Christopher Creek is three miles west of Colcord Road, which winds for about 10 miles through ponderosa pine and oak trees beneath the awe-inspiring Mogollon Rim. Back in history this was the Gordon Canyon wagon trail and linked the old ranches. Pioneer families such as Bowmans, Allenbaughs, Colcords ranched the area. A gravesite along the way reminds one of the hardships and disease faced by the early residents.

Now days you pass by the Thirteen, Elk Haven cabins and RV park, the Treat place, the Whispering Hope, Mountain Meadows cabins and the subdivided acreages and homes built in more recent years.

Not far past the turnoff to the Chamberlain Trail you come to the mailboxes of Colcord Estates. Turning off, and then veering right at the fork, Running Elk Road winds and winds down through canyon. After an absence of 20 years, a visit last Saturday evening was a reminder of what a beautiful place it is. Gone are some of the older structures and there are quite a number of new homes and cabins, some of which are quite grand.

The highlight was the Oktoberfest potluck at Kenny’s place. A 50-year resident, Kenny has hosted this event for the past 12 years. There were easily 80 folks in attendance, including a number of other old-timers. They talked of all the changes over the years. They recalled ol’ Uncle Willie, a lion hunter who kept a half-dozen hounds that bayed incessantly, day and night. If you lived there you got used to it after a while. Then the only time you noticed is when they stopped!

All the food and desserts were tremendous and meeting some new folks is always a joy. Karaoke singing was interesting, as always. As the sun was setting, a huge thunderhead far off to the south made for a brilliant sight. By then the campfires were a popular hangout.

It was a story of confusion, coordination and cooperation following a pre-dawn call for Hellsgate units to respond to an unknown vehicle accident with injury at milepost 266 on East Highway 260. After failing to find an accident at that location those units were advised that a DPS officer dispatched to the incident had located an overturned semi at MP 273 eastbound. Christopher-Kohl’s rescue and fire units were then toned out and upon learning of extrication required and fuel spill issues advised Hellsgate units to continue. But no accident scene was yet obvious. After further radio traffic with DPS the location was determined to be nearly five miles farther up 260 toward the Rim at MP 277.3.

All responders arrived at nearly the same time and with the confusion behind them they went to work. The coordination came into play with air response ordered, lane closure required, extrication initiated and 50 gallons of spilled fuel neutralized. The ambulance crew assisted in on-scene treatment after the victim was removed from the cab. Other responders were sent to the ADOT yard to man the landing zone.

All the tasks associated with this incident would have been overwhelming for just two responders from CKFD. Mutual aid cooperation between the jurisdictions was required and we salute the service of all agencies that handle these kinds of calls in the pre-dawn hours as the rest of us sleep.

An inch of rain from the last tropical depression passing through our state helps us stay on track to reach the rainfall average for the year. That puts us at 23-1/4 inches since the first of the year.

Coming up is the kids’ Halloween hay-wagon experience and after-party starting at 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25 the little ninjas, princesses and walking dead will meet at the CKFD fire station for hot dogs and a costume parade. At 5 p.m. they will load up the wagon. After visits at the Tall Pines Market and the Landmark, the route will take them through town for some trick-or-treat stops along the way. The Creekside Restaurant is the last stop and another party. The CCHOA sponsors the event. Join in!

The big kids costume party is at 8 p.m. at the Landmark on Friday, Oct. 31. Judging is scheduled for 9 p.m.

Three-year-old Johnnie took his dad fishing on the Tonto last Saturday. While struggling to hold little Johnnie’s attention, a jerk on the line had John’s full attention and a fight on his hands. The battle ensued and the fish took that line straight upstream. After a time he landed a 20-inch rainbow trout. He then manned the camera as Angel took over the challenge of reviving the big fella. A three- or four-minute clip showed how tired the fish was after that fight. Finally, after a lengthy effort, the rainbow swam off a ways, rested another moment and headed off ... and that’s another week in the Creek.

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