Christopher Creek’s current calmly churns and cascades down the canyon and comes through town over boulders and around bends, before bounding into the Box ever-losing elevation, ending eventually upon entering the Tonto. There just wasn’t quite enough current last Saturday, but we will get to that in a minute.
After last week’s winds, the weather was beautiful on Saturday for all the events in the Creek.
First of all, Christopher Creek Lodge “christened” its new grassy island activity area by hosting a good-sized wedding.
In the crook where the creek makes a bend there is a portion of lodge property on the highway side of the water. They leveled off a pad for a cabin some 25 years ago when Glen Ashby owned the lodge. The cabin was never built and the idle flat area remained for years until Jason Harris and his crew cleaned it up, planted some grass and built a stage, so to speak, as the centerpiece. The grass is looking good and shows well as one passes by on the Loop. This will be a nice addition to the lodge amenities.
Just downstream, a crowd of nearly a 100 came to champion their favorite Kentucky Derby challenger and taste from the pots of chili in the annual cook-off. The O’Neills did another splendid job of organizing and running the event, which featured 10 chili contestants and a dozen Derby hat contenders.
First of all, the winning chili was prepared by a “committee” of Karen Thornton, son, Lance, and daughter, Stacey. We’re fairly certain that the $50 first prize all ended up in the coffers of the hosting Landmark as that trio celebrated their win. All the entries were great, but one could have been better if the contestant had not jobbed out the preparation to his cooks back in the kitchen, who, according to him did not exactly follow his instructions to the letter. It’s OK as his chili won last year’s event.
Now, as to the Kentucky Derby hat contest, in my opinion the contest is getting bigger and more difficult to judge each year. Again, in my opinion, Mary Beth and her three girlfriends would certainly have won as a group, but, alas, it was a competition for individuals. Notice the title does not say Kentucky Derby Ladies Hat contest and so the lone fella up there with all the gals in front of the judges suffered all the slings and arrows from Chuck Schmitt, CCHA President for Life, who was emceeing the event.
Congratulations to the winner, Laura, who came with her husband, Dan, all the way from Ellison Creek Summer Homes to compete. The judges made a fine decision in what was surely a difficult circumstance.
Getting back to the calm current churning, etc., the annual Duck Race on Christopher Creek, normally held on the day of the community picnic, was rescheduled to this past Cinco de Mayo weekend in anticipation of inadequate water flow in June. Dean put this event together with Chuck and the race filled the void in the activities between the hat competition and the Derby. What the fellas didn’t anticipate was the inadequate flow of water in May! And what made the event so wildly successful was unanticipated, as well. A dozen kids, ages 2 to 12, clambered down the bank, and into the creek bottom to help shepherd the “ducks” over and around the boulders and bends blocking the bobbing balls. Oh, yeah, most of the kids ended up in the water and were having a huge time without getting yelled at, believe it or not.
John Mitchell’s duck crossed the finish line first and he promptly donated his substantial first place prize to Genny’s Lupus Walk fundraising drive and he gets an Atta Boy for that.
Leo and Mary Wenning and their kids showed up while the crowd was still there. Mary asked what the occasion was or was the patio always as busy on Saturday afternoons. Maybe she was thinking everybody was there to help her celebrate her birthday. OK, we’re kidding you, Mary, but as promised, we didn’t mention your age.
Opie and Pat tied the knot in Prescott and are honeymooning in the Creek this week. Congrats to them!
A month ago we did a shout out to 90-year-old Violet Price. Sheila at the market related last week that Vi was tickled to see her name mentioned in the paper. Now it is sad to report that longtime area resident, Violet Price, passed away Monday morning in her home in Colcord Estates. Our condolences go out to daughters, Mari and Joan.
The fire board budget meeting is Monday evening. Attend to find out why we reject the JPA.
Tuesday mid-morning we had a visitor in town. Big and brown, he had to weigh nearly 300 pounds. He ambled down from the ridge across the road and crossed behind the Grey Hackle Lodge. He made it as far as the Loop then returned, leaving by the same route. Now, we love seeing the wildlife in town, but this guy was hungry and you wouldn’t necessarily want to cross paths with him. Rosemary came by shortly afterward, saying she has always wanted to see one. We told her she “bearly” missed it. More on the bear next time ... and that’s another week in the Creek.