Thursday, June 14, 2012

How to Misplace Your River

June 13

Kimmy, Emily, and Anne returned me to North Denver in the morning, with Anne being polite enough to wait until I had left the car before she threw up all over the back seat.  The ADT itinerary had me following the course of the South Platte River on the trail of the same name.  You would assume that since all I had to do was stay near the river I could not possibly get lost.  You would be wrong. 
At some undetermined point I veered onto either Dry Creek, Clear Creek, or Shit Creek and lo and behold I emerged onto Pecos Street with no more path in sight.  My longtime friend the Platte had also disappeared.  From my exhaustive research, consisting of looking where the trail went on Google Maps for almost two minutes, I concluded I needed to head south. 
I did so for a while before my freak out sensor went off around 50th street and I decided to phone a friend.  I cried for the first five minutes of my call to Kimmy, but she soothed my nerves, assuring me I was unlucky to be carjacked.  She also told me I could stay on Pecos Street until 32nd and then cross I-25 to regain a foothold on the river trail.
I obeyed her instructions faithfully and rejoined the South Platte, passing such landmarks as Confluence Park, Coors Field and the Corporation of the Week Football Stadium, while never seeing the aquarium I had so brilliantly suggested as a rendezvous point the day before.  Good thing I came nowhere near reaching it.  Or did I? 
Farther on the various parks told some of Denver's history.  The Fort Laramie Treaty had declared the area property of the South Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians.  The tribes were forced to evacuate some of their land in exchange for a bunch of money they never got since savages have no real need for hard currency. 
Once whites discovered gold in Englewood, near where I finished  today, their view of the inviolability of treaties changed as it had in the past and they decided perhaps an update was in order.  They made the injuns another set of false promises and started raking in the shiny rocks.  One of the first settlements, Montana City, was located in what is today Grant Frontier Park, which the ADT passes near the end of the South Platte Trail. 
 I managed not to lose the river again during the course of the day and our long marriage came to a natural end in the Englewood/Sheridan area as I passed onto the Bear Creek Trail quite on purpose.  This signals the end of the north section of the ADT - as a highlander once wisely said, "there can be only one," and now there is only one trail, which I shall attempt to follow to the ocean.  I'll be sad to be without the Platte after our many weeks together, but relationships sometimes come to an end whether we like it or not and we have to be adults about it.  I might just have one more good cry if that's alright with you though. 15 miles/2531 total . 

1 comment:

rjmera said...

Be careful with the cougars and (maybe) wolves. Stay clear of streams if you see thunderstorms around. Flash floods can be nasty and fast.