Christopher Creek enjoyed some April showers this week. On Monday there was about a third of an inch — enough to settle the dust and dampen the forest floor. Every little bit helps — the memory of last year’s fire threat is still fresh. We did escape that late-April snowstorm, but it could still happen in May.
The National Weather Service forecast calls for slightly warmer temperatures and normal moisture for May, June and July. June is usually our driest month and July sees the return of seasonal monsoons.
Somewhat related is the report of an abandoned campfire about a mile north of the Creek. Resident Randy Dawson was called upon to come assist in dousing the flames. Meanwhile another local hiker, who discovered the crime, investigated the trash left behind where she found a grocery receipt with a name on it. Trashing a campsite and leaving an active campfire in the national forest is a crime.
Tomorrow, Saturday, at the Landmark is the Chili Cook-off, Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo weekend event. Expect a huge crowd as it’s a very popular season kick-off event.
Expect 15 or more, locally prepared pots of traditional, green and wild-game chilis. Competition has become fierce over the last 10 years and everyone attending judges. Other highlights: announcement of the July parade marshals and the Kentucky Derby hat contest winners. The finale will see folks crowding around the four TV screens to cheer on their favorites in the 145th Run for the Roses.
The event officially begins at 1 p.m. and chili contestants should set up beginning at 12:15 p.m. Everyone is invited.
Sadly, we note the passing of former Christopher Creek resident John (Johnny) Auza, 77. He was well known around Yuma and Flagstaff and took pride in his family history and fame in the sheep industry going back to the early 1900s. During his 10 years in the Creek he was a friend to everyone and a special friend to Marcia Delesandro. Several years back he returned to the Yuma area where he passed on April 24. A graveside service is at 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 7 at the Wellton Cemetery. Happy trails, old friend.
Old Brown did not survive the winter. She was faithful for nearly 20 years although, toward the end, she was hesitant to go on damp, chilly mornings. My old dog, Shadow, loved old Brown. The loss of old Brown makes me think of the pioneer cowboys and how they felt when they lost a trusted mount. Old Brown was not my horse, but was my mountain pickup, manufactured back in the last century.
My new ride is a nine-passenger outfit, so we put it to use. Early last Saturday, four of us loaded up our golf clubs and headed to Payson for the Ryan Neilsen Tournament. Christopher Creek was well represented. On the team with me were Kenn Gorecki, Tom Vendrick and John Turtchin. The team behind us included Chuck and Karen Schmitt, along with Karen’s sister and brother-in-law, Evelyn and Frank. Beau was in the group ahead of us and must have been their designated cheerleader. Mike Levac was in the field and his wife, Junior and Beau’s wife, Elsa, were seen around the clubhouse selling raffle tickets and mulligans. It was a perfect morning as the full field of 144 took the course. Lunch, awards and the raffle followed golf. The event was well-run and the proceeds go to Payson High School scholarships in Ryan’s memory.
We welcome new arrivals to the Creek, Pat and Carolyn Cryderman. They are neighbors in the Santan area with Bob, Peggy, Larry and Debbie and are now their neighbors at Christopher Creek Mobile Park … and that’s another week in the Creek.