Christopher Creek closed out 2020 with a white Christmas, the breathtaking beauty of which would make Hallmark greeting cards envious. Following a couple days of rain, the first wave of snow arrived Christmas morning. Two subsequent waves in the next 48 hours gave us a total of 12 to 16 inches of snow, depending where you were in the district. By the Friday after Christmas, crews had cut through a single vehicle path with tall berms along each side of Columbine. You were reminded of an Olympic bobsled run. The difference was the size of the potholes beneath the frozen roadbed.
The heavy snow hung in the treetops for days and days as the temperatures remained below freezing. In was a muted world without color and nary a soul moving about.
By day six, decisions needed to be made and New Year’s Eve invitations politely declined. A persistent head cold was a good excuse. It was a tough call, as there was another condition creeping up. We heard later that Chuck and Karen Schmitt had a small gathering in their garage on the very early evening of New Year’s. Susan and Bill, out at Ponderosa Springs, had an intimate group of close neighbors at their celebration.
In a week of isolation, there were only two or three visitors. Dave and Carol brought me some fudge. John brought me some of Karen Lafferty’s pasta. Dave Sullivan brought a plate of FooFoo’s beef stroganoff. And he mentioned trying to get enough players together for a poker game that evening. Those food-bearing visitors and the poker invitation saved me from stage-four cabin fever.
After days of solitude, with hardly anyone stirring, how is it with the mere mention of a party, folks come out of the woodwork and 16 show up for poker? It was a very nice evening during which Ann and Tony, from down on the west end of Columbine invited everyone for a post-New Year’s gathering that Friday evening. Who would have thought there were even 30 people in town, let alone all showing up at Ann’s house?
The mid-week holidays along with some isolation left one hard-pressed to even know what day of the week it was. Don’t bother looking it up. There is no specific name for that sort of thing, other than confusion.
One of those afternoons, Reuben, Lorraine and Dean loaded up for a visit to our neighbors over at the Double D in Tonto Village. We also heard of some activity up in See Canyon on about day four of the storm. There were reports of tobogganing sledding, skiing and bombing about in a side-by-side. These were not kids. Don and Kiki Farmer are more than full-grown adults. Don did tell me about a trip in his buggy up the FR 284 late that evening. A mile in, he found a very young couple with three young daughters all stuck in the ditch. Don got that small SUV pulled out of there shortly before dark. Overnight lows were down in the teens.
Getting back to our holiday storm, on Jan. 2 the cylinder gauge was brought in and thawed out. The last week of December netted a bit over two-and-a-half inches of water. The last two months of the year put us over the annual average by more than three inches.
Should you be in the Creek the middle of this coming week, we invite you to join our Creek entourage as we head to Payson for the movies. The Payson premier of “Eminence Hill” is at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 15.
The idea is to arrive at the Sawmill Theater by 5:30 p.m., purchase tickets and then grab a sandwich at Macky’s. The fact that Payson Petticoats and the Oxbow Outfit, two re-enactor groups in the film, could mean tickets could sell out. Charley Motley, from our area, has a significant role in the film and we are looking forward to seeing him. Karen Thornton will be my Uber driver.
Next week we will attempt to pin down what is up with Creekside Restaurant and Christopher Creek Lodge. It’s time to find out about new owners and their preparations for the upcoming season ... and that’s another week in the Creek.