By John Bowler
>Ranch resurfaces tennis courts; programs for summer get under way
The current Crooked River Ranch Club and Maintenance Association Board has taken to heart a slightly revised old adage to the effect that "All work and no play makes for dull Ranchers."
President Ben Johnson said the board has made it their goal to see that local residents and visitors have ample entertainment facilities and opportunities at their beck and call for fun and games.
A case in point is the $65,000 reconstruction of the two Ranch tennis courts which had such serious cracks in the playing surface that they required a total resurfacing and remarking.
An added feature is that they will also be lined for playing the relatively new-to-the-Ranch sport of pickleball played with a plastic wiffle-type ball and racket.
The new game can be played on either court while conventional tennis is played on the other. More information about the game can be accessed at www.pickleballcentral.com.
According to Johnson, it's a game popular with Rancher snowbirds who travel south for the winter and mix with other expatriates from wintry climes.
Pickleball devotees say the sport's rules are simple and it's a great physical workout that requires little instruction or practice and can be enjoyed by all ages.
The newly reconstructed tennis courts will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. They can also be reserved for a group or tournament with a deposit of a $150 cleaning fee by calling 541-548-3989, which also applies to reserving MacPherson Park and the Juniper Room for group functions.
The catch is the resurfaced courts probably won't be ready until the first part of August, according to maintenance Supervisor Mike Knoke, who said that one Central Oregon supplier has a virtual monopoly on the type of paving required to resurface the tennis courts.
Another recreation disappointment this year is the planned trail rides and rodeo events that had been negotiated with a company called Sanctuary.
Sanctuary's owner Chris Buller said Friday that he didn't receive a contract to sign until after Memorial Day and it was too late for him to work out a program for this summer. He will try again next year.
Fortunately, the Summer Recreation program for children is in good shape under the direction of Sylvia Kimbley, again this year assisted by her husband. It will be held Monday through Friday the weeks of July 16 and 23 for ages 6 through 12, from 9-11:45 a.m., with lunch served on Friday both weeks.
The children first go for a swim in the morning and then go back to Ranch Chapel to change for craft activities or different sports each day including only golf and baseball this year because the tennis courts won't be ready. The fire department picks them up one day in fire trucks for a tour of its facilities.
Kimbley said they had arranged an evening swimming and pizza program on Fridays for teens last year and announced it again for this year, but nobody applied, so it has been scratched.
The chidren's program signup form is at www.crookedriverranch.com under "Youth Activities" and must be returned by July 6. For more information, call Kimbley at 541-504-1073.
The swimming pool is now open and can be by reserved in two-hour increments for $125 any day from 5-7 p.m. and/or 7-9 p.m. by calling 541-923-4386.
Another idea in the works for recreation is a proposal for setting up a disc golf course made several weeks back by the owners of the Ranch Cabins.
Unfortunately, nobody could be located on Friday who knew the status of that proposal, so it will have to followed up and reported later.
The former Ranch Trails committee has morphed into the Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyons Area under the guidance of Stu Steinberg.
They are a nonprofit organization, meet monthly and conduct guided hikes over local trails.
They have a trail cleanup scheduled for June 24 which is described in the June CRR Telegraph newsletter, or you can call Steinberg at 541-504-5407.