim since the 1970s. No one knows more about the history of the ranch and the area than Ed. He says he has never read or heard of this. For all he knows, no one has written or spoken of the beautiful ranch on Canyon Creek in the plural. In deference and respect to Ed, henceforth and forever the picturesque place along Mule Creek, under the five-finger canyons of the Mogollon Rim shall be known simply as O W Ranch ... and that’s another week in the Creek.