Christopher Creek and the surrounding area received a double-barrel shot of winter squalls last Monday. The first one moved through around noon with rain, sleet, and snow leaving a partial blanket of white. The clouds viewed from Payson were as black as you have ever seen. The second line of the storm came at 4 p.m. and lasted nearly an hour. Large flakes were the feature and roofs were covered with an inch of snow. The overnight temperature of 30 degrees gave way to a bright Tuesday morning when all the snow and ice in the trees bombarded us. By Friday, we will return to sunny skies and daytime highs near 70 for all the Memorial holiday events. The Firebelles breakfast is Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. The Christopher Creek HOA meeting and ice cream social is at 1 p.m. The LDS church will have a barbecue. As the snow fell, a half-dozen residents went to the podium during the call to the public at Monday afternoon’s CKFD board meeting. They all made emotional statements of support for the firefighters and the department. This followed Chief Lockhart’s budget proposal, which includes pay increases for his men. There were 25 attending the two-hour meeting and two informal budget discussion sessions for the public were announced.

The Christopher Creek apple harvest is always a hit or miss proposition. Last year’s yield was mostly a bust due to a dry winter. Given our current wet year, there should be a bumper crop this fall. All this came to mind when a Creek friend related some preliminary thoughts concerning his involvement in a new project. Larry Waltemeyer, Treeland Nursery in the Valley, began asking about the varieties of apples in the Creek. It was suggested polling the locals about the kind of trees they have and which are the best varieties.

Waltemeyer is collaborating with Nelson Beck and former Creek summer resident Dave Owens, The Garden Guy of Channel 3 fame, on a future apple orchard in American Gulch in Payson. Larry’s task is to determine the best local apple varieties for propagating and grafting to develop trees to be planted. He has the expert staff and climatic controlled enclosures at Treeland for the task. If you have great apples, know their history and meet the qualifications, you might become part of this legacy orchard endeavor.

Rod Beall and his friend, Josh from Pine, stopped by to tell the story of last Friday’s encounter with an alleged Winslow kidnapping victim. Josh (last name withheld) happened to be in a Pine convenience market when a young female with a black eye and broken nose entered. Hearing her plea for help, Josh made the 911 call.

After being patched in with dispatchers, he gave details of the events, a description of the vehicle and the tag number. This led to a law enforcement stop at the north end of Payson. Kudos to Josh for getting involved in a dangerous situation.

Last Friday evening at the Landmark social hour, all three Britain brothers were in attendance. It was a rare occasion as younger brothers Neil, from the Valley, and Brian, now residing in Iowa, joined me and the locals around the fire pit on the patio. Many stories were told and introductions were made.

Then, in a twist of fate, Julie Frost stopped me to meet her friend from Iowa who had dropped by to visit. It was learned that Jean Vittetoe is from the same small Iowa town as the brothers. Jean was then pulled to the patio for a photo of four high school graduates from Washington, Iowa. It was very nice to meet you, Jean.

There is a new restriction on some campsites at the end of the FR 284. This has to do with repair of the riparian area within 200 feet of Christopher Creek. We look forward as to how the authorities plan to enforce this policy, given their lack of procedures in dealing with all the trash left behind by campers in that area.

Have an enjoyable and safe Memorial Day weekend and on Monday remember the military members who died in service of our country ... and that’s another week in the Creek.

Contact the reporter 

tmcquerrey@payson.com

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