Cherry Creek Lodge is located amid the tall pines, high desert and rolling hills of the Tonto National Forest. Visitors to the bed and breakfast get a taste of the Old West in a completely remote location, along with a few lessons in history. Michael Lechter, who co-owns the lodge with his wife, Sharon, talks about their place.
What’s the history of the lodge?
Let’s go back to the 1880s, before Arizona was a state. There was a range war called the Pleasant Valley War. The feud started out between these two families, and our ranch was the Tewksbury ranch. It actually kept Arizona from becoming a state for about a decade. Every cowboy movie you’ve ever seen has an element in it from the Pleasant Valley War.
Talk about a typical day at the lodge.
It’s very flexible. In some cases, people will actually go out and play cowboy. They’ll go out with our wrangler and work the cattle and really experience a typical day in the West. In other cases, we’ll have more structured activities with the trail rides. A lot of people take advantage of the lake. The little folks go out there and just throw a line in the water, and they’ll bring out a little perch, so it’s great for kids. You come back at night to relatively luxurious surroundings.
Cherry Creek sounds like a quiet place.
We’re right where the high desert meets the tall pines, and we’re right in the middle of Tonto National Forest. It’s totally remote, it’s totally solar-powered, we have our own well water, and it’s a total getaway.
What else can a lodge-goer expect?
It’s the basic “welcome to our home” philosophy. It’s very comfortable and not particularly formal. You come in and become part of the family. You can raid the refrigerator.
Cherry Creek Lodge is located off Forest Road 54A near Young. For more information, call 928-462-4027 or visit www.cherrycreeklodge.com.
— Danielle Grobmeier
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