Christopher Creek has been recently entertained by a mating pair of mallard ducks currently residing in the waters just above Mimi’s Crossing. This helps to take our minds off the unresolved debacle on the Loop near the Columbine intersection.
Just in: Chief Lockhart advises there are three pending contract proposals for immediate removal of the mobile home on the Loop. This will be completed by the end of the coming week.
Good news is the annual Firebelles’ yard sale at Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 20.
More good news — the Creek’s area restaurants are open for business.
See Canyon resident, Don Farmer, shares his story about Box Canyon.
Like leaves on the trees people numbers dramatically increase with the rise in temperature in Arizona’s Rim Country. With the heat of the day comes a natural longing to get away from our day’s work and to be near the coolest spot possible. On some days the shade of the porch or nearby tree does not bring the desired relief from the heat. When the sun and sweat of mid-day overcomes us we should all follow the instincts of our own “inner kid” and head on down to the water for refreshing and delightfully effective relief.
Cool options abound in Christopher Creek and range from the simple to more complex adventure and are available to both young and old. It is just bad form to complain about the hot weather when relief is just a stone’s throw away.
Let us take this opportunity to explore some of our close-by possibilities.
Like I did with my own children (even when they sported diapers) my parents headed down to the creek with the brood in tow for some good clean fun during the heat of the day. Just like we did then, our grandchildren splash, float sticks, throw moss at each other and explore all while enjoying the cool creek water. Whether they are chasing the water striders skating along on the surface tension or screaming in terror at the hellgrammite big brother just put on little sister’s shoulder, the early but not less important lessons of life are being formulated. How many of us used our determined rock dam building skills learned in the creek for some future and more important project after all?
The creek offers no age restrictions as well. In my own youth I was witness to a remarkable and quite disturbing situation as I explored the creek. On one particularly hot and dry afternoon as I recall, it was late afternoon and I was hopping on the stream’s rocks and nearing the concrete creek crossing. Strange sounds of revelry were wafting through the trees from that direction. Curious and hiding behind one of those giant pines found there, I spied on a group of adults, even a few with gray hair, in their lawn chairs with bared feet soaking in the cool water sitting right in the middle of the crossing. They were strategically arranged around a milk crate, full of yellow cans that soaked in the water and each one of these older folks had one of those opened cans in their hand. They were all laughing and having what seemed a good time. If this were to happen again today one might imagine the only difference would be the color of the cans found in the crate.
Adventure with a thrill or two can be found as well. Swimming and diving pools exist close by. If you are into this more dare-devilish type of fun you know where the best places are to be found. Some of the best locations are accessed with difficulty — that is if hiking in and varying degrees of canyoneering skills define your idea of said difficulty. One such route winds down a steep slope only to end at a particularly beautiful and shaded canyon bottom. Found here is a spring that flows with water so cold it hurts one’s head to drink directly from it, but just a short scramble down canyon is the most secluded swimming hole one could wish for.
Included in my youthful memories was the summer Uncle Jim picked me up on his way from Riverside to Christopher Creek while on a working vacation. I do not recall the nature of the work but do recall quite clearly our daily bath in the creek. You see, this was in the late ’60s and he had not yet installed an indoor shower in his cabin in See Canyon. After each day’s work, we loaded into the station wagon and headed down to R-C, parked the car and hiked into the Christopher Box for a swim. That was my early introduction to that place.
My father had attempted to take my brother and I down there a few years earlier, but at the edge of the gorge decided against the risk of taking two young boys down to the water. As I vaguely recall, he explained to us that if he broke a leg down there, we might have to go without supper that night. Convinced that dinner was important then as it is now, I should remind the reader the Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department personnel live for the opportunity to rescue folks who have ventured a bit too far out of their comfort zone. A good word of advice about the Box — the water found down there is cool and inviting, but you will be hot, thirsty and out of breath on the hike back out of the gorge. Take enough water to drink and let someone know about your plans before you drop over the edge. Taking extra care during the rainy season should be an obvious choice as well.
Chilling out at the creek also provides opportunity to enjoy the local flora and fauna. The riparian zone affords the birds and bugs the same cool prospects it offers you and me. Already this season we have spotted any number of different species — including an adult Arizona black rattlesnake (crotalus viridis cerberus) lying amongst the roots of a large walnut tree growing adjacent to the creek. This normally vibrant and remarkably colored organism was enjoying the aftereffects of a recent meal and was quite unconcerned of our presence. On another day, the air might have carried a different buzz. Funny thing what want for supper can do to change your mood.
The creek has offered pleasant refuge for young and old for generations past and present. It is there for you to enjoy. Please, take care of it. It is far more pleasant to find it not littered and clean. Carry out more than you took in is the best advice for all.
Thank you, Don ... and that’s another week in the Creek.